Soccer Balls Explained - How Things Have Changed by primusboy


									Soccer Balls Explained - How Things Have Changed
Soccer balls have changed. Depending on how deep we dig, the changes can
be quite remarkable. Would you want to be kicking around an inflated
pig's bladder? It wasn't circular and the bounces were sometimes
When soccer started, that is what you would have had to play with. Then
came the 1800's when Charles Goodyear and vulcanized rubber came along.
He created the first rubber soccer ball.
More Change!
It began in the late 1800's when the first ball with an inflatable
bladder was created. However, the ball was oval and more like a rugby
ball. Unpredictable. Then the English football Association decided that
the best soccer balls should be round to allow more predictable bounces.
The rules also said that the ball had to be round with an outer casing of
leather or other approved materials. It should be no more than 28 inches,
and no less than 27 inches in diameter.
The ball weight was also an issue. We are still a long way from
waterproofing. At the beginning of the game the ball must be more than 14
ounces, but less than 16 ounces.

As of 2001 "The Laws of the Game" state exactly that. The major change
has been what materials are used, and the panel shape.
Don't Blow Your Inner Tube!
During the 1900's inner tubes were in the middle of the ball. This inner
tube was covered with a heavy brown leather. The result was a ball that
bounced even better than previous balls and could stand up to the kicking
that it received.
It was definitely better for kicking, but what about heading the ball?
The leather soaked up a lot of water. This made the ball weigh more. That
resulted in more head injuries.
As with any product's development, the soccer ball went through many
changes. Changing the leather used, and adding another inside layer
helped decrease the water absorbed and helped it to maintain its shape.
How would you like to be watching a game with a brown ball on green
grass? That is how it was until the early 1950's. A white soccer ball was
introduced so fans could follow the game better.

Fake Leather!
By the 1960's a synthetic leather ball was developed. It did not get
approved immediately by all in soccer because it was believed that real
leather still had the better bounce and flight.
As the 1980's came it brought the replacement of leather balls with
synthetic leather balls. These balls did what real leather could but
absorbed less water. But they acted just like leather.

Continued Change!
Soccer ball design has not slowed down. High tech materials and new
designs continue to come from many companies.
The object is:

Water proof.

Accurate in flight.
Soft feel.

Flies easily through the air.

Transfers the force of your kick.

Safe to head.

Adidas soccer ball development leads the world, but Nike, and Puma are
doing their part as well.
Wayne MacLean has over 30 years of experience in the game of soccer. As a
soccer coach, soccer player, soccer referee, and all-around soccer fan,
Wayne is now adding a new dimension to his love of soccer. He now writes
many articles and creates soccer videos to help those that are involved
in soccer, are new to soccer, or just want to know more about soccer.
Check out my Soccer Balls page.

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