World Cup Features a Rounder Soccer Ball

  • Playlist
  • Download
  • Embed
    <iframe src="" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

Adidas has developed what it calls a "rounder" soccer ball for use in this month's World Cup. Goalies fear the ball will make it easier for attackers to score... something fans seem to want.


Have you noticed something about the ball they're using in the World Cup? It's rounder, so it might take scientists to detect the difference. Adidas, which has made the balls for all 64 World Cup matches, is introducing what it says is a more spherical spheroid. The team guides to a team spirit ball is rounder, senior engineer Hans Peter Nuremberg[ph] told the New York Times, because the panels are pre-molded into the right shape rather than cut out of a flat piece of plastic and pressed and sewn into a round shape. England's goalkeeper Paul Robinson told reporters that the Team Spirit Ball depresses his goalkeeper's spirits. It's more like a water polo ball or volleyball, he said. It's very light and moves a lot in the air. And if the rounder ball doesn't lead to higher scores, which World Cup fans seem to like, Adidas will put dynamite in the next World Cup ball. That ought to keep the goalies away.

Copyright © 2006 NPR. All rights reserved. Visit our website terms of use and permissions pages at for further information.

NPR transcripts are created on a rush deadline by a contractor for NPR, and accuracy and availability may vary. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Please be aware that the authoritative record of NPR’s programming is the audio.



Please keep your community civil. All comments must follow the Community rules and terms of use, and will be moderated prior to posting. NPR reserves the right to use the comments we receive, in whole or in part, and to use the commenter's name and location, in any medium. See also the Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Community FAQ.

NPR thanks our sponsors

Become an NPR sponsor

Support comes from