Football - American

Why is a football made out of leather?

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2008-11-17 22:46:02

The soccer ball was made out of leather in the early years of

the game because leather is flexible and durable, and of all the

materials available at the time, it was the best choice. Leather

was used to cover the animal bladders that formed the air sack

inside the ball. Synthetic materials were experimented with as

chemistry developed, and eventually leather was discontinued as the

construction material of choice. The new synthetic materials were

flexible, durable and would permit a ball to retain its shape. Most

importantly, the new materials absorbed less water than leather,

and water adsorption was always a concern with the leather ball.

Just as an aside, today's soccer balls are all synthetic because of

the superbly uniform performance of the material and the ability to

resist moisture. Synthetic's overall performance has surpassed

leather's so it's better for ball construction.

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