How to Stop a Leak in a Football

College Football - Catch and Tackle

Although most attention on football injuries is focused on the players, an injured ball can stop play just as fast — it might stop play faster, since you can play with one less man, but not with one less ball. Fortunately, repairing a football is a relatively simple process, similar to fixing a bicycle tire, and should take less than an hour.

Inspect the ball visually. If the leak is from a rip or gash, rather than a small hole, your ball is likely beyond repair.

Fill the basin with water. Submerge the football in the basin and look for the stream of air bubbles. This is the location of your leak.

Note the location of the leak. Remove the ball from the water, dry it with a towel and circle the leak with your chalk .

Insert the syringe of your ball sealant into the air hole of the ball. Depress the plunger to squirt the contents inside.

Use your air pump to refill the ball with air.

Toss the ball from hand to hand for a few minutes to spread the sealant around.

Dunk the ball back in the basin and check for leaking air. If you still have a leak — and you probably won't — add more ball sealant and try again.


For a quick fix when you're out and about, slap a patch of duct tape over the hole and refill your ball. This won't last forever, but should let you finish your game.