Have you ever wondered what footballs are used are various levels of the game? Better yet, have you ever actually thrown an NFL football? If you're like me, you quickly gain an appreciation for the hand size and arm strength of NFL quarterbacks when you pick up an NFL football.
Today, we look at the regulations for high school, college, and the NFL, the size of the footballs being used, and the differences between the three levels.
High School Football
High schools in the United States typically use a standard size football, which is the same size as the football used in college and professional football leagues. The official size of a football is specified by the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) and is a size "9" football, which is about 11 inches long and about 22 inches in circumference at its widest point. The football used at the high school level is made of leather or other synthetic materials and is inflated to a pressure of about 12.5-13.5 pounds per square inch (psi).
The football used at the NCAA (National Collegiate Athletic Association) Division 1 level is a standard-size football that meets the NCAA's specifications for weight, size, and shape. The NCAA rules state that the football must be oval in shape, made of leather or a similar material, and have a circumference between 27.75 and 28.5 inches.
The weight of the football must be between 14 and 15 ounces, and it must be inflated to a pressure between 12.5 and 13.5 pounds per square inch (psi). The football must also have white stripes or laces on its surface, which are used to provide grip for the quarterback and other players.
While there are different brands of footballs used at the college level, the official game ball of the NCAA is currently the Wilson Official NCAA Game Football, which is used in all NCAA-sanctioned football games. This football is designed to meet the NCAA's specifications for weight, size, and shape, and is used by teams at all levels of college football, including Division 1.
The official football of the NFL (National Football League) is the Wilson "The Duke" football. It is named after Wellington "Duke" Mara, a former owner of the New York Giants, and has been the official football of the NFL since 1941. The ball is made of leather and is handcrafted in Ada, Ohio. It is required to meet specific specifications regarding size, shape, weight, and materials.
For more football articles, check out the football section of our blog here.
John Willkom is the author of Amazon best-selling basketball books: Walk-On Warrior and No Fear In The Arena. John is an avid reader, sports fan, and father to two incredible little girls.
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