March 16, 2005 UPDATED IMAGES AND TECHNICAL INFO The World Cup of soccer is fast approaching and one of the features of the world's most watched sporting tournament is the latest soccer ball from adidas – the +Teamgeist. And well might you wonder how a soccer ball can be improved, given that technology has been working on the issue for well over 100 years. The devil is in the detail as you’d expect, but suffice to say that the new 14-panel design has resulted in a ball with the most consistent performance characteristics ever, enabling the players to show their true skills. There are fewer seams, so the ball is rounder and performs more uniformly, regardless of where it is hit. The more perfect the sphere is, the more balanced it will be, offering greater accuracy due to the predictability of its flight. The new panel shape harmonizes the energy displacement and minimizes the amount of corners, while the larger panels allow for a cleaner kicking area. Perhaps the biggest difference the players will find with the new balls will be how they play in the wet. Normally, a wet and heavy ball behaves quite differently from a dry one. It flies slower through the air, has a lower bounce and is more difficult to curl. A patented Thermal Bonding technology makes the new ball virtually waterproof with identical performance characteristsics wet or dry. The FIFA Approved Standard for water absorption stipulates no more than a 10% weight increase – the +Teamgeist’s blitzes this with less than 0.1 % weight increase. Similarly, it has significantly improved on all standards for uniformity of rebound and pressure retention and shape and size retention. Clever design and technologies has enabled adidas to reduce manufacturing tolerances to a new level .
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