On the Ball

Posted by James Briggs on May 04, 2002

In Reply to: On the Ball posted by Buc on May 04, 2002

: Why do people say "on the ball" when they mean very capable? For example "Joe did that well. He is really on the ball." What is the "ball"?

I've always understood that the 'ball' is a soccer ball. If someone's 'on it', then they are in in control of it, in command, 'on duty' over it, just like a soldier can be 'on patrol' or 'on parade'. What do others think?