Wilson NFL Football Date Codes

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Date Codes

Wilson Sporting Goods used a “Date Code” for a time, that would indicate the date (month/year) of manufacture and the likelihood that it was a NFL Issued/Game Ball. 

This “Date Code” could be found straddling the air valve on NFL footballs. The codes are made up of two (2) letters. (See photo above)

The codes are formatted so the first letter (A-K) indicates the year.

First Letter in Date Code = Last Digit of Year:

A= XXX8 (1968) being the first year of date codes.

B= XXX9 (1969)

C= XXX0 (1970)








Second Letter (O-Z) = the month. O = January and Z = December:

O= January

P= February

Q= March

R= April

S= May

T= June

U= Jully

V= August

W= September

X= October

Y= November

Z= December

Date codes that have “double year” (same letters) were produced for NFL game use. They were not available for retail purchase.

For example, date code code “HH” would indicate an NFL game ball produced in 1975 for the NFL.

More Examples:

January 1978 (manufactured) NFL issued practice ball (code GO)

1974 NFL issued game ball (code GG)

1969 NFL issued game ball (code BB)

1971 NFL issued game ball (code DD)

Based on the ball style (with the exception of a slight overlap on the 76-89 Pete Rozelle balls), these codes should narrow down an exact year of manufacture.

The double-year (dual letter) codes were utilized from 1968 to the mid 1970’s to indicate NFL issued game balls.

Please let me know of any additional information/corrections or if a definitive source is available. Thank you!