businessman Lamar Hunt formed the American Football League (AFL)
in 1960 as a rival to the National Football
League. The two leagues fought bitterly for players, media attention,
and profits until 1966, when the two leagues agreed on a merger
plan. The first AFL-NFL World Championship Game was played in January
1967. In 1970, the leagues merged into two 13-team conferences,
American and National, under the NFL name.
innovative rules changes adopted by the AFL were the two-point conversion,
the use of the scoreboard clock as the official game clock, the
use of player names on jerseys, and the sharing of gate and television
revenues between home and visiting teams.
AFL used a Spalding for each of its ten years. The ball shown on
the left is from 1960 and has white stripes on all four panels.
The second ball is a J5-V without stripes. The next photos are from
AFL player Al Carmichael's book 106
Yards, and the ball is purported to be from an early AFL
game, possibly the first. If you have more information about the
AFL ball or photos to share (or a ball for sale), please contact
me. Thanks go to Ange Coniglio
for information about the AFL game ball.