Sunday, Dec 21, 2014

FIFA World Cup: The science behind football

Goal Line technology, Vanishing spray, Advanced fabrics and ultra lightweight shoes will help players and officials bring out their best in the 2014  FIFA World Cup. (Source: AP, nike.com, adidas.com) Goal Line technology, Vanishing spray, advanced fabrics and ultra lightweight shoes will help players and officials bring out their best in the 2014 FIFA World Cup. (Source: AP, nike.com, adidas.com)
Written by Durgesh Haridas | New Delhi | Posted: June 12, 2014 7:31 pm | Updated: June 12, 2014 7:40 pm

From using sewn pig bladders and steel toe boots with studs as shoes, equipment and gear has come a long way. Brands have leaped light years ahead in making sure the kit and gear brings the best out of the players while ensuring aesthetic appeal and minimal interference with the individual’s game.

This World Cup will be the most technologically advanced one yet as it will feature Goal Line technology, invisible sprays to mark free kick walls, jerseys with built in sport compression tape and a range of other hi-tech paraphernalia.

Sports equipment manufacturers have left no stone unturned in providing players with the most advanced gear. Nike, Adidas and Puma who sponsor the kits for most of the 32 nations had their tasks cut out as the competition is set to start at the beginning of the hot and humid Brazilian summer.

Players will be expending more energy and losing more body fluids, muscle fatigue and injuries especially for players of European nations who are not used to playing under such conditions.

JERSEYS & KITS

All the jerseys and kits are made of advanced synthetic microfibers that ensure maximum breathability, skin like feel and some innovative modifications.

These allow better performance by ensuring muscle sets are not overstretched and offer least resistance to skin abrasions and air. Moisture and sweat control are also important features of these fabrics as they force out the sweat and in turn give the athlete a cool feeling when it evaporates from the surface.

Nike’s Pro Combat and Hypercool, Adidas’ Climalite, Climacool and AdiZero and Puma’s PWR ACTV and PWR RCVR are few of the trademark technologies.

Nike, have been at the forefront of incorporating modern biomechanical research into their sports equipment. Lightweight ergonomic shoes, jerseys, other protective and playing gear have made the best players patrons of the brand.

Nike’s Pro Combat range consisting of performance sleeves and suits externally holds muscles in shape and ensures that compression and expansion caused in the course of play is controlled.

For this World Cup Nike has incorporated laser cut holes along the sides of the shirt and done away with the “t-bars” at the shoulders as the shirts will be more of a second skin to the players. The new jerseys are made from a combination of cotton and recycled polyester.

Nike's laser cut holes seen in Brazil's home jersey (Source: nike.com) Nike’s laser cut holes seen in Brazil’s home jersey (Source: nike.com)

Germany’s Adidas, sponsors of players like Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez, Mesut Ozil and many others has been busy making subtle changes to its continued…

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