Generalitat de Catalunya. Departament d'Educació


This video gives you an interesting explanation on how football began and its evolution. Watch the video and read the text before the activities.

What do you need to pay football? A ball, of course!
We all know the nice round flashy balls, but they didn’t always look like that.
This film takes a look at the evolution of the ball, an object that has inspired both young and old since the beginning of time.
In ancient Egypt they used linen balls filled with straw. The Aztecs played with rubber balls way back then, but they were quite heavy!
Later on people used inflated pig’s bladders, although those did not always survive the rough treatment they received. To make them a bit tougher, a leather casing was put around them. Those balls were not perfectly round, of course, which sometimes meant that the game could take an unexpected turn.
A genuine advancement appeared in 1855, when Charles Goodyear would use the first ‘real’ rubber football. Although it still did have a pig’s bladder inside. It was another ten years before they suceeded in replacing that with a rubber version. The result was nice, however ; the ball was balanced and spherical.
From that point on, football became a popular sport.
In 1866, the United Kingdom was the first to set standards, that a match ball had to meet. All English football clubs worthy of the name, played from that point onwards with a lilywhites number 5. However, there was a difference of opinion with continental Europe on that. They continued to play with a small ball, a number 4. Even in 1930 there was no agreement about the size of the ball. Each club had its own type of ball and they took them along to the matches. For instance, the first World Cup finalists, Uruguay and Argentina, played the two halves with balls from the opposite teams. FIFA, only defined the size and the weight of the match ball in 1954. A circumference of between 68 and 71 cm, and a weight of no more than 453 g at kick-off.
From 1970 onwards, the evolution of the football accelerated. A new ball was developed for every new championship. With the science and design becoming increasingly important. Here are some highlights:
The World Cup in Mexico in 1970, was the first one that was broadcast live on television. In order to improve visibility on the small screen, the Telstar ball had contrasting panels: 12 black and 20 white.
The next major change was for the World Cup in Argentina in 1978. The Tango ball had only 20 panels, giving the illusion of 12 identical circles. This design was only replaced in 2002. The following milestone was in 1986: During the World Cup in Mexico, the teams played for the first time with an entirely synthetic ball. The World Cup in France in 1998 was played with a coloured ball, and was also the last one with a Tango design.
And what kinds of balls have we seen in this century? The Fevernova, for example, that was specially developed for the World Cup in Japan and South Korea in 2002. It was reckoned to be revolutionary: Smoother, larger, lighter, faster, and decorated with flames. It was, however, heavily criticized by the players, who said it was affected too much by the wind. The Teamgeist from Germany in 2006, is made of just 14 panels. It’s more spherical, and you can shoot accurately with it, but the keepers didn’t like it at all. The reckoned that it wabbled in the air. The Jabulani for South-Africa in 2010 is made of just 8 panels, and the ball is almost perfectly spherical. Top players are full of praise for it, but the keepers once again criticize the behaviour of the ball in the air. Or maybe that was just a good way of covering themselves. And now, for the next World Cup, and, the best ball ever?
SOURCE: The history of the football - Explania