The new Jambulani ball designed for FIFA World Cup 2010 is headed for controversy. It has already caused a lot of talk among players. Players are generally wary of the new ball, especially goalkeepers, who have expressed the fear that the ball moves too quickly, for comfort. That apart, they also claim that the ball is not easy to handle.
The ball used at the World Cup 1966 final was created by stitching together 18 pieces of leather. In contrast, the ball for this year’s tournament has been made by gluing together eight pieces of synthetic material.
The engineers who designed the Jambulani ball claim that there has never been a more consistent ball. In other words, they imply that the ball is likely to move in a predictable way, at all times. This would according to the good men allow a player to exercise his skills without any fear of the ball negating his efforts.
The designers who are from Loughbrough University also claim that this is the first perfectly spherical ball, in the history of football. The Jambulani ball is said to have been tested, under the supervision of Dr. Andy Harland, by having it kicked by a robot. The testing is said to have been fairly comprehensive, with free kicks, corners, shots on goal and passes all faithfully reproduced.
Dr. Harland has claimed that the ball manufactured by Adidas passed the test by moving through the air more smoothly and hitting the targets more reliably than balls used at previous World Cups.
The scientist has revealed that the grooves on the ball’s surface were designed aerodynamically, by using a wind tunnel. The grooves are said to help in guiding the ball in its flight. In previous balls, the grooves were positioned by the seams, which are said to be conspicuously absent on the Jambulani ball, thereby allowing the grooves to be put wherever the engineers wanted.
This is said to have resulted in the ball’s flying symmetry, as claimed by the engineers. The ball is not an inexpensive piece of merchandise. In fact, it could cost as much as four times more than a ball used in league football. The researchers at Loughborough University are convinced that the ball is worth its price and pooh pooh players’ claims that the ball is faster than normal. The scientists blame the ball’s speed on the incidence of high altitude venues, where the thinner air causes the ball to move faster.
Source by Suresh Iyer