Balloon, balloon-ball or wind-ball was a game similar to the modern game of volleyball in which a leather ball would be batted by the fist or forearm to prevent it from touching the ground. The game was played in ancient Rome where it was known as follis — the Latin word for a leather bag. Such a ball made of leather was quite heavy and so protection might be used such as a leather gauntlet or wooden bracer.
Once rubber became available, modern players in Great Britain played the game with lighter balls of inflated rubber, so that younger children could play too.
- Thomas Dudley Fosbroke (1825), "Gymnastiks", Encyclopædia of antiquities, 2, p. 606
- The boy's handy book of sports, pastimes, games and amusements, 1863, pp. 19–20