Is the World Cup Soccer Ball Too Fast?


After watching the opening match of the 2010 World Cup, it did seem that the new adidas soccer ball, the ‘Jabulani’, did move faster than past soccer balls. In the past, soccer balls have had 32 sewn panels, whereas the Jabulani has 8 heat-bonded panels. Adidas says this type of design makes the ball perfectly round. Adidas has said there’s no truth to the soccer ball moving strangely or too fast, before finally conceding the ball does move faster at high altitudes. Well, many of South Africa’s stadiums are at higher altitudes, so the ball will move faster.

Brazil has been in South Africa since Thursday and Cesar described the World Cup balls as “terrible,” comparing them with cheap ones bought in a supermarket. Casillas said the balls were “in an appalling condition.”

Field players have been critical too. Brazil striker Luis Fabiano described the ball as “weird” and suddenly changing trajectory and Italy’s Giampaolo Pazzini said it was “a disaster.”

“It moves so much and makes it difficult to control,” the Italian striker said. “You jump up to head a cross and suddenly the ball will move and you miss it.”

In the Mexico versus South Africa match, a number of times the ball sailed over the goal on free kicks. Don’t know if this was just poor shooting or because of the ball or a little of both. The other thing I noticed was the ball seemed to bounce up higher off the pitch. At least four or five times the ball sailed over a player’s head and out of bounds after taking a bounce. It seemed to Surprise a lot of players, as they were aware and ready for the ball but it took a big hop once it hit the pitch.

In the end, as the tournament moves along, players will adjust. And, since they’ve had plenty of time to get used to the new balls already in training, there should be no excuse. It’s just that when the tournament begins nerves play a role, and so players have to settle in and adjust to the new ball anew.

Adidas, along with a few professional players Petr Cech and Mark Van Bommel, talk about the ball.

A soccer player shows you how the ball moves and or knuckles. Did the Jabulani soccer ball change the World Cup?

Watch the production process of the official 2010 World Cup match ball Jabulani. All Official Match Balls for the 2010 FIFA World Cup have the same weight and the same circumference and are therefore always the same size. Production capacity for the Official Match Ball for South Africa: 1760 balls per day. Production has been running since April 2009.