The soccer ball is the central focus of every game of soccer ever played. It allows a game to reach a conclusion, with the players using it to score goals and win or tie a match.
It’s among the oldest pieces of sporting equipment in the world; with a design that’s as old as recorded history. In fact, there are accounts of even the most ancient civilisations playing with a ball that’s similar in design to the one that we use today for all of our games, both professional and amateur.
With its long history and fascinating origins, the soccer ball has long been at the centre of historic regard. Here we will look at how the soccer ball came into being, including its evolution and eventual use in the game that we love so much to this day.
The Origins Of The Ball
The origins of the soccer ball can be traced back to some of the earliest recorded civilisations, including the ancient Native Americans and the Chinese. In China, the ball was made out of animal skin, and used in a game called “tsu chu”. Here, the ball was dribbled by the players into gaps between two poles, and whichever team scored the most won the game.
Similar balls were used by the ancient Egyptians, and both the Romans and the Greeks made use of balls in games. It should be noted that these games didn’t always involve kicking the ball; sometimes they would carry it in their hands, passing it along to their teammates. Many of these early games also gave rise to modern day rugby, which sees its players passing the ball along by hand.
It can also be recorded back to Medieval times, except here the playing instrument would be constructed out of pig bladders. This is where the origins of soccer within the United Kingdom would be born and would remain a popular pastime for hundreds of years.
Leather Eventually Took Over
Pig bladders didn’t make great balls; they would eventually break down and needed to be replaced often. This is where Charles Goodyear would step in, and in 1836, would use rubber to cover the bladders to give them extra durability.
It proved something of a success, and it didn’t take long for his creation to be used in games across the country, where he quickly patented it. The use of pig bladders would remain until the twentieth century, where it became more common to have the balls made with rubber bladders instead of those sourced from animals.
How It Evolved
In 1863, the game of soccer had become so popular that it became a true national pastime, much like online slots Canada, and some of the firsts rules ever for the game would be invented.
These rules included a standard for the type of ball used, including its size, shape, and the materials that would be used. Many of these rules are still used today, but the ball itself has since been updated with synthetics to make it more durable than ever.