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MIKASA unveiled a new water polo model at FINA World Championships Budapest Tournament 2022

Mikasa Co., Ltd. (Headquarters: Hiroshima City, President: Yuji Saeki, hereafter Mikasa), a competition ball maker that has been in business for over 100 years, is holding the FINA (International Swimming Federation) World Championship in Budapest 2022, the capital of Hungary. On Friday, June 17, 2022, we announced the new FINA-approved water polo models MIKASA WP550C and WP440C with FINA President Hussain al-Musaram.

FINA official new water polo model MIKASA WP550C & WP4400C

An all-new, next-generation water polo ball is born from Mikasa technology, with an improved omnidirectional wet grip (ball grip when the ball is wet), a large reduction of waste rubber, and overall quality consistency. It is an environmentally friendly ball that brings together Mikasa’s techniques to bring out the abilities of the players and make the game more dynamic.

■ About FINA official new water polo models MIKASA WP550C and WP440C

Previous water polo balls had a difference in wet grip force between the vertical and parallel directions. The cause of the decrease in wet grip is the film of water between the surface of the ball and the player’s fingers. Conventional balls are produced by a method of shaving (buffing) the surface of the ball with a wire to eliminate this film of water. With this method, the wet grip force decreases in the direction parallel to the buffing direction, so there is a difference in grip force depending on the gripping position, which may affect play. Furthermore, there was concern that the waste rubber generated by the buffing process has an impact on the environment.

To solve these problems, Mikasa has newly developed foam rubber and realized the abolition of the buffing process altogether.

Newly developed foam rubber

Due to the fine uneven structure on the surface of the foam rubber, we succeeded in securing the wet grip force without buffing, and the wet grip force (dynamic friction / static friction) in all directions was improved by roughly 26%. In addition, the softness (flexibility) of foam rubber makes the ball easier to grip and fits better in the hand.

Abolition of the buffing process:

There was concern about the environmental impact of buffed rubber, but the abolition of this process has reduced the amount of waste rubber by nearly 99%.

Quality stability

Buffing was done manually, but the abolition has improved quality consistency.

The next generation of water polo balls are scheduled to be released in the first quarter of 2023. And, from the “FINA World Championships Fukuoka Tournament 2023” held in 2023, the MIKASA WP550C and WP440C water polo balls will become the official game ball.

Mikasa continually strives to improve the quality and performance of our products and will continue to work with FINA to enliven water polo competition.

■ Product information

WP550C Size 5 (for men’s test ball)

  • Dimensions Circumference 68-71cm Weight
  • 400-450g
  • Material Rubber
  • Producing country Thailand

WP440C size 4 (for girls and junior high school boys)

  • Dimensions Circumference 65-67cm Weight
  • 400-450g
  • Material Rubber
  • Producing country Thailand

■ FINA (International Swimming Federation) World Championship Budapest Tournament 2022 Announcement of new water polo

Announcement of new water polo

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