5 Pieces of Youth Football Gear That Will Seriously Up Your Game

March 29 2016

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Getting ready to start playing contact football? Well, you are going to need to protect yourself

from serious injury. Although football can be dangerous, there are a few mandatory pieces of 

equipment you must have to keep vital parts protected, and allow everyone to fully enjoy the 

great sport of football. The NOCSAE (National Operating Committee on Standards for Athletic 

Equipment) is in place to ensure that everyone stays safe. We have listed the five critical pieces 

of gear your child will need to stay safe and have fun.

Helmet (including mouth guard)

There are a few regulations when it comes to helmets that most people may not know, and 

many do not follow as strictly as they should. For starters, every helmet MUST have a NOCSAE 

Seal of Certification sticker on the back. Secondly, helmets should be reconditioned annually by 

a licensed NAERA (National Athletic Equipment Reconditioning Association) technician. Players 

should inspect their helmets, and face cages before wearing them each and every time. 

Helmets should be replaced every three years, or if they are cracked in ANY way.

Cages should be replaced if bent, cracked, or rusting. Mouth guards must be worn, and should 

be attached to the face mask. They should be fitted properly to protect the teeth and jaw. Mouth 

guards help to prevent head injuries as well, by reducing further trauma to the brain from 

impact. Helmets are the most critical piece of gear because it protects your brain, which is the 

most important part of your body. The other parts are important too, and will be adequately 

protected, but the head is of grave importance where full­contact sport is concerned.


Proper footwear is invaluable to keeping your feet firmly secured to the turf during the games 

and practices. Losing your footing can cause muscles, tendons and other vital moving parts to 

be damaged, torn or strained. They also protect the feet against injury from being stepped on by 

other players wearing cleats.

Shoulder Pads (with neck collar/roll)

The position your child will be playing will determine the type of shoulder pads that you will 

need. There are two types of pads, cantilever and flat. The cantilever or multi­layered pads are 

larger, and designed for playing high impact positions such as linebackers, and linemen. Flat 

pads are reserved for quarterbacks, kickers, and receivers who need more range of motion to 

be successful in their highly skilled positions, but still need adequate protection against injury.

Leg & Hip Pads

These pads fit inside the player’s pants to protect the hips and thighs during tackles. These 

pads are relatively small compared to the level of protection provided by shoulder pads and 

helmets, but they are still important in protecting against fractures, bruised, and tissue damage.

Athletic Cup (jockstrap)

Last but certainly not least, is the athletic supporter, the cup, the jockstrap. These aren’t just for 

the boys either. Everyone needs to protect his or her reproductive organs from injury. They are 

very fragile and need special equipment to make sure no permanent damage is done.

The name of the game is FUN, but it is never fun to get injured. These five pieces of youth 

football gear will help keep you protected in the best possible way. Prevention is the best 

strategy because injuries do happen, that is the reality of a full contact sport or even non­contact 

sports. The governing bodies of youth football in the USA have made it mandatory for our 

children to be properly equipped to play the game America loves so much.


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