For 17 years, the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) Authenticating Mark Program (AMP) has ensured that balls/pucks used in 10 high school sports meet specifications outlined in
Under NFHS rules, all balls and pucks used in interscholastic athletic competition in the following sports are required to carry the NFHS Authenticating Mark: baseball, basketball, field hockey, football, ice
hockey, lacrosse, soccer, softball, volleyball and water polo.
The Authenticating Mark Program also generates revenue to develop programs that benefit all high school constituents – athletes, coaches, administrators, officials and others.
It also allows for the development of more sophisticated standards in balls/pucks with a clear way of communicating that these standards are being met.
The AMP program was phased-in to interscholastic competition in the 2000-01 school year. When the program was approved in 1998, inflated balls that met NFHS criteria cost the manufacturer 25 cents per ball or 25 cents per dozen on non-inflated balls/pucks to display the mark. In the program’s history, there have only been two price increases. In 2008, the fee increased from 25 cents to 35 cents and, starting January 1, 2018, the fee will increase 15 cents (from 35 cents to 50 cents).
Additional revenue from the AMP program will be directed to NFHS Strategic Plan initiatives, technology, education, communications campaigns and officials education.
“The funding for development that has been generated through the Authenticating Mark Program has helped create educational tools, and those benefits matriculate down to our member associations and affiliate schools,” said Mark Koski, NFHS director of sports, events and development.
The NFHS Authenticating Mark Program is administered by LRG Prep. The process is outlined in six phases: (1) application, (2) license agreement, (3) product testing, (4) artwork approvals, (5) finished samples
and (6) product authentication. Once manufacturers have met the requirements for all six phases, their equipment will carry the NFHS mark for approved use in interscholastic sports. Today, there are 44 Manufacturers participating in the AMP program, including Wilson Sporting Goods, Nike, Russell Brands, Warrior Sports, Baden Sports, Tachikara USA, Diamond Sports, Rawlings Sporting Goods,
Mikasa Sports and Champion Sports.
Bryce Woodall is an intern in the NFHS Publications/Communications Department. He is a senior at Franklin (Indiana) College studying public relations.