Footwear Sale, New Styles Added, and Free Shipping With Code: SHIPFW
Why Is a Soccer Ball Black and White? 

Why Is a Soccer Ball Black and White? 

If you’ve ever wondered why soccer balls are black and white, you’re not alone! The iconic color scheme has been around for decades. It’s embedded as part of soccer history.

So, why is a soccer ball black and white? Surprisingly, the answer lies in the history of television and the evolution of soccer ball design.

When soccer was first televised in the 1930s, it was broadcast in black and white. At that time, soccer balls were typically a solid color, which made them difficult to see on screen.

Fast forward and in the 1960s, Adidas changed that by creating the first black and white soccer ball, called the Telstar.

The design featured black pentagons on a white background, which created a visual contrast that made the ball much easier to see on TV.

History of the Soccer Ball

In this section, we’ll take a closer look at the history and evolution of the infamous soccer ball.

Origins of the Soccer Ball

Inside of a Soccer BallThe first soccer balls were made from materials like inflated pig bladders covered in leather.

These early balls were far from perfect, often losing their shape and becoming lopsided during play.

In the mid-1800s, Charles Goodyear began making soccer balls from vulcanized rubber, providing a more durable and consistent ball for players to use.

Over time, the design of the soccer ball continued to evolve.

In the early 1900s, leather balls with rubber bladders became the norm.

Then in the 1930s, the first synthetic soccer balls were introduced. These early synthetic balls were made from materials like plastic and PVC, but they were not without their flaws. They tended to be less durable than their leather counterparts and would often crack or split during play.

Evolution of the Soccer Ball Design

In the 1950s, the design of the soccer ball began to change significantly. The traditional 18-panel ball was replaced with a ball made up of just 12 panels, providing a smoother surface for players to kick.

By the 1960s, soccer balls were being made in a variety of colors, with white balls becoming more common for night games.

However, it wasn’t until the 1970 World Cup that the iconic black and white ball that we know today was introduced to the entire world.

The Telstar ball, designed by Adidas, featured 32 black and white panels and was specifically designed to be more visible for people watching the games at home.

This design proved so popular that it has become the standard for soccer balls to this day.

Today, soccer balls are made from a variety of materials, including leather, synthetic materials, and even recycled materials. They come in a variety of sizes and designs, but the iconic black and white ball remains the most recognizable and widely used design.

Here’s a modern take on the traditional black and white soccer ball from Adidas.

Our Top Choice
Adidas Men Tango Rosario Ball

White/Black/Black, Size 5

Check Amazon Price
We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.


Now you understand why soccer balls are black and white. It’s not just a matter of tradition or aesthetics, but rather a practical consideration that arose from the early days of televised soccer.

The contrast between black and white made it easier for viewers to follow the ball on the screen, and Adidas designed their official game balls with this in mind.

While there may be other colors used for soccer balls today, the classic black-and-white design remains popular and recognizable.

It’s probably worth noting that the pentagon and hexagon shapes of the ball help players with their foot placement and control, making it a functional as well as a visual design choice.

So next time you’re watching a soccer match or playing the game yourself, take a moment to appreciate the history and reasoning behind the black and white ball.

Join the Fastest Growing Soccer Newsletter!

    We respect your privacy. Unsubscribe at anytime.

    Get Awesome Content!

    Straight into your inbox :)

      We won't send you spam. Unsubscribe at any time. Footwear Sale, New Styles Added, and Free Shipping With Code: SHIPFW
      Beau Bridges - Soccer Novo Hey 👋 I’m Beau. A proud Dad, former coach and soccer enthusiast. I continue to love the game of soccer today the same way I did when I was 7. I created to share what I know about the game as well as provide a platform so other parents can learn more about youth soccer in the U.S.

      Find a Club Near You

      Sign up to receive the latest
      updates and news

      SoccerNovo was built out of pure passion for the game of soccer. Our team provides helpful and entertaining content that helps players become better and enjoy the game more.
      © 2023 SoccerNovo. Trademarks and brands are the property of their respective owners.