Your Football Guide to Chinstraps, Helmets, and Pads.
What to look for when shopping for football chinstraps and mouth guards.
Properly fitting of a chinstrap is important. If the chinstrap is too loose, the helmet can move around on the players head, which can cause serious injury.
- Stay on the chin, keeping the helmet secure to the players head.
- Conforms to different chin sizes and shapes allowing the player to be more comfortable.
- Provide protection to the player's chin which reduces the chance of injury.
- Newer designs conform to different chin sizes allowing the chinstrap to stay on the chin. Newer designs also improve comfort.
Mouth guards are plastic dental appliances which when worn can provide a degree of protection for both the mouth's soft tissues (lips, cheeks, gums, and tongue) and hard tissues (teeth and jaw bones).
Sports mouth guards can help prevent:
- Tooth fracture, tooth dislocation, and bone (jaw) fracture
- Bruising or laceration of the soft tissues of the mouth
Wearing a mouth guard may help to protect an athlete from concussions.
Athletes with braces should wear mouth guards specifically designed for braces to help prevent cuts to their lips.
Football helmet technology and features have advanced over the past decade.
Academy carries a variety of superior football helmets that offer comfort and protection.
Sizing a Helmet
- Use measuring tape or head caliper at 1" above the eyebrows to determine the size of the head.
- This measurement will correspond to the various sizes offered in helmet models.
- Helmet manufacturers strongly suggest players maintain a moderate to short hairstyle during the season because more extreme changes in hair length often require a new fit.
- The front of the helmet should sit 1" above the eyebrows. This is the point at which the largest percentage of head mass is encompassed.
- Press downward with the fingers interlocked on the top of the helmet and pressure should be on the crown of the head, not on the brow.
- The chinstrap should be exactly centered without slack to anchor the helmet properly.
- Remember, not all manufacturers size the same so the Football Helmet Sizing Chart may be used to determine the general helmet size.
All-Star Helmet Features
- Tri-Bar cage offers face protection
- Soft chin cup for comfort
- Flared center provides increased shell strength and improved deflection
- UltraCool ventilating system incorporates air channels with 8 optimally sized ventilation ports
- Hybrid Impact Liner is a high energy absorbing EPP (Expanded Polypropylene) impact liner for uniform protection around the entire head with strategically placed VN (Vinyl Nitrile) inserts
- New DuraSoft Comfort Padding System is a hypoallergenic 3 part design allowing for quick and easy size adjustment
- DuraSoft Liner removes quickly for easy cleaning and maintenance
- E-Z Ear Channel features repositioned standard jaw pads for ease of placing the helmet on and taking the helmet off of a player's head
Riddell Helmet Features
- Reusable face mask attachment
- Superior comfort in an anti-microbial moisture wicking liner
- Adjustable crown liner which provides and comfortable and secure fit
- Light weight facemasks
Schutt Helmet Features
- Equipped with SUREFIT slots in the shell for use with the inside fitting of a chinstrap
- Adjustable chinstrap
- Spherical shape which helps turn some of the biggest hits, changing the helmet-to-helmet collisions into more of a glancing blow
- Vinyl-encapsulated fit liner helps the comfort of the player and forms to the shape of the head better than a conventional dual foam liner
What to look for when shopping for football pads.
Finding the correct shoulder pad is important for the safety of the athlete.
- Most brands list the weight ranges on the front right side of their shoulder pads
- After finding the size by weight, use the following measuring methods to check shoulder pads for proper fit:
Stand up straight with arms at their side, Measure across the back, from the outside end of one shoulder bone to the outside end of the other shoulder bone, Round the measurement up to the next half-inch
- Gives better protection to players who are often tackled
- Slides into the football pant pockets
- Slides into the pockets of most football pants in the knee area
- The knee pads can easily be placed in the pants by turning the legs of the pants inside out
Note: Remove for washing. Pads should not be placed in the dryer; air dry only.
Hip and Tailbone Pads
- Hip pads - Help protect the hips from injury due to blocks, hits and tackles
- Tailbone pad - Help protect the sensitive tailbone area from injury due to blocks, hits and tackles
- Youth hip and tailbone pads typically snap into the waist of the football pants
- Adult pads have slots to slide a belt through
- Some football pants do not have pockets for hip and tailbone pads, therefore a "girdle" will need to be purchased
- Remove pads for washing
Note: Pads should not be placed in the dryer; air dry only.
- Academy carries rib protectors that are designed to provide protection to the ribs
- They are sized based on the shoulder pad
- Rib vests connect to the shoulder pads by attaching the four screws to the pre-drilled holes on the back of the pads
Back and Sternum Kick Plate
- A back plate adds protection to the back area
- A sternum plate adds further protect to the chest area
- The Junior Series back plate provides lower back protection for youth players
- The extra grommet holes allow players to raise or lower the back plate
- Protects the arms of a player (usually offensive and defensive linemen who use their arms to block and tackle)
- Provides protection from the wrist to the elbows
Collar Pads/Neck Rolls
- Attaches to the back of the shoulder pad to further protect the collarbone
- At Academy, we have specific models to fit shoulder pads and offer both youth and adult sizes