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Why Do They Use So Many Footballs in an NFL Game?

By Tonya Abari

Having multiple footballs keeps the game on track. During an NFL game, numerous balls are needed during inclement weather. When it is raining, the leather absorbs all of the water and the footballs can get heavy; thus, the player cannot properly pass the ball. Worse than rain, having ice chunks on footballs makes for slippery passes as well.

Inclement Weather

Having multiple footballs keeps the game on track. During an NFL game, numerous balls are needed during inclement weather. When it is raining, the leather absorbs all of the water and the footballs can get heavy; thus, the player cannot properly pass the ball. Worse than rain, having ice chunks on footballs makes for slippery passes as well.

Keeping the Game on Track

Having many footballs greatly affects the time clock. Getting the football from the sideline to the middle of the field helps speed up the game. This also reduces the time team members have to wait for the football to be put into play.

Kickers and Everybody Else

The home team supplies 36 balls for outdoor games and 24 for indoor games. There also are 12 new footballs designated with the letter "K" to be used for the kicking game. The "K" ball was introduced in 1999 to rectify the alleged ball tampering by some NFL kickers. The abundance of balls allows for each position player to get accustomed to the feel of the game ball.

The Disappearing Football

Any footballs kicked or thrown into the stands are not used again, so having a large number of balls is important.

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