Why are soccer balls black and white?

Why are soccer balls black and white? The perfect complement to the most beautiful sport in the world. 

The soccer ball has a long history behind it, since it was used as a mere artifact that could be kicked from one to another to becoming a fundamental piece in one of the most beloved activities in the sports world.

Soccer balls have undergone constant changes over time and the idea of ​​practicing it with a device made of papyrus, reed, clay, wood or ivory seems very remote today, which are the first materials with which They made soccer balls, which resulted in non-spherical objects and therefore quite unstable.

The search for this stability began in 1855 when the first soccer-specific ball was created thanks to the discovery of the vulcanization of rubber by Charles Goodyear. This new ball was officially used in 1863 in the city of Boston.

However, the complications with the balls continued and later the inflatable valves began to be implemented in order to keep the shape of the ball stable and for the year 1872, soccer marks the rule that established the following standard dimensions; spherical shape with a circumference between 27 and 28 inches and a weight between 13 and 14 ounces.

The problems continued for several more years. New balls were created, in order to eliminate imperfections such as the fact that when it rained, the ball became very heavy and the seams with moisture became very hard, which made hitting the head an added difficulty.

It was the year 1970, when the first real revolution in soccer balls was seen since the first one formed with pentagons was created under the name of Telstar, which was the official World Cup Mexico 1970 ball. 

This consisted of 32 panels sewn by hand and in two colors; black and white, which meant obtaining the most perfect sphere so far.

This model was the basis for the following evolutions and for the 1982 World Cup in Spain came the Tango Spain model, with which it was possible to considerably reduce the absorption of water through waterproof seams. Four years later, the transition to synthetic materials occurred, being prepared for the 1986 World Cup in Mexico; the first synthetic ball, the Azteca, keeping the black and white segments.

The advancement of technology continued until in 2006, when the aforementioned pentagons were replaced by almost smooth surfaces that meant better control of the ball. An example of this are the balls created for the subsequent World Cups; Germany 2006 and South Africa 2010.

Currently, soccer balls have exceeded some expectations regarding their improvements, expanding them more and more. 

The sphericals used on the playing fields have left behind the 'retro' image, the black and white segments and the pentagons have remained in the past, giving way to more colorful and innovative designs.

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