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Why do the balls used in rugby and American football have a similar shape?

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Why do the balls used in rugby and American football have a similar shape?
posted Jul 17, 2017 by Reshmi S

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1 Answer

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Since American football evolved partly from rugby 1, it's no surprise that their shapes are similar. The main reason for the oblong shape is to allow carrying the ball by hand. A round ball kicks very well indeed, but is very easy to knock away; an oblong ball is still effective to kick and is much easier to grip.

American footballs kept the same basic shape but added laces and pointed ends because both features make the ball easier to throw. Rugby, of course, needs neither feature.

answer Jul 18, 2017 by Babita Thawani
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