wikiHow to Buy American Football Gear

American football is a high-contact, physically demanding sport. Wearing the proper equipment is essential to avoiding injury and maximizing performance. While the equipment is expensive, it is a worthwhile investment when health and safety are taken into consideration. The following is a guide on how to buy American football gear.

Steps

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    Visit a sporting goods store.
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    Find the section that has American football equipment.
    • The name of this section may vary from store to store.
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    • Check with a sales associate for the specific location if you cannot find it.
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    Select a football helmet.
    • This is a critical piece of equipment that will protect your head from injury.
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    • Each helmet will have a face mask, which is typically made of metal that protects the player's face from injury.
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    • Choose a helmet that has a face mask that suits your position. Interior, non ball-handling players, such as offensive and defensive linemen, often use facemasks with plenty of bars, as such positions require intense usage of the hands, which can strike an opposing player in the face without proper protection.
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    • Ball-handling players, such as quarterbacks, running backs, tight ends, and wide receivers tend to use facemasks that have less bars in order to increase their view of the ball and the field.
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    • If you are concerned that a face mask may allow an opposing player's hand to come through, but do not want a face mask that will obstruct your view, consider purchasing a helmet that has a visor, which will protect your eyes while allowing you to see through it. Check with your league's rules before purchasing a tinted visor, as some restrictions may apply.
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    • If purchasing a helmet in the United States, consider purchasing 1 that has a seal from the National Operating Committee on Standards for Athletic Equipment (NOCSAE). Such helmets have been tested and are generally considered safer than other helmets.
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    Select a mouthpiece.
    • A mouthpiece will protect your mouth from injury that can occur from hard hits during football. Also, it will help prevent concussions, as it helps absorb vibrations that would otherwise go to your skull.
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    • As many as 1/3 of all injuries treated by dentists are related to sports. This is a critical piece of equipment to use.
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    Select shoulder pads.
    • Shoulder pads will protect your shoulders and chest from injury.
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    • Different styles of shoulder pads are made for different types of players. For example, a place kicker may wear less protective shoulder pads than a linebacker, as a place kicker does not experience physical contact with other players often, while a linebacker experiences much more physical contact.
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    • In general, the more contact you expect during your football experiences, the stronger the padding should be. Check with a qualified sales associate to determine the proper shoulder-pads that you should purchase.
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    Select a football jersey (optional).
    • If you are playing organized football, your team probably already has jerseys for you to wear.
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    • If you must purchase your own jersey, choose 1 that fits comfortably over your shoulder pads.
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    Select football gloves (optional).
    • Football gloves, while not worn by all players, will help protect your hands from minor cuts and scratches and provide warmth during cold weather.
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    • Football gloves often contain adhesives to help with catching and ball control. Check your league's rules to determine which gloves are acceptable.
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    Select hip and tail pads.
    • Hip and tail pads will protect your hip and tailbone from injury.
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    • If you plan on experiencing a high amount of physical contact, which you will in most positions, then choose the hip and tail pads that offer the most protection. They should be comfortable, yet offer enough padding to soften hits from other players.
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    Select football pants.
    • The pants should snugly cover the hip and tail pads and should contain thigh and knee pads.
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    • Choose pants that have thick pads for heavy contact positions, which are most positions, and choose pants that have lighter pads for light contact positions, such as place kicker and punter.
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    • While the pants should be snug, make sure you are able to move freely in them.
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    Select football socks.
    • Football socks are specially crafted to keep your feet dry, warm, and insulated.
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    • Choose socks that fit comfortably and match any uniform requirements that your team or league have.
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    Select football shoes.
    • Different types of shoes are required for different types of surfaces. For example, you may need more than 1 type of shoe if some games will be played on artificial surfaces and others on grass.
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    • Check with a qualified sales associate for which type of shoe(s) will meet your needs.
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    Purchase all of the equipment that you have selected.

Tips

  • Check with your coach for the recommended equipment that you should use. He or she may also recommend additional equipment.
  • If purchasing used equipment, have a coach inspect it before use to avoid safety issues. Do not buy any damaged equipment.
  • You may purchase the equipment on the Internet as well. However, you will not be able to try it on, so it is best to purchase it at a store.

Article Info

Categories: Football