The adidas Innovation Team rigorously tested the new Match Ball for the 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa, first under the toughest laboratory conditions possible, later also with professional players and clubs on the field of play.
adidas has been producing high-performance match balls since 1963 and is the world's leading football producer. Still, it took adidas well over three years of extensive research and development to present the adidas Jabulani, its best-performing ball ever. Thanks to a revolutionary Grip 'n' Groove profile and a totally new 3D panel shape, the newly developed Grip 'n' Groove profile provides the best players in the world with a ball allowing an exceptionally stable flight and perfect grip under all conditions. The players can now show their true skills, as the quality and performance characteristics are exactly identical every time they kick the ball.
The adidas Innovation Team (a.i.t) has rigorously tested the new Match Ball for the 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa, first under the toughest laboratory conditions possible, later also with professional players and clubs on the field of play. Scientific tests were conducted together with the Sports Technology Research Group of the University of Loughborough, one of the leading institutions of its kind worldwide. These tests confirmed that the adidas Jabulani is more round and has a more stable flight than any key competitor top match ball.
FIFA designed a quality concept to guarantee the highest standard of balls for the best players in the world. Only after a series of stringent tests is a ball awarded the FIFA-Approved hallmark. Tests executed in the adidas football laboratory in Scheinfeld and at the Testing Centre of the University of Loughborough prove the adidas Jabulani does not only meet these FIFA-Approved standards, it exceeds practically each of them.
A consistent circumference is important to allow optimal control during dribbling or driving a football. In order to calculate the average circumference, each individual match ball is measured at 10 different points.
- FIFA-Approved Standard: 68.5 cm - 69.5 cm
- adidas Jabulani: 69,0 cm (+/- 0,2 cm)
Permanent Roundness Test
Only a perfectly round ball allows a player to fully capitalize on his skills. The more perfect the sphere is, the more balanced a ball will be in flight, the higher will be its accuracy and the predictability of its flight. The new 3D panel shape harmonizes the energy displacement and minimizes the amount of corners, while the larger panels allow for a cleaner kicking area. The diameter of the ball is measured in 16 different places, after which the average is calculated. The difference between the highest and the lowest diameter must be within very strict limits.
- FIFA-Approved Standard: Maximum 1.5% difference
- adidas Jabulani: Maximum 1.0% difference
Water Absorption Test
A wet and heavy ball behaves quite differently from a dry one. It flies through the air more slowly, has a low bounce and is more difficult to curl. adidas' patented Thermal Bonding technology makes a football virtually waterproof. As a result the new Match Ball shows completely homogenous performance characteristics when playing in dry or wet conditions. For the water absorption test, the ball is pressed and rotated in a container of water 250 times, after which the ball will be weighed. The water will also be weighed before and after the water uptake test.
- FIFA-Approved Standard: Water absorption: no more than 10% weight increase
- adidas Jabulani: Water absorption: 0% weight increase
Perfect Weight Test (420 to 445 grams)
Each professional game is played with a number of balls. These different balls all need to perform the same. Consistency in weight is crucial. If the ball is too light or too heavy, it might move unexpectedly in flight.
- FIFA-Approved Standard: Weight between 420 and 445 grams
- adidas Jabulani: Weight 440 grams (+/- 2 grams)
Shape and Size Retention Test
During an average game the ball is kicked approximately 2,000 times. However, in the last minute of overtime, the ball needs to perform identically to the way it did in the first minute of the game. In order to test the shape and size retention, the ball is fired against a steel plate 2,000 times at 50 km per hour for the FIFA Approved hallmark. After this test, only minimal changes in air pressure and roundness are allowed and the air valve and stitching must remain undamaged.
- FIFA-Approved Standard: 2,000 cycles at 50 km per hour
- adidas Jabulani: 3,500 cycles at 50 km per hour
The drum test was developed by adidas to guarantee high quality and durability of the printed surface, the unique design and look of the ball. Like the adidas +Teamgeist, the adidas Jabulani also features the underglass print technology, providing the Jabulani with the best and strongest surface material ever and guaranteeing the ball is more durable and will hold its unique look much longer.
Uniform Rebound Test
Players need to be able to anticipate how the ball will respond in order to control a pass using their chest, thigh, or foot. For this test, the ball is dropped ten times onto a steel plate from a height of 2 meters. The difference between the highest and the lowest bounce must be no more than 10 cm.
- FIFA-Approved Standard: No more than 10 cm
- adidas Jabulani: 143 cm measured at 20°C
Loss of Pressure Test
If the ball loses air during the game, it will be difficult to predict and may not respond consistently, making long passes and deep crosses almost impossible. For this test, the ball is inflated fully and three days later its air pressure is measured. It must not have lost more than a specified percentage of its air.
- FIFA-Approved Standard: Loss of pressure maximum 20%
- adidas Jabulani: Loss of pressure maximum 10%
The vision of company founder Adolf Dassler has long become reality, and his corporate philosophy the guiding principle for successor generations. The idea was as simple as it was brilliant. Adi Dassler's aim was to provide every athlete with the best possible equipment. It all began in 1920, when Adi Dassler made his first shoes using the few materials available after the First World War.
After a period spanning almost 70 years, the Dassler Family withdrew from the company in 1989, and the enterprise was transformed into a corporation ("Aktiengesellschaft"). French-born Robert Louis-Dreyfus was Chairman of the Executive Board from April 1993 to March 2001. It was he who initiated adidas' flotation on the stock market in November 1995. adidas--a name that stands for competence in all sectors of sport around the globe. Today, the adidas product range extends from shoes, apparel and accessories for basketball, soccer, fitness and training to adventure, trail and golf.