Central Asian horse riders played ball games 3,000 years ago

Today, ball games are one of the most popular leisure activities in the world, an important form of mass entertainment and big business. But who invented balls, where, and when? The oldest balls that are currently known about ...

How a virus forms its symmetric shells

Viruses—small disease-causing parasites that can infect all types of life forms—have been well studied, but many mysteries linger. One such mystery is how a spherical virus circumvents energy barriers to form symmetric ...

Why is an empty shampoo bottle so easy to knock over?

It becomes annoyingly easy to knock over a shampoo bottle when it's nearly empty. This is an easily observed and curiosity-provoking phenomenon that, according to Lehigh University physics professor Jerome Licini, yields ...

Why tourism's future lies in its past

Climate change and carbon footprints, political unrest, global epidemics—what does it all mean for the future of tourism?

Scientists unexpectedly witness wolf puppies play fetch

When it comes to playing a game of fetch, many dogs are naturals. But now, researchers report that the remarkable ability to interpret human social communicative cues that enables a dog to go for a ball and then bring it ...

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Ball

A ball is a round, usually spherical but sometimes ovoid, object with various uses. It is used in ball games, where the play of the game follows the state of the ball as it is hit, kicked or thrown by players. Balls can also be used for simpler activities, such as catch, marbles and juggling. Balls made from hard-wearing materials are used in engineering applications to provide very low friction bearings, known as ball bearings. Black powder weapons use stone and metal balls as projectiles.

Although many types of balls are today made from rubber, this form was unknown outside the Americas until after the voyages of Columbus. The Spanish were the first Europeans to see bouncing rubber balls (albeit solid and not inflated) which were employed most notably in the Mesoamerican ballgame. Balls used in various sports in other parts of the world prior to Columbus were made from other materials such as animal bladders or skins, stuffed with various materials.

As balls are one of the most familiar spherical objects to humans, the word "ball" is used to refer to, or to describe, anything spherical or near-spherical.

This text uses material from Wikipedia, licensed under CC BY-SA