World Cup 2010: did altitude affect tactics?

Ok, I admit it – I’m a stats nerd.  I love nothing better than perusing the league tables in the back pages of the Sunday papers, so imagine my delight when Prozone offered me the chance to analyse their data from the 48 games of the Group Stages of the 2010 World Cup. In a […]

Jabulani, a ball in crisis? -Update!

Update! It seems that everyone has something to say about the Jabulani. As the official ball for the 2010 World Cup, it has a lot to live up to, but seems to be attracting more criticism than jubilation. It is now a World Cup tradition that the new ball should be roundly slated before the […]

Is it really possible to engineer the perfect football?

On 4th December 2009 the new ball for the World Cup in South Africa was unveiled. The product of years of research and development, the ‘Jabulani‘ was the most highly engineered football the world had ever seen. Prior to the launch adidas had even gone to the extent of testing the ball in the Bundesliga, […]

Does altitude affect football tactics?

Last November, I proposed that for this Summer’s world Cup Altitude will be key, the thinner air in Johannesburg will cause the ball to behave significantly differently than at sea level. Less air resistance means faster shots and straighter trajectories. As part of a feature for the New Scientist (p35-37, June 5th 2010) we created […]

The World Cup draw: altitude will be the key

Every World Cup draw is accompanied by a new ball, and media speculation is never far behind.  The draw for FIFA 2010 on December 4th will focus attention on the ties in South Africa in next year, but I have some thoughts on what people are likely to be saying about the ball. Goalkeepers are […]