The phrase ‘play ball’ probably grew out of our natural instinct to kick whatever we find lying on the ground, be it paper, plastic or a rubber ball. In the old days, people even kicked heads for fun. The Chinese of the Ch’in and Dan dynasties invented animal skin balls between 255 B.C. C. and 220 d. C., which slid between two posts through holes in the nets. The ancient Egyptians performed rituals that resembled a soccer ball and the Greeks and Romans also played similar games.
Even the South American Indians knew the use of a light elastic ball. During pre-medieval times, the people of an entire town began to kick a skull in another town’s square, as a favorite pastime. The pigs’ bladder was inflated and used for play. Therefore, the shape and size of the ball depended on the pig’s bladder, so the trajectory of the ball when kicked could not be predicted. This slow-kicking habit saw the evolution of the first rubber ball in 1855, when Charles Goodyear, after patenting vulcanized rubber, manufactured the first rubber ball, which is now on display at the National Football Hall of Fame in Oneonta. , New York, USA.
In 1862, HJ Lindon invented the first inflatable rubber bladders for balls. The following year, the newly created football association established the rules of the game. In 1872, it was agreed that the ball would be “spherical with a circumference of 27 or 28 inches” and weigh between 13 and 15 ounces, which exists even today in the FIFA rule book. In 1937, the weight was increased to 14 to 16 oz. According to the Encyclopedia of Association Football, first published in 1956, the ball must be spherical with an outer covering of leather or other approved materials, while size and weight have remained constant to date.
The founding of the English Football League in 1888 gave a boost to the mass production of footballs, with Miter and Thomlinson of Glasgow being the first two companies to start manufacturing. Maintaining the shape of the ball was imperative, so good quality leather covers were made from the rump of the cow. The 20th century brought changes to the design, as interlocking panels replaced the large sections of leather that met at the north and south of the ball.
The color of the soccer ball in the 1950s used to be orange so that it could be seen while playing in the snow. In 1951 the first cue ball was played with spotlights. In the 1980s, leather was totally replaced by synthetic material. The present black and white 32-panel soccer ball is an invention of Richard Buckminster Fuller, consisting of 20 hexagonal and 12 pentagonal surfaces. This soccer ball was first marketed by Select in Denmark in the 1950s and the first official FIFA world cup soccer ball – the Adidas Telstar was used at the World Cup in Mexico in 1970.