Penny floater

A penny floater

A penny floater (sometimes known as a "Penny Swerver", "Karl's-A-Floater", "Air Floater" or a "Boff Catcher") is a kind of cheap football commonly used by children in the western world. Its name derives from the fact that when they were first developed in the 1960s they cost a penny. The floater part comes from the fact that as they are made of a thin layer of hardened plastic filled with air: their light weight makes them susceptible to floating or swerving with the wind.

Penny floaters are commonly used by young children; however amongst older children they are a source of ridicule, being branded cheap "toy" footballs unsuitable for usage. Nonetheless, their cheapness and the fact that they do not damage other objects in urban environments as easily as regular footballs does make them common.

Before plastic footballs were introduced, they used to be made of an inflatable rubber bladder inside an outer leather casing made of sections stitched together to form a sphere with a lace-up hole for inflation purposes These leather laces could cause nasty injuries when "heading" the ball. They were commonly called case balls and were a lot heavier and harder than present day balls. Their sizes were measured by numbers, the bigger the number the bigger the ball, a size 5 being a common one.

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