back to article Nobel Prize winner on dodgy World Cup ball

Goalkeepers like to get their excuses in first, and this new World Cup is no exception. A new design of a ball is introduced, and even before the first kick, goalies are complaining that it dips, swerves, performs incredible yo-yo tricks… and worst of all, it's round. How is anybody supposed to get hold of that? It really …


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  1. Asiren


    That the Lego rendition didn't have the right "Stay Alert" billboard on the side of the pitch...

    1. TeeCee Gold badge

      Missing "Mahindra Satyam" too.

      Hey, IT angle, who knew?

      Apt sponsorship that. One's been proved to be a huge con, siphoning money off to gold plate the expenses of the guys at the top and the other's an IT company.......

  2. Sir Runcible Spoon


    It does seem that the ball seems a little more 'flighty' than the usual fare. Perhaps it's time to make a ball that is slightly heavier and has more dimples on it to allow *more* movement in the air.

    anything that causes more goals for the fans can't be a bad thing - this ball just seems to be hitting the fans rather than the back of the net.

    Having said that, Spain, although they lost, seem to have a good handle on the new ball - they certainly looked dangerous on the attack.

  3. Dave Murray


    You just can't face up to the fact that your football team is shite and you aren't going to win. 1966 was a very long time ago it's past time you got over it.

    1. Stubar

      Do I smell sweaty sour grapes

      But thanks for bringing it up as I imagine the team you support barely qualifies to play football

    2. Anonymous Coward

      Shite it might be

      But it did at least qualify.

      1. h 6

        Different Cup

        I was thinking the 1950 World Cup, myself.

        1. h 6

          No longer history than 1966?

          I'm bemused no one picked up on my previous post.

          That's when USA beat England!

          Ok I do see the door.

    3. Paul 4

      Consistantly in the top ten

      Three non qualifications and 1 number 11 in the last 60 years. We do stand a chance. Not the best team out there, but saying England are shite is just racist ranting.

      1. Sorry that handle is already taken. Silver badge

        Re: Consistantly in the top ten

        Racism... that's a new one.

  4. Steve Evans

    Whine whine...

    Q) What's the England teams favourite wine?

    A) The ball's the wrong shape.

    I would say it all evens out... The goalies don't know where they are going, so can't stop them, and the strikers don't know where they are going so can't actually get them on target.

    At least they have the excuses all lined up for the penalty misses in advance this time.

    Now stop whining, or we fill the ball with hydrogen :-p

  5. Aristotles slow and dimwitted horse Silver badge

    Crap ball or not...

    It does seem to be quite a bland and tedious world cup so far.

    As for Mr Murrays comment "1966 was a very long time ago it's past time you got over it". I couldn't agree more, in fact, I think a very similar thought whenever Jesus comes up in conversation.

    Please forward this idea immediately to the BBC, ITV and Talk Sport.

    1. Geoff Campbell

      Of *course* it's bland and tedious.... always is.



  6. I. Aproveofitspendingonspecificprojects 1
    Dead Vulture

    Dodgy doger dodging

    It is fairly obvous to most people interested in physics that a perfect sphere is not going to behave the same way regular irregular footballs behave.

    It isn't rocket science it is just simple ballistics. Stuf that has been known for centuries. Stuff that the design of the golf ball is based on.

    And the stuff the stuff falling out of the sky sci-fi idiots wet dream abourt.

    Silos and chimney take it into acount and I daresay that chemist interested in vortice shedding would have humungous computers set up to analyse.

    As for scoring with the bloody things, how on earth are they supposed to do that when it is dificult enough in regular top rank games with reasonably shootable balls? Pick them up and rub one side of them with dirt the way that cricketers are alledged to?

    1. TeeCee Gold badge
      Thumb Down

      But not obvious to Adidas eh?

      Apparently they set out to build a "seamless" ball (i.e. a perfect sphere). When they did this, they found it didn't fly "right". I guess they're not interested in physics then?

      What we have now is a spherical, seamless ball with added seams. A bit like that humungo IT project that gets the last minute Change Request that completely changes the scope when it's waaaay too late to alter the fundamental design. We all know how that one pans out.

      Incidently, there's nothing "alleged" about rubbing the ball with dirt in Cricket, everyone does it. It would be impossible to stop as the ball picks up dirt off the wicket anyway and all the bowler has to do is rub it into the surface on one side (you add a bit of sweat to get it to "take" to the leather) and polish it off the other. This gives the "one side rough, the other shiny" effect that produces swing in the air. What they are not allowed to do is "pick" at the surface or the seam with a fingernail, key, coin or such to scuff / dent it artificially.

  7. Tim99 Silver badge


    "But I suppose now popstars do international relations, chemists now do physics on footballs they've never examined." Or journalists spin stories to support their own viewpoint...

    One of Andrew's usual sarky pieces - Kroto is firmly in the "climate change is real and happening" camp, but then he would be wouldn't he? A real scientist, to be taken down a peg, rather than a loony like Christopher Monckton who's word is gospel.

    Andrew, you have been told before, the organization is called "The Royal Society of Chemistry" - I thought that the first thing that a journalist was taught was "get the names right".

    Kroto, Curl and Smalley made Buckminsterfullerene in 1985.

    So all in all, up to Andrew's usual standard - If he can't be bothered, why would we take anything he writes seriously?

  8. Rattus Rattus

    I can't believe

    no-one has picked up on Andrew's non-standard use of Lego to illustrate his article rather than the Reg tradition of Playmobil. Or perhaps he felt that breaking tradition would itself help illustrate the change from a traditional ball?

  9. Chemist


    "But I suppose now popstars do international relations, chemists now do physics on footballs they've never examined"

    I think you'll find that most chemists know far more about physics than 99% of the population.

  10. Gwaptiva

    Having a ball!

    The only ball goalkeepers will never complain about is one that's square and made of two tons of steel.

  11. Mr Larrington

    Rob Green...

    ...has trained today; in 3 hours he had 4,000 shots fired at him and did not concede a single goal. Tomorrow, he and Heskey will train with the rest of the squad.

  12. Dr Patrick J R Harkin

    If you've read "Roller Ball Murder"...

    ...the William Harrison short story on which the (excellent) 1975 and (dire) 2002 movies "Rollerball" were based, you'll remember that at the end they started making the ball uneven to make its path less predictable. They also introduced "multi-ball". Perhaps that could be the key concept for the UK's bid to host a World Cup?

  13. M7S
    Thumb Up


    Good move switching to Lego, giving re-enactments HD potential compared to Playmobil, which doesnt even deserve to be thought of as the Betamax (or V2000, anyone else remember that format?) of the re-enactment world.

    Let the format wars begin!

  14. Tim Elphick

    Actually, the new ball is very light.

    I've read the reviews of the replica on the Argos website.

    I just tried telling a colleague the wine joke. I think they're always best when you have to explain them.

    Who's this picture even of?

  15. Dangermouse

    I call fake....

    ...that picture is obviously a fake. Robert Green was not wearing a baseball cap on that fateful day the USA "won" 1-1.

  16. h 6
    Black Helicopters

    Scored less

    After England's 0 draw with Algeria, the US scored more than the queen's squad.

    And didnt I see a different keeper in that match? Or was my mind just reeling from the US-Slovenia

    game where we were totally robbed of a win?

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