The Physics
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Diameter of a Football (Soccer Ball)

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Bibliographic Entry Result
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Gassé, Suzanne. "Soccer." Sports Injury: Prevention & Rehabilitation. ed. Jennifer Shamus. McGraw-Hill Professional, 2001: 373. "The ball is also made of leather or similar material and is 24 to 25 inches in circumference." 0.194 - 0.202 m
Davis, Steve. "Soccer." Microsoft Encarta 2006 [CD]. Redmond, WA: Microsoft Corporation, 2005. "It is between 68 and 71 cm (27 and 28 in) in circumference and weighs between 396 to 453 g (14 and 16 oz)." 0.216 - 0.226 m
Ager, David. The Soccer Referee's Manual. United Kingdom: A & C Black Publishers Ltd, 1998. "The ball is of a circumference of not more than 70 cm (28 ins) and not less than 68 cm (27 ins)." 0.216 - 0.226 m
McCarthy, Jr., John P. Youth Soccer The Guide for Coaches & Parents. Cincinnati, Ohio: Betterway books, 1990. "Size 5 is the primary official regulation, and is twenty-seven to twenty-eight inches in circumference." 0.216 - 0.226 m
GSI Commerce Solutions, Inc. How to Buy a Soccer Ball. Dick's Sporting Goods, Inc. 27 May 2009. "The size 5 ball weighs between 14-16 ounces with a circumference of 27-28 inches." 0.216 - 0.226 m

The first societies to play kicking games were the Chinese, the Greeks, the Mayans, and the Egyptians. Nonetheless, the modern game of soccer began in the 19th century in England where both handling and kicking the ball were permitted. In 1863, the London Football Association split the game into rugby football, which permitted handling and carrying the ball, and soccer, which banned the use of the hands. The first laws of the modern game were drafted in 1862 by J. C. Thring of the Uppingham School.

At first soccer was played mostly in private schools and universities, but before long people of the working classes picked up the sport. In the late 1800s British traders, sailors, and soldiers were able to spread soccer globally. Germans, Italians, Austrians, Argentines, Uruguayans, and Brazilians quickly adapted the sport. However, in the United States soccer did not gain popularity until the 1970s.

In 1872 a game in Glasgow, Scotland, between an English all-star team and its Scottish counterpart marked the beginning of international play. Thus, The International Federation of Association Football or FIFA was formed in 1904 and by 1930 professional leagues were operating in many countries. That year FIFA organized the first World Cup in Uruguay. Soccer has become the world's most popular sport; it is played by people of all ages in about 200 countries. A regulated soccer game is played on a rectangular field with soccer ball of leather or other synthetic material usually 0.216 - 0.226 meters in diameter, but the size may very according to the players age. Although, in many parts of the world the game is even played barefoot using rolled-up rags or newspapers as balls.

Taisia Dubinina -- 2009