The Rugby League Ball Over Time
"The Steeden"
aka "The Pill"

Early Balls


The Modern Ball

Camel Skin Ball

Lace up leather cow hide ball
Hand stitched with lacing
as used in early 1990's

Quality 3 ply match ball using imported German material used in NRL and NSWRL competitions

Ball Stats
Rugby league is played with a prolate spheroid shaped football. Traditionally made of brown leather, modern footballs are synthetic and manufactured in a variety of colours and patterns. The football used in rugby league is known as "international size" or "size 5" and is approximately 27 cm long and 60 cm in circumference at its widest point. Smaller-sized balls are used for Mini and Mod versions of the game.

A full size ball weighs between 383 and 440 grams. Rugby league footballs are slightly more pointed than rugby union footballs and larger than American footballs. The Australian National Rugby League uses balls made by Steeden. Steeden is also sometimes used as a noun to describe the ball itself. The introduction of synthetic footballs over the traditional leather balls was originally governed by weather conditions. If the playing surface was heavy, the synthetic ball was used, as it didn't absorb water and become heavy. Eventually, the leather balls were phased out completely.

Question: What is the difference between rugby league ball and rugby union ball?
Answer:  Rugby Answer a rugby league ball is usually a thinner longer make to a rugby union ball which is more round and has a larger sweet spot for kicking.