New World Cup Football Will Unsettle Goalkeepers

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World Cup Football

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.

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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.

"With a very low spin rate, which occasionally happens in football, the panel pattern can have a big influence on the trajectory of the ball and make it more unpredictable for a goalkeeper," said Dr Ken Bray, a sports scientist at the University of Bath and author of the new popular science book How to score

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