Jabulani is the Official Ball of the World Cup 2010 in South Africa and it is already one of the most sought after soccer balls in the history of the game. Maybe, this is because more interest has been generated for the 2010 World Cup Match than any other FIFA World Cup in history, but I think it’s because the Jabulani looks so exotic, so African and also, it is a new kind of soccer ball for fans and players alike. The Adidas Company designed this 2010 World Cup ball, as they do for every World Cup and they have really raised the bar for football technology and style with this latest new soccer ball.
The 2010 World Cup Official Match Ball from Adidas is being sold all over the world, mostly online, though some soccer shops carry one or two. You can buy an official or replica Jabulani ball at online World Cup Souvenir Shops where you can have your ball shipped to you anywhere you are. The best deal on an official size 5 Jabulani can be found at online World Cup Football Shops right now for as low as $59.00 US! This is a way lower price than the official Adidas Site which is selling the ball for $150.00! Shipping costs will depend on where you want your ball sent. If you want to spend less money, consider buying a replica Jabulani, available in size 5, 4 & 3 for practicing, teams, & kids collections. The replica Jabulani sells for as low as $18.99 and looks virtually identical to the official ball.
Jabulani means “to party on or celebrate” in the Zulu language, which represents one of the many tribal cultures of South Africa. The design contains 11 different colors in an African styled woven elliptical pattern that spiral around the ball on a shiny white background. The 11 colors used on the weave grpahic are symbolic of the 11 players on each team, the 11 official & tribal languages spoken in South Africa, and the fact that the Jabulani is the 11th Adidas World Cup Match Ball. For a sports ball, this one is total eye candy and sometimes I find myself enjoying watching the ball as much as the players! So gorgeous, so cool; only to be kicked around the world by hundreds of the strongest football players and possibly millions of aspiring fans and future soccer stars. You would think that it would not even matter WHAT the soccer ball looked like; It’s who wins the match that counts, right? Well maybe not entirely! The Jabulani soccer ball, designed for the 2010 FIFA World Cup Soccer event is just so beautiful to look at, that everyone wants one, even non-soccer fans. Adidas designs a different official ball for every World Cup and many fans around the world collect them, keep them in special display cases or original packaging to retain the ball’s mint condition. This fan behavior can finally be comprehended now that such a looker of a ball has been released.
The new technology that makes the Jabulani ball different are; the air and traction grooves that are moulded into the surface are designed to provide increased grip & control, but they may be responsible for the extra flightiness and trajectory spin as well. The jabulani apparently has a more perfectly spherical overall shape that was supposed to have provide greater shot accuracy but we do not see that playing out on the pitch just yet. I wonder if all the players had enough time to practice with the new ball? The other new technology used to create the Jabulani is that it is put together with only 8 panels that are seamlessly molded and thermally bonded. NO stitches to interfere with the balls spinning motion. The Jabulani really does spin like a dervish, you can actually see the difference when you watch it flying across the stadium on those long long passes.
Though there has been lots of the usual grousing & complaining about the Jabulani from some players, it really is the coolest soccer ball ever. It goes faster and has trajectory differences that are creating a little leeway in the game that means that the players need to perfect some twisted new spinning skills. Scoring has been on the low side so far in the World Cup tournament and perhaps the Jabulani is making it more challenging for the scorers to control the ball at longer distances. Obviously, the ball presents challenges for the goal keepers as well as it is more difficult to get an exact read on where the heck the Jabulani is going next on a long shot. Just wait until there’s wind! Some players have noted that it is too light and moves like a beach ball! Ouch!
After the first few days of matches, it looks like the players are getting a grip on the new type of ball; there has been improvement already as the matches roll out and the ball is in play more. There is no changing the official ball once the World Cup has started so players will just have to adjust. Every player will have the same adjustment to make, so the playing field is level even it it does present a few new twists in how to play the ball. These are the very best soccer players on earth and they are quite capable of understanding and acting on any small changes in the ball. Weather always has a fairly profound effect on the ball anyway and players have had to adapt to these differences in ball motion due to temperature and altitude since the game began.
The Jabulani is now the most well known ball by name in the history of World Cup Match Balls; most soccer fans cannot even name any other ball. This one is very special and will long be remembered for its beauty, street cool and controversy much like the African continent itself. Congrats to the Adidas company for a great design and interesting interpretation of African culture.