Monday, November 30, 2020

How an NFL Football is Made: History, Material, Design, and Production Process


American football, which is commonly known as football in North America is a full-contact sport played in a rectangle shaped field with goal posts on each side. It is played between 2 teams with 11 players on the ground. Both teams take turns being the offense and defense sides. The offense has to try and carry the ball to the end of the defense side in order to score a touchdown (7 points).

The defense has to try and stop them and get possession of the ball as soon as possible.  At the end whichever team has more points will win. Unlike rugby, football players wear all guards while playing. That’s one reason you get to see double the action and hits players take during an NFL game. Over the years American football has become one of the most popular sports in the USA and Canada.


American sport football was adapted from soccer and rugby. In this sport, you can score in both ways like kicking the ball through a goal post or running into the opponent’s goal area. At the start, the game was strictly a kicking game until an idea was developed of carrying the ball just like in rugby. In the year 1874, McGill University competed against Harvard University in two sports games.

The first game was played in Canadian rugby rules which permitted players to carry the ball and throw it, and the 2nd one in American soccer rules which only allowed players to use their feet in scoring. Harvard University felt that both rules should be applied in one single sport, so they introduced it at Yale University in Connecticut.

After two years both Harvard and Yale University met to decide the rules and guidelines of American football. One thing they came up with in the meeting was to use an oval shape ball so that it can travel better while thrown at a long distance. The first American football was made by Spaulding Sports Worldwide, based in Massachusetts in the year 1892. 


When the football was first invented, a pig’s bladder was used to make it. However, a rubber bladder is being used nowadays to make football. It is covered with leather made out of cowhide. The reason for using this material is because it can easily be tanned and is durable.


The football is shaped in an oval design which at times gets challenging to catch. Due to its rough shape, it can bounce anyway which can’t be predicted. However, the strings sewn on the football produce a better grip for the players, and due to the oval shape, it can be held on to easily while running. The oval shape also helps the ball in flight and can be thrown at long distances during gameplay.

Production Process

  • After tanning the leather into a brown color, which is used in professional football, the cowhide is cut in to bend for further process.
  • Now the bend is cut into panels with the help of a hydraulic clicking machine.
  • In the next step, each panel goes through a skiving machine to alter it into the required thickness and weight.
  • With the help of an industrial sewing machine, a synthetic lining is sewn to each panel which comprises a mixture of different fabrics which hold the panel from stretching or growing out of shape.
  • After that, the holes are punched where the lace will be tied, and the inflating needle will be inserted.
  • All four panels are sewn together with a hot wax sewing machine so that the stitching is durable and does not open up during use. When done, the ball is turned right side out.
  • In the next step, a rubber bladder is inserted into the ball, and the ball gets inflated with the right pressure. The ball gets checked after inflation to see if it meets the weight and size enforced by the NFL rules.
  • If cleared, the ball gets branded with the manufacturer’s details. Logos of teams can also be seen on a football for people who order a customized version. You can also find footballs in different colors for playing on the streets or with friends in a neighborhood.
  • After inspecting the ball one last time, it gets packed and shipped to clubs or distributors.

The NFL league is gaining popularity as days are going by with the increase in players participating and tournaments being organized. Fans love all the tackling, take downs and hits that players take while on the field. Football is very commonly seen being played by teens, so if you are a football fan grab your football and show off your skills by scoring a touchdown.

Kevin Chan
the authorKevin Chan
Kevin Chan is an active blogger who loves to share his thoughts, knowledge and experience with all readers. He is also as natural athlete who is fond of every sport. Kevin is an expert gamer who like to write about all the games he plays.

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