While moving house, I found my old “footy” box. My old football, which I used to kick around in the backyard and train with, was buried among the gear. The incident got me thinking about what football is like nowadays: what are the prices, brands, and even AFL football sizes?
Researching the different footballs used in AFL, I found these details:
Who Invented the AFL Balls?
Australian rules football was initially developed in 1880 when Thomas William Sherrin was tasked with repairing a misshaped rugby ball. He created the Sherrin with recessed ends rather than sharp or round ones to increase the ball’s bounce.
Football, also known as “footy,” was quickly gaining popularity, and Sherrin footballs quickly established themselves as the standard for Australian rules football balls. The national football league of Australia eventually adopted the new ball’s shape and size as the standard because of how quickly it gained acceptance.
Football Sizes and Dimensions
A standard set of sizes is followed by each of the brands when manufacturing their balls.
|Football Size||Typical Dimensions||The official site of an AFLW ball|
|Size 3||Long: 65cmShort: 49cm||Children’s sizes (usually ages six to ten)|
|Size 4||Long: 69cmShort: 53cm||The official size of an AFLW ball|
|Size 4.5||Long: 70cmShort: 52cm||Previously used by the AFLW, now used by local leagues.|
|Size 5||Long: 72.5cmShort: 55cm||The official size of AFL balls|
There are two dimensions to the ball: long and short. Long is the circumference of the ball’s long dimension, while short is its short dimension.
For kids who aren’t big enough for a size 3, sizes 2 and 1 are usually appropriate.
Generally, kids between the ages of six and ten are recommended to start with size 3. Additionally, it’s usually made of softer synthetic rubber.
The standard AFLW size is 4. Teenage players, who outgrow the lesser ones below, also seem to like it. When used professionally, it is constructed of leather, but it may be made of softer rubber synthetic material when used for children’s activities.
A new size aimed at the women’s competition is size 4.5. AFLW no longer uses it, although several local leagues still do.
The official size for the AFL competition is Size 5, often known as the Kangaroo Brand. Men beyond the age of 15 may compete in it as well. Despite the name, I can guarantee you that it is made of cow skin rather than Australia’s preferred marsupial.
Two colors are used in official football matches:
- Red is used during matches throughout the day.
- Matches used for twilight and nighttime are yellow.
In 1971, Sherrin introduced their first football made of yellow leather to increase visibility during games played at night. Football then experienced a dramatic change as a consequence of technical breakthroughs, ushering in the first fluorescent ball. The Sherrin fluorescent balls were first used in club night training sessions in 2009.
The Sherrin brand of football, which was developed to satisfy the requirements of the Australian Football League, serves as the league’s official brand. Cowhide lining and machine stitching are used in Melbourne to create AFL footballs.
The market, however, is being overrun with synthetic rubber balls produced in China and India as the demand for AFL balls soars.
How Long Do Footballs Last
Here is how long I believe a decent football (from one of the manufacturers mentioned above) should endure based on my experience:
Matches:- We would use a different football for each game. The AFL, AFLW, VFL, and other professional tournaments must all be comparable, in my opinion. These balls, in my recall, were afterward used as training balls (so at least they weren’t being wasted after every match).
Training:- The footballs we used for practice would endure for years. I recall that the balls would be worn and scratched even at the start of the training season. It was always crucial for the club to receive excellent value from its purchase since we utilized balls for training often. We got two seasons out of each ball with consistent training.
Fun:- I’ve kept mine for over a decade since playing with and using it in the backyard is enjoyable. I like to kick the ball with my friends, although we don’t use it up that much. My favorite has lasted over a decade, and I fully anticipate it will continue serving me for many more.
As the air bladder inside fails to keep the air in, the football often meets its end as it flattens out. The bladder inside of their official-sized balls may be replaced, according to Sherrin, as a service.
The price of an AFL football ranges from $40 to $160. The higher-end balls, often used in professional tournaments, are crafted from various kinds of leather and come at a higher price.
|Ross Faulkner (imported)||$40|
|Ross Fulkner (Australian Made)||$70 – $80|
|Sherrin Kangaroo Brand||$160|
Retailers and manufacturers alike have contributed to the pricing lists below. Before you get the ball, the final price might change due to markups, shipping costs, and accessories. For more reading, please refer to my References listed after this manual.
In my youth, I enjoyed using the Lyrebird for recreation. Because it is constructed of less expensive imported leather, it was much less costly than the other Sherrin’s. These Lyrebird balls are a favorite among neighborhood groups wishing to purchase plenty of balls for training.
They are also a little smaller and have pointier ends, making kicking and marking simpler.
Different football states favor different manufacturers. There are several varieties of football, including:
The “Kangaroo Brand,” Sherrin, is the official sponsor of the VFL and AFL.
Local tournaments in Victoria, where I now reside, also feature Ross Faulkner and Burley Sekem.
Additionally, Burley Sekem provides all the apparel and footballs for the WANFL and the SANFL, including women’s competitions.
In 1880, Sherrin began producing footballs with Australian regulations in mind. Sherrin was still the preferred ball when the initial clubs split off to establish the VFL (now the AFL) since it had been mass manufactured in their Collingwood factory.
Of course, there are additional footballs sold under unknown names. However, I believe that they lack the proper weight or feel of a high-quality brand. I believe you should stick to these brands if you want to purchase a football that will endure for years or if you want the weight and feel of an official ball.
The official AFL Football Size is 5, Whereas it is 4 for AFLW. Red and yellow are the official colors (though others are available). A football may be used for a single game or years of practice (almost ten years!). Football costs anywhere from $30 to $160 and three different brands are used in competitions (Sherrin being the official).
- What is The Weight of an AFL Football?
Depending on the years of age and gender of the participants in the activity, a football will have a different weight. High school footballs are often lighter than those used by adults.
Aussie rules football uses a rugby-like prolate spheroid ball. The ball used in Australian rules football is between 16 and 17 ounces in weight (450-480g).
- Is the AFL ball bigger than the NFL ball?
Interestingly, the AFL and American Football (NFL) balls differ despite similarities. The NFL ball is smaller and has more pointed ends than the AFL ball. This is because the AFL ball is made to be kicked precisely over long distances, but the NFL ball is made to be thrown accurately.
Read Also: AFL Rules and Format