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 Soccer is the most popular sport in the world
 Evolution of the Soccer Ball
One plausable explanation why soccer in the northern hemisphere became a winter sport was described by Manley (1992). The Medieval custom was to kill live stock in November in preparation for winter sustenance. This gave an excess of pig's bladders. Alexander Barclay described this in 1508: They get the bladder and blowe it great and then With many beans or peasons put within It ratleth, soundeth, and sineth cleare and fayre With foot and with hande the bladder for to smite If it falls to the grounde they lifte it up agayne The sturdy plowmen, lustie, stronge and bolde. Many historians accept the reason for the late edition soccer to sport was because technology to make an uniformed shaped ball, suitable for kicking, could only take place after the introduction of rubber to Europe. South American Indians were known to play a ball game with a lighter more elasticised ball, but it took from the fifteenth century to the nineteenth century before Europeans were able to manufacture stable rubber products.
Charles Goodyear patented vulcanised rubber in 1836. Prior to this footballs were never a standard shape or size. All was dependent on the size and shape of the pig's bladder. The more irregular the bladder, the more unpredictable behaviour came from the ball once kicked. Before air inflators, pigÕs bladders were blown up by mouth and a clay pipe was used to blow into the bladder. Often a shoemaker would cover the gap with stiches to make the ball feel harder and more durable. In 1851 at the Great Exhibition, Crystal Palace, London, a bootmaker by the name of William Gilbert, from Rugby had two exhibits ie. a round leather covered ball suitable for dribbling; and an ovoid ball for a game of carrying and handling. Gilbert had previously made his reputation as supplier of rugby balls to Rugby School. His balls were
considered superior and harder than his rivals. One of his competitors was H.J Lindon who tragically lost his wife when she contracted a lung disease from blowing up many hundreds of pig's bladders. Whether this inspired him or not remains unknown but Lindon did develop the first inflatable rubber bladder in 1862. This ensured the ball remained hard and oval. He claimed to have invented the rugby ball but sadly did not patent the idea. The round ball was preferred because it was easier to kick and the oval ball was easier to handle. By the nineteenth century strong rubber bladders were available which could withstand intense heavy pressure. Balls made from inner tubes and covered with heavy brown leather were light enough to bounce yet could be kicked. The  leather outer was made by stitching 18 sections of tanned leather arranged in six panels of three strips each. The sections were stitched together by hand with five-ply hemp, leaving a small lace up slit on one side. This was done with the ball was turned inside out and once completed the whole sphere was reversed to turn inside out. A collapsed rubber bladder was inserted through the open slit and then inflated to the approved pressure. The slit was then laced tight. The ball was ideal for kicking but proved painful when using the head due to the heavy stitching. Soccer balls were made from cowhide which presented two major problems.
Balls made from natural hide varied in quality depending upon which part of the cow had been used to make the ball. Footballs varied in thickness and quality and the leather often degraded during play. A second problem related to the ability for cowhide to absorb water and became heavier as the game progressed. This slowed the game down and made heading difficult and painful. Later when a new type of inflatable valve was invented this improved the ball surface and footballs were made completely laceless. Heading the ball and dribbling became easier and when waterproofing the ball became possible this completed the revolution. In 1951 the white ball was permitted for the first time with the idea it would help spectators. Ball developments have continued with the most obvious relating to the panelling patterns of the leather. All these have accumulated to make the ball surface smother and more easily controlled by expert feet. In the earlier days of international soccer different countries favoured different types of ball and many disputes arose. The introduction of International Board set up by FIFA standardised all aspects of the game including size weight and type of ball.
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 Football size is important depending on the age of the player or the type of football he is performing. Football is a fashionable team game, played all around the world and it is also known as association football or just football. It is a team sport played amid two teams of eleven players apiece, as well as the goalkeepers. 


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