The History of the Soccer Ball

  • Added:
    Aug 28, 2012
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For me as for many soccer fans out there, when I cast my mind to a soccer ball I think of the traditional checkered black and white look that became popular in the 1970s.  Soccer balls have come a long way from the pig bladder balls used in ancient times.  The questions arise as to why this modern image of the checkered soccer ball has become so popular and from where did it originate?

Like many modern wonders, the development of this ball is tied in with the growth of television and media. The soccer balls were painted with black and white hexagons and pentagons respectively during the 1970 FIFA World Cup and were given the name Telstar.  This made it easier for the viewing audience with black and white televisions -most of the population- to see the ball

bearing witness to a world cup which featured icons such as Pele and Bobby Moore, children and adults alike wanted to purchase the equipment used by the professionals of the day and emulate their heroes.  The 1970 Mexico World Cup was the first to be shown live on television, so it is understandable the thought that was put into the logistics of making the game as exciting and as easy to follow as possible.

This trend started as a practical solution so that viewers with black and white televisions could easily identify the markings on the ball.  This inadvertently lead to this type of ball becoming in fashion and an iconic image of the modern game.

It just goes to show however, that even the most seemingly mundane facts can be steeped in its own history.  The ball was a product of its time.  Anyway, perhaps humanity had moved on from the days of using severed heads of their enemies as a ball to celebrate winning in battle.  I cannot help but think though it certainly would not have hurt the viewing figures.

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Virginia Montgomery is a stay at home mom who enjoys writing articles for Interesting Articles.


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