The Adidas 'Teamgeist' football has just 14 panels - with fewer seams - making its surface 'smoother' than conventional footballs which have a 26 or 32 panel hexagon-based pattern.
This makes it aerodynamically closer to a baseball and, when hit with a slow spin, will make the ball less stable, giving it a more unpredictable trajectory in flight.
This will make for some interesting viewing, to say teh least!
So far, I only caught about half of the Sweden vs. Trinidad match yesterday. I need to make an exam for tomorrow and a lecture for tomorrow, and write some blog posts, but I will have to take a break and watch the first Serbia&Montenegro game against Netherlands today at 3pm.
We watched the England match yesterday, and I was a bit surprised at the lack of scoring; maybe the ball is contributing to that.
Yes, I heard that the GKs were complaining about the "strangeness" of the ball. I think it's ridiculous to change the most basic aspect of the soccer ball (that is, the most basic aspect aside from it being ROUND). My guess is this is another attempt to cater to the idiot Americans who incessantly complain about little scoring in soccer.
I am so stupid - I got my kick-off times from the official site and forgot to translate that into EDT, so I missed the game. Serbia, predictably, lost to the Dutch, but only 1:0 which is not that bad.
Bizarrely the goalless draw between Sweden and Trinidad & Tobago has been the best match so far in my opinion. For T&T to get a draw with ten men is stunning.
I'm not sure if the ball with have a positive or negative effect. Germany have shown that you can score from distance (YouTube) but that might mean more speculative and wasted shots from way out when possession and position would be the better option.