If you see a few more goals than usual at this year's FIFA World Cup, which starts today, you may want to send a thank-you note to Adidas. The company's Teamgeist soccer ball, a new design that closer approximates a perfect sphere, makes its debut in the international contest. Since the Teamgeist has fewer "panels" on its exterior than typical balls — 14 instead of the 32 hexagon/pentagon-shaped ones on the standard design — it's said to be easier to make an accurate kick with one of these. Also, with fewer seams on its exterior, the aerodynamics of the ball improve, allowing for a greater chance that a shot will suddenly dart unpredictably in midair if the kicker gives the ball just the right amount of spin. Hey, if it means more scoring at this year's World Cup, we'll take it, even if it might lead to an proportional increase in goalkeeper whining.
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