Why Are Soccer Balls Black And White?

Traditionally, the ball played in soccer usually appears black and white. The ball is nearly a complete circle with hexagonal and pentagonal black and white shapes wrapped around its surface. 

This pattern of the ball’s appearance in the game of soccer has been in existence for over a long time now. So, therefore, in this post, we shall be looking closely at the origin of the ball in soccer as well as the history of its black and white nature.

  • The Origin Of The Ball In Soccer 
  • The History Of The Black And White Soccer Ball. 
  • What Is the Purpose Of The White And Black Colors On Soccer Balls? 
  • What Is The Significance Of The Hexagonal And Pentagonal Shapes Of The Colors?

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The Origin Of The Ball In Soccer 

Soccer as a game came into existence a very long time ago, when the selected players played around with a human skull or a pig bladder in an open field, passing and tossing it from one player to the other. 

The game of soccer was uncivilized at the time, and in ancient Greece, it was viewed as part of a sacred assignment in which if any team failed in the match, all of the players on that team were to be sacrificed as an offering to the gods and goddesses.

The history of soccer was made by the ancient Greeks, ancient Rome, Egypt, and even China, where it originated as a game where pig bladders or animal skins were used to play in matches. 

All of these took place as early as 200 AD. It is far older than most of the ball games we see today in our world.

In the twentieth century, the official concept of soccer originated. The sport was civilized and entirely different from the archaic form in which it appeared in early AD. 

The game was redefined in the European region, with England most often referred to as the home of modern soccer. 

At that time, the sport evolved from what used to be a game where human skulls, pig bladders, and even animal skin were used to play to a game where a ball made of rubber with a fairly round shape had to be tossed and kicked around by a team of players.

It later went on to be something quite different from what it looked like in the twentieth century, when rubber was used to make the ball. 

In 1960, the ball used in playing was changed from rubber to synthetic material. The ball now had weight and good bouncy capability. It was the exact perfect thing that could fit the nature of the sport. 

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The History Of The Black And White Ball In Soccer

The game of soccer has gone through several dynamic changes. First of all, it originated in ancient cities like Greece, Rome, Egypt, and China, as we may have mentioned in our previous paragraph. 

In ancient soccer, pig bladder, human skull, and animal skin were synonymous with what we now call a ball. In the early stages of its civilization, the ball was made of brown leather, coated all over. 

An English man known as Charles Goodyear was the first-ever, in 1844, to replace the old way in which the game was played in the ancient cities with what is presently known as football, which simply means a game where the feet are used to kick a ball. 

The ball could be made up of rubber or synthetic material. Either way, the idea was first introduced by Sir Charles Goodyear when he started making vulcanized balls that could deflate and inflate when pumped with air. 

As time went on in the late 1900s, as legend will have it, the game of soccer changed from a brown ball game to a black and white ball game in the year 1970, the first in Mexico where it was introduced.

The black and white soccer ball emerged as a result of the difficulty faced by the viewers who viewed the sport at the time when it was still brown.

At then, the television was already invented and it was usually in the form of a black and white color, so for viewers to be comfortable with the game when viewing it on TV, an intelligent company, Adidas, came up with the idea of making the spectacular black and white ball which we see today.

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What Is the Purpose Of The White And Black Colors On Soccer Balls? 

Earlier in time, the soccer ball was always covered in brown leather, but as time went on, it evolved to what we now know to be black and white. 

Before it was replaced with black and white, it was discouraging to view the sport as it made the ball difficult for the viewers to see when watching on the old black and white television. 

If only it blended with the black and white television, it would have been better for viewing, so the idea of replacing the brown ball was executed.

What Is The Significance Of The Hexagonal And Pentagonal Shapes Of The Colors?

An original soccer ball is usually made up of twelve pentagons and twenty hexagons. This is the official structure of any ball used in the game. 

The pentagons on the ball surface are usually black, whereas the hexagons appear white. 

One of the most appreciated reasons why it appears to have pentagon and hexagon shapes of black and white is as a result of its evolution from what it used to be as a brown-colored football. 

Experts suggest that if the ball was made with the two shapes (hexagon and pentagon) closely fixed together, it would enable the ball to stay in its form no matter the pressure. 

Since the ball used in the game is round, it would be preferable if it could sustain pressure and force. And these two elements occur often in soccer.


Soccer as a game has evolved from one form to the other and knowing its historical form is what makes it an interesting game. 

The game existed so long ago and is no doubt one of the oldest games in the world. It has been redefined over the years to become one of the most popular and largest ball games in sports history. 

This article throws more light on how the ball used in soccer became white and black. 

As pointed out earlier, the former balls in use, when introduced into the sport, were mostly and this hampered the entertainment of viewers as it was not conspicuous during games back then as it is in recent times.

The black and white color of soccer balls in recent times enables users to enjoy the action of the game, regardless of what or where they are watching. 

Some soccer balls are plain white but the standard for the sport with regards to the color of the ball is black and white. Remember, it is a combination of both colors.