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Get A Grip


Since colleges started slimming down the football in 1912, there
have been few other innovations in the pigskin. Here are a couple
of recent tweaks to the prolate spheroid that may interest
gridders of all ages.

The Hands-On Football (right), made by Sportime International, of
Atlanta, is designed to teach kids the proper grip for passing.
Recommended for ages six to 12, the ball is smaller than a
regulation football and has hand-positioning guides for both
right- and lefthanded players. Bright orange and yellow panels
make it easier to see the rotation of a properly thrown spiral.
Each ball costs $12.50. To order, visit Sportime on the Web at, or call the company at 800-523-8176.

For everyone who (supposedly) already knows how to throw that
perfect spiral, Spalding offers the All-Weather Football,
designed to be easier to grip in wet weather. According to
Spalding's own tests, other footballs absorbed up to 230% more
water than the All-Weather. The Spalding ball's water resistance
is the result of a tanning process that incorporates
waterproofing rather than a topical coating. The ball comes in
two models, pro and varsity, and retails for $69.99. For
information on the Web, click on, or call

--Mark Beech