The soccer is the world's most popular and widely watched game. Due to increasing technological advancement and demand for performance, the ball manufacturers have been developing new designs progressively. A traditional spherical football made of 32 leather panels stitched together in 1970s has become only 14 synthetic curved panels thermally bonded without stitches ball in 2006 and more recently 8 panels football in 2010. Despite being most popular game in the world, scan data is available on aerodynamic properties of footballs especially Jabulani, Teamgeist and Fevernova balls. The primary objectives of this study were to evaluate aerodynamic performances of these three soccer balls. The aerodynamic forces and moments were measured experimentally for a range of wind speeds. The aerodynamic forces and their non-dimensional coefficients were determined and compared.
Despite the similarities with the Brazuca, the few differences between this ball and what players have gotten used to over the last four years will have an impact on play, says Firoz Alam, an aerodynamics engineer at the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology in Australia, who has also performed wind tunnel tests on the Telstar 18. “When the player is making a short pass, they have to push a little harder, because at less then 60 kilometers per hour [or 37 miles per hour]it has more flight resistance than the Brazuca,” says Alam. The mid-range passes and corner kicks that gave the Jabulani so much trouble have been resolved. Compared to the Brazuca, the Telstar 18 is also more aerodynamically efficient in the 40-50 mile an hour range, so Alam says players will actually have to kick a little softer or they’re likely to overshoot. Over 55 miles an hour the two balls will feel very similar.
The Adidas Glider is machine stitched with a durable TPU exterior. Such an outer layer makes it a durable product as this ball stands tall against scratches as well as abrasion. It also has a butyl bladder which makes sure that once you pump the air into it, it stays there for an extended duration. So regardless of the rough usage, this ball will stay inflated for years to come.
Latex bladders are used in high-quality balls. These kind of bladders are soft and provide good feeling. They offer better response and bounce than Butyl bladders, but the downside of this kind of bladder is they don’t hold the air for too long. As a result, they require filling more frequently. Air escapes due to micropores on the cover, but nowadays some balls are constructed with carbon latex bladder to help to close these micropores. As a result, the balls can hold air for a longer period.
While this ball is absolutely adorable and feels like it's a good quality, I'm disappointed with the one I received. It has little chips in the design—there are a few little white marks in the sections that are orange. Also, there is some sort of sticky stuff on the ball, almost like residue from an old sticker. I can probably remove it with Goo-Gone... I'm just not thrilled that it seems to be used or at least bought and returned. While I'm sure my nephew will love it for his 1st birthday party tomorrow, I'm mildly embarrassed to give it to my brother and his wife because of the appearance. If the party weren't tomorrow, I'd return / exchange it. Frustrating!
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