An official game ball for the International Handball Federation (IHF) designed for further development of the sport. To perform the various types of spinning passes and shoots in handball, high adhesive “resin” is often used to ensure a firm grip of the ball. However, this resin stains the gymnasium floor and causes injuries at times, which requires countermeasures. To resolve these issues and further increase the number of players, the development of “a ball with a good grip without using resin” started based on the request from IHF.
After the research on surface textures that enhance adsorption power such as “tread patterns on tires” and “gecko feet,” a panel structure consisting of 60 triangles was adopted, inspired by “diamond knurling,” typically used on switches of machines and grips of mechanic tools. The swelling parts of joints between panels are designed to be harder than the center of the panel, realizing an easy grip with the uneven surface. The new design offers a balanced grip by unifying the panel shape in triangles, in contrast to the existing pattern consisting of pentagons and hexagons. In addition, the panel joints, which were conventionally hand-sewn, changed to an assembly of adhered panels, consequently allowing for the stable manufacturing with higher accuracy. Numerous surface materials were considered including different types of rubber, resins, and gels, before a synthetic resin with adhesive characteristics was finally adopted, for it absorbs sweat on the palms from its porous surface. The surface is maintained clean, since it has less stickiness, with a unique moist texture.
With the development of this new ball born from careful consideration, it is our aim that handball will become a safer, fair, and more open sport to everyone including children.