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Rugby Ball Development From Concept to Rugby World Cup.

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Presentation on theme: "Rugby Ball Development From Concept to Rugby World Cup."— Presentation transcript:

1 Rugby Ball Development From Concept to Rugby World Cup

2 Gilbert Rugby Since the Game began 1823 – William Webb Ellis picks up the ball The Ball was a Gilbert – making balls and boots for Rugby School Reputation Grows – makers of the best balls in the World Gilbert secure rights to supply 1995 Rugby World Cup Supply continues for next 4 tournaments – 1999, 2003, 2007 and 2011 Official Supplier for RWC 2015 England

3 Rugby Balls through time Traditionally Leather – 1823 ball much bigger Size, Shape and Regulations Introduced – Global Differences Rubber Compound Introduced in 1980’s – wet weather performance Gilbert pioneer rubber bonding technology – ink reduced – patented pimple patterns – Star Shaped Pimples

4 Rugby Ball Development First Question – How can you / Why would you develop the ball? Why? Strive for perfection Improve accuracy, consistency and performance React to feedback Stay ahead of the rest How? Some areas are covered by iRB Laws Open areas include Material/Compound, Bladder and Pimples.

5 Development Processes Three main development processes Theoretical Relationships with Universities allow theories to be considered Aerodynamics, Impact, Pressure Prototyping Exclusive Factories in the UK and India Physical Testing Player, Mechanical and Field Testing

6 Theory – The Purpose Determine if a theory holds true, then develop a quick and repeatable test. Run tests and see if the results show if improvements can be made Allows areas to be identified Determine if worth prototyping Example – Aerodynamics Grip versus Flight Higher pimple more grip, but also more drag

7 Aerodynamics Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) – Virtual World Accurate Model Required Actual ball shape achieved from Laser Scanning Point Cloud Polygon Mesh Nurb Patches Final Surface

8 Aerodynamics - Drag Drag is low speed air – affects flight of an object CFD shows how altering pimple height affects drag

9 Smooth Pimples

10 Iterative Tuning CFD allows any surface to be tested Massive time benefit, as small changes can me made Theoretical perfection Prototyping Samples made based on theoretical findings. Testing Mechanical – Pneumatic Kicking Robot Player Consultancy Player Introduction International Field Testing

11 Rugby World Cup 2011 – Virtuo Match Ball 4 year development process Player Consultancy – Player Introduction – August 2010 International Field Testing  November 2010 – August 2011 Identified Development Areas  Bladder Development  Contact Time Relationship

12 Ball Contact Time Compare different Bladders by kicking at goal to determine distance and accuracy. Ensure consistency by measuring leg speed. Identify Contact Time Identify Impact Area to check consistency

13 Ball Contact Time - Findings New Co-Polymer Bladder Better Air Retention Improved Energy Transfer New Valve Shape and Weight Improved Rotational Stability Maintained many existing ball features Known performance characteristics Helps keep player familiarity

14 Player Introduction and Field Testing Ball introduced before the Autumn Internationals 2010 We are 100% happy with performance – proven Usual High Manufacturing Standards – consistency Field testing – from Autumn 2010 onwards International Matches controlled by sponsored Unions Check Statistics and Monitor Feedback Conclusion International seal of approval

15 RWC Tournament Conditions What we can control Manufacturing Consistency – individual panels same weight. Weight – Balls within 3 grams, under 1% difference. Size – all cut from same punching knife. Internal Pressure – measured pre game and at half time. Balls are pre kicked to ensure quality. External elements we can’t control Weather – wind, rain, temperature. Player – kicking style, fatigue, distance – pressure situations. Equipment – different boots, kit, kicking tees. Ground Conditions – contaminants, different stadiums - eddy currents.

16 RWC Ground Conditions 12 Different Venues Different playing surfaces Size, Quality, Grass Different stadium shapes Enclosed, Open, Altered Player Exposure Limited Variable level of pitch contaminants Mud, Grass, Dew or Water Ball rotation and cleaning reduces the possible issues

17 In Conclusion Rugby World Cup is the pinnacle of our business Tournament Performance Expectation All balls must be 100% Emphasis on detail and accuracy Maximum detail throughout development gives real data to process/analyze Utilizing Player Consultant – Development and Pre Tournament Exclusive Factories – guarantee of quality Consistency is the key Manufacturing – all stages Provide players with consistent product

18 There are many variables in a game of Rugby…… – we strive to ensure that the Ball is not one of them


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