The Orange FA Cup Ball: Not The Only Fruit


Ian began writing Twohundredpercent in May 2006. He lives in Brighton. He has also written for, amongst others, Pitch Invasion, FC Business Magazine, The Score, When Saturday Comes, Stand Against Modern Football and The Football Supporter. Ian was the first winner of the Socrates Award For Not Being Dead Yet at the 2010 NOPA awards for football bloggers.

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9 Responses

  1. CTT says:

    The interesting thing I would like to know is if any colour-blind people have had any problems seeing it.

    I remember the Baker & Kelly call from a guy who was watching a game where they started with the orange ball as there was still snow on the pitch and after a while, the snow had melted and he had to go home because he couldn’t see the ball.

    One benefit for the TV companies is that it makes it extremely difficult to watch the games in ways other than *ahem* ‘authorised’ methods.

  2. Matt says:

    I’m mildly red-green colourblind and didn’t have any problems with it at Dagenham-Orient on Saturday, although I suspect under floodlights it might be more of an issue. The main objection I had to it was that it looks more like a plastic thing you’d buy from a big net outside a shop along a seafront.

  3. William says:

    The ball looked like a budget offering to me too, at AFC Wimbledon v Ebbsfleet. I hadn’t watched the Friday night game so at first I didn’t know the new ball was a commercial ploy. I half-wondered if it was just the first one that had come out of the ref’s bag, but when further orange balls kept replacing the ones that were booted over the Kingsmeadow stands it became obvious that there was more to it than that.

    Strangely, given the Paul Carden comment, some of the other fans at the game thought the ball looked heavy. Is orange a heavy colour? Personally, I think it was the players who made it seem that way.

  4. Jertzee says:

    The balls couldn’t have been that heavy as most of Wimbledon’s shots ended up in New Malden……………

  5. Albert Ross says:

    Maybe the “haevy” look is due to memories of the old orange plastic balls you used to get that were (at least to my young perceptions) a ton weight and painful to head…..

    The whole thing with footballs and technology is strange anyway IMO – the manufacturers keep going on about how the ball is the roundest ever, smoothest, and then the players find that it doesn’t respond the way they expect. You get the impression there needs to be a lot more thought into the physics of it – does a perfectly round, smooth ball actually fly as true as a more conventional stiched ball like the Tango?

  6. William says:

    It’s my understanding that the smoother a ball is, the less true it flies. The Jabulani had dimples added to its surface for that very reason.

    Disclaimer: I only got a C in my physics A-level.

  7. Martin says:

    It’s rubbish.

  8. Gareth says:

    I’m also mildly red-green colour blind, and I did have trouble picking the ball out when play was on the far side of the pitch. The ball also seemed to be bouncier than the standard balls.

  9. Albert Ross says:

    @William – yes, the dimples/ridges are there to try and address the smoothness issue, I did more reading after posting and found however that there is still the possibility of unpredictable (or at least different from conventional ball) motion due to the aerodynamic effects. This article is not for the faint-hearted, but suggests that somewhere in the 40-50mph region the Jabulani can have a “knuckleball” type effect, and may also fly further. This makes sense if one considers the advances in golf ball technology often focus on the dimples – one company is now offering one with an asymmetric pattern that claims to straighten a hooked or sliced ball! I get the impression that the football designers are not quite at that point, but it does mean that different types of ball can legitimately be found to work differently for anything struck in the air.

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