The XFL in 2001 was not only unique and distinctive when it comes to gameplay and rules, but the XFL also found a way to stand out from other Pro Football Leagues. Much like other leagues, The XFL chose how they wanted their ball to look on the field. Instead of the traditional tan balls, the XFL wanted to provide a more distinct look.
To give you a brief history of the footballs used. The first balls were made of natural materials, such as an inflated pig bladder. Later put inside a leather cover, which gave rise to the slang term “pigskin.”
The modern balls we see today are designed by teams of engineers to exacting specifications, with rubber or plastic bladders, and often with plastic covers. Various leagues and games use different balls, though they all have one of the following basic shapes:
- a sphere: used in Association Football & Gaelic Football
- a prolate spheroid
- either with rounded ends: used in The Rugby Codes & Australian Football
- or with more pointed ends: used in American football & Canadian football
The precise shape and construction of footballs today is typically specified as part of the rules and regulations of the league.
The XFL would ultimately decide that they were not going to settle on the same old, boring, brown pigskin that other leagues traditionally use. The XFL said that they wanted their balls to have more attitude, just like their players and gameplay.
Back in 2001, the XFL decided that they wanted their ball to be created by Spalding. The ball other leagues use have one color, but The XFL decided they would want their ball to have a unique blend of black and red. Black being the most prominent color, while the red outlines the ball.
It will be interesting to see if this is still the design the XFL will be using when the league returns in February 2020. I for one would love to see the black and red back. Do you want to see the old style XFL football come back? Leave a comment below.