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How the Rugby Ball Got Its Shape

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Most legends about ruby may deviate, but one documented fact that all agree about to be true, is the origin of the rugby ball. Apart from minor deviations, the historical evidence of the rugby ball journey is widely accepted and is verifiable. Contrary to the traditionally much famed William Web Ellis story, this tale has factual grounds.   Initiated from the very basics, the ball comes from the same place where the game is accepted as well as expected to have started. Rugby School in England, that's where two cobblers played the major role in its invention.  

These two cobblers were owners of their own boot shops, and lived in the vicinity as that of Rugby School. Richard Lindon and William Gilbert had these men's stores on the High Street which used to lead to quad entrance at Rugby School. This area was used as students- make shift playing fields before Rugby School formally provided their own fields named "The Close".

Adjusting to the shift William Gilbert transferred his location right across "The Close" on Matthews Street, in 1842.  

Their innovative aptitude led them (along boots making) to craft leather balls for school children. Their success finally was about to lend them as the sole supplier for the future rugby balls.  
Rugby teams 
The introductory balls were hand stitched of a leather casing along with a pig's bladder and was blown up by hand (or mouth) through a narrow pipe of clay. Due to the material being acquired from dead animal's organs, the smell was quite repugnant, and thus a disgusting experience for the blower. 

Blowing the pig's bladder was quite a risky procedure too, since it would get infected and the blower may acquire the disease as a result of repetitive blowing. Lindon's wife famously died because of regular blowing up of these rugby balls as she got infected with a lung ailment.  

The pig bladders did not have a fixed size, as it was as the size of the pig, thereby the size of these balls couldn't be standardized for long. After inflation, the pig bladder has the same natural shape as that of an oval rugby ball. The same shape has been carried over for all these years, as an oval form. Even after synthetic rubber had arrived, the basic shape has still carried forward and thus the tradition has passed on successfully.

The synthetic rubber was invented Richard Lindon, started substituting the pig bladder by this material and a hand pump was also provided to inflate the balls. With the virtue of rubber, these balls started to have consistent standard shapes and the actual size specifics were also laid down. 

Don't feel disgusted next time when you have the ball in your hand, the pig bladder was worth the fun we have today with these vulcanized rubber balls. Without them the game wouldn't have survived for rubber and us.

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