Did you know that football is known to be the sport that causes the most injuries? That shouldn’t really be a surprise to anyone considering the number of tackles and collisions that occur in every single play. It is a very physically aggressive sport and safety should be your primary concern when starting out. Most of the equipment the players wear is mandatory, no matter what league and what level you are playing in. Luckily, modern football gear is especially light so that you can move freely while being properly protected. Check out our list of all the essential gear you need to play on the field!
Football Gear List
Helmet & Mouth Guard
The most important piece of equipment for your protection is the helmet. A helmet is composed of a hard plastic top and a facemask. Those are mandatory, while some players also choose to wear visors to protect their eyes from any impact. The inside of the helmet is covered in thick replaceable padding, while the facemask is made of metal bars. A chinstrap is used to secure the helmet and prevent it from moving when exposed to impact. Another part of the gear that you will want to use is a mouthguard. It can be made to measure by a dentist or you can get one that molds to your teeth, either way, it fits into your mouth and protects your teeth and jaw!
The next piece of gear you need is shoulder pads. These are what make the players look so massive! They are composed of a shock-absorbing foam material covered in hard plastic. They allow players to tackle and be tackled with a reduced risk of injury. There are different sizes these armors come in. Some are smaller and lighter and these are for quarterbacks or receivers so that they can move freely and their motion is not affected. The other ones are larger with heavier padding, made for linebackers and defensive ends to protect their bodies from direct collisions.
Jockstrap & Cup
Protective cups and supporters are a mandatory piece of equipment for all football players. The cup protects the groin area in the event of an impact to somewhere you would really rather not be impacted. The jockstrap supports the cup so that it all stays in place.
Thigh, Hip & Knee Pads
Pads are worn under the football pants and they protect your legs, hips, and knees from a collision. It is important to protect your tailbone as well, which is why some players wear hip and tailbone pads tied with a sports belt. Knee and elbow pads soften the impact on those specific areas.
Gloves are necessary for certain positions. Receivers wear them so that it's easier to catch the ball and it doesn't slip. Lineman gloves are more heavily padded as they provide protection to the hands.
Metal or plastic-tipped football cleats are what you need on the field! You need a good grip of the ground surface in order to give it your best. Cleats should be made out of leather so they are durable and flexible. Those of other materials are meant for children who outgrow their footwear frequently. They are important because they provide protection to the foot while players are able to quickly accelerate and apply pressure in lateral movement. If you need more ankle support, high-cut cleats are the ones for you, while mid-cut and low-cut are the more common ones.
Other Optional Gear
There is other gear that is available to protect other areas of the body, but which is not mandatory, such as collar pads, neck rolls, rib protectors, forearm pads and more.
Now that your football bag is packed with all the right gear, you are ready to tackle the field away! Stay safe and good luck!
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