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"Roar Of The Jaguar"

"Roar Of The Jaguar"

Football Equipment

The sport of tackle football has always been unique to most fans. One of football's most interesting aspects is the equipment that each player wears on the field. This gear is worn specifically to protect the player while participating in the game. In addition to buying the correct types of equipment, it is important to ensure that the equipment itself fits properly. Here is glossary list of some equipment.

Football Helmet - The helmet is typically the most recognizable piece of all sports equipment. It protects various parts of the head from collisions with other players and the ground. There are different types of helmets including their padding structure. One must follow the manufacturer's guidelines to ensure proper fitting.

Face Mask - Shields the face from contact and collisions. Most importantly, it protects the nose. Broken noses were quite common among the gridironers back in the early days of the game. There are various styles of the face mask, depending on position, which provides the player with several options.

Mouth Piece - The mouth piece is fitted and should be inserted into the mouth prior to any live play in practice and a game. The mouth piece does protect player's teeth but even more importantly, it protects from concussions resulting from blows to the head. It can be either attached or unattached to the helmet.

Jaw Pads - These are designed to protect the jaw and are snapped to the bottom of the helmet. It is all part of the system designed to absorb the force of contact to the head, and protect them from sustaining a concussion.

Chin Strap - The sole purpose of the strap is to fasten the helmet securely on the players head.

Shoulder Pads - These pads tend to take the most abuse during the course of the game. Shoulder pads are extremely important because they cushion the impact a player makes with other players and the ground. This protects the shoulders, chest, and back. There are two types of shoulder pads: flat and cantilevered. The position that the player regularly plays and the tasks involved with each position determines the type of pads needed. Players who do more blocking and tackling require the bulkier, cantilevered type whereas receivers and quarterbacks use the flat type that allows for more mobility.

Thigh Pads - The thigh pads are the biggest leg pads and are worn underneath the pants. They protect the quadriceps muscles from collisions with other players and the ground. There are many different sizes for players at different positions. Kickers and punters generally wear the smallest size pads because those positions receive the least amount of contact.

Hip & Tailbone Pads - These pads are probably the smallest pads required for competition. The hip and tailbone pad protect both respective areas. They are made of foam and are held in check by the girdle.

Knee Pads - Protecting the knees, these pads fit inside the lower part of the pants.

Shock Pads - Worn often by running backs, linebackers, and receivers, shock pads are designed to absorb impact and provide additional support to the shoulders, chest, and back. These lightweight pads are worn underneath the shoulder pads.

Rib Pads - A lot of quarterbacks wear rib pads. These specialty-type pads are often worn by older, more experienced athletes, to protect their ribs and lower back from blind hits.

Receiver Gloves - Worn by almost every specialty position, (Receivers, Running backs, Defensive Backs), these gloves can provide an advantage for catching the football. They can be especially helpful when playing in cold weather.

Linemen Gloves - These gloves are worn by both offensive and defensive linemen. They protect the hands, knuckles, and fingers of both positions. You will find that they have much more padding than the receiver gloves.

Neck Roll - Worn primarily by linebackers and defensive linemen, the neck roll is used to protect the head from whiplash during straight ahead contact.

Football Cleats

Sometimes, picking out the right footwear for a particular sport can be tricky. Here are five things to remember when purchasing your next pair of football cleats.

1) How Are Football Cleats Different From Other Cleats?

  • Cleats are athletic shoes that have spikes or studs attached to the sole. They help your feet get a good grip on the playing surface. Cleats made for different sports emphasize support in different areas based on the playing style of the sport.
  • "Football cleats give you more support in the midsole than soccer or baseball cleats," This helps with lateral movement and with things like taking hits or making tackles."
  • With a sturdier feel than a soccer cleat, football cleats keep your feet and ankles from turning. This allows for quick movements and helps keep your feet under you when tackling, blocking or taking hits.

2) Types of Cleats: By Position

  • There are three main styles of cleats: high-tops, mid-cuts and low-cuts. Different position players tend to favor different styles.
  • High-tops extend above your ankle to provide extra support. Many linemen wear high-tops because the extra ankle support helps them with their lateral movement and keeps their feet steady when they are taking on the weight of a block.
  • Mid-cuts offer more support than low-cut models, but allow more ability to maneuver than high-top cleats. Mid-cuts are the most common cleats, and are especially popular with "skill positions," like quarterbacks and running backs. It is the right choice for a youth player looking for a good all-around shoe.
  • Low-cuts are lightweight cleats that sacrifice support for a lighter feel. They are favored by wide receivers and defensive backs, positions that benefit from being able to run fast without the feet being weighted down.
  • Check Your League Rules
  • Most youth football leagues have rules regulating what cleats can be worn. For instance, Pop Warner football prohibits the use of metal cleats (only molded or detachable rubber cleats are allowed) and limits the length of cleats to a 1/2 inch or less in length. Make sure you know what your league allows before you buy your cleats.

3) Studs/Spikes

  • There are two main types of studs or spikes that can go on the sole of your cleat. Most are designed for a specific purpose, like playing on grass or turf, or a combination of both. The type of field you will usually be playing on may influence what type of cleat you choose.
  • Molded cleats are permanently attached to the shoe's bottom. They are usually made of rubber and are generally less expensive than detachable (removable) cleats. Many youth football leagues require players to wear molded cleats, an all-around cleat suitable for most grass fields.
  • Detachable cleats use studs that can be removed and replaced, allowing you to change the studs based on the field conditions. Detachable cleats often require a wrench for removing and adding the studs, which can be made out of rubber, hard plastic or metal. On a hard, dry field you might add shorter cleats. On a wet field, you might add longer cleats. Detachable cleats require more maintenance, and it takes experience to know which type of studs you should wear on different playing surfaces. For that reason, they are usually recommended for older, more experienced players.

4) Care and Maintenance

  • Cleats, like other shoes, need to be broken in. Cleats feel better the more they are worn. The more you break it in, the better it will feel.
  • Keep an eye on the condition of your spikes. "With both molded and detachable cleats, make sure to check them frequently to see how much they are wearing down and if they are wearing in an even way. If any spike is wobbly or worn down, you need a replacement." Do not practice or play on wobbly or worn-down spikes.
  • With proper care, your cleats can last a long time. Avoid walking on concrete or asphalt to keep your cleats from grinding down or eating away at the plastic coating on some screw-in cleats. Remember to buy an extra set of laces when you buy your cleats and have them with you at games and practices. If your cleats are made of leather, use mink oil or another waterproofing product to help protect the cleats from rain and snow. Use a specialized cleat cleaner or a brush to remove mud and dirt from your cleats
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