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

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

Players should use the football that fits the hand. Especially for younger players, bigger football is harder to hold and push down the field. Football players should be able to hold the ball with one hand and deliver it successfully to another player with no issues.

When players start to 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 holding 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.

In this article we’re going to show your 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 footballs are the footballs that 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 of legal football made, that is actually used in the field of play. These football are often referred to as “mighty mites” balls or youth-sized footballs.

These footballs are perfect for parents that want to get their kid 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). A major reason we recommend this football is the laces are thick, rather than 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.

peewee football

Learn more about the Wilson K2 Composite Ball Here

See Our Complete List Of Helpful Football Articles Here

The Best Football For A 10 Year Old

One step above the peewee football is junior football. Junior football is typically used by players who are 10-12 years old.

Junior football is slightly bigger in both circumference and length. However, the ball is still durable enough that the 10-12-year-old can comfortably hold and deliver the football without any issues.

Junior footballs are common in both the 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.

Junior football

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

Learn more about the Wilson TDJ Here

Best Football For Middle School Players

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

If a player goes from junior to high school-sized footballs, it will seem massive and impossible to throw. It’s important to throw the middle school ball first, which will act as a bridge ball before the player actually gets into the high school.

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

The Wilson TDY is made with their patented ACL gripping system, as well as a multi-ply bladder which provides air retention and moisture control.

youth football

Learn more about Wilson’s TDY Here

Best Football For High School Players

High school footballs are the next biggest football. The high school football will at first seem uncomfortable for 14 year-olds who hold it for the first time. Its weight is between 14-15 ounces and has roughly a 28-inch circumference.

In order for a high school football to enter the field of play, it must be marked legal for NFHS or NCAA field of play. The only state that currently plays by NCAA rules is Texas, all other states are governed by NFHS.

Our pick for high school football is the Wilson GST.

wilson gst

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 allows the quarterback to have 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 go into making 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 all have their preference of the ideal football.

It’s important to gradually work up in sizes 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 that they can’t throw far. It will also start to build incorrect mechanics from consistently throwing a poor ball.

Simply try out all the balls that we’ve listed above, whether it be for in-season play or for 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 both mature as quarterbacks or for backyard fun. These footballs are also all regulated by their leagues so you’re able to practice at home and use them directly in a game.