The Football

American football uses an inflated, egg-shaped ball (scientifically known as an ‘Oblate spheroid’) with pointed ends. This symmetrical shape allows  players to throw the ball with a spiral (not wobbling). Early footballs were often made of inflated pig bladders, which led many to refer to a football as “pigskin.”

Professional and collegiate football regulations require teams to use leather footballs. These balls are made from four separate leather panels that are tanned a brown color.

Teams once used white footballs during night games so the players could track the ball more easily. However, the advances in artificial lighting made this unnecessary in modern times.

Manufacturers typically stamp the football so that it has a pebble-grained texture that allows players to have a better grip on the ball. Two of the four leather panels have perforated edges so they can be laced together. One of those laced panels has a reinforced center that holds the inflation valve.


Manufacturers first stitch the two panels without lacing holes inside out. They then turn the ball right side out by pushing the panels out through the holes. A rubber or polyurethane lining is then slipped through the hole and leather strips are used to lace the ball.

Folks looking to purchase a new ball for a sport can find some generous deals at online merchants. You can find new baseballs, footballs, basketballs and even rugby balls for a steal.

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