A ball is generally a small round object made out of either rubber or polystyrene with spikes that protrude from it. It’s most commonly used in sport ball games, wherein the game of the ball follows the movement of the ball when it’s being struck, thrown or kicked. In this way, balls are made to be played “as ball,” with the spiked surface following the contours of the ball while it’s rolling through the air. Balls can also be utilized for simpler activities, like juggling or catch.
Most balls have a flat center that’s generally rounded, although there are some exceptions. The flat center may not be of an obvious shape, with different balls having different shapes (including oblongs and hexagons). A ball with a rounded center is called a spherical ball; the same is true of balls which possess sharp corners or are otherwise deformed in some way. A ball of the type referred to as a Middle High German ball (which is round, flat and with a little bit of an inclined center) is often seen in soccer, which is an indoor game. For more common ball types, the most common center shapes are:
When it comes to ball play, many people assume that soccer is the only sport that makes use of spherical objects. While it’s true that the ball used in soccer is spherical and sometimes referred to as a “ball,” this is not the only sport that makes use of balls of different shapes. Indeed, when you look at the history of ball play, you’ll find that it’s evolved over time into being used in many different games.
One earliest evidence of ball games comes from Ancient Greece, where two players would toss a spherical ball around while trying to throw it into another player’s basket. Although the object was to get the ball into the basket, the goal was not just to score points, but to also hit the other player with the ball. In addition to this, balls might also be replaced with pebbles, sand, pine cones or anything else that could be used to generate momentum to move the ball around. Indeed, balls have been used to represent nearly every shape and size since the earliest ball game developed, though they’re always meant to be representative of something else.
Ball games developed in Europe after around the 12th century, with the popularity of Polo boosting their popularity. English and French explorers were among the first to bring back leather-made balls from the Middle East. Leather was prized for clothing because it could withstand the torture of sand storms and other elements. The leather was often blended with a type of fat extracted from animal hide to allow for a sturdier ball that was lighter and more aerodynamic; these bags of leather or fat allowed European players to better simulate the clouds and low atmospheric temperatures felt on the beach. As ball play spread across Europe, more variations of ball games developed, with each trying to add its own twist to the game’s mechanics.
The ball bearing came into its own during the Industrial Revolution when the widespread use of steam engines and machines caused a serious rise in the manufacture of steel balls. Steel balls were quickly replacing leather or animal skin as the preferred material because they were stronger and able to resist extreme temperatures. The ball bearings of today are primarily made from steel or aluminum, but there are also ball bearings made from ceramic, graphite, titanium and even powdered metal. The ball bearings of today are designed to handle high stresses because they must be able to resist extreme heat, corrosive liquids and high pressure. They are constructed using high-grade steel and materials that will withstand wear and tear, while resisting the harmful effects of wear and tear.