First Ball


The National Football League, Pro Football Hall of Fame and Gold Jackets Elvin Bethea, Joe DeLamielleure, Mike Haynes, James Lofton, Lynn Swann and Ron Yary will celebrate the kickoff to the 2015 Hall of Fame Enshrinement Weekend and the road to Super Bowl 50 on Thursday, Aug. 6 from 10 to 11:30 a.m. in Canton Ohio.

For the past 15 years, Hall of Fame Weekend has started with an event called “First Play” as 2,000 children form a human chain and pass a football along a three-mile route from the location in downtown Canton where the NFL was founded to the Pro Football Hall of Fame.


To commemorate the year-long celebration of Super Bowl 50, this year’s event is taking on the name “First Ball.” The special event will surround the celebration of Super Bowl 50 with the first Super Bowl High School Honor Roll Wilson Golden Football handed out. The Super Bowl High School Honor Roll recognizes the high schools and communities that have contributed to Super Bowl history. This season, the high schools of every head coach or player to have appeared in a Super Bowl will receive a commemorative golden football produced by Wilson.

Children on Aug. 6 will pass the first golden football along the streets of Canton until it reaches Swann on the front steps of the Hall. Swann, the Most Valuable Player of Super Bowl X, will place the football on exhibit inside the Hall of Fame where it will be displayed throughout the 2015 NFL season.

The “First Ball” event will be filmed by NFL Films and featured across CBS network’s various platforms during the upcoming NFL season. Other media outlets will also be in attendance covering the 2015 Enshrinement Weekend.

“First Ball” participants will receive a T-shirt (while supplies last), free admission to the Pro Football Hall of Fame on Thursday, Aug. 6 and lunch on the Hall of Fame grounds courtesy of the Hall of Fame’s new presenting sponsor AVI Foodsystems. Participating youth groups and individuals must include adequate adult supervision. Each group is asked to provide one adult per 10 children.


Fans or youth groups interested in participating in the free “First Ball” event may register by contacting the Pro Football Hall of Fame at

Required For Participation:

Waiver form - Each participant needs to have a parent/guardian fill out and turn in a signed waiver form to a First Ball 2015 committee member on the morning of the event.

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