can football fans keep the ball

Can Football Fans Keep The Ball?

Nothing pleases us like sating our full-fledged obsessions. And for some of us, those obsessions come in the form of sports. So, it’s no wonder that when the most popular sport in America, football, starts up again, we go all out.

We buy the jerseys, paint our faces, and plan our Sundays around the games. We live and breathe our team’s every move. But since we love souvenirs too, we all want to know: can football fans keep the ball?

Often, football fans can keep the ball, except on rear occasions like the winning score or 100th catch. 

That said, do NFL players get fined for giving football in stands? And if so, what is the fine for giving a football away?

Read on for that and more.

What Footballs Do the NFL Use?

Like other things, footballs used in the NFL keep changing with time. However, the touch remains constant, with Wilsons calling the shots. The Wilson footballs have been in use in the NFL starting 1941.

Before 1935, the football was larger and heavier than it is today. The current size of the football is 11-11.5 inches in length and 21-21.25 inches in circumference. The weight of the ball is 14-15 ounces.

While an excellent alternative, the replica is no match for the NFL’s official Duke football. The Duke cuts the air better and seems bigger when placed next to the replica, yet it feels lighter. The official ball’s stiffer feel also contrasts the replica’s softer, more forgiving one.

How Many Footballs Are Used in an NFL Game?

Each team comes with 12 primary footballs that often serve for most of the game and 12 backup ones. That means an NFL game has 48 footballs.

american football on a holder

All balls undergo selection by officials and must meet specific requirements involving sizing, quality, and pressure. Any balls outside the required pressure undergo deflation, followed by refilling to 13.0 psi.

What Is the Penalty for Passing a Football into the Stand?

Sometimes the game gets too exciting, or things fail to work to your advantage grandly. Having such days in the middle of the loudest NFL stadiums can be frustrating.

It may be easy to think about passing a football into the stands during these times. Unfortunately, this is illegal and attracts a hefty price.

So, how much does it cost an NFL player to throw a football into the stands?

The penalty for passing a football into the stands is $7,210 for the first time and $12,360 for the second attempt. So, while it may be tempting to relieve some frustration by throwing the football into the stands, it’s not worth the consequences.

Dire measures like these are to ensure fans’ safety. To put this in perspective, the top NFL stadiums can hold over 50,000 fans simultaneously. The largest, MetLife Stadium, has an 82,500 capacity.

Considering how many fans are allowed at NFL games, it’s understandable why there are such hefty penalties for throwing footballs into the stands.

football on a field

Nonetheless, players can give balls to individual fans without getting fined. They also don’t have to pay anything, provided they aren’t intentionally sending their devotees into a grab fight.

Do NFL Teams Bring Their Own Balls?

Each NFL team brings 12 primary balls to each game, the balls the team will use on offense. Both teams must also have an extra dozen balls as a backup.

The balls go through inspection for basics to ensure they are the right size, shape, weight, and condition for the match. After the checks and the referee’s approval by stamp, all the balls go under the care of the K-Ball Coordinator (KBC).

The KBC and chosen game officials bring the balls to the on-field replay station 10 minutes before the match’s commencement. Balls also undergo testing during halftime and after the game once the KCB collects them.

Who Threw Tom Brady’s 600th Touchdown Ball?

“I’ve never had of 600 anything in football,” said the commentator as Brady and the Buccaneer extended their lead to 21-0. The QB made the historic pass against the Bears to Mike Evans, making him the only player to do so.

Unaware of what had just happened, Evans raced to the stands, handing a fan the ball. Byron Kennedy, who had Evans’ jersey then, got the ball, though obliged to hand it back when requested.

What Byron Kennedy Received for Returning Tom Brady’s 600th Touchdown Ball?

Can you imagine laying your hands on half a million dollars? That isn’t something you’ll likely get for just sitting back and having a good time. Well, not if you’re one Byron Kennedy.

man in white shirt about to throw a football

The guy though fortunate enough to catch Brady’s 600th touchdown pass wasn’t keen to keep it, to many people’s dismay. In defense, he said he’d only have the ball in his office if he kept it.

Besides, he got a ton of gifts, not only increasing his memorabilia collection but also his digital funds.

In exchange for the ball, Kennedy received three jerseys. Two of these were Brady’s, one for him and the other for the friend that had him go to the match. The third jersey was Mike Evans’ (signed), along with his cleat.

The gear was only the tip of the rewards Kennedy took home, as he also got

  1. Over $10,000 in crypto
  2. $1000 voucher under the Bucs team store
  3. Dual tickets for the remaining season plus the following


We hope you have an in-depth answer to your “do fans get to keep footballs?” question. While it may not always be easy to take home a souvenir, it’s possible.

From what we’ve seen, the answer depends on the situation. For example, players may get fined if they throw a ball into the stands. However, if a player gives a ball to a fan, they’ll pay nothing.

While the NFL rules are similar across most games, those with lesser players are slightly different. Check out our piece on 7 on 7 football to discover how much.

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