Charles Goodyear's Soccer BallIn 1836 Charles Goodyear patented vulcanized rubber. Prior to this, balls were dependant on the size and shape of the pig's bladder. The more irregular the bladder, the more unpredictable the behavior of the ball was when kicked. However; it would not be until the twentieth century until most balls were made with rubber bladders.
In 1855, Charles Goodyear designed and built the first vulcanized rubber soccer balls (footballs). The following picture shows the Charles Goodyear ball that was on display at the National Soccer Hall of Fame which was located in Oneonta, NY, USA.
Oldest Soccer Ball (Football) Facts:
- Designed and Built in 1855 by Charles Goodyear
- Made of vulcanized rubber panels glued at the seams
- Panels are shaped similar to today's basketball
- The ball was used for a game between the Oneida Football Club, the first organized team in the US, and a team of players from Boston Latin and Boston English Schools. The Oneida club was formed by Gerritt Smith-Miller and came from the students at Dixwell Latin School, where he was a student. Dixwell Latin merged with other schools over time and is a forbear to Noble & Greenough, an independent school located in Dedham, MA. The game was played on Boston Common, where there is a monument to commemorate the game, on November 7, 1863. The ball became the trophy from that game as shown in the picture above.
- The ball was donated by the family of Gerritt Smith-Miller to The Society For the Preservation of New England Antiquities in 1925.
- It is interesting to note that when James Naismith developed the game of basketball, the first game was played with - a soccer ball!
The First World Cup Soccer Ball
1930 World Cup Soccer Ball of "Tiento"One of the two soccer balls used in the first 1930 World Cup final between Argentina and Uruguay is shown above. This leather football was used in the final match and taken by an Uruguayan team player. It may have even played a part in the outcome of the first world cup in 1930. Argentina and Uruguay could not agree on which ball to use. So they decided to use an Argentinean ball the first half and a ball supplied by Uruguay the second half. As it turned out, Argentina was ahead at halftime 2-1. However; Uruguay came back to win the match in the second half 4-2 using their ball
Official World Cup Match Balls
| Telstar : Mexico, 1970 |
Adidas started to make soccer balls in 1963 but made the first official FIFA World Cup ball in 1970. The first ball used in the World Cup to use the Buckminster type of design.The first ball with 32 black and white panels. The TELSTAR was more visible on black and white televisions (1970 FIFA World Cup Mexico™ was the first to be broadcast live on television).
| Telstar Durlast R : West Germany, 1974 |
The TELSTAR was again used. Another version was the Chile Durlast ball which did not have the black panels.
| Tango Durlast: Argentina, 1978 The ball design represented elegance, dynamism and passion. |
| Tango Espana: Spain, 1982 |
Adidas introduced a new ball which had rubber inlaid over the seams to prevent water from seeping through. The first ball with water-resistant qualities. General wear from kicking however meant the rubber began to wear after a short time and needed to be replaced during the game. The last genuine leather world cup ball.
| Azteca : México, 1986 |
The FIFA World Cup Mexico, saw the introduction of the first polyurethane coated ball which was rain-resistant. The first synthetic match ball, with good qualities on hard and wet surfaces.
| Etrvsco: Italy, 1990 |
The first ball with an internal layer of black polyurethane foam.
| Questra: USA, 1994 |
FIFA World Cup USA, 1994, official ball which was enveloped in a layer of polystyrene foam.
This not only made it more waterproof but allowed the ball greater acceleration when kicked. The new game ball felt softer to the touch. Improved ball control and higher velocity during play.
| Tricolore: France, 1998 |
By 1998, FIFA World Cup France was played with a ball which sported the French red-white-blue tri-color. A complete departure from the old traditional black and white pattern. The first official World Cup colored soccer ball. The TRICOLORE used underglass print technology with a thin layer of syntactic foam.
| ||ICON Women's World Cup 1999 Match Ball The first ball specially designed for the Women's World Cup|
| Fevernova TM : Korea Japan, 2002 |
For FIFA World Cup Korea Japan, 2002, Adidas created a new ball made up of thicker inner layers to increase the accuracy of the ball in flight.
|Fevernova design for USA Women's World Cup 2003|
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| Teamgeist Germany, Berlin and Final Balls 2006 All new Adidas "2006 World Cup Germany" Match Ball |
For FIFA World Cup Germany, 2006
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Adidas unveils Match Ball for 2007 FIFA Women’s World Cup™
|Jabulani - the Official Match Ball for the 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa.|
|Jo'bulani - the Gold Final Official Match Ball for the 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa.|
|2011 Women's World Cup Official Match Ball - SpeedCell|
Other Soccer Ball History Information on Soccer Ball World