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What Size Are Footballs In High School? (A Guide To Every Age)

Are you unsure what size footballs are used at high school? Maybe you aren’t sure what size football is right for your child? Or are you curious about the different sizes of footballs and want to know more?

Whatever the reason is that brought you here, we have the answers for you!

What Size Are Footballs In High School? (A Guide To Every Age)

Finding out what size football is used in high school can be tricky, especially if you thought they were all one size! You head online to find out more but are met with hundreds of articles, all giving you a different answer.

Frustrated and disappointed, you end up empty-handed, unsure if you will ever be able to buy the right size football. 

Well, no more! Today, we are here with the answers you need. Keep reading to find out what size footballs used in high school are. We have a guide for every age so you can find the right size football for you! 

What Size Footballs Do High Schools Use?

High school football is played with a size 9 football. This is the ideal size for anyone over the age of fourteen.

Measuring 10.5 – 11.5 inches in length, the football has a circumference of around 28 inches on the long side, and 21 inches on the short side. 

High school footballs are also under the same regulations as official college footballs.

They are a little heavier than smaller versions, as the weight of a football needs to match the skillset and body weight of an average high school football player. 

A size 9 football is similar to the ball used in professional college games in terms of size. The balls are designed to be so similar to better prepare college students for professional football if that is their goal.

It also means there is less of an adjustment period, as the ball will feel like the ones they are used to playing with. 

There is a little difference though when it comes to footballs used in the NF. These tend to be slightly larger than footballs used at high school and college. The difference is so small, it’s hardly noticeable to players.

This means you can transition into NFL football with ease. 

What Football Do High Schools Use?

Most high schools use size 9 footballs. This size is designed to match the body and skillset of high schoolers, while also being comfortable when the ball is in their hands. 

Size 9 footballs are close to those used professionally too. For high schoolers looking to play football professionally, a size 9 football allows them to gain experience with a similar football.

This helps to reduce the transition period and makes the move into professional football easier. 

When it comes to competitive football, players can choose whether leather or composite balls. Composite balls tend to be the cheaper option with a texture that is easier to grip.

It is also more moisture resistant, making it a fine choice for first footballs. 

After each of fourteen, leather balls should be used. They are more expensive, but more durable thanks to the natural leather material. 

Football Size Chart By Age

Football Size Chart By Age

To help you see the football size you should be using , we have a handy chart you can follow! It has the dimensions of the footballs, along with the size of the football. Let’s check it out now.

AgeFootball NameFootball SizeWeightDimensions
6 and underMini FootballMiniLight foam8.5 inches
6 – 9(up to 5th grade)Pee Wee69.5 ouncesLength- 9.5 inches Long C – 23 inchesShort C – 17.25 inches
9 – 12(5th-7th grade)Junior Football711 ouncesLength – 10.5 inches Long C -25 inchesShort C – 18.5 inches
12 – 14 (7th – 9th grade)Youth Football812.5 ouncesLength – 11 inches Long C – 26.25 inchesShort C – 19.25 inches
14+(9th – 12 grade and college)High School Football914-15 ouncesLength – 10.5 – 11.5 inches Long C – 27.75 inchesShort C – 20.75 inches
(NFL professional football)
Official Pro BallNFL Size 914 – 15 ouncesLength – 11-11.25 inches Long C – 28 inches Short C – 21 inches

Now that we have looked at the different sizes, let’s move onto the sizes and look at them in closer detail! This will help you learn more about the different size footballs. 

Pee Wee Football Size 

Pee Wee footballs come in size 6, and are perfect for small hands! They are ideal for children aged 6 to 9, measuring 24 inches in length on the long side and 17.5 inches on the short side. 

Pee wee footballs are lightweight, weighing 10 ounces. They are a good weight for young players to handle comfortably. 

For younger children again, you will want a mini football which is perfect for tiny hands! 

Junior Football Size

Junior footballs come as a size seven and are ideal for children aged 9 to 12. They measure 25 inches in length on the long side and 18.5 inches on the short side.

The football is smaller than youth size football, making them ideal for younger players’ hands. 

Youth Football Size 

Youth footballs come as a size 8, making them a little smaller than high school ones. They have a length of 26.5 inches on the long side and 19.25 on the short side. They weigh around 125 ounces, an ideal weight for younger players. 

It’s a good way for them to enhance their grip and get comfortable with the ball. They are best used for players aged 12 to 14. 

College Football Size 

College size footballs are similar to high schools, measuring 10.5 to 11.5 inches/ the size 9 balls will have 28 inches on the long side and 21 inches on the shorter side.

Why Are Football Sizes Important?

So why does the size of a football matter? Well, the football must be suitable for the size of players. The ball needs to be comfortable in players hands so they can handle it easily, and practice their skills.

A good and comfortable grip of the ball is essential! 

You don’t want to give young children a ball that is too large or heavy for them. That is not going to help with their confidence or allow them to develop their skills!

You also don’t want to put them off or for them to become frustrated as they can’t throw or handle a heavy ball well. 

If you purchase the right size football for your child, they can develop their skills and feel confident while they play too! 

Does Hand Size Matter When Throwing A Football?

Hand size is vital when throwing a football, especially for quarterbacks. It can be hard for small hands to maintain a strong grip on the ball, especially in wind and rain. Bigger hands will have a better grip and be able to perform better. 

Are Big Hands Good For Football? 

Yes, big hands are good for football! They offer a secure and firm grip regardless of weather conditions. Big hands can also wrap around the ball easily, allowing you to catch the football and keep hold of it! 

Who Has The Smallest Hands In The NFL?

Tayson Hill from the New Orleans Saints has the smallest hands in the NFL, at 8.75 inches. Jared Goff, Ryan Tannehill, and Joe Burrow also have some of the smallest hands, measuring at 9 inches. 

Who Has Biggest Hands In The NFL?

DeForest Buckner, Mo Alie-Cox, and Gosder Cherilus have the biggest hands in the NFL. They have a handspan of 11.75 inches from the thumb tip to pinky fingertip. 

What Is A Good Hand Size In The NFL?

Ideally, you want a handspan of 9.5 inches. This size, measured from the thumb tip to the tip of the pinky finger when the hand is open, is considered a good size for the NFL. 

Is It Harder To Catch A Football With Small Hands?

Is It Harder To Catch A Football With Small Hands?

It can be harder to catch a football with small hands as they can struggle to have a firm gri[ on the ball. Even if the weather is clear and dry, it can be hard to catch a ball and have a firm grip on it with small hands. 

Larger hands, with longer fingers can catch the ball easier and have a better grip.

Final Thoughts

And there you have it, everything you need to know about football sizes. High school footballs are usually a size 9, designed for anyone over the age of 14.

There is little difference between this size football and professional footballs is very small, with a professional football being a little larger. 

High school students can transition easily from high school football to the NFL and other professional leagues thanks to similar ball sizes.

The balls go up in size from peewee to professional, allowing you to find a football that will always fit yours and your child’s hands! 

Frequently Asked Questions 

Check out our brief FAQ section below to get all the answers to your last-minute questions! 

What Size Football Do 16-Year-Olds Use?

16-year-olds use size 9 footballs. Although the size football you use changes with age, a size 9 is perfect for anyone 14 years and older. Size 9 footballs are a little smaller than professional-grade footballs. 

What Size Football Do Professionals Use?

Professional football players use a size 9 football. This is a great choice for anyone aged 14 and over. Professional balls are a little larger than those used at high school and college.

But don’t worry, the size isn’t that much of a difference, so high school and college players can transition to the NFL and professional football leagues with ease. 

Official college footballs also have two 1-inch half stripes on either ends, allowing you to differentiate them easily. 

How Is College Football Different From High School?

There is very little difference between high school and college football. At high school, your hands are usually full-sized, so you can handle the ball easily.

It’s unlikely your hand size will not change by college, so you can get to grips with the ball you would use at college. 

What Size Football Do 8th Graders Use?

8th graders use a size 8 football, designed for children aged 12 to 14. Size 8, or youth football measures 26.25 inches on the long side and 19.25 inches on the short side of the ball. 

What Is The Difference Between NFL And High School Footballs?

NFL footballs measure between 27.75 and 28.5 inches on the long side and 20.75 and 21.125 inches on the short side. This makes them a little bigger than footballs used at high school.

The difference in size isn’t much at all, about 1 to 1 1.4 inches. 

The difference is down to regulations of the ball set by the NFL. The regulations state that the ball has a length circumference of 21 ¼ inches, which is why it is a little bigger than high school footballs. 

High school footballs are size 9 with a length of 11 to 11.5 inches. End to end, the ball has a length of 20.75 inches to 21.125 inches. NFL footballs end to end measure 21 inches to 21.125 inches. The difference is tiny! 

It makes no difference to play, so you can transition from high school football to the NFL with ease.

Sure, you are playing at a professional level and you can expect other players to be playing at a higher level, but you won’t need to worry about getting to grips with a whole new ball! 

Weight wise there isn’t a difference, as both high school and college footballs weigh between 14 and 15 ounces, so it should still feel the same in your hand.

Simon Lewis

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