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How the Football Got Its Shape

4 years ago71 views

GeoBeats

Geo Beats

Football is one of the most popular sports in the United States, but have you ever wondered how the ball that is used in the game got its shape?

Football is one of the most popular sports in the United States, but have you ever wondered how the ball that is used in the game got its shape?


Since footballs were originally made of inflated pig bladders, they took on the roughly prolate sphere shape, which has remained an integral part of the game.


Soccer balls also used to be made of inflated pig bladders, but they became more round as the game and technology developed.


The football retained the prolate sphere shape, and actually became more prolate when the materials changed to cowhide and rubber.


The shape of the ball makes it easier to carry and throw, but when it hits the ground, the movement of the ball is unpredictable, making it harder to pick up.


Football shapes and sizes are now standardized according to league rules, but the shape can affect the outcome of the game, because a fumble means it can bounce in any direction.


Football video game developers struggle with this randomness, but it makes for a much more interesting game, because a single bounce in the right direction can decide who wins or loses the game.

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