PSA halts 2023 Optic Football submissions over missing checklist

Optic Football is considered one of Panini's most popular products

Cover Image for PSA halts 2023 Optic Football submissions over missing checklist
A missing checklist has caused a delay for PSA in grading 2023 Donruss Optic Football. (Credit: Panini America)

Update: A Panini source has confirmed to cllct that the retail checklist for 2023 Optic Football has been sent to grading companies. A PSA spokesperson confirmed that the checklist has been received and grading will resume in the coming days.

A missing checklist has prevented grading company PSA from taking submissions for Panini America’s latest flagship football release.

PSA told hobbyists Thursday that 2023 Donruss Optic Football isn’t currently eligible for grading or authentication because cards can’t be properly identified without an official checklist directly from the manufacturer.

Described as a very rare situation, a PSA source confirmed to cllct that the missing information prevents the company's research team from establishing a checklist within its own grading system. PSA could physically grade the cards, though moving forward without an official checklist makes it difficult to identify each item and is simply too risky.

Customers who have already submitted cards from the set to PSA will be contacted directly to have their orders returned raw with no grading fees or held for grading at a later date.

Typically released closely together, retail formats for 2023 Optic Football are already available for sale, and hobby boxes are scheduled for release June 26.

The gap between the two releases is believed to have been a cause for the disconnect.

Jason Howarth, Panini America’s SVP for marketing and athlete relations, says the companies are working together on a solution.

“We are aware of the issue and have been in contact with PSA and other grading companies,” Howarth said in a statement to cllct. “Traditionally, the checklist is released when the Hobby product is released — but we are working to get the retail version of the checklist over to the grading companies so they can process those submissions.”

Considered one of Panini America’s flagship football sets, Optic has been a popular release among collectors since debuting in 2016.

According to third-party grading tracker GemRate, Optic Football has also been one of the hobby’s most graded sets from each season since its debut.

The most-graded football set by PSA from 2016 with 22,873 cards, Optic Football has finished among the four most-graded football sets from each year since release.

Ben Burrows is a reporter and editor for cllct.