Four panels of pebble-grained leather, eight white lacings, two white stripes. It seems so simple when you break it down, but footballs have been at the center of some of the most dramatic events in sports history. From the backyard to the Super Bowl, footballs are at the core of America's game and the simplest piece of football gear. But how are these simple, yet complex sports balls made? Watch the following video, to see how your favorite footballs are put together in the Wilson Football Factory, in Ada, Ohio:
An officially sized football means that the ball meets NCAA and/or NFL standards for football size and weight. Currently, the NCAA and NFL use the same standards. Their official adult footballs used in games must meet fall within the following ranges:
Official footballs must also be made of four panels of pebble-grained leather, eight equally spaced lacings (typically made of leather as well) and two 1" white stripes, spaced 3 - 3 1/4" from the end of the ball.
The American Youth Football League has approved three Wilson footballs for use across the age groups in High School / youth football:
Youth size for ages 12 - 14: Wilson TDY Leather Game Youth Football
Junior size for ages 9 -12: Wilson TDJ Leather Game Youth Football
Pee Wee size for ages 6 - 9: Wilson K2 Pee Wee Leather Game Football