What Does the NFL Footballs Use?

In the world of American football, the National Football League (NFL) NFL Footballs stands as the pinnacle of the sport. Millions of fans eagerly tune in to watch their favorite teams and players battle it out on the gridiron. While the focus is often on the athletes and the thrilling action, there’s one crucial element that’s easy to overlook—the football itself.

The type of football used in NFL games is a subject of curiosity for many. In this article, we’ll delve into the world of NFL, exploring their design, production, and significance in the game. So, grab your favorite jersey, settle into your comfy chair, and let’s kick off the journey to discover what footballs the NFL uses.

Understanding the NFL Football

The Basic Structure

At first glance, an NFL football may seem like a simple leather ball. However, it’s a meticulously crafted piece of equipment designed to meet strict standards. The football consists of three primary components: the outer shell, the bladder, and the laces.

The Outer Shell

The outer shell of an NFL football is made from genuine leather. This high-quality material is carefully chosen for its durability, grip, and overall feel. The leather undergoes a rigorous selection process to ensure that it meets the NFL’s exacting standards.

The Bladder

Inside the leather shell lies the bladder, which is essentially the inflatable part of the football. NFL footballs use a latex bladder, which is known for its consistent bounce and responsiveness. The pressure within the bladder is carefully regulated to maintain uniformity across all footballs used in NFL games.

The Laces

The laces on an NFL football serve both functional and aesthetic purposes. Traditionally, they were used for better grip, but in modern football, their role has evolved more into a symbol of tradition and craftsmanship.

The Design

NFL footballs are not your average leather balls. They feature a distinctive design that sets them apart. Each football is 11 to 11.25 inches long and weighs approximately 14 to 15 ounces. The unique shape and size make it easier for players to grip and control the ball, an essential aspect of the game.

What Footballs Does the NFL Use?

Production of NFL Footballs

The Official Supplier

For decades, Wilson Sporting Goods has been the official supplier of NFL footballs. Wilson, a renowned sports equipment manufacturer, has a long history of producing high-quality footballs that meet the NFL’s stringent requirements. These footballs are handmade by skilled craftsmen, ensuring attention to detail and consistency.

The Manufacturing Process

Creating an NFL football is a multi-step process that combines craftsmanship with cutting-edge technology. It begins with the selection of the finest leather hides and latex bladders. The leather is carefully cut, stitched, and laced by hand, with each ball undergoing rigorous quality control checks.

Quality Assurance

Before reaching the NFL field, every football must pass a series of tests. These tests evaluate factors such as size, weight, and pressure to ensure that each ball meets the league’s standards. This meticulous quality assurance process guarantees that NFL games are played with consistent and reliable footballs.

The Significance of NFL Footballs

The football used in NFL games holds a special place in the hearts of players and fans alike. It’s not just a piece of equipment; it’s a symbol of the sport’s rich history and traditions. The feel of the leather, the grip of the laces, and the scent of a new football evoke a sense of nostalgia and excitement.

NFL footballs have witnessed iconic moments in the sport’s history, from breathtaking touchdowns to game-winning field goals. They’ve been thrown, caught, and kicked by some of the greatest athletes in football history. These footballs carry with them the stories and memories of countless games and seasons.


In the world of American football, the NFL football is more than just a ball—it’s a symbol of the sport’s enduring legacy and the passion of its players and fans. From its carefully crafted design to its role in unforgettable moments, the NFL football is an integral part of the game.

So, the next time you watch an NFL game, take a moment to appreciate the significance of the football itself. It’s not just an object on the field; it’s the heart of the game.


1. Can NFL players choose their own footballs?

No, NFL players must use the official Wilson footballs provided by the league to maintain consistency and fairness.

2. How many footballs are used in an NFL game?

Each NFL game typically uses around a dozen footballs to ensure that there are enough available for different game situations.

3. Are NFL footballs different from college footballs?

Yes, NFL have specific size and weight requirements that differ from those of college footballs.

4. Can fans purchase official NFL footballs?

Yes, fans can purchase official NFL from authorized retailers and online stores.

5. Has the design of NFL footballs changed over the years?

While the basic design of NFL remains consistent, there have been subtle improvements in materials and craftsmanship over the years to enhance performance and durability.


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