Two hours and 15 minutes prior to kickoff, both teams will be required to bring 24 footballs (12 primary and 12 back-up) to the Officials’ Locker Room for inspection. Two Game Officials, designated by the Referee, will conduct the inspection and record the PSI measurement of each football. The League’s Security Representative will observe the inspection process. Primary game balls for each team will be numbered one through 12, and any game ball within the allowable range of 12.5 PSI to 13.5 PSI will be approved, and the PSI level will not be altered. Any game ball that is determined to be over 13.5 PSI or under 12.5 PSI will either be deflated or inflated to 13.0 PSI. The same procedure will be followed with respect to the back-up set of game balls for each team.
Upon approval, each game ball and back-up ball will be stamped with the Referee’s distinctive mark at the corners of each non-insignia panel. The number of the ball will be placed at the same location.
Once the game balls are approved by the Referee, the K-Ball Coordinator (KBC) will take custody of and remain responsible for the security of the game balls and back-up balls for each club. They will remain in the custody of the KBC until 10 minutes prior to kickoff. At that point, the KBC along with a designated Game Official and the League’s Security Representative will bring the footballs to the on-field replay station. Upon arrival, the game balls will be distributed to each club’s Ball Crew in the presence of the Security Rep. The back-up balls will remain in the officials’ locker room and will be secured to the satisfaction of the Referee prior to the KBC leaving for the playing field.
At designated games, selected at random, the game balls used in the first half will be collected by the KBC at halftime, and the League’s Security Representative will escort the KBC with the footballs to the Officials’ Locker room. During halftime, each game ball for both teams will be inspected in the locker room by designated members of the officiating and security crews, and the PSI results will be measured and recorded. Once measured, those game balls will then be secured and removed from play.
For these randomly selected games only, the back-up footballs will be used for each team during the second half. Approximately three minutes prior to kickoff, the KBC along with a designated Game Official will bring the back-up set of game balls to the on-field replay station to be distributed to each club’s Ball Crew.
At the end of any randomly selected game, the KBC will return the footballs to the Officials’ Locker Room where all game balls from each team will be inspected and the results will be recorded.
All game ball information will be recorded on the Referee’s Report, which must be submitted to the League office by noon on the day following the game.
All gauges will be certified prior to each season by Wilson Sporting Goods. Each Referee will be provided with a primary and backup gauge. NFL Football Operations will maintain a backup supply as well. The same gauge will be used for pregame, halftime, and postgame testing.
NFL Football Operations’ mission is to establish a culture of clarity, consistency and credibility in all aspects of the greatest game. Football is an essential piece of America’s fabric, uniting fans, players and communities with a simple yet powerful bond. We honor the game’s history while continuing to innovate and preserve the sport for future generations of fans, players, coaches, teams and officials.