The Egyptians First Played Ball Games
The first true piece of sports equipment that man invented was the ball.
In ancient Egypt, as everywhere, pitching stones was a favorite children's game. But a badly thrown rock could hurt a child. Looking for something less dangerous to throw, the Egyptians made what were probably the first balls.
At first balls were made of grass or leaves held together by vines. Later they were made of pieces of animal skin sewed together and stuffed with feathers or hay.
Even though the Egyptians were warlike, they found time for peaceful games. Before long they had developed a number of ballgames, each with its own set of rules. Perhaps they played ball more for instruction than for fun. Ball playing was thought of mainly as a way to teach young men the speed and skill they would need for war.