The Long History of The Football
Football is the reigning king of sports in the world today. With an estimated 3 billion fans, and the very biggest international tournaments that the sporting industry has to offer, football is the go-to when it comes to what sets the standard for modern sport. It’s also one of the oldest in recorded history, dating back thousands of years, with a different rendition of the football from various ancient civilisations.
It goes without saying, then, that the humble football is a piece of sports gear that has effectively changed the world in more ways than we realise. Its simplistic design makes it the perfect tool for any type of event, from a local game between friends to an international championship that sees crowds in the hundreds of thousands.
The football is such a brilliant design that it gave rise to other types of sporting gear, such as the rugby ball and the football, which in turn has lead to some of the greatest moments in sporting history, and entire betting industries, like NRL premiership odds betting, and much more.
The First Football In History
There is no specific inventor of the general design of the football as we know it. It was born out of logic: it’s a rounded object that gains traction if kicked or pushed. The idea was so simple, in fact, that multiple civilisations from ages past had their own take on the football. Many historians believe that the first footballs can be dated around 3000 years ago, and can be accredited to the ancient Mayans, Chinese, Aztec, and Egyptians:
Chinese – The Chinese made their own football from animal skin, sticking different skins together until it made the general ball shape.
Mayans/Aztec – This ball was actually made of rubber, which back then was a form of latex derived from rubber wood trees.
Egyptians – The Ancient Egyptians made two different types of football. The first was a linen covered contained that was stuffed with seeds. Later on, they vegan to use animal skin or catgut to improve the ball’s bouncing ability.
The Modern Football
The football would continue to be used in medieval times, and saw some improvements here and there, but generally remained the same as what the ancients used. The modern version that we know and use today wouldn’t come around until Charles Goodyear decided to make his own iteration. This coincided with the English Football Associations declaration that footballs needed to be spherical in shape, and 27/28 inches in circumference.
Goodyear’s design matched the standards set by the Football Association, and Goodyear approached them his idea. The balls of the time were largely made of leather, but it didn’t take long before rubber took over as the primary material, which was based on the designs by Goodyear. Those specifications have remained to this day, and while there have been vast improvement to the technology that we use to make them, all modern balls can be linked back to Charles Goodyear.