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Players: This Ball Sucks


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#1 bandito0

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Posted 30 May 2010 - 01:23 PM

I doubt this is thread worthy because nothing will really happen as a result but players are complaining about the World Cup ball:

QUOTE
"It's very weird," Brazil striker Luis Fabiano said Sunday. "All of a sudden it changes trajectory on you. It's like it doesn't want to be kicked. It's incredible, it's like someone is guiding it. You are going to kick it and it moves out of the way. I think it's supernatural, it's very bad. I hope to adapt to it as soon as possible, but it's going to be hard."

Brazil goalkeeper Julio Cesar on Saturday called the ball "terrible" and was the first to compare it to those plastic ones bought at a supermarket. Italy striker Giampaolo Pazzini said the same thing, calling it a "disaster.


Link


Pretty comical, but it seems like nothing can come of this. They can't make a change since they've marketed and released that ball back in December or January.

#2 Harry Hooper


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Posted 30 May 2010 - 03:23 PM

Complaints about the ball are now a part of every World Cup:

QUOTE
International teams have been given the chance to get to grips with Adidas’ official ball for a few weeks now and, yet again, it has received stinging criticism from goalkeepers.

Inter and Brazil "keeper Julio Cesar, fresh from his Champions League victory, described it as ‘like the balls you can buy in supermarkets."

England have practiced with the new ball in their training camp in Graz, with several outfield players complaining that the Jabulani swerves too much and has unpredictable movement in the air.

But haven’t we heard all this before?

In 2006, the Adidas Teamgeist received similar criticism , with England goalkeeper Paul Robinson describing it as ‘a water-polo ball’ and "very goalkeeper unfriendly."

The 2002 match ball, the Fevernova, was the recipient of more grievances, wit Belgian coach Jacky Munaron calling it "too light," Italy goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon blasting it as a "ridiculous kiddy’s bouncing ball" and Slovenia striker Zlatko Zahovic saying: “It is the worst ball I’ve ever played with."

Surely Adidas can’t have got it wrong so badly, so often?

It seems, at least according to the world’s goalies, they have.


LINK

#3 SumnerH


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Posted 30 May 2010 - 04:28 PM

QUOTE (Harry Hooper @ May 30 2010, 04:23 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Complaints about the ball are now a part of every World Cup:



LINK


Surely this is the problem:
QUOTE
Adidas traditionally launches new balls for each World Cup


Shouldn't the World Cup be the last place the sport should go around introducing new equipment? In every other team sport, if equipment's going to be changed it happens before the preseason to give everyone plenty of time adjust. By the time the playoffs roll around, players are plenty familiar with things. It seems like the ball ought to be well-settled before Cup qualifying games start and remain the same through the tournament, with new technology tested out immediately after the Cup to give players 4 years to get used to the changes.

I understand the marketing aspects here, but making significant changes in the on-field equipment just before the most important event in the sport seems to be a bridge too far.

#4 filthywater49

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Posted 30 May 2010 - 04:28 PM

QUOTE (Harry Hooper @ May 30 2010, 03:23 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Complaints about the ball are now a part of every World Cup:



LINK


I get the impression that most people could really give two shits as to whether or not goalies like the ball. If it were up keepers, the the game would be played with fucking medicine balls anyway. Fabiano's complaints are probably the only ones that would hold any weight for most people, but even that wouldn't be enough. As Sumner rightly points out, the better way to ensure that games are won by skill and not fluke are to give players a longer time to get used to the ball, but as we all know, that's not going to change either, as long as there is money to be made.

That said, I have the official match ball and it really does go nuts when you strike it true. It's like when you try to put swerve on it, the swerve is increased over that most other balls. When you hit it dead-on, it's like a knuckleball, there's absolutely no telling where it will go. It's actually fun as hell to shoot with.

Edited by filthywater49, 30 May 2010 - 04:34 PM.


#5 Harry Hooper


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Posted 02 June 2010 - 12:34 PM

The ball's developer speaks out:

QUOTE
Dr Andy Harland, who developed the ball at Loughborough University's Sports Technology Institute in England, said much of the criticism was due to the unfamiliar effects arising from teams playing at altitude as part of their pre-World Cup training.

"I've seen nothing that's concerned me," he told Sky Sports News. "This ball has been around since December and been used since then around the world with very few comments.

"Teams have gone to altitude and you've seen comments come out in those circumstances.

"We've said all along it would affect the ball, but it should be said whichever ball you play with at altitude is going to be affected."

The ball is billed as the roundest ever made, a quality which would make it less stable in the air if not for a series of grooves on the surface designed to reduce aerodynamic problems.

Harland said not one team had contacted him to discuss the ball and added he was not surprised by the criticism.

"It's not entirely unexpected," he said. "Before every tournament players come out and voice their opinions.

"There are no secrets about this ball. The ball is designed to allow the very best players in the world to exhibit their skills."


AFP

#6 ypioca

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Posted 04 June 2010 - 08:52 AM

The developer is right in the sense that there's always been bitching about the WC balls. If it's not unexpected, how about not making an anger-inducing ball?

They always try to innovate, and make the new balls rounder, quicker, lighter, whatever. That inevitably causes the players to have to adjust to the ball, which shouldn't really be a priority in any training. It's a bad idea to change the physical properties of the ball, just before the Cup (yes, the ball has been around since December, but nearly every player has just started working with them).

QUOTE
There are no secrets about this ball. The ball is designed to allow the very best players in the world to exhibit their skills.


How about just giving them a consistent product? This isn't 1950. The balls used in club competitions are fine. In order to allow the very best players to exhibit their skills, they shouldn't make them adjust to a new kind of ball.

Edited by ypioca, 04 June 2010 - 08:54 AM.


#7 SydneySox


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Posted 06 June 2010 - 07:24 PM

So I went down today to Darling Harbour because I was involved in the launch of the Sydney FIFA Fansite that is being held there all week.

While we were there we had a few ex-national players and about a dozen of the new balls. There were also some nets.

The previous night Australia played that terrible friendly with the USA and some of those guys had complained about the ball (from both sides) and some of the ex-nat players with us in Sydney had heard about their complaints and so when the media thing was done, a few of us went to the nets and they started hitting them and yeah, they definitely move strangely. They are almost wiffelball-esque in that they dip and flit up or to the side a little unexpectedly. Nothing massive obviously, but it happens and I'm not sure it's necessarily controllable... in that it seemed the flight and whatever the grooves or shit inside do, it just sort of gives a little weird jolt.

I don't know how much that matters... the guys with me said not much, really, in the scheme of things but if they were playing... hell, if any of us were playing, and the ball was coming in and kind of just moved a bit in a weird way like we saw it doing, it would be very surprising. You'd probably get over it later but initially it would be very strange.



#8 Vinho Tinto

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Posted 14 June 2010 - 11:48 AM

A good friend picked up the new ball. He spent most of the weekend kicking it around with his sons and think it's 100% garbage.

"Basically it's a glorified beach volley ball posing as a soccer ball."

Considering how terrible the passing has been thus far, I think this is the first tournament I've seen where the early complaints have rung true.

#9 Maalox


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Posted 14 June 2010 - 01:26 PM

QUOTE (Vinho Tinto @ Jun 14 2010, 12:48 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
A good friend picked up the new ball. He spent most of the weekend kicking it around with his sons and think it's 100% garbage.

"Basically it's a glorified beach volley ball posing as a soccer ball."

Considering how terrible the passing has been thus far, I think this is the first tournament I've seen where the early complaints have rung true.

The Germans and Dutch didn't seem to have much trouble passing it.

#10 Harry Hooper


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Posted 15 June 2010 - 06:00 PM

Vanity Fair on the ball. Interesting notes on who has more experience with it.


QUOTE
Which brings us to the Jabulani: an eight-panel, thermal bonded ball that’s been fit to a mold so the ball shape is completely consistent, from the first ball that’s manufactured to the last. It went through all kinds of research and development testing before it launched last December and was distributed to the various World Cup countries in February.

Adidas even used aerospace software to track the flight of the ball. “We want to make sure the ball flies the most accurately it possibly can—that it’s the most round it can be,” Zea says, explaining that thermal bonding reduces the small variation in ball shapes that handstitching could create.

The eight-panel ball also has a striking surface that’s 70 percent larger than previous balls’, and the sweet spot is bigger, too. Adidas’s new Grip’n’Groove technology has been added to the panels to help with wind channeling (to create a more perfect flight), and the ball’s texture makes it play better in different weather conditions.

“FIFA has many tests a match ball has to go through,” Zea says. “Water up-take is a pretty big one, especially with leather balls—you’d start playing and halfway through the game it would be two pounds heavier because it would be water logged. We want to make sure that throughout 90 minutes, players are playing with a consistent product.”

After all, FIFA’s only guidelines for soccer balls concern their circumference, weight, and pressure, and the organization mandates that balls be spherical and made of leather or another suitable material. The rest is up to the various ball manufacturers. And it’s up to the various soccer leagues to decide which ball to use, though the game ball is usually one designed by the league’s sponsor. For example, a version of the Jabulani ball was used in U.S.A.’s 2010 Major League Soccer season, whereas the English Premiere League didn’t use the ball because it had a contract with Nike. The Adidas ball was also used in Argentine and Portuguese leagues, among others.


#11 wade boggs chicken dinner


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Posted 15 June 2010 - 07:37 PM

Reminds me of some of the complaints about the new volleyball they used in Beijing. I guess it's another instance where marketing triumphs.

#12 Mike Greenwall

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Posted 15 June 2010 - 09:06 PM

CBC sports was talking about the ball, and according to them it's the Nike contracted players complaining about the Adidas ball. Looking for link...

#13 wee 162

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Posted 16 June 2010 - 03:54 AM

It's having a particularly bad affect at altitude in my opinion. Balls are getting overhit which you'd expect a bit, but they are not losing much pace either through the air or off the ground when they bounce which is really unusual. And that's something which is happening at all altitudes. Every single game is seeing attempted through balls simply zipping out of play. It also seems much much harder to control a simple pass than you'd expect, and getting backspin on it to hold the ball up seems nigh on impossible.

There is just no way that these players are as bad as the performances they're putting in would suggest.

I'd also point out that the only sides who've looked decent in possession are the ones who've played at sea level and who are playing the ball to feet rather than into space. That's not a coincidence imo. If Spain do well today playing in Durban, and Chile don't keep the ball well in Nelspruit I'm going to be entirely convinced the ball when it's being played with at altitude is definitely an issue. Chile are a good side who are all about movement and gaining space so they rely on players who are already moving at a decent pace taking passes which have been played into space. Spain play much more into feet and rely on their movement and technique being enough. Spain are playing in what should be ideal conditions other than with the ball so let's see how they do. Chile are playing in the absolutely worst conditions for them. If Spain play badly and miscontrol a lot of passes the ball itself is an issue because simply put Spain have the highest level of technique out of anyone at the tournament. If Chile play well then it's something which sides are going to have to realise is to do with making adjustments.

edit: I'd also say that continually changing the ball to make it "move more truly" through the air is completely useless when no account is being taken of how it plays when sides are passing and controlling it. It's like designing a new baseball that is engineered to run truly when it hits the ground after it's been hit without paying any attention to how it moves when a pitcher releases it. Players having shots account for about 1% of the times they're playing it.

Edited by wee 162, 16 June 2010 - 03:59 AM.


#14 filthywater49

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Posted 16 June 2010 - 12:15 PM

QUOTE (Mike Greenwall @ Jun 15 2010, 09:06 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
CBC sports was talking about the ball, and according to them it's the Nike contracted players complaining about the Adidas ball. Looking for link...



Well, Messi came out and half-complained about it after the Nigeria game, and he's an Adidas player:

“...the ball is very complicated for keepers, for us. We still don’t quite have it in hand yet, but hopefully we will get accustomed to it soon, because there isn’t another [ball].”


#15 Spacemans Bong


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Posted 16 June 2010 - 03:59 PM

Buffon is not a Nike player.

#16 trekfan55


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Posted 16 June 2010 - 04:07 PM

The ridiculous thing is why develop a new ball? Would anyone sit still if there was a new football developed for the Super Bowl? If Tom brady throws 3 INTs with this new ball what would happen in this board (let alone in the NFL)? How about having a new ball designed specially for the World Series?? (remember DiceK was supposed sto have trouble adjusting to the diferent ball used in MLB vs. Japanese Baseball).

FIFA is a very poqerful world organization for Soccer. Why can't there simply be a regulation ball for International Play and that's it? If ceratin leagues decide ti use a diferent ball that would be their problem, but teams take years to prepare, play all kind of qualifying games to get to this stage and now they have to get used to a new ball invented just for this World Cup?

#17 ethangl

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Posted 16 June 2010 - 04:25 PM

QUOTE (trekfan55 @ Jun 16 2010, 04:07 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
The ridiculous thing is why develop a new ball? Would anyone sit still if there was a new football developed for the Super Bowl?

adidas and Nike release new balls every year or two, world cup or not.

QUOTE (trekfan55 @ Jun 16 2010, 04:07 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
FIFA is a very poqerful world organization for Soccer. Why can't there simply be a regulation ball for International Play and that's it?

$$$$$.

#18 BrazilianSoxFan

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Posted 16 June 2010 - 04:25 PM

QUOTE (trekfan55 @ Jun 16 2010, 06:07 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
The ridiculous thing is why develop a new ball? Would anyone sit still if there was a new football developed for the Super Bowl? If Tom brady throws 3 INTs with this new ball what would happen in this board (let alone in the NFL)? How about having a new ball designed specially for the World Series?? (remember DiceK was supposed sto have trouble adjusting to the diferent ball used in MLB vs. Japanese Baseball).

FIFA is a very poqerful world organization for Soccer. Why can't there simply be a regulation ball for International Play and that's it? If ceratin leagues decide ti use a diferent ball that would be their problem, but teams take years to prepare, play all kind of qualifying games to get to this stage and now they have to get used to a new ball invented just for this World Cup?


Money.

A lot of people have a good ball (lowell says hi), but can't resist the idea to have THE World Cup Ball.

#19 drleather2001


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Posted 16 June 2010 - 06:19 PM

Also, isn't a new ball that's (relatively) new for everyone the only truly fair way to go about it?

As the above posts make clear, leagues use different balls for lots of different reasons. Wouldn't arbitrarily deciding to use one existing model unfairly benefit the league/nation that uses that model?

I'm not saying that's the reason they do it, but it is one plausible argument.

#20 Zososoxfan

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Posted 16 June 2010 - 06:40 PM

QUOTE (drleather2001 @ Jun 16 2010, 07:19 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Also, isn't a new ball that's (relatively) new for everyone the only truly fair way to go about it?

As the above posts make clear, leagues use different balls for lots of different reasons. Wouldn't arbitrarily deciding to use one existing model unfairly benefit the league/nation that uses that model?

I'm not saying that's the reason they do it, but it is one plausible argument.


Great point. It looks to me that keepers can't get a 'grasp' on the ball's movement and players are shanking the ball often, but at least it's everyone, right?

#21 Blundatola

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Posted 16 June 2010 - 06:50 PM

Except they could eliminate the fairness issue and have everyone be comfortable with the ball if they introduced it during qualification instead of a few months before the tournament. But, again, money...

#22 SumnerH


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Posted 16 June 2010 - 08:13 PM

QUOTE (Blundatola @ Jun 16 2010, 07:50 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Except they could eliminate the fairness issue and have everyone be comfortable with the ball if they introduced it during qualification instead of a few months before the tournament. But, again, money...


I'm not sure I buy the money argument here.

Can't they introduce the physical ball for qualifiers, but brand it with colors and the cute name and market it for the tournament? Doesn't seem like they'd lose any cash by doing something like that.

#23 teddykgb

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Posted 16 June 2010 - 08:56 PM

This screams of being much ado about nothing. The weak goals we've seen have had nothing to do with the flight of the ball. If anything, for all the whining about this ball it's amazing how little scoring we've had. People can't even keep their criticisms straight. For some folks the ball flies too much, for others it runs too much on the pitch. The goalies say people can do crazy things with it and it's impossible to stop, yet the forwards can't seem to kick it toward the net. It's a round piece of leather and they test the bejeezus out of this thing. It strains reason to think that by using some heat molding process they managed to make a ball that can't fly straight, roll straight, be kicked, or be saved. And if it were, someone would have some hard data by now. It's all anecdotes and whines, I'll side with the data. The ball had nothing to do with Dempsey's slow roller or the cheapie the next night. The ball had nothing to do with the weak goal today that was deflected, nor did it have anything to do with the other own goals in the tournament. We're seeing sloppy play in the beginnings of a tournament with mediocre sides still playing and a bunch of international teams still meshing. Attributing all of this to some massive flaw in the ball is not choosing the simplest explanation. The players are just not playing as well as they're capable of in all cases. This happens in every league all year long, it's only at the WC that everyone decides the ball is at fault. I guess it's better than everyone's 2nd favorite excuse, effort.

#24 ElUno20

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Posted 16 June 2010 - 10:09 PM

It does have some flight to it. Yeah everyone should shut up but just like when that moron David Stern introduced a new ball, what's the point?

#25 BrazilianSoxFan

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Posted 16 June 2010 - 11:57 PM

QUOTE (teddykgb @ Jun 16 2010, 10:56 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
This screams of being much ado about nothing. The weak goals we've seen have had nothing to do with the flight of the ball. If anything, for all the whining about this ball it's amazing how little scoring we've had. People can't even keep their criticisms straight. For some folks the ball flies too much, for others it runs too much on the pitch. The goalies say people can do crazy things with it and it's impossible to stop, yet the forwards can't seem to kick it toward the net. It's a round piece of leather and they test the bejeezus out of this thing. It strains reason to think that by using some heat molding process they managed to make a ball that can't fly straight, roll straight, be kicked, or be saved. And if it were, someone would have some hard data by now. It's all anecdotes and whines, I'll side with the data. The ball had nothing to do with Dempsey's slow roller or the cheapie the next night. The ball had nothing to do with the weak goal today that was deflected, nor did it have anything to do with the other own goals in the tournament. We're seeing sloppy play in the beginnings of a tournament with mediocre sides still playing and a bunch of international teams still meshing. Attributing all of this to some massive flaw in the ball is not choosing the simplest explanation. The players are just not playing as well as they're capable of in all cases. This happens in every league all year long, it's only at the WC that everyone decides the ball is at fault. I guess it's better than everyone's 2nd favorite excuse, effort.


MLB uses the same mud since 1938 to take the shine of the balls. They say any other mud doesnt give the same "feel" to the ball.

http://sports.espn.g...tory?id=5061892

Athetles are creatures of repetition. They know where the ball is going because they have done the same things hundreds of times before. If a new ball flies a little straighter, curves a little more or stays in the air a little longer, it's gonna affect their performance.

#26 BroodsSexton

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Posted 17 June 2010 - 08:55 AM

QUOTE (BrazilianSoxFan @ Jun 17 2010, 12:57 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
MLB uses the same mud since 1938 to take the shine of the balls. They say any other mud doesnt give the same "feel" to the ball.

Well, okay, sure, point taken. In theory. But read through to the end of your link.
QUOTE
"It's kind of like tradition," said Tom Burgmeier, a former major league relief pitcher and pitching coach. "If you're sitting around in the bullpen at the ballpark and they have dirt in the bullpen, and you're sweating and you take a little moisture on your hand and rub the baseball up, the results are the same. So, for me, it seems like it's more of a tradition to use the Delaware River mud."

Still, I think the re-engineering of the ball is potentially a little different than the mud that is used to take off the shine...

#27 BrazilianSoxFan

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Posted 17 June 2010 - 12:34 PM

QUOTE (BroodsSexton @ Jun 17 2010, 10:55 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Well, okay, sure, point taken. In theory. But read through to the end of your link.

Still, I think the re-engineering of the ball is potentially a little different than the mud that is used to take off the shine...


From the same article:
QUOTE
"It's one of those great romantic mysteries of baseball because it sort of defies logic that only the mud from this particular secret spot could possibly do the job," said Tim Wiles, director of research at the Baseball Hall of Fame. "As far as I know, other mud has been tried, and it doesn't have the right finish and it doesn't make the ball feel the right way."


I'm not trying to say that the mud and the re-engineering of the ball are the same thing, just that it's to be expected that the players are going to complain when you change a crucial equipment and they have no say in it, nor time to get used.

Ask Matsuzaka if he had to get used to the difference in the height of the stitches of the american and japanese balls. And this new ball has no stitches at all!!! c070.gif

#28 Maalox


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Posted 19 June 2010 - 09:46 AM

For the next World Cup, they should make the ball dark green, and it should emit a loud, low buzzing noise whenever it moves.

#29 wee 162

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Posted 20 June 2010 - 06:00 AM

Nice little piece on the ball by Clarence Seedorf on the BBC.

#30 Spacemans Bong


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Posted 20 June 2010 - 05:07 PM

Craig Johnston, the ex-Liverpool player (and designer of the Predator boot, so he knows a thing or two about this), was talking on the BBC about how the ball is just a glorified beach ball and how the lack of panels means it doesn't rotate very much in the air. Which, since we're all baseball fans, means it's like a knuckleball. Therefore, he claimed the ball was responsible for a lot of the goalkeeping errors and when he was talking over video it sure did look like a lot of the goalkeeping errors were guys thinking the ball was going to be in a place where it actually wasn't. He said that he preferred a ball to have the usual hexagonal panels because it was much easier to control and the drag would allow it to do more in the air.

It's interesting that Nike, whose footballs are used in the Premier League and La Liga, still makes a hexagonal ball with stitching while adidas are trying to have as few panels as possible with the panels held together by glue. They need to go back and just make a football rather than trying to reinvent the ball.


#31 phrenile


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Posted 20 June 2010 - 07:48 PM

QUOTE (Spacemans Bong @ Jun 20 2010, 06:07 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Craig Johnston, the ex-Liverpool player (and designer of the Predator boot, so he knows a thing or two about this), was talking on the BBC about how the ball is just a glorified beach ball and how the lack of panels means it doesn't rotate very much in the air. Which, since we're all baseball fans, means it's like a knuckleball.

Except knuckleballs wouldn't move nearly as much if the ball didn't have seams.

#32 Spacemans Bong


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Posted 21 June 2010 - 02:50 AM

QUOTE (phrenile @ Jun 21 2010, 01:48 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Except knuckleballs wouldn't move nearly as much if the ball didn't have seams.

Except the reduced number of panels on a jabulani makes it more similar to a baseball.



#33 CaptainLaddie


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Posted 21 June 2010 - 03:06 AM

Forgive my ignorance, but why? Why change the ball at all? Marketing? To sell "new balls"?

#34 Spacemans Bong


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Posted 21 June 2010 - 03:35 AM

QUOTE (CaptainLaddie @ Jun 21 2010, 09:06 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Forgive my ignorance, but why? Why change the ball at all? Marketing? To sell "new balls"?

Marketing, to sell new balls, and for adidas, to try and one-up Nike whose products are often better than adidas despite adidas being the soccer brand and Nike being in the game for less than 20 years.

#35 EP Sox Fan

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Posted 25 June 2010 - 12:24 PM

Scientific proof that the Jubulani behaves differently.

#36 Harry Hooper


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Posted 26 June 2010 - 11:56 AM


QUOTE
FIFA has finally acknowledged that there may be something wrong with the Jabulani World Cup ball, but won't act on the problem until after the tournament.

Many players have likened the Jabulani to a "supermarket ball," saying it is too unpredictable and flies through the air too easily.

"We're not deaf," FIFA secretary general Jerome Valcke said Saturday at a news conference.

"FIFA is not unreceptive about what has been said about the ball."

Valcke said that FIFA will discuss the matter with coaches and teams after the World Cup, then meet with manufacturer Adidas.

"There are rules for size and weight ... But the ball has to be perfect," he added.
...
"There's a lot of talk about stadiums, infrastructure and TV and that's nice and all, but first we've got to worry about balls, spikes and jerseys," Italy goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon said.

"I don't see why we can't just go back to the old black-and-white checkered version we all played with as kids."


SMH