Beginning with the 2009 season, the MHSAA will welcome Rawlings as the official game ball provider for all levels of its Football Playoffs. The agreement capped a process that began with a November 2007 Audit and Finance Committee request and ended with Representative Council approval on Dec. 5, 2008.
Every football-sponsoring MHSAA member high school will be provided with two Rawlings balls of their choice prior to kick off the 2009 season. Subsequently, two balls will be provided to all playoff qualifiers in 2009 and 2010, and one ball of each school’s choice will be provided to playoff qualifiers in 2011, 2012 and 2013.
MHSAA staff was asked in the fall of 2007 to research policies and procedures of other state high school associations – as well as the interest of manufacturers – to supply footballs for the MHSAA Football Playoffs. This topic was discussed by the Audit and Finance Committee again in April 2008, with more information requested.
Findings confirmed that all neighboring high school associations and the majority of other states across the country had endorsed a football, most requiring the use of a particular model or models for all levels of their playoff series; and it was discovered that manufacturers’ interest in a football endorsement exceeded their interest in any other sport.
Proposals were requested and submitted throughout the summer and early fall, culminating with Representative Council approval of Rawlings as the official supplier for all MHSAA Football Playoff contests at its Dec. 5 meeting. Any model of Rawlings football that meets National Federation rules may be used by participating teams.
Rawlings makes the endorsed football of California (three sections), Kentucky, Maine, Missouri, Montana, New York and Vermont.
Rawlings also provides the official ball for the MHSAA Girls and Boys Basketball Tournament, extending to all levels – Districts through Finals – in 2010 through 2014.