Equipment Required for Youth Football

types of youth football equipmentAs many as 36 million kids play organized sports every year, and while the primary reason for joining these teams is often health and enjoyment, safety is certainly the number one concern. As many as 87% of parents worry about their children being injured during sports games and practice, which is why the National Federation of State High School Association (NFHS) and the National Operating Committee on Standards for Athletic Equipment (NOCSAE) has created specific guidelines to ensure the safety of participating children.

American football can be a particularly dangerous contact sport, so all players are required to wear protective types of youth football gear. All types of youth football equipment — including shoulder, hip, tailbone, thigh, kidney, and knee pads — must meet the standards set by the NFHS and NOCSAE.

Types of Youth Football Gear

  • Helmet: The helmet is arguably the most important piece of equipment for a football player. It protects parts of the head from collision with other players, the ground, and the ball. There are various types of football helmets, which differ in padding structure.
  • Face Mask: The face mask is designed to protect the face from collisions. It is particularly important in protecting the nose. Like the helmet, the face mask comes in a number of styles and will differ depending on the player’s position because different positions pose different risks.
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  • Shoulder Pads: Shoulder pads protect the shoulders, back, and chest. Because of the high-contact nature of the sport, these pads take the most abuse throughout the course of a game.
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  • Hip Pads: The hip and tailbone pad are made out of foam and are held in place by the girdle.
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  • Thigh and Knee Pads: These are worn underneath the pants. The thigh pads protect the quadricep muscles while the knee pads are made of shock-absorbing material to cover the knees.
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  • Mouth Guard: The mouthpiece protects players’ teeth and also prevents concussions resulting from blows to the head.

In the United States, 66% of boys and 52% of girls play organized sports. Nothing is more important than ensuring the safety of the participating children, so organized teams are always held to a specific set of standards in order to protect the players from harm. To learn more about the types of youth football equipment, talk to your child’s coach or sports organization.

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FAQ: What Types of Youth Football Helmet Visors Are Available?

types of youth football helmetWhile 65% of kids say they play sports to spend time with friends, fully 87% of their parents say they’re worried about injuries. With 36 million American kids involved in youth sports, that means there are a lot of anxious parents out there, and few sports are more anxiety-inducing than football.

While some families have a long tradition of football, many parents are new to the sport, which makes it a challenge determining what youth football gear is needed. And unlike most other common youth sports, football involves many types of youth football gear. Even relatively simple items, like choosing the right types of youth football helmet visors, can be a real challenge.

So how can you be sure that you’re buying the right kind of visor for your son or team’s helmets? Here are some of the most commonly asked questions about helmet visors for youth football.

What types of youth football helmet visors are available?

The most popular brands of football visors are made by brands like Nike, Under Armour, Oakley, and similar sporting brands. Visors come in a variety of coloring options, including clear, grey, reflective mirror visors, tinted visors, and colored visors.

Note: before purchasing a helmet visor, double check to ensure that it will fit on a youth-sized helmet!

So what kind of helmet visor is best? Are colored or tinted visors even allowed?

Let’s take the second question first. Most sports leagues do not allow colored, reflective, or tinted visors of any kind. According to the National Federation of State High School Associations’ high school football rules, all eyeshields and visors must be made of a clear material. No exceptions. The NCAA and NFL have similar rules, as do many youth leagues.

All of the brands mentioned above make quality eye shields and visors, and the “best” really comes down to personal preference.

Note: before purchasing a visor, always check with your coach or league to see if eye shield use will be permitted.

What if I need a football visor with UV protection?

Many clear visors still offer advanced UV protection. Check the product description before purchase to see if the visor you’ve chosen blocks UVA, UVC, and other forms of light.

Is it possible to get football visors with a vision prescription for players who are nearsighted, farsighted, or have other vision problems?

Unfortunately, it’s not possible to create prescription football visors. Football visors are made of a single piece of curved material attached to the helmet, which is also how football helmet visors prevent injury. However, because of the curve and the distance from the eye, it’s not possible to make corrective visors. Players with eyesight problems will need to wear either prescription sports goggles or contact lenses.

Want to learn more about the various types of youth football helmet visors and eye shields available today? Click here to see more.

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How to Re-Web a Catchers Mitt

how to re-web a catchers mittIn the U.S., 66% of boys and 52% of girls play organized sports. In total, 36 million kids play sports every year. In youth sports, having the right gear is vital for safety and for learning. Parents often have questions when it comes to all the equipment kids need to play baseball, such as how to find the right catchers mitt, and how often to buy new catchers gear. Equipment can be expensive, so oftentimes, fixing your gear is a better option than buying new.

The pocket of your catcher’s mitt is attached to the rest of the glove by laces. When the laces dry and wear out, they can break, rendering the glove useless. Rather than catching the ball in the pocket of the glove, the ball will fly through the gaps created by the loose or broken laces. Fortunately, you can learn how to re-web a catcher’s mitt and restore to almost-new condition.

How to Re-Web a Catchers Mitt:

  1. Note the thickness of the old lacing. You can either replace it with leather laces of the same size or use a slightly thinner size to make the process easier.
  2. Next, you will need to recondition the glove. Saddle soap comes in a tin, similar to shoe polish. Like polishing a shoe, dip a rag in the saddle soap and rub it into the leather of the glove. This step is necessary if the glove is old; they need reconditioning every once in a while as they age. Chances are, if the laces were worn out, the glove might need some TLC all around.
  3. Untie the knot in the laces. The knot may be too tight to loosen; use a screwdriver and wiggle it in between the layers of the knot to pull it loose. Do not take out the old lacing at this point. You will need it to guide your new lacing.
  4. Slip the old lacing out of the first hole, then insert the new lace in the now empty hole. Pull the old lace out of the next hole and follow it with the new lace. Do each hole one by one to avoid losing sight of the webbing pattern. Do this for the entire glove, not just the pocket.

There are different materials and different types of catchers mitts. Catcher gear maintenance is essential to honing your skills and improving your game.

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How to Adjust a Football Mouthpiece

how to adjust a football mouthpieceIf you are a parent of a young athlete, you are probably concerned about injuries in youth sports. You are not alone; a survey shows that 87% of parents feel the same way. Approximately 36 million kids play sports every year (66% of boys, and 52% of girls), and yes, some do get hurt. The best way to avoid this, however, is to make sure your child is equipped with the appropriate safety gear and is wearing it correctly.

Football is a particularly physical sport, with players constantly crashing into each other and risking injury. The only way to ensure your child’s safety is by finding the best types of youth football gear.

How mouthguards help to prevent injuries is relatively clear. They cover the upper teeth, protecting the soft tissue of your tongue, gums, lips, and cheeks, as well as preventing a hard blow to the face from dislodging the teeth.

How to adjust a football mouthpiece

  1. In a saucepan, heat water until boiling.
  2. Once at a boil, remove saucepan from heat and let it sit for 30 seconds.
  3. Put football mouthpiece in hot water and let it sit for no longer than 90 seconds.
  4. Remove mouthpiece carefully from hot water
  5. Run the mouthpiece under cool tap water for a moment to bring the temperature to a comfortable level and avoid burning the mouth.
  6. Place mouthpiece on all upper teeth and bite down firmly. Suck in and press the mouthpiece through your lips and cheeks with your fingers to mold to the teeth and gum line. Continue for 20 seconds.
  7. Remove the mouthpiece and set in cool tap water for 30 seconds.
  8. Place in the mouth once again to test the fit.
  9. If it does not fit correctly, repeat steps.

Even the best sports mouthguards do not last forever. They can lose their shape, thickness, and consequently their effectiveness over the course of one football season. To best protect your young athlete’s teeth, replace mouthguards when they show signs of wear and tear.

When to replace your football mouthguard

  • The mouthguard has chew marks
  • It is bent at the ends or on the edges
  • It no longer fits tightly around the teeth, or it slides around

For more information regarding how to adjust a football mouthpiece, talk to your child’s coach.

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How to Get Fitted for a Football Helmet

how to get fitted for a football helmetDid you know that approximately 66% of boys and 52% of girls play organized sports? That’s about 36 million kids each year. In addition to benefiting their physical health, sports teach kids teamwork, discipline, responsibility, and humility, and they generally keep them out of trouble.

While sports have proven to be good for kids, they can also be incredibly dangerous. As many as 87% of parents have expressed worry about injuries in youth sports. Safety has become a top priority in kids sports, and schools and other organizations are taking safety precautions to decrease the likelihood of sports-related injuries. Before they can hit the field, young players are being taught important information, such as how to get fitted for a football helmet, how a football mouthguard should fit, and how football helmet visors prevent injury.

A functioning helmet can save a child’s life, so finding the perfect fit is not something to be taken lightly. Below is a short guide to fitting your child for a football helmet, as well as an explanation as to how the helmet should fit, and when to replace a helmet that is no longer safe for use.

How to get fitted for a football helmet:

  1. First, dampen the hair to imitate sweat, which will accumulate under the helmet during play.
  2. With a cloth measuring tape, measure the circumference of the head one inch above the eyebrows to determine the appropriate helmet size.
  3. Press down on the top of the helmet with interlocked fingers. Pressure should be felt on the top of the head rather than on the brow.

You know the helmet is the right fit if:

  1. The front of the helmet rests one inch above the eyebrow.
  2. The helmet feels snug on the head.
  3. Skin on the forehead moves with the sweatband when the helmet is lightly twisted from side to side.
  4. The chin strap is centered.
  5. The jaw pads are firm against the face.

When to buy a new football helmet:

  1. The helmet is cracked or broken
  2. Padding or parts are missing from the helmet
  3. The helmet is ten years or older. Check the manufacturing date to determine the age of your helmet. Depending on the wear and tear, some helmets will need to be replaced before ten years.
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