Our Breakfast Club (which meets to watch soccer games) is in an uproar about the famed Five Pound soccer ball of yore. Some say that a Five Pound weight is nonsense, some say it’s a fact due to the leather uptake in water.
A one pound ball cannot absorb four pints of water to equal Five Pounds in weight. BUT, say the myth believers, the ball was once much heavier than the current one pound limit.
So, when did the current weight limit get established and what was allowed before that?
USSF answer February 5, 2010):
Since 1889 the weight of the ball has always been specified as its measure “at the start of play.” Without waterproofing, leather balls became heavy when wet and sometimes dangerous to head because of protruding lacings. Absorption of moisture is no longer a real problem. The original limits of weight, 12 to 15 ounces (“at the start of play”), were raised in 1937 to 14 to 16 oz and have remained so.