Materials: Football, Tissue
You watch football, you play football, but have you ever wondered why a football looks the way it does in the first place? The truth is that American football’s shape is the result of evolution (change over time) more than DESIGN (plan to make something). This PROLATE SPHEROID (egg-shaped) ball did not look like it does now in the early years of the game. American football has a rich history, and like its rules and the organization of the game, the shape of the ball has been MODIFIED several times over many DECADES.
What’s the topic of today’s lesson? FOOTBALL
When something changes over time, we say it ________________. EVOLVES
This PROLATE SPHEROID are the words used to describe the football’s ____________ SHAPE
The truth is that the American football’s shape is the result of evolution more than ____________ DESIGN
Name something about football – other than the shape of the ball – that has changed over time. ______________ RULES/ORGANIZATION
The shape of the ball has been _____________ several times over the years. MODIFIED
What do you call a ten-year period? DECADE
The sport came about in the 19th-century (1800s) COLLEGIATE system in North America by combining rugby and soccer. The first American footballs that northeast colleges used were made out of inflated pig BLADDERS due to their semi-round shape, DURABILITY (strong), and easy ACCESSIBILITY (easy to get.) In order to increase the lifespan of the ball, the pig bladder was ENCASED (covered) in CALFSKIN, sewn together, and laced tightly through eyelets to seal them up. These were also known as PIGSKIN balls, even though they were made with the bladder, not the skin of a pig.
During what century did football begin? 19TH CENTURY/ 1800s
Name one of the two sports that were combined to make American football. RUGBY/SOCCER
The first American footballs were made out of pig ______________ BLADDERS
Name one of the qualities that made pig bladders a good choice for footballs in the 19th century. SEMI-ROUND SHAPE/ DURABILITY/ ACCESSIBILITY
To make a football, what were the pig bladders encased in? CALFSKIN
What is a calf? BABY COW
What were the first footballs called? PIGSKINS
When pig bladders were first used, the balls were mostly round, similar in shape to traditional balls. It is said that the shape changed from round to OVAL as the result of an inter-collegiate football game between RUTGERS and PRINCETON in 1869. These two teams had to stop their game several times just to REINFLATE the football. This required reopening the leather encasing, reinflating the pig bladder, and sewing the encasing up again. The players got so WEARY (tired/Impatient) of this effort that they decided to continue playing with the semi-DEFLATED ball, which resembled more of an oval.
The shape of the football changed from round to _______________ OVAL
Name one of the college football teams in the game the text discusses. RUTGERS/PRINCETON
In what year was the football game the text refers to? 1869
The two teams had to stop their game several times just to __________ the football. REINFLATE
The players grew ______ of this effort. WEARY
They decided to continue playing with the __________________ ball. SEMI-DEFLATED
In 1905, the FORWARD PASS was added to the rules of football. The number of FATALITIES and injuries throughout collegiate football games was increasing, and organizers hoped that adding forward throws to the game would make playing football less DANGEROUS. This new rule which added the throwing of the ball, forced football creators to make the ball more AERODyNAMIC so it could be passed easily. When the changes were made, and the ball took on its prolate spheroid shape, it was much easier for the players to grip the ball with one hand and throw a perfect SPIRAL (spinning around a center point).
What was added to the game of football in 1905? FORWARD PASS/FORWARD THROW
The number of ____________ throughout collegiate games was increasing. INJURIES/FATALITIES
Organizers hoped that adding forward throws to the game would make playing football less _______________ DANGEROUS
Football creators needed to make the ball more _________________ AERODyNAMIC
Name something that is usually designed to be aerodynamic. AIRPLANE, HELICOPTER, DRONE, CAR
It was easier for players to grip the ball with one ___________. HAND
It was also easier for the players to throw a perfect _________ SPIRAL
VAKT: Show how the ball moves in a spiral
VAKT: Try to throw a tissue and then throw a ball. Which is more aerodynamic?
Look at the picture below. This is what players in the 1800s would wear to play football. What piece of equipment designed to protect players from serious injuries is missing? HELMET
Concussions among football players are still very common. What changes could be made so they occur less often? Do you think people will support making changes in football so that it is safer? Why or why not?
Players and organizers also found that the size and shapes of these original footballs were INCONSISTENT because every inflated bladder was different. So the inner pig bladder was replaced with vulcanized (chemical process) RUBBER, but its LEATHER encasing remained the same. The laces which were used to sew up the exterior encasing are still part of footballs today, but now they are there to help the players grip the ball. Overall, they kept the AESTHETICS (looks/appearance) of the ball the same, but they STANDARDIZED the ball’s shape and size.
Players and organizers also were finding that the size and shapes of these original footballs were _________________ INCONSISTENT.
The pig bladder was replaced with vulcanized _____________RUBBER
What do you call the material made out of animal skin? LEATHER
The stitching used to be to seal the encasing, but now it is there to help the players ____________ the ball. GRIP
Overall they kept the _____________ of the football the same. AESTHETICS/APPEARANCE/LOOKS
The football makers ______________ (made it the same) the size and shape of the football. STANDARDIZED
Up until the 1950s, all the balls that were used in the night games were white or had white stripes because there wasn’t much stadium lighting back then, and white game balls increased VISIBILITY. As stadium lighting improved, the NFL chose to use the stripe-less ball to DISTINGUISH itself from the business of college football. White stripes are still on footballs in college sports and other minor LEAGUES. Many people find the stripes helpful when they are learning proper hand placement to grip, throw and catch the ball.
They used white game balls at night because they increased _____________VISIBILITY
The NFL now uses a stripe-less ball to _______________ itself from college football. DISTINGUISH
White stripes are still on footballs in college sports and other minor ______________ LEAGUES.
Many people find that the stripes are helpful when they are learning proper hand placement to ______________ the ball. GRIP/ THROW/ CATCH
VAKT: Point to the picture below that would be used in professional (NFL) football.
The official football of NFL is made by the WILSON football factory in Ada, Ohio. The factory isn’t AUTOMATED – as all the official game balls are HANDMADE by about 120 employees. The leather used to make the ball is sourced from cowhides from Nebraska, Iowa, and Kansas – it is then tanned with the company’s “Top Secret” football tanning procedure. The ball is made up of four pieces of stamped leather and a SYNTHETIC bladder. The ball has a PEBBLE GRAIN texture for enhanced grip and increased friction. The encasing is also hand-laced with a single piece of vinyl without any knots. The Wilson Sporting Goods factory produces about 4,000 footballs each day.
What is the name of the company that makes the official football of the NFL? WILSON
What state is the Wilson factory in? Ohio
What do they call the process of turning animal skin into leather? TANNING
The footballs are not made with robots and computers; they are _____________ by people. HANDMADE
From what state is the cowhide used in making Wilson footballs? NEBRASKA, IOWA, KANSAS
The Wilson factory refers to its tanning procedure as __________ TOP SECRET.
The Wilson football is made up of four pieces of stamped leather and a _____________bladder. SYNTHETIC
How does the text describe the texture of a football? PEBBLE GRAIN
Name one purpose for the pebble grain texture. ENHANCED GRIP/INCREASED FRICTION
How many footballs does the Wilson Sporting Goods Company produce per day? 4000/ FOUR THOUSAND
Why do you think people value handmade items over things that are made through automation? Is there anything you think should always be handmade?
Like football, almost everything around us evolves over time. What kind of changes do you imagine you may see in sports in the year 2050?