Information about the New RCJ Soccer Ball

last updated: 28-may-2009

NOTE: At RCJ-2009 in Graz, Austria, the soccer competitions (versions A and B) will use the old ball specification (with continuous IR light emission), only. However, we are looking for volunteer teams to play demo games with the new ball specification as detailed below. If you wish to volunteer, please, send an email to Johannes Klotz, Chair of RCJ 2009 Soccer Organizing Committee (email: johannes.klotz AT


Answering to the request for a soccer ball for RCJ tournaments that would be more robust to interfering lights, less energy consuming and mechanically more resistant, the RCJ Soccer Technical Committee defined a new technical specification (available here) with the special collaboration from EK Japan and HiTechnic.

It is expected that balls complying to this specification will progressively replace the old non-modulated IR light balls used until now, between 2009 and 2010.

Producers of balls meeting this new specification must apply for a certification process upon which they can exhibit the RCJ-compliant label and their soccer balls used in RCJ tournaments.

There is already a ball available in the market that meets the new specification. It is the RCJ-05 ball manufactured by EK Japan, Co., Ltd. and can be purchased directly from the manufacturer or from other companies including HiTechnic Products:

The conformance test report that was carried out to certify the compliance of the RCJ-05 ball with the new specification is available here. In addition, HiTechnic has built a special sensor (IRSeeker v2) which helps teams detecting a ball with the new specification:

Moreover, as indicated in the conformance test report, common IR remote control receivers (e.g., TSOP1140/38, GP1UX511QS) can also be used to build sensors for a ball with the new specification which provide on-off detection with a gross indication of distance to the ball.


The RCJ New Ball Project involves members of the RCJ-2009 Soccer Technical Committee (TC), RCJ-2009 Soccer Organizing Committee (OC), RoboCup Executive Committee and RoboCup Board of Trustees: