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Non-Spherical Sports Ball Comparison

Sports balls come in many different sizes and shapes, though being balls they are mostly spherical (round). We have compared the size of the round balls from most of the major sports, from the smallest from squash to the largest from basketball. What was obviously missing from that list where the balls from the football codes such as rugby, American football and Australian Rules. We have compared these below, and added a couple of non-ball sports items too.

Olive Wood with the oval afl ball sports balls come in many different sizes

What Shape is a Football?

The oval football is actually a prolate spheroid, and it is shaped this way because historically the first balls were made from an inflated pig's bladder which tended to be that shape, though early on the size and shape varied. The ball shape is fairly standard for each sport, though the prolate spheroid used in the rugby codes and Australian football has rounded ends, while the ball used in American football and Canadian football has more pointed ends.

Ball Size, Shape and Weight Comparison

Sport Shape Size Weight Notes
American Football prolate spheroid Length About 28cm (11 in), circumference at its widest point about 53-56cm (21-22 in). 410–425 g (14 to 15 oz) An official NFL football is slightly larger than high school or other professional leagues.
Australian Football prolate spheroid Length 27-28cm (10.5-11 in), 72–73 cm (28–29 in) in circumference end-to-end, and 54.5–55.5 cm (21.5–21.9 in) transverse circumference. 450-500 g (15.9 to 17.6 oz) size 5
Rugby Union prolate spheroid 28–30 cm (11–12 in) long and 58–62 cm (23–24 in) in circumference at its widest point. 410–460 g (14–16 oz) regulation football
Rugby League prolate spheroid ~27 cm (11 in) long and 60 cm (24 in) in circumference at its widest point. 383-440 g (13.5-15.5 oz) "international size" or "size 5"
Ice Hockey disc 1 inch (25 mm) thick and 3 inches (76 mm) in diameter 156-170 g (5.5-6 oz)  
Ultimate Frisbee disc 272cm (10.75 in) diameter 175g (6.2 oz)  
Badminton open conical shape   4.75-5.50 g (0.168-0.194 oz)  


The ball size information is from a wide range of sources online. Although they are believed to be correct, you should check with official sources if it is important. If you have a correction or a sport ball size to add, please let us know below.

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