baseball / basketball / football /
golf / soccer / olympics / turfgrass
The ancient Romans played a game similar to the game
we know as baseball with balls made from strips of animal
hide wrapped around reeds or wild grasses.
An official baseball used in the major leagues today
has a core made from four long strands of high quality
wool. The core is surrounded by rubber or cork and covered
with two pieces of white horse or cow hide, which is
stitched together with exactly 216 stitches. Lower quality
baseballs have cores made from cotton yarn.
An official baseball bat is a smooth round stick made
of one piece of solid wood. It must be no more than 2
3/4 inches in diameter at the thickest part and no more
than 42 inches long. The best bats are made from the
wood of northern ash trees.
Bats break very easily near the handle or near the bat’s
trademark. There are no official records, but Bo Jackson
may hold the record for bats broken intentionally.
The first official baseball uniform, adopted in 1849
by the Knickerbocker Base Ball Club of New York City,
was a simple outfit consisting of a white flannel shirt,
blue wool pants and a straw hat. Later hats were made
of merino wool or wool flannel.
In 1903, Spalding introduced the “Philadelphia
Style” cap, which featured an innovative first:
the stitched visor. The subtle addition resulted in a
longer-lasting cap that better retained its shape. By
the end of the decade, nearly every baseball cap featured
the stitched bill.
The Cincinnati Red Stockings introduced knickers to
the baseball uniform in 1868 Club president Aaron Champion
later recalled, “The showing of the manly leg in
varied-colored hose … [was] unheard of, and when
[team captain] Harry Wright occasionally appeared with
the scarlet stockings, young ladies’ faces blushed
as red, and many high-toned members of the club denounced
the innovation as immoral and indecent.”
In baseball’s early days, the dyes used in stockings
were not colorfast, so a spike wound could easily get
an unhealthy dose of colored dye. Wearing a white stocking
underneath the colored hose would help eliminate the
problem, but the double thickness of socks meant that
a player’s shoe no longer fit properly. The solution,
introduced during the first decade of the 20th century,
was the colored stirrup stocking. The innovative sock
allowed for a protective layer of material around the
leg but a single thickness of material in the shoe.
- Early baseball shoes were made from cotton canvas. Later
shoes were made from calfskin for its greater durability.
Some of the early shoes were actually made from kangaroo
The ancient Aztecs played a form of basketball with
a hoop placed on the side of a wall. They used a crude
Basketball as we know it was invented in 1891 by the
Canadian clergyman, educator, and physician James Naismith.
Naismith introduced the game when we was an instructor
at the Young Men's Christian Association Training School
(now Springfield College) in Springfield, Massachusetts.
in the first basketball games were two wooden peach baskets
affixed to the walls. The first balls were soccer balls,
and most early games were played on dance floors.
Nearly all basketballs have an inflatable inner rubber
bladder, generally wrapped in layers of fiber and then
covered with a tacky surface made either from leather (traditional),
rubber, or a synthetic composite.
The outer covering for a basketball is traditionally
made from leather. In 2006, the National Basketball Association
switched back to leather balls after trying synthetic balls
for less than a year.
of a basketball is between 75 and 78cm (29.5 and 30.25
in) and its weight between 600 and 650gm (20 and 22oz).
It should be inflated to a pressure so that when it is
dropped from a height of 1.8m (6ft) (measured from the
floor to the bottom of the ball) on to the playing surface,
it will rebound to a height of between 1.2 and 1.4m (4ft
and 4ft 7in), (measured to the top of the ball).
In professional or organized basketball, especially
when played indoors, the floor is usually made out of
a highly polished hardwood, often maple.
Northern hard maple is the preferred wood for basketball
floors. Trees grown north of the 38th parallel have shorter
growing seasons and produce maple wood with closer, more
The floor of the Eddie Sutton Court in OSU's Gallagher-Iba
Arena is made of white maple. It is the oldest basketball
court in use and was retained when the arena was remodeled
OSU's Gallagher-Iba arena was originally built in 1938
as the "4-H Clubs and
Student Activities Building." After a 4-H member was
injured when the big tent used for a statewide gathering
collapsed, 4-H members lobbied for money to build a facility
that would be host for their convention every year. Henry
Bennett, then president of Oklahoma A&M,
had also been lobbying for money for a new athletic facility,
but with no success.
American football is a version of Rugby, possibly originating
in 1820 at Princeton University with an informal game
called “ballown.” Rules were developed for
intercollegiate play after the Civil War. Within a decade,
concern over the increasing brutality of the game led
to its ban by some colleges. Nearly 180 players had suffered
serious injuries, and eighteen deaths had been reported
from the brutal mass plays that had become common in
practice. In 1905, President Theodore Roosevelt called
upon Harvard, Princeton, and Yale to help save the sport
from demise by developing rules to make the game safer.
The rectangular football playing field is 120 yards
long and 53-1/3 yards wide (300 feet by 160 feet). The
end lines and sidelines are 4 inches wide and rimmed
by a solid white border a minimum of 6 feet wide. The
goal lines are 10 yards inside at each end of the field.
An Americal football is a prolate spheroid. This means
that its axis of
symmetry is longer than its other axes. An M&M candy, on the other
an oblate spheroid. Its axis of symmetry is shorter than its other axes.
Footballs are made of four pieces of leather stitched
together. A football has a rubber lining, which is inflated
to an air pressure of 12 1/2 to 13 1/2 pounds per square
inch (0.88 to 0.95 kilogram per square centimeter). The
ball weighs 14 to 15 ounces (397 to 425 grams). Leather
laces along one seam provide a grip for holding and passing
American footballs derive from English Rugby balls.
These were originally made from pig’s bladders
which were blown up by mouth, with the help of a clay
pipe stem inserted into the bladder. The bladder had
to be inflated while it was in a green smelly state.
It was then covered with oil or surrounded by four panels
of cowhide.The pig's bladders were later replaced by
bladders made from India rubber. Earlier footballs were
more spherical in shape. The spheroid shape was adopted
because it made the ball easier to grasp.
- Until the 1950s, football helmets were made from leather.
The earliest golf balls, dating back to Roman times,
were made of smoothly carved boxwood.
Wood balls were in fashion until the 1600s when they
were replaced by golf balls called "featheries".
Featheries were made of boiled goose feathers stuffed
tightly within a stitched cowhide casing. The ball became
very hard as the feathers dried.
Gutta-percha balls began replacing featheries around
1848. These balls were made from dried gum of the Malaysian
In 1898, a three-piece rubber-core ball was invented.
It consisted of lengths of rubber yarn stretched around
a rubber core.
The three-piece, balata-covered ball was the newest
and most costly invention. It consists of a liquid center,
a polyurethane interlayer, and a synthetic balata cover.
Golf balls have dimples because when they are hit, they
spin as fast as eight thousand revolutions per minute.
As the ball spins, the dimpled surface traps a layer
of air that rotates with the ball, like a small whirlwind
around the ball's surface. Without dimples, the ball
would travel only about three-fourths as far.
The world's largest spectator sport is football, but
not the football we know best in Oklahoma. In most of the
world what we know as soccer is called football. Soccer
is played on all five continents.
Soccer fields are the toughest of all turf areas to manage.
Season-long traffic in all types of weather can destroy a
field, and the playing schedule rarely allows for the aggressive
turf management practices that are absolutely essential to
keep grass alive. Soccer fields must be constructed and managed
properly to provide adequate turf, while minimizing the chance
of injury to players.
A soccer field is between 90 m (100 yds) and 120 m (130
yds) long and between 45 m (50 yds) and 90 m (100 yds) wide.
In international matches the field is between 100 m (110
yds) and 110 m (120 yds) long and between 64 m (70 yds) and
75 m (80 yds) wide
An official soccer match ball is spherical and made of
leather or other suitable material. It is of a circumference
of not more than 70 cm (28 ins) and not less than 68 cm (27
ins). It is no more than 450 g (16 oz) in weight and not
less than 410 g (14 oz) at the start of the match.
The traditional soccer ball's outer covering consists
of 12 pentagons and 20 hexagons of leather sewn together.
Maradona - one of the world's great soccer players - learned
his skill using a knotted bundle of cloth rags
For the 2004 Summer
Olympics in Athens, approximately 12 million meals were
served from a 42,000 square foot kitchen to 22,000 athletes,
team officials, Olympic and Paralympic Family, workforce,
technical officials, accredited media, sponsors and spectators.
50,000 meals were served on a daily basis (6,000 meals per
hour) from 1,500 international recipes, using 100 tons of
food daily and creating 55 tons of waste. The following supplies
were used: 15,000 lt of milk; 2,500 dozen eggs; 300 tons
of fruits and vegetables; 120 tons of meats; 85 tons of seafood;
25,000 loafs of bread; 750 lt tomato sauce; 2 million litres
of potable water.
- The red clay used for
the home plate area, pitcher's mound, base paths and warning
track is available only in the U.S. and had to be shipped
to Greece for the 2004 Summer Olympic games. The clay has
a special red color that could not be manufactured in Athens.In
the earliest Olympics, sporting competition went alongside
trade fairs and business deals. This was acknowledged in
19th century Greece when the first modern attempts were
made to revive the Olympics. The “Zappian Olympics”,
as they became known after wealthy organiser Evangelos
Zappas, were the bridge between the ancient and modern
Olympics, and took place in Greece between 1859 and 1875.
It was the first real international sporting competition,
but officially it was about far more than sport. Greek
politicians of the time felt that nations were no longer
competing primarily in sport, but in agriculture and manufacturing.
It was decided, then, that these new Olympics ought to
be as much about competing in industry as in sport. The
sports events were highly popular, but in terms of funding
and regularity were of a lower priority than the commercial
side, which concentrated on the demonstration of agricultural
and industrial inventions.
Allie P. Reynolds Stadium - Home of the OSU Cowboy Baseball
Team - is the only NCAA team in the country planted with
Rivera bermudagrass, a grass developed at Oklahoma State
University. Some NCAA football teams use it, but OSU is the
only school to use it on their baseball field. Rivera works
well on sports fields because it is agressive, tough and
- Bricktown Ballpark and the University of Oklahoma's Memorial
Stadium have natural grass playing fields. OSU's Cowboy Football
Team practices on natural grass but plays on artificial turf.
in the Playing Fields
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