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american football laying on a field with the laces pointing up official high school standard equipment football ball

NFHS Determines Rules for Most High School Football

The National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) has a committee that writes the rules governing most high school football.  Both leather and rubber are approved for high school use and the ball must be marked with one of two NFHS graphic markings.
From the 2007 NFHS Football Rules Book, Section 3 – Game Equipment comes

ARTICLE 1.   The ball shall meet the following specifications:
a. A tan-colored cover consisting of either pebbled-grain, cowhide or approved composition (leather or rubber) case without corrugations other than those formed by the natural seam grooves and the lace on one of the grooves.
b. One set of either eight or 12 evenly spaced laces. The length of the lace shall be confined to within 3¾ inches from each end of the ball.
c. A 1-inch white or yellow stripe centered 3 to 3¼ inches from each end of the ball. The stripes shall be located only on the two panels adjacent to the laces, or continuous solid white or yellow stripes 3/8 inch wide running parallel to and ¼ inch from each side of each seam to 1 inch from the laces.
d. Conforms to the shape and dimensions as shown in a diagram published by the NFHS.
e. Weighs between 14 and 15 ounces.
f. Inflated to a pressure of 12½ to 13½ pounds or 878.8 to 949.1 grams per square centimeter.
g. The ball shall include the NFHS Authenticating Mark. The mark can be displayed in either format:
A current list of NFHS authenticated products can be found on the Web site, nfhs.org.
NOTE: By state high school association adoption, the ball to be used in games involving
only players below the 9th grade may have dimensions as found in the following table:

Table 1-3-1
9th grade and above 8th grade and below
Weight 14 to 15 ounces 12 to 14 ounces
Long circumference 27 3/4 to 28 1/2 inches 26 to 27 inches
Long Axis 10 7/8 to 11 7/16 inches 10 to 11 inches
Short circumference 20 3/4 to 21 1/4 inches 19 to 20 inches
Inflation pressure 12 1/2 to 13 1/2 pounds 12 1/2 to 13 1/2 pounds

Method of Measurement

  1. All measurements shall be made after the ball is inflated to 13 pounds.
  2. The long circumference should be measured 90 degrees from lace around
    the ends of the ball, over the groove but not in the groove.
  3. The long axis should be measured from end to end but not in the nose
  4. The short circumference should be measured around the ball, over the
    valve, over the lace, but not over a cross lace.

ARTICLE 2. Each team shall provide at least one legal game ball to the referee
at the time the game officials assume authority for the contest. Only legal game
balls approved by the referee may be used during the contest.
Each team may use any referee-approved ball of its choice to free kick or start
a new series of downs. If a touchdown occurs following a change of possession
and the scoring team did not put the ball in play, any referee-approved ball may
be used for the try.

NOTE: By state association adoption, a specific ball which meets specifications may be
mandated for postseason or state playoff competition.

ARTICLE 3. The referee shall decide whether the ball meets specifications. If the
field is wet, the referee may order the ball changed between downs.

National Federation of State High School Associations – www.nfhs.org
Photo – thinkofone.wordpress.com/2012/01/14/does-god-care-who-wins-a-football-game/

About Sports Balls

Sports Balls is a group of sports enthusiasts interested in the official specifications of balls used as sports equipment. As hobbyists, we are continually amazed at the level of detail used to accomplish fair play.

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