✍️ Divyansh Kumar
🗓️ February 02, 2023
The 2022 Qatar World Cup was a special one we all know that. So how did this ball make it more special? So let me tell you about the ball that may have changed football forever.
The Adidas Al Rihla, the official World Cup 2022 ball, is the 14th ball that the German giant has given to the world’s biggest tournament.
Al Rihla means “The Journey” in Arabic. This ball is said to be designed by taking inspiration from the architecture, boats, and the national flag of Qatar, with triangular shapes intersecting all over the sphere.
It features the official logo of the Qatar World Cup along with the new Adidas logo.
So, what is so special about this ball?
The Adidas Al Rihla ball is considered one of the most technologically advanced ever. It is capable of flying faster and further than any of its predecessors.
The ball features a polyurethane textured skin that enhances the aerodynamics that improves the accuracy, stability, and swerving of the shots. It contains a sensor that collects spatial positioning in real-time.
So how does it help the game?
The sensor makes the 2022 World Cup the first tournament to use such ball – tracking tool. This technology combined with the other existing technology being used in football. Like optical tracking tools will help make VAR (video assistant referees) and offside review programs more accurate and streamlined than ever before.
This ball was under development and testing for six years before receiving the FIFA certification. It is one of the most noteworthy in-game uses of tech in sports history.
What technology is being used & how does it work?
Many have termed this application of tech by FIFA as a “Semi-automated offside” program – which is run mainly by AI features. So every match ball is designed by KINEXON, a major player in the performance tracking sector.
As per the company, it has two sensors working together simultaneously. One is
Ultra-wideband (UWB) sensor and the other Inertial measurement unit (IMU) sensor. This helps to track the position of the object and its granular movements in three dimensions.
Anytime the ball is kicked or thrown or even headed it sends data of 500 frames per second. Data is stored and taken in real-time through the sensors and a setup of network antennas around the playing field.
It collects different data in different metrics like technical data – shot and pass speed, ball actions, possession timings, etc., performance data – dribbling, acceleration speed and sprints, and tactical data – space control, ball gains/losses, counter-attacks, and pressing.
Tip in the technology x sports collaboration
This is one of the most advanced technologies in the world of football and has helped FIFA to improve the game drastically.
The 2022 World Cup is just the tip of the iceberg. The amount of investment and effort shows how far FIFA and Adidas together have gone to make the 2022 World Cup a successful event.
As technology continues how we view sports – we can only daydream about what it will hold soon. To get more news about sports related content come to ISM GLOBE