Best Football For Each Age Group (5 Years Old & Up)

By Alex Mercer

November 26, 2019

Footballs are not one-size-fits-all. Footballs start small and gradually get bigger as players grow and get bigger and stronger. When a football player reaches a professional league, the football will be at its biggest size.

Players should use the football that fits their hand. Especially for younger players, bigger football is harder to hold and push down the field. Football players should hold the ball with one hand and deliver it successfully to another player without issues.

When players progress in their football careers, the football will be uncomfortable to hold at first. Younger players should focus on developing grip strength and get used to gripping the football on the laces.

If a younger player throws the ball with two hands instead of one, this indicates the ball is naturally too big for them to throw with one hand.

This article will show you the best football for each age group, starting with a 5-year-old and ending with high school football.

The Best Football For A 5 Year Old

peewee football

Peewee footballs should be bought for any age between 5 and 9 years old. These footballs will fit the hand of a player this age. They should have no issue holding on to the football with one hand.

Peewee footballs are the smallest type used in the field of play. These footballs are often called “mighty mite” balls or youth-sized footballs.

These footballs are perfect for parents who want to get their kids into football at a young age. It’s small enough to teach them how to throw and catch the football without hurting their arm or shoulder.

The football we recommend is the Wilson Composite football. It’s made for K2 players (peewee).

We recommend this football because the laces are thick, rather than the traditional painted stripes that can be found on most footballs.

Wilson has a patent on their “accurate control lacing,” which provides 174% more grip in all conditions, perfect for someone who’s learning how to throw a football.

The Best Football For A 10 Year Old

Junior football

One step above the peewee football is junior football. Junior football is typically played by 10-12 year olds.

Junior football is slightly bigger in both circumference and length. However, the ball is still durable enough that the 10-year-old can comfortably hold and deliver the football without any issues.

See Our Complete List Of Helpful Football Articles Here

Junior football is standard in Pop Warner and the American Youth Football League. The standard junior football weighs roughly 11 ounces.

Junior footballs are often labeled TDJ. The football we recommend for a 10-year-old is the Wilson TDJ football.

The Wilson TDJ is commonly used in youth football as standard football. The composite ball is excellent for football practice and throwing around the backyard.

Best Football For Middle School Players

youth football

Middle school footballs are slightly smaller than they’ll throw and catch at the high school levels. Middle school football is essential football because of the transition in size.

It will seem massive and impossible to throw if a player goes from junior to high school-sized footballs. Throwing the middle school ball first, which will act as a bridge ball before the player gets into high school, is essential.

Leather footballs will be mandated for league play, so we recommend picking up a Wilson TDY football suitable for ages 12-14.

The Wilson TDY has its patented ACL gripping system and a multi-ply bladder that provides air retention and moisture control.

Best Football For High School Players

wilson gst

High school football is the next biggest football. At first, high school footballs will seem uncomfortable for 14-year-olds holding it for the first time. Its weight is between 14-15 ounces and roughly a 28-inch circumference.

For a high school football to enter the field of play, it must be marked legal for NFHS or NCAA field of play. Texas is The only state currently played by NCAA rules; NFHS governs all other states.

Wilson’s GST is our pick because of its structure and texture, especially during wet weather games. The GST has composite material as the stripes ( the white part of the ball), which gives the quarterback a better grip when the ball gets wet. It also helps the receivers track the ball as it’s in flight.

Wilson claims the same skilled hands that make the NFL balls we see on Sunday are the same hands that go into making the Wilson GST! The quality of these footballs is the best on the market. If you’re going to throw a high school football, the Wilson GST is one of the best footballs out there.


Footballs are all personal preferences. Heavily inflated or deflated to the limited, each quarterback, receiver, and running back prefers the ideal football.

It’s important to work up in sizes gradually; therefore, each season, the player is 100% comfortable with the ball they’re using. Starting at a young age, throwing a football that is too big for the hand can discourage young players from throwing it far.

It will also build incorrect mechanics from consistently throwing a poor ball.

Try out all the balls listed above, whether for in-season or backyard football games. Each football is game-certified by each perspective league.

Let us know what football you like the best and at which level. These are our favorite picks of footballs that tend to help players mature as quarterbacks or for backyard fun. These footballs are also regulated by their leagues, so you can practice at home and use them directly in a game.

About the author

Hey There! My Name is Alex and I run Get Hyped Sports. I created this platform to help people find their love for sports and gaming.

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