The ball used in American football is quite unique. Unlike balls used in other sports such as basketball, soccer, volleyball, and tennis, the football is not spherical in shape. Instead, it has an elongated form that tapers to a point at each end. The unusual shape makes the ball easier to throw and keeps its flight more aerodynamic. Another particular feature of the football are white laces sewn on one side of the ball which allow a player get a better grip on it.
The first American footballs were made from inflated pig’s bladder. Today, American footballs are usually made from pebble-grained leather or cowhide. They come in different sizes, with smaller versions available for children. At the NFL level, the ball measures from 20 3/4 to 21 1/4 inches around its middle, 28 to 28 1/2 inches around its ends, and 11 to 11 1/4 inches from tip to tip. It also weighs between 14-15 ounces and is inflated between 12 1/2 and 13 1/2 pounds per square inch.
Kicked, thrown and passed around, the American football is designed to withstand rough handling so keeping it intact while in transit would be that least of your worries when shipping. However, proper packing is still a must when shipping a vintage or a collector item. Here are tips on how to properly pack and ship a football.
Wrap the football in a couple of layers of bubble wrap. Secure the wrap in place with tape so it will not unravel while in transit.
Fill the bottom of a sturdy cardboard box with a layer of packing materials. The box should be large enough to snugly accommodate the ball and provide a couple inches of extra space on all sides top and bottom. Place the wrapped ball on top of the packing materials.
Fill remaining spaces on the sides and top with more packing materials. Ideal fillers are bubble wrap, crumpled newspaper or packing peanuts. The ball should not move around inside the box. Close and seal the package with packing tape.
Address and label the box and take to a local post office or shipping company.