What Soccer Balls of the Future Will Look Like
Soccer balls have come a long way since the days of people kicking a pig’s bladder up and down a cobbled street.
Such is the technology and design that goes into making modern balls that they can be made to dip and swerve depending on the ability of a player, and often look pretty cool to boot.
However, there are some issues on the horizon that look set to challenge ball designers to make yet more changes to the humble soccer ball.
Here are what the soccer balls of the future might look like, starting with the ones people will be betting on at this summer’s European Championships as well as those that may exist in 2050 or beyond.
Head injuries could be reduced by slightly underinflated balls
Injuries are Giving Ball Manufacturers a Headache
In the leadup to Euro 2020 there has been lots of attention surrounding the issue of head injuries incurred by top level international soccer players of the past.
While UEFA and FIFA have already been scrambling to deal with the issue, there will not be time to solve this tricky problem before people start placing bets on this summer’s showcase event.
However, scientific studies have shown that some simple measures could be put in place right away, such as inflating balls to lower pressures and not using them when they have been out in the wet too long.
What this could mean is that ball manufacturers have to find a way to produce a ball that still reacts correctly during a game, but while being twenty percent less inflated than usual.
What do you think soccer balls will look like in twenty or thirty years’ time?
Smart Balls Could be the Future
Soccer has gone as data-collection-crazy as the likes of American Football and Baseball, and now manufacturers have started inserting microchips into their balls.
Although this tech is mainly used as a tool to help coaches and soccer experts better analyze the game, there are other exciting applications of such technology.
Somewhere down the line it could even be possible for a micro chip to alter the pressure of a ball depending on outdoor factors like weather and temperature. Such a chip could even alert match officials to a particular ball being faulty.
They Should Stay Spherical for the Foreseeable Future
While there are plenty of little tweaks that ball makers can toy with, the soccer ball we all know and love probably is not about to be turned into a cube or a pyramid. But who knows what could happen in the wacky world of soccer ball design?