World Cup 2006, the biggest sporting event on Earth, kicked off in Germany on June 9 and runs through the final on July 9. Soccer, aka football worldwide, is one of the simplest sports--you need only a ball and field to play--but this year's tournament will see some technology creeping onto and around the field and new opportunities for fans to follow the action.
Each match will be played with a new Adidas "Teamgeist" ball with a 14-panel configuration that forms a perfectly smooth exterior. The new ball construction promises to give players increased accuracy and control. But goaltenders have complained that "Teamgeist" veers randomly giving the strikers an added edge.
On Amazon.com, the 2006 FIFA World Cup Teamgeist Match Ball carries a list price of $128.70. More on the balls later.
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Bill Detwiler is Editor in Chief of TechRepublic and the host of Cracking Open, CNET and TechRepublic's popular online show. Prior to joining TechRepublic in 2000, Bill was an IT manager, database administrator, and desktop support specialist in the social research and energy industries. He has bachelor's and master's degrees from the University of Louisville, where he has also lectured on computer crime and crime prevention.