Every FIFA world cup comes with a new theme song and a new ball. Yet one thing that remains unaltered is the shape of the ball. But that stands to change with the next iteration of the mega event. A creative duo of Oliver Binnian and Willem Slegers have designed an unplayable ball, which is a concept that represents a significant step toward challenging conventional norms and advocating gender equality in football.
As anticipation builds for the upcoming 2023 Women’s World Cup, the concept football dubbed UNPLAYABALL aims to turn our attention to the challenges faced by women in football. The UNPLAYABALL is a visionary creation that garners attention, empathy, and action.
Designers: Oliver Binnian and Willem Slegers
As it is implied, the UNPLAYABALL is not your typical football. Unlike the traditional spherical shape that has been the norm for decades, this concept adopts a revolutionary square design. It is set to disrupt traditional norms with its unique design, serving as a powerful symbol of gender equality in sports.
By exploring the concept, the designer duo delves into the issues female players encounter when they step onto the pitch. At first glance, one can get skeptical about its practicality on the field, but the designers have a more profound purpose in mind. The square shape of the ball represents the obstacles and barriers that female players face in the male-dominated sporting world, particularly in football.
Despite significant progress in recent years, women’s football continues to encounter unequal treatment, funding disparities, and limited opportunities in comparison to men’s football. The UNPLAYABALL seeks to challenge these norms and spark conversations about the need for fair treatment and equal opportunities for female players.
The introduction of the UNPLAYABALL concept boldly questions the established conventions of football. Throughout history, round football has been an iconic symbol of the sport, signifying unity and inclusivity. However, the designed duo believes that such unity can only be fully achieved when women are equally represented and respected on and off the pitch.
Even though it is not meant for playing, the UNPLAYABALL is a call for action to the football community to reflect on its responsibility in breaking down barriers and promoting gender equality in the sport.