Soccer fans worldwide received a jolt of excitement with the recent announcement of the World Cup 2010 team draw. So, in the spirit of keeping the hype going, Smart Planet recently posted a great article behind the technology built into this Cup’s official ball that we suggest you check out. Called the “Jabulani”, Adidas claims this ball is the roundest, most accurate ball they’ve ever built or has ever been played. Utilizing similar technology featured in the 2006 “Teamgeist” ball, the Jabulani scraps the traditional 32-panel design in favor of 8 thermally bonded panels which reduce the shape irregularities found in typical balls. In comparison, the Teamgiest had 12 panels. The reduction of panels also apparently provides a 70% larger striking surface, according to Adidas.
In response to many players claims that the 2006 Ball favored strikers while hampering goal keepers due to a lack of rotation in the air, Adidas has also added “aero grooves” to the Jabulani in order to improve trajectory consistency. Overall, we don’t doubt this ball represents the the cutting edge of ball technology, especially considering its $150 price tag. However, we’d expect nothing less for the sport’s biggest tournament. For an additional shot of the bonding technology over the ball bladder and a link to buy, hit the jump.