October 3, 2022

  • Connected ball technology comes to Al Rihla for the sport’s biggest stage, providing the VAR team with accurate real-time ball data to support fast and accurate offside calls
  • A new adidas suspension system will enable the most time-accurate motion sensor inside an official World Cup match ball, tracking every touch of play at a rate of 500 times per game. second.
  • The 500Hz inertial measurement unit (IMU) the motion sensor inside the ball will allow the collection of very precise data on the movement of the ball and its transmission to video match officials within seconds throughout the tournament

adidas announces that the Official Match Ball for the 2022 FIFA World Cup™ will feature new connected ball technology, which will be used to enhance the VAR system by providing an unprecedented level of data and insights to players. match officials to make faster, more accurate decisions on the biggest stage of all.

Following its reveal in March this year, Al Rihla will be the first official World Cup match ball to feature this innovation, providing accurate ball data that will be made available to video match officials in real time. . Combined with player position data and applying artificial intelligence, innovative connected ball technology contributes to FIFA’s semi-automated offside technology and provides video assistant referees with instant feedback to help optimize the grip of decision.

A new adidas suspension system in the center of the ball houses and stabilizes a 500Hz Inertial Measurement Unit (IMU) motion sensor, which provides unprecedented insight into every element of ball movement, while making this technology imperceptible to players and not affecting its performance whatsoever. The sensor is powered by a rechargeable battery, which can be charged by induction.

This new technology, developed in close collaboration with FIFA and KINEXON, leaders in advanced sensor networks and edge computing, allows video match officials to examine live data for the first time by automatically providing information very precise, 500 times per second, when a player touched the ball.

This will help inform offside situations and detect unclear hits, improving the quality and speed of the VAR decision-making process.

The connected ball technology has been rigorously and robustly tested with a number of professional and grassroots football clubs around the world (including blind testing), including at the FIFA Arab Cup and of the 2021 FIFA Club World Cup in Abu Dhabi, with no perceived change for performance.

Holger Kraetschmer, head of consumer insights at adidas, said: “At adidas, we are committed to contributing actively and consistently to improving the modern game for players and fans. From the latest boot technology to hardwearing apparel, kits and now connected ball technology. to aid in fast and accurate decision-making to improve everyone’s experience, technology and innovation are at the heart of everything we do.”

Johannes Holzmüller, Director of Football Technology and Innovation at FIFA, said: “This technology is the culmination of three years of dedicated research and testing by FIFA and our partner adidas to provide the best possible experience for referees, teams, players and fans who will travel to Qatar later this year. We look forward to to see semi-automated offside technology, including connected ball technology, in action at the 2022 FIFA World Cup™.”

Dr. Maximilian Schmidt, Global Head of Sports at KINEXON, said: “As FIFA’s preferred provider of live player and ball tracking, our goal with adidas is to use cutting-edge technology to improve the experience for everyone involved without changing the game of football. We We believe that with accurate live ball data, connected ball technology will usher in a new era of football analysis and fan experience.

Al Rihla – the official match ball of the 2022 FIFA World Cup™ – with its connected ball technology, will be used in all 64 matches of the tournament, starting with the first game on the 21st November. The raw data captured during the 2022 FIFA World Cup™ using connected ball technology and transmitted to video match officials is wholly owned and managed directly by FIFA.

The official match ball with connected ball technology will not be marketed or available at retail.

About adidas

adidas is a global leader in the sporting goods industry. Based in Herzogenaurach, Germany, the company employs more than 61,000 people worldwide and generated revenue of €21.2 billion in 2021.

About adidas in football

adidas is the world leader in football. It is the official supplier of the most important football tournaments in the world, such as the FIFA World Cup™, the UEFA European Championship, the UEFA Champions League and Major League Soccer. adidas also sponsors some of the best clubs in the world, including Real Madrid, Manchester United, Arsenal, FC Bayern Munich and Juventus, as well as top federations such as Germany (DFB), Spain (RFEF), Belgium (RBFA), Argentina (AFA) & (from January 2023) Italy (FIGC). adidas also partners with some of the game’s top athletes including Leo Messi, Paul Pogba, Mohamed Salah, Paulo Dybala, Karim Benzema, Catarina Macario, Jude Bellingham, Vivianne Miedema, Trinity Rodman, Jennifer Hermoso, Serge Gnabry, Pedri, Joao Félix , Lindsey Horan and Wendie Renard.