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18-12-2013 | The History of the Football

The range of footballs that are available to the public today is extraordinary when you look into the history of the football. Today, you can buy specialist footballs from match footballs and soft touch footballs. It’s interesting to discover where the footballs we use today originated from. Read this article to learn about the history of the football to today's match footballs.


The earliest suggestion of the football being used for games and leisure activities can be dated back to ancient Egyptian monuments, carvings and paintings depicting the Egyptian era. Particularly in ancient Greek history, there was a game played in leisure time called ‘Episkyros,’ which is seen as the origin of a football match or game. Episkyros was played by two teams who faced each other on opposite sides, positioned in one long line, however, the location of goals being used in Episkyros is undetermined. 


Up until the discovery of vulcanization, footballs were originally made from leather with wood shavings inside. When Charles Goodyear and Domenico Nobili identified vulcanization in 1838, however, the materials, structure and design of the football really began to develop. Vulcanization is the chemical process of making polymers and rubber longer-lasting and more durable. This is achieved by the addition of sulfur. From this discovery, footballs had better strength and resistance to solvents, as well as an increased bounce ability. Most importantly, vulcanization also created the possibility for inflatable bladders inside the football, pressurising the outer arrangement of the football, helping it to keep its shape.  


However much of a break through vulcanization was for the design of the football, it came with various problems and issues. Headering the football was a painful experience for players as the materials used to build the football were heavy leathers and rubbers. It was so dangerous to header a football that it actually caused numerous head and neck injuries. Also, the leather material of the football absorbed water very easily which also increased the weight of the football, causing further injuries and making it harder to play with. The types of leather used for footballs were varied in thickness and so, they weathered and wore out quickly too.


When we look at footballs today and their designs and materials, we can see how much they have changed and developed. Most footballs today's consist of twelve pentagonal panels and twenty hexagonal panels. These are arranged in a truncated spherical geometry with precision to ensure the efficiency of the football. In premium and high-end footballs, panels are made with non-regular polygons to give as closer approximation to a sphere as possible. Another huge development in today’s footballs is that bladders are made from latex - ensuring that they are light and reliable. 


Besides the huge development in football design, science and technology, there are so many different type of footballs manufactured for specific purposes. Most common footballs that are available for wide consumption today are training footballs, match footballs, soft touch balls, indoor balls, turf footballs and mini skills footballs. 


With such wide variety of footballs on offer, make sure you’re buying the best footballs at the best prices available to you! Apto Sports sell a huge variety of footballs from match balls to soft touch balls and multi-buy football offers. Visit our football section on our website today for great offers! Don’t miss out! 



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