Visitors from the then Zululand and Lesotho took the balls northward calling them Ixhosabals and the name stuck, also at home. Some years later The Maths Department of a local University had a good look at the ball and as result of shapes named by the Greeks tetrahedron and hexahedron, the Ixhosaball now shaped with twenty 'edrons' was introduced to formal Maths as the Icosahedron.
In the mean time in England the shape of the ball remained the same with inflated animal bladders still in use near the end of the 19 th century when Richard Lindop developed the rubber bladder and the better known John Dunlop pneumatic tires for bicycles. Pumps replaced the lungs for better inflation.
By then also the population increase caused a shortage of materials and women became lazy to weave materials while men got smarter and invented steam driven power looms, or so we are told by exclusively men historians, to produce materials on large scale. All over the Industrial Revolution changed the way of life, machines doing much of the work. Young men became idle and would arrange ball games. Soon clubs were formed and organized games became popular. The somewhat erratic jumping of the 20 faced but only 12 pointed ball made it unsuitable for serious competition, more so as betting on the results joined other such activities as horse racing and cock fighting, for which participating in the latter the good actor but obviously a poor chemist, Errol Flynn treated the spurs of his cock with poison and had to run for his life when the opposing cock, a known champ, fainted soon after the cocks had barely introduced themselves. In contrast with cock fighting Soccer and betting thereon has always been a game for gentlemen players and supporters where everything that happens is above board and few ever get hurt these days, except perhaps being cut by barbed wire separating opposing factions or a missile launched finding its mark.
To continue with the ball -
The ball has 60 points (vertices where three faces meet ) and a carbon molecule of this shape , the C60 molecule was indeed discovered in a rock from outer space. Inside each molecule was trapped a helium atom and this probably gave blind soccer players the idea of putting a bell inside their balls.
2009: Bloated truncated icosahedrons are kicked around all over the world every day. Soon South Africa will host the 1910 Soccer World Cup Series. Many of us have French ancestors. Should we not ask Mr Danny Jordaan to consider dedicating the Series to some one woman, to whom all women and all soccer supporters owe so much, Mrs. Historalix, the originator of the bra and the soccer ball?
Further to her honor girls, say between twenty and eighty, advertising top line bras and also showing off a few originals, could parade before the start of a game, individuals shown proudly in action on the big screen .This would surely boost ticket sales and income from advertising and TV.
This concludes this essay