AMERICAN FOOTBALL SIZE GUIDE & CHART
WHAT SIZE AMERICAN FOOTBALL DO I NEED?
Whether you are an adult looking to buy a regulation size NFL football, or a parent searching for information about junior-sized American footballs - you’ve come to the right place.
We’ve created an easy to interpret and understand American football ball size chart; so you can be sure that you’re buying a ball that’s the correct size.
American Football Size Guide
Official guidelines for youth and junior American football, recommend the following ball sizes:
- Official (size 9) - Ages 14 and over
- Youth (size 7) - Ages 12-14
- Junior (size 6) - Ages 10-12
- Pee Wee (size 5) - Age 9 and under
AMERICAN FOOTBALL SIZE CHART
How big is an American football ball?
Official NFL guidelines dictate that balls should be 11 to 11.25 inches (27.94cm - 28.58cm) long and have a weight of 14-15 ounces (396.89-425.24g). A regulation NFL ball should also have a long circumference (circumference along the length of the ball from side to side) of 28 to 28.5 inches and a short circumference (measured vertically around the middle of the ball) of 21 to 21.25 inches.
|Recommended American Football Sizes by Age|
|Age (years)||Size||Size Name||Weight||Diameter||Length|
|9 and Under||5||Pee Wee||285-310g||13-14.2cm||23-24cm|
|9 - 12||6||Junior||320-350g||14.5-15.5cm||25-26cm|
|12 - 14||7||Youth||350-380g||15-16cm||28cm|
|14 and over||9||Official||397-425g||16.5-17.2cm||28-28.5cm|
What shape is an American football?
An American football is a prolate spheroid. Balls are designed using a prolate spheroid shape as it makes them easier to tuck under the armpit and run with.
Why is an American football shaped the way that it is?
Early American football balls were made from inflated pig's bladders, often wrapped in a leather skin casing. These early balls were rounder than the balls used in the NFL today and more like a plum shape than a prolate spheroid. Accounts from the time do not make it completely clear why the ball became narrower at the ends, although many people believe that, as the game of American football is based on a combination of Association Football and rugby, the shape was inspired by the oval rugby ball.
The rugby ball got its oval shape accidentally in 1870 when the manufacturers switched from pig's bladder innertubes to rubber ones which were significantly more pliable. As the rules of American football moved away from the rules of rugby, the balls were designed to be narrower at the ends to allow for longer throws - giving the ball the shape we know today.
What pressure should an American football be?
The NFL guidelines stipulate that balls need a pressure of 12.5-13.5 psi (86.2-93.1 kPa). The best way to measure this is with a ball pump with a pressure gauge.