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American Football Size Guide

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

American Football Size ChartAmerican 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.

Where can I buy American football balls?

At Net World Sports we sell a vast range of American football equipment including practice balls, game balls, goal posts and training equipment. Our American football balls are available in 4 sizes and feature enhanced strength rubber bladders for superior shape and air retention.

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