How TV gave us the classic soccer ball

How TV gave us the classic soccer ball

If I asked you to imagine a soccer ball, what
would it look like? This is starting to look a little bit like Mr. Potato Head. This is like asking a bro to draw his favorite drag queens. I’m kinda guessing at this point. The most iconic ball, the one with black and
white panels stitched together? It’s known as the Telstar. And it got its start because of broadcast television. The 1966 World Cup was a turning point in
soccer history. The games that year were held in England,
home to the BBC which, aside from the US, had the biggest television operation at the
time. The television broadcast became a huge part
of the World Cup. And, as The Times reported, four hundred million
fans were watching across five continents. But notice the ball. If you’re having a hard time following it,
it’s not just you. The ball used in the 1966 World Cup was reddish-brown. And its solid color made it hard to spot on
TV. Like the soccer balls that came before it,
this one was made of rectangular strips. It actually looked more like a modern volleyball. But by the 1970 World Cup, the soccer ball
had changed. Compared to the ball used four years prior,
the black and white checkered design made the ball stand out and made it easier to follow
for viewers at home. And that was especially true on black and
white TV sets, which most people had at the time. Players on the field had reason to celebrate
too. The 32 panels of the Telstar brought it closer
to an actual sphere, giving the ball a more predictable path through the air and on the
ground. A version of the black and white Telstar design
stuck around for over two decades before being replaced with other models. But by then the Telstar had become the archetype
of soccer balls, synonymous with the sport. And if you catch the World Cup this year,
you might recognize a familiar pattern. The ball being used in Russia is called the
Telstar 18, a nod back to the iconic Telstar. It uses just six propellor-shaped pieces,
making the ball even more spherical. But that black and white design is back — and,
almost five decades later it’s still what people think of when they think of soccer.

100 thoughts on “How TV gave us the classic soccer ball

  1. You play it with your foot.So football.It's more fitting.That simple for everyone in the world to understand.

  2. How was the 1966 ball hard to follow? I guess the Telstar is easier to follow but not by a huge margin.

  3. Soccer = association football
    Other types of football: rugby football, Gaelic football, Australian football and gridiron football.
    S'all good, man.

  4. Is your country's flag staked onto the surface of the moon? Are the servers which host this website within your country's borders? No — then you can stop acting like the word your county uses for soccer is somehow correct or superior.

  5. To everyone saying its a football ball. Do your research. When Football/Soccer was created it was called Soccer. And it was created by the British.

  6. Anybody else feel like the 2018 Telstar is causing distortion on TV because of its pixelated design? Especially when it spins in the air

  7. So you couldn't see that clear ball on this video? And you think this orange olour was more like a redish brown?

  8. Classic 'Football' not "Soccer". Get on Board with the rest of the world USA. Everyone else in the World calls it a "Football". Even Australia (now). Also, while you're at it is: 'Kilometres' not "Miles" & 'Celsius' not "Fahrenheit". It is 'Anyway' not "Anyways" and it is 'Ask' not "Axe" (pronunciation)… Haha

  9. PSA: The term 'soccer' is derived from a shortening of Association, as in AsSOCiation Football,


  10. 'If I asked you, to imagine a soccer ball, what would it look like?'

    Well, I don't know, I only know how to imagine a football.

  11. The original 32 panel Telstar design was replaced with the Teamgeist that had 14 curved panels in the 2006 FIFA World Cup

  12. And in 1974 the ball was Telstar as well and it was exactly the same design. It was a sensation since 1970, also the world cup with best football ever.

  13. Ok, as a Canadian, I am going to have a little 1 on 1 with England:
    When you Englishmen created the rulebook for soccer and introduced it to the US, we already had a sport named football. It was the Englishmen who let us say "soccer". So it was up to them to decide to let us call it "soccer", not for you random butthurt Englishmen in the comments to decide. Get your facts before arguing.

  14. Mention the creator/designer of the ball, maybe? Eigil Nielsen, founder of Select Sport, designed the ball in 1962. The Telstar from Adidas was the first ball using the same design to be used at a World Cup.

  15. why do you call it soccer? it's football!! because you use your foot to kick the ball, same as basketball or handball.


  17. Englishman here. The word soccer isn't some new US term for (association) football but was actually invented in England in the 1860s because football also referred to 'rugby football'. Soccer became popular to use because the full term 'association football ' (to distinguish it from 'rugby football') was a bit cumbersome. So the word soccer is actually older than the FA Cup! When I was growing up in England in the 1960s the word soccer was used frequently without anyone being irritated and it seems that this irritation has grown with increasing interest in the 'round ball game' in the US since the foundation of the NASL in 1967.

  18. How to spot an american??.Just search a soccer video and you have done with it👍👍👍😎😎💪👍🤜🤛🙏

  19. Shut up the American empire will couqur you. Soccer soccer and the British called it soccer first.

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