AfL tests the Passback football

July 5, 2017 No Comments »
AfL tests the Passback football
A North American football is shaped like a stretched oval with two pointed tips – a “prolate spheroid” is the scientific description. And it is this unique shape that makes the ball bounce in unpredictable ways, making the game exciting. It is also this unique shape that makes it difficult for kids to master the football throw.

This is where the Passback football comes in. It’s shaped like a regular football except one of its pointed tips has been rounded off. The rounded end makes the football bounce back to you when you throw it against a wall. As the company slogan says, the Passback is “the only football you can throw and catch on your own”.

I played some football when I was young and I was eager to try this new ball. And, the Passback passed the test. It throws (and feels) like a real football and after it bounces off the wall, it comes back very much like a real football would.

Passback Football

North American-style football
Passback Sports
From $19.99 to $39.99 USD depending on size and model

Improving throwing and catching skills

The Passback comes in four different sizes, from a foam version for kids 5 and under, to an official size for 14 and older. I had a range of kids up to 14 years old try the Passback.

Right away the kids who knew how to throw a football were able to use it as intended and enjoyed it. The kids that had never thrown a football before needed a few minutes to figure out how to throw the ball so that it would come back to them, but they eventually got it.

The Passback marketing video positions the ball as a “football training aid”. But from what I have observed, it serves another important purpose. How often do we ask our kids to go outside and they respond that there isn’t anyone to play with? The truth is kids don’t spend as much time playing outside so it really can be hard for kids who want to go out and throw a football or play other active games to find a playing partner. The Passback allows kids to practice throwing and catching skills on their own, and have fun doing it.

Encouraging unstructured, creative play

Something else interesting happened as kids tested the ball. Rugby is a prominent sport in our community. And it did not take long for many of the kids to toss the ball rugby style and it worked. This highlights the importance of play as a spontaneous creative space for kids.

When kids play, their curiosity takes over and they engage their brains as they develop their motor skills. And that’s a recipe for an active and happy life.

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