No matter their age right now, there will come a day when your little football fan will want to try tossing the pigskin around. However, the average football is much too large for growing hands! The Best Youth-Size Footballs in 2021 offers the perfect solution, giving your child a football that’s just the right size for them to play with and learn to have fun with while playing the game.
The most internationally-used stationary bikes have a very unique feature that I really enjoy: they have a handle that shifts right above the flywheel. It has a normal tension and a very, very smooth flywheel with a carbon-based chain and no drag on it at all. It's really nice mechanically, and when you shift it once, it adds 75% of the primary resistance in one shift. And then if you shift it again, it adds 200%. So to me, it's a hill shifter, not a sprint shifter. When I’m teaching or training on these bikes, I create a baseline between six and 7.5 of their exercise RP on a scale of 1 to 10. Or I tie it to their heart rate max for exercise, 60 to 75 or 80%. And then I shift that on and ask them to try and keep the same pace during interval work. It is a wonderful feature, and it's the only bike of its kind that does that. If you're looking for novelty, there's something called a RealRyder, and you can actually tilt it side to side like a video game, and it shifts with you when you pedal. It’s cool, but it’s not the most functional way to add resistance, unless you're training to ride in the sloped hills of the Alps. I'm partial to either Stages or the Schwinn Blue Carbon. I've been teaching on those two bikes for a number of years. I've watched the evolution of the initial Schwinn Bikes, and Schwinn has pretty much become the king of the stationary bike.
Having the right ball from the start is the best way to learn and understand the game quickly. There are lots of brands offering quality youth-sized footballs on the market and they all differ in quality and price. The different options can make it overwhelming to decide which youth size ball is the right one for you.
If you’re not sure which football works for the needs of your program, event or activity, we have created this guide to help you choose the best youth size football for you, your youth team, or your child.
What material do I choose for my youth size football?
What your youth size football is made of significantly affects its performance and durability. The most common material options you’ll find will be either foam, rubber (synthetic leather), or genuine leather.
Each of these materials has its own specific characteristics that fulfil different needs. Let’s take a look at each of them;
These types of footballs are low-cost and very lightweight. The ball’s soft material makes them very good for young children who have just begun to learn to throw and catch.
Foam footballs are also great for more confined spaces, such as in a small yard close to windows or between vehicles at a tailgate. Foam balls of higher quality can also be used for recreational games.
These kinds of footballs are not as durable as the rubber and leather counterparts, but they remain a favorite among fans because of their affordability and ease of replacement.
Rubber or Synthetic Leather
These are a great choice if you are looking for a durable, effective football without breaking the bank. They are much more durable than foam and are more affordable than genuine leather.
The ball’s texture is formulated for enhanced grip, making these footballs an ideal choice for practice equipment. They are also more moisture-resistant than genuine leather and stand a better chance if left out in harsh conditions.
Footballs made from this material are considered to be of the highest quality. Due to the tanning process used in treating the leather, genuine leather footballs have an inherent tackiness to them that makes them very easy to grip when dry. They are also the most durable option available, but all these extra advantages come at a higher price point.
Additionally, you should also take into consideration the lining and bladder. These features are also very important and tend to help the football retain its shape and structure better over time.
To enjoy the benefits of a rubber or synthetic leather or genuine leather football (foam footballs do not have these options available), look for models featuring a multi-layered lining and butyl bladder.
What are the available youth football sizes on the market?
Youth football sizes for kids ages 6 to 14 are broken into three categories: peewee, junior, and youth. Let’s examine them;
Pee wee footballs are designed for the hands of children ages 6 to 9. These small footballs enable children to grip the ball correctly and enjoy the learning process to throw it accurately.
Children between ages 9 to 12 are ready for Junior class footballs. Kids this age still have smaller hands than adults, but they also have more experience and understanding of the game. They can handle this ball without issue.
Youth size footballs are for players between ages 12 to 14. These balls are closer in size to the official college balls and meet the required needs of experienced players. Players grow quickly at this age; this size football is designed to fit those developing hands.
Professional vs Recreational use
The reason why you need the football in the first instance should be a crucial decider on the type of youth size football you get in the end.
Recreational usage refers to a situation where the young one just needs a ball to occasionally throw in the yard or play a random game with friends. Professional usage applies to kids that play on school teams or in junior leagues. Each of these groups requires different ball characteristics. Let’s check them out:
Typically, footballs made for recreational use are easy to throw and catch. They stand up to normal wear and feel comfortable in the player's hand.
They are usually less costly than professional-grade balls because they are made from composite leather and not genuine leather hides. The texture of these kinds of footballs makes them easier to grip, and the material resists moisture better than natural leather.
Competitive players get to choose from composite or leather footballs and be okay with either choice. Professional footballs are of excellent quality and are exceptionally suited for daily play.
As we mentioned earlier, Leather footballs are pricier than composite balls and are an investment in great gameplay
One of the most efficient ways coaches and parents can help the development of a young player or team is to ensure that they are using the correct youth football sizes for the kids they are coaching.
Football like every other sport starts with the fundamentals. The fundamental way of teaching the game is to make sure you are using the right football for the age group you're teaching.
Best Youth-Size Footballs FAQs
What football size is best for youth football?
Youth size footballs (size 8) are best for players ages 12 to 14. If you're looking for younger players, consider the K2 and Pee Wee footballs for ages 6 to 9 and junior footballs for ages 9 to 12.
How are footballs made?
Standard sewn footballs are constructed similarly to sewn soccer balls. The balls have an external cover layer of leather or synthetic leather, a middle consisting of one or more layers of lining material, and an internal rubber bladder. Footballs have 4 outer panels with corresponding panels of the lining that are sewn together (except for a slot into which the bladder is inserted. The slot is then sealed with the lacings of the ball.
How does a football’s shape affect performance?
The tapering ends of the football were developed specifically to improve the distance and accuracy of the forward pass. The shape of the football adds a degree of unpredictability to the game.
A three-sport athlete in high school, Casey has always been in love with football, baseball, and basketball. Since college, he has returned to his high school to help coach all three sports when he can. Casey is an avid writer and excited to bring his perspective on the various products required to get one at the top of their game. When Casey isn't writing or coaching, he's hosting the neighborhood softball or basketball tournament to help keep others' love for the game from fading.