The utility ball (also known as a playground ball or named after the games in which it's used, such as dodgeball and kickball) is a spherical, inflated ball used in several kinds of playground games and sports. Utility balls were introduced in the mid-20th century and have continued to be used in various games.

A variety of balls in a cage
Blue, orange, and yellow utility balls among other sports balls

History edit

The first dedicated utility balls were introduced by American manufacturer Voit shortly after World War II and became popular within a few years, being adapted to several games such as dodgeball and kickball that had previously been played with harder objects, like basketballs.[1] The softer ball was safer and easier to adapt to other games, such as four square.[2][3]

Specifications edit

A close-up of an orange utility ball, with grips visible

Utility balls are typically made of polyvinyl chloride or rubber and have a diameter of 8.5 inches (220 mm) and weigh between 11.6 to 13.3 ounces (330 to 380 g).[1] The balls are often made with ribbing for grip and are inflated to 2 pounds per square inch (14 kPa).[2]

See also edit

  • Funnel ball, a piece of playground equipment sometimes played with utility balls

Sources edit

  1. ^ a b Chetwynd, Josh (2011). The Secret History of Balls: The Stories Behind the Things We Love to Catch, Whack, Throw, Kick, Bounce and Bat. New York City, New York, United States: Perigee Trade. pp. 174–175. ISBN 9780399536748. LCCN 2010054221.
  2. ^ a b Applebaum, Ben; DiSorbo, Dan; Ferrari, Michael (February 23, 2016). "The Playground Ball 101". Recess: From Dodgeball to Double Dutch. Chronicle Books, LLC. p. 134. ISBN 9781452146287.
  3. ^ Foster, J. Paul (March 1955). "Four Squares". Journal of Health, Physical Education, Recreation. 26 (3). American Alliance for Health, Physical Education, and Recreation: 63.

External links edit