The Ball: The Object Of The Game
From tennis to soccer to the NBA, the surprising history of why we play ball.
(Rebroadcast: this show was first broadcast May 14, 2012)
“Play ball!” we say, and that’s baseball. But there are endless ways humans play ball. There is something about that rolling, bouncing, flying sphere that we, as a species, just cannot get enough of. It was there in prehistory, as we stepped up to the evolutionary mound.
It was severed heads and stones and every kind of bladder before it was our sleek game balls today. Ancient Romans had their ball games. Ancient Mayans’ were blood sport. Now our closets and back seats are jammed with every kind of ball – golf to racket to basket to volley.
Up next On Point: humans and the history of the ball.
John Fox, an anthropologist, he's the author of the new book The Ball: Discovering the Object of the Game.
From Tom's Reading List
CNN "From the courts of the ancient Pharaohs to a simple game of catch on a spring afternoon; the ball has a centuries-long history of play. It's one of our simplest yet most enduring inventions. While the games have evolved, the ball in all its various forms continues to play a key role in different cultures around the world."
This program aired on February 18, 2013. The audio for this program is not available.