Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Problem with Balls in Africa

Blame it on the balls. So says South Africa’s goalkeeper Moeneeb Joseph’s who’s competing with his fellow countrymen at the African Nations Cup. The Cup, hosted by Ghana in four cities, includes teams throughout Africa- which makes sense as it is called the African Nations Cup.

Anyway, the Adidas ball being used in competition has Josephs and other goalies in the tournament upset. The ball is multi-colored - making it look uber-cool- but supposedly it’s producing weird spin that makes it very difficult for goalies to stop. 58 goals have been scored in 18 games, and the article mentions that many of the goals have been scored on long distance strikes.

Josephs has been a Negative Nancy about the whole thing, saying:

“ It's the ball's movement that's the problem. You're expecting it to do one thing and then it does something totally different, which is hard for a goalkeeper because you're going in one direction and it changes direction in mid-air. It makes goalkeepers look like idiots. It isn't that the guys have been scoring good goals; it's the ball which has been making the guys look good.”

I remember there were some similar issues with an Adidas ball during the ’06 World Cup. There, just like at this completion, many of the goalies complained that the ball was acting unpredictably. The ball being used was one that didn’t have as many panels as a traditional soccer ball. The lower number of panels meant fewer seams on the ball, which lead to decreased spin. edit: I had a little bit of an explanation that was literally 100% opposite of what's actually true. Proving once again that I don't think when I write, and end up thoroughly embarrassing myself in the process.

Ok, I’m done explaining that. If you don’t understand, you’re stupid. Anyway, that could be the problem that’s currently afflicting the goalies at the African Nation Cup or it could be the fact that the multi-color ball is “kind of trippy” and most likely putting the goalies into a very peaceful, yet highly ineffective, trance. Really, check this thing out.

I stared at it too long the first time I looked at it, and I was jolted by my forehead smacking the keyboard.

Matt Arrowhead

photocourtesy of wikipedia.


Logan said...

no seams actually means less spin which means more movement...think of a knuckleball

Logan said...

and yes they did complain about the same thing in the World cup...basically goalies are bitches

Logan said...

log, if I wasn't half black, my face would be red; really, that's embarrassing especially after calling people idiots 2 lines down.

And my great-grandfather played goalie for a semi-pro soccer league back in the 1930's, so I take offense to that last comment.