Have you ever sat and thought: “OK, it’s just a ball. All it has to do is be round!” A perfectly logical thought, but if you ask the people in charge of developing the balls, they will simply give you a little smile and open your eyes to the world of elite ball design. That’s exactly what happened when Nike Football enlightened me during their recent visit and showed off the new Ordem III. So read along, as we drop some serious knowledge on you.
A ball is far more than just a ball. For a ball to best satisfy your needs it requires tons of research and experimentation. Isn’t it fairly easy for you to pick a favourite ball among the ones you have tried? Well allow me to tell you why I prefer the Ordem.
Nike have really put in serious work, when it comes to their footballs in the last few years. Granted, they naturally have some financial muscle to work with, but when you are responsible for delivering the official match ball for the Premier League, La Liga, Serie A and several other major leagues around the world, you have probably put together a pretty half decent ball.
Now Nike’s designers have tinkered and tweaked a little to make the Ordem even better. For example the ball is made with a new 12-panel design to make the balls swerve and trajectory even more precise, while Nike have used the latest technologies to weld the stitches together. They have even designed a very special Six-Wing bladder, to give the ball the most optimal airtightness.
You have probably also noticed the balls new look by now and it is actually an element that plays a very central role to the ball performance. It builds on the very well-known philosophy that the visual expression of the ball makes you more aware of its trajectory and thus allows you to react to it quicker.
Building on this Nike have developed the unique Aerowtrack grooves on the ball, which is a technology that makes the ball extra responsive and also giving you a texture that optimises your touch on the ball. All this I learnt while Nike Football came to visit – and yes, you do actually feel a difference when you play with it for the first time.
Don’t come here and tell me a ball is just a ball. It is so much more and this ball in particular is a feat of engineering as much as anything. Let me know, which football you prefer – and why?