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The history of the invention of the ball


This gingerbread man has come down to us from the depths of centuries.

Ball - the oldest and one of the most beloved toys of all peoples and countries. In Ancient Egypt, Rome and Greece, the ball was not only loved, but also ... respected.

So, the ancient Greeks considered it the most perfect and flawless object, because it had the shape of the sun, therefore (so they thought), it had its magical power. They sewed a ball out of leather and stuffed it with elastic materials (moss or bird feathers). Later, the idea was to inflate the leather ball with air. This ball is called follis. Small-sized follis were used in hand games, while large-sized specimens were used to play football-like games.

Images of balls were found on the walls of tombs in Egypt, and during the excavation of the burials of the pharaohs, they themselves were found, sewn from scraps of leather or from the bark of trees, and sometimes made of sandstone. The ancient Egyptians' team play with this item was dedicated to the gods. At the same time, each of the teams represented the interests of a group of celestials, and the ball was driven into the goal with specially bent sticks. The ball made of fragile sandstone could only be thrown very carefully to each other, because it easily shattered from hitting the ground. The ancient Egyptians won the victory not for the sake of their own glory, but for the sake of the gods.

In ancient China, they played the ball and kicked it. Over time, this game became the favorite folk entertainment, and in the 2nd century BC it entered the mandatory program of celebrations to celebrate the emperor's birthday. Even then, instead of stuffing with feathers of birds and animal hair, leather balls learned to inflate with air and developed certain rules of the game, and they began to put gates on the playing field. The winners were presented with flowers and expensive gifts, and the losers were mercilessly beaten with bamboo sticks.

The ancient Japanese also did not do without the ball. At the court of the emperor, games were played by teams to score the ball into the goal for a certain time interval (measured by an hourglass). When throwing, he should not touch the ground.

The Romans filled balls sewn from leather with fig grains. They even had glass balls for singles.

The North American Indians did not consider the ball to be a toy. For them, he was a sacred object, personifying the Earth, the Moon and the Sun.

Among the Eskimos, ball games were also a ritual act performed during the festivities and marking the victory over the evil mythical creature called Sedna.

Several ball games were also invented in Ancient Greece. Thus, the game of Spartan warriors, called "episyros", was a competition in throwing a ball with hands and feet, sewn from leather and stuffed with horsehair, sand, rags, feathers, and later inflated with air. The Romans, distinguished by their curiosity, did not hesitate, among others, and borrowed this from the Greeks. So they got a similar game - "harpastum".

Pollux describes it this way: “The players were divided into two teams. The ball was placed on a line in the center of the court. At the edges of the court behind the backs of 2 players, each of whom stands in the designated place, draw another line. For them, and it is necessary to bring the ball, performing this feat handy and only pushing the players of the opposing team ". This game has become an integral part of the legionnaire training program. The ball was originally filled with straw, hay, even fig grains, and later - air.

The warlike Romans, along with "fire and sword", brought and spread their sports activities with the ball in the cultures of other peoples.

The British, for example, having chosen the game "harpastum", not only borrowed it, but mastered it so much that in 217 AD they won the match against the Romans!

Also, the inhabitants of foggy Albion came up with their own method of making balls. They tied round vegetables with girl's or horsehair, and later learned how to make them from animal bladders. But if only we had stopped there! It got to the point that they used the severed head of an enemy or a servant (history knows examples of a similar use of the head of a deposed enemy in ancient China).

Different peoples made balls from a variety of materials. They were sewn using animal skins, twisted from rags, woven from reeds, carved from wood.

The rubber ball "bounced" to Europe from Central America. The Indians living there made it from the resin extracted from the cuts of the bark of trees, and called it "rubber" (from the words "kaa" - a tree and "oh-chu" - "cry").

Today this resin is known to us as "rubber". The famous traveler Christopher Columbus met a rubber ball. The famous navigator was surprised that a heavy and large ball bounced high when it hit the ground. Columbus's sailors delivered the ball to Spain, and the resilient kolobok quickly rolled across the entire civilized world.

By the way, the game of the Indians with a rubber ball was a real ritual act. And not at all harmless. The game ended with a sacrifice. And who do you think was the victim? That's right - the captain of the losing team.

To this day, in some countries, along with modern leather, rubber, inflatable balls, there have been preserved specimens made according to old "recipes". In Japan, for example, there is a favorite toy - a colorful and small ball called "temari". The local children play with them with the arrival of spring, welcoming and meeting the first sunny days in memory of the fact that the ball once symbolized the sun. This ball is carved out of wood and braided with multi-colored silk threads, which form beautiful patterns.

In our history, the balls were very different. During excavations near Novgorod, archaeologists found balls of various sizes sewn from leather. It has been established that they were played by children in the 13th century. The children of the peasants of the 19th century played with light balls made of birch bark or heavy balls made of tightly rolled rags.

Our ancestors entertained themselves with games, about which reliable information has been preserved. So, chicken eggs were placed in a row and knocked out with a ball. The game "shalyga" was also popular. In it, the players tried to drive a ball made of leather and stuffed with feathers into the opponent's “city” with their feet.

Those who like to play with the ball got it from the church and the authorities. For such a game, the Church decrees provided for Penance, and Archpriest Avvakum called upon the players to be burned at the stake. Even tsarist decrees were issued, prescribing punishment from beating with batogs to exile.

The balls of our days vary in purpose and size. A variety of balls are used to play football, volleyball, tennis, basketball, rugby, water polo and other games. Of course, each of them has its own history.

The name of the basketball game was formed from a combination of the English words "basketball - basket" and "ball - ball". This game in 1891 was invented by a sports instructor who worked at one of the American universities, D. Naismith. Following his instructions, a large fruit basket was nailed to the ceiling of the sports hall, and a ball was thrown into it. When the players got tired of climbing for the ball every time, one of them came up with the idea that you just need to knock out the bottom of the basket. At first, basketball players used leather balls, and later switched to rubber ones.

Water polo players, as you know, playing in the water, began to lubricate the leather ball with fat so that it would not swell, but in the end they came to the conclusion that it was also necessary to play with rubber balls.

But the players refused from rubber balls due to the fact that they are slippery. Kicking and passing a ball like that is hard. In football, in general, everything is thought out to the smallest detail, down to the weight and size of the ball.It has been established that it should not be heavier than 543 and not lighter than 396 grams, and the circumference should be no more than 71 and no less than 68 centimeters.

The badminton ball was generally made from an apple. Surprising as it may sound, they took an immature, hard apple, stuck goose feathers into it and tossed homemade rackets to each other. So it was in Japan, from there the game came to India, and from India it was brought to Europe by an English duke - the owner of a castle located near the city of Badminton. So the game was named. And the apple by that time, of course, had been replaced by a cork ball.

The materials used for the production of the balls were different. But their shape has always remained the same - round. With just one exception. The rugby ball is oval in shape (like a melon). But not because the game demanded it. It just happened so.

In the small English town of Rugby, residents were very fond of playing ball. But the rag ball was very fragile. On reflection, livestock trader William Gilbert simply took and skinned ... a pig's bladder. The ball is strong and lightweight. It happened in the nineteenth century, but today rugby balls traditionally have an oblong shape.

In conclusion, we want to say what to choose and purchase modern balls you can in our online store at a bargain price.

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