The Baden QB-1 is the official ball of the First Hawaiian Bank/HHSAA Football State Championships, and it gets mixed reviews from the coaches.
Two of the six coaches in Saturday’s championship tripleheader are fine with it, one coach does Jedi mind tricks in order for his team to go with the flow and “love” it, two others have serious problems with it and the other coach gives it a mixed review.
From the point of view of a handful of sportswriters and some coaches it appears that some quarterbacks have had trouble handling it and some problems throwing it at states this season.
The coaches below, in order of when their responses were received, will not be named.
Coach No. 1
>> Like or dislike?: Like
>> Comment: “I prefer the old Spalding, but I got used to the Baden one. I think that’s because it’s what the kids know. At the youth levels they’re using it because we use it at the high school (tournament) level. They haven’t complained about it. There was also a concern because we like the ball a little more warn in, but it hasn’t been too bad; they’re wearing in a little bit, so it’s not real slippery. It’s not too bad.”
Coach No. 2
Like or dislike?: Like
Comment: “Yeah, it’s a little round, but we’ve played with it all year. We’ve played with it for a few years now.”
Coach No. 3
>> Like or dislike: Dislike
>> Comment: “You play with the Wilson all year long and all of a sudden you change it. You think it’s the same, but it’s not the same. To me, the Baden is bigger. It feels bigger. If it was me, I would use the Wilson, but who am I? There’s a contract, so you’re stuck. But that Baden ball is different.”
Coach No. 4
>> Like or dislike>: “Love”
>> Comment: “I love it. Yes. It’s good now. When it first came out, it wasn’t good. Now, it’s good. We’ve been playing with it. Our QB loves it. We have no choice. We gotta play with it. Because we have no choice, the mind-set is we love the ball. We’re just happy to be here playing. Our mind-set is we love the ball so it doesn’t become an issue.”
Coach No. 5
>> Like or dislike?: Dislike
>> Comment: My thoughts on the ball are all negative. There are better models of the Baden ball. The QB-01 model is terrible.”
Coach No. 6
>> Like or dislike?: Mixed
>> Comment: “I have some mixed feelings on it. To me, it feels a little slick, especially when it gets wet. With that being said, that’s the ball we all have to play with so we’ve got to deal with it.”