When selecting the best football for flag football this 2018 there a variety of different factors that must be considered. While good balls are available across a range of different prices, to find the best football for flag football it’s important to consider the material, markings, and shape as well as to consider any flag football policies or rules governed by the league you’re playing in. Check out our review of 5 top-rated footballs, as well as two that you’re better off avoiding.
Reviews of the 5 Best Footballs for Flag Football, Plus the 2 Worst to Avoid
- Wilson GST Official Game Ball Review: this is without a doubt the best football for flag football this 2018 season. Made of durable leather with high raised laces, this football is the official football of many college teams throughout the country. The seam design of the ball allows for a natural feel that most quarterbacks love. Wilson is the top provider to high schools across the country. As a result, most players are used to the feel of the Wilson ball and are comfortable throwing it. The major difference that separates the Wilson GST Game Ball from other balls comes down to very minor details. The first difference is the stripe on the front and back half of the ball. The difference between the college and pro ball is this stripe. While this does not seem like a big deal, as a receiver who is looking to make a catch, the white stripe helps to provide a context on the depth of the ball. The other major separator is that the Game Ball has these stripes stitched on. This is different from the practice balls, which only have the stripes painted on. In order for a ball to be an official game ball it has to have the stripe stitched on instead of painted on.
- Wilson TDS NFL Official Size 9 Rubber Cover Review: Wilson TDS NFL Official Size 9 Rubber Cover is a great rubber football. While leather is without a doubt the undisputed king of football-based material, there are times when a rubber ball comes in handy. During practices that happen to be in the rain, it is good to use a rubber ball so that you do not ruin a leather ball. Rubber footballs also tend to be easier to handle in the rain. This makes them the ideal ball for a wet practice or game. In addition, these rubber balls come at a cheaper price than the traditional leather ball. As a result, many teams use rubber footballs as practice balls to help work on their skills and ensure they have enough balls to do the drills without breaking the bank.
- Wilson NCAA Composite Football Review: The Wilson NCAA Composite Football is a quality football that makes for a great flag football. The ball is produced under the same conditions and manufacturing process as the Game Balls. This production leads to a high quality football that is easy to catch and throw. The major difference is that the Wilson NCAA Composite Football is made of a composite material instead of leather like the Wilson GST Official Game Ball and Wilson GST Practice Football. While leather is a much better material for footballs, it does not handle water well. Many leather footballs can be ruined when they are used in a wet game. In addition, during the game the balls get very slick and hard to hold. This is why many programs across the country use composite footballs when there is a threat of rain. While the composite balls are not as nice to throw and catch, they handle the rain much better and will not be ruined when they get wet in a flag football. That is if the game is not canceled!
- Wilson GST Practice Football Review: The Wilson GST Practice Football is a great football for flag football. This ball is made with the same high level of production as the Wilson Game Ball. This means that it comes with durable leather and laces that feel natural to a Quarterback. In addition, the seam construction makes the ball easy to catch and throw. The major difference between the practice ball and the game ball is the stripe that is painted on both ends. On the game ball, this stripe is stitched on so that the ball can be used as an official game ball. The practice ball has the stripe painted onto it. This minor difference does not affect the flight or overall feel of the ball, which makes the Wilson GST Practice Football an ideal football for flag football.
- Adidas Performance Rifle Football Review: The Adidas Performance Rifle Football is the best Adidas football for flag football. This comes in standard the college size and contains the white markings that make it easier to catch. The Adidas footballs are made from different leather than the Wilson footballs. While the difference is mainly preference based, the Adidas footballs do tend to handle water better than the Wilson footballs. This makes them a great football for flag football in wet conditions. The shape of the ball is slightly different. The Adidas ball has a more blunt point. The shape can have a slight effect on catch but it has a bigger impact when the Quarterback goes to throw the ball. Because of the larger surface area, it slows down in the air slightly. This has not been a major issue but is something to consider when buying the Adidas Performance Rifle Football
The 2 Worst to Avoid:
- Champion Sports Official Size Composite Football Review: The Champion Sports Official Size Composite Football does not make it onto the list of the top footballs for flag football in 2018. This ball meets the size requirements of a regulation ball but it lacks in several areas that will affect the team’s ability to catch and throw the ball. The composite material the ball is made up of is not a realistic match to leather. While the material does handle water better than leather, it comes away with a rubbery feel that influences the Quarterbacks ability to throw the ball. In addition, the ball has a cushioned feel. While this might not seem like a big deal, when throwing the ball this cushioned feel forces the Quarterback’s fingers to stay on the ball for an extra quarter of a second. This extra time can impact the speeds, velocity, and trajectory and lead to the ball missing the intended target. The last concern is with the durability of the ball. This ball is not designed to be used in high frequency over several weeks. As a result, the texture will fade away and it will be difficult to catch the ball.
- Wilson F1455 NFL All Pro Game Football Review: The Wilson F1455 NFL All Pro Game Football is a cheap ball that is not meant to be used in competitive games. While it fits the bill as an official ball in size, weight and markings, it is made out of a composite material that is inferior to leather. This composite material gives off a sticky feeling that make the ball hard to throw. When throwing a traditional leather ball the leather allows the ball to come off the Quarterbacks hands naturally. With composite balls, the sticky texture changes the feel on the Quarterback’s hand, which can disrupt the throwing motion. In addition, this material tends to make the ball less durable than the standard leather ball. While these are great, cheap balls for playing in the backyard with, they do not make a good football for flag football.
2018 Buyers Guide to the Best Football for Flag Football:
There are a variety of different quality of footballs for flag football that can be used effectively in both a game and a practice setting. While there are some variables that can change based on weather condition and playing level, the majority of the difference between footballs for flag football comes down to preferences of the team.
Main Points to Consider:
- Material: The material is the number one difference between the different footballs for flag football. There are varieties of different materials that footballs come in. From leather to rubber to composites, each material comes with both positives and negatives. The number one material is leather. This is the material for official football because of its catchability and durability. Leather is the universal choice and many players prefer leather balls, but they tend to struggle in wet weather. Since rainouts are more common in flag football than in tacke, this may not be as much of a concern. Rubber footballs have become popular as a cheap alternative that provides the ability to play in the rain without ruining leather footballs. These balls lack the texture and grip of leather, but their low cost and ability to push water away make them a popular choice. The last option is composites. Composites come in a variety of different levels. Some are very leather like and provide a good feel and touch along with the ability to deal with water, while others are made of much cheaper material that has a spongy feel and loses it’s texture quickly.
- Markings: The markings on balls are a significant difference that even high-level players do not fully understand and acknowledge. The white stripe that is on the laces side of the football is a crucial element when selecting a football. By having the white stripes on both ends of the football, the receiver is able to see the ball better. As the ball rotates, these stripes provide a contrast from the top and the bottom of the ball. This contrast allows the receiver to locate the ball and judge its depth much better. NFL balls do not have these stripes, which makes them more difficult to locate and judge the depth on. This can be especially true on sunny days where the brightness can make it difficult to find and judge the depth of the ball. The major difference between practice and game balls has to do with how these stripes are put on the ball. For official game balls, these stripes must be sewn onto the ball. This adds a level of durability that will last for multiple years and seasons. Practice balls tend to have these stripes painted on. While this gives them a little less durability, they will likely survive two seasons before you start to notice wear on the stripes.
- Shape: The shape of footballs varies quite a bit from company to company. This is largely a result of the stitching and seems of the ball and how they are assembled. The Adidas Riffle balls tend to be more blunt and the seams are more rounded off. The Wilson balls are built differently. It has a more pointed shape at either end. In addition, the seams are more vertical. This causes them to have a dramatic drop-off but it takes up less total space than the Riffle ball. This difference in seams is noticeable while you are holding the ball but if the Quarterback is taking a snap and throwing, he is not likely to notice a change in the two balls. The difference in shape can cause the Quarterbacks to get concerned about the ball and how it flies but in the end, it is the Wide Receiver who will be most affected. The Riffle ball is more rounded so it forces the receiver to get his hands a little wider than the Wilson ball. In the end, both the seam and shape variables come down to preference.
What size should you use for your adult flag football league?
When purchasing a ball for your adult flag football league it is important to purchase a ball that is the correct size. According to most leagues rules and policies around the country require that the ball is either college or professional sized. As a result, if you show up to the game with a high school or smaller ball you will likely not be able to use the ball in the game. Another added concern is that when your team switches to using a pro or college-sized football your skill set will decrease. While it seems like a small difference, when the quarterback is throwing the ball a small increase in size can throw off his mechanics and cause the passes to be off target. Additionally, regardless of the size of the football, a proper grip is an important attribute in playing flag football and this is where the best football gloves come in handy.
Epic Game of Flag Football (Video):
Final Thoughts on Finding the Best Football for Flag Football:
The key to finding the best football for flag football is to ensure that the ball fits your needs. If you have the ability to buy several footballs for practice and games then leather based footballs might be the best football for flag football. If you want a football that will withstand some weather and provide a realistic feel then a high quality composite might be the best football for flag football.