Football is a rough-and-tumble sport, with players constantly colliding and making contact with each other. To protect themselves, football players wear a variety of different protective gear, including helmets, pads, and backplates. Backplates, in particular, have seen a surge in popularity in recent years due to their ability to provide increased protection and comfort for players. In this article, we’ll look closer at backplates and why they have become essential pieces of football gear.
What Are Backplates?
A backplate is a piece of equipment worn on a football player’s lower back. The football backplates are made from a hard plastic shell designed to absorb the impact of hits on the lower back. Backplates are typically worn by players who play positions that require a lot of blocking and tackling, such as linemen and linebackers. They are also worn by running backs, who often take hits to the lower back when they are tackled.
According to a study published in the Journal of Athletic Training, the use of backplates by football players has been found to reduce the incidence of lower back injuries. The study examined the medical records of over 1,000 high school football players and found that those who wore backplates were less likely to sustain lower back injuries than those who did not. The study also found that using backplates did not increase the risk of injuries in other body areas.
The Evolution of Backplates
Backplates have existed for many years but have evolved significantly over time. Backplates were bulky and uncomfortable in the past and often interfered with a player’s range of motion. Today’s backplates are much more streamlined and lightweight, designed to fit snugly against a player’s body.
One of the biggest advancements in backplate technology has been the development of materials that can absorb and dissipate the force of impact. Many modern backplates are made from materials like foam, which can absorb shock and protect the lower back from injury. Some backplates even feature advanced shock absorption technology, such as gel or air pockets, which can reduce impact force.
The Benefits of Backplates
There are many benefits to wearing a backplate as part of your football gear. First and foremost, backplates provide increased protection for the lower back, an area particularly vulnerable to injury. By wearing a backplate, players can reduce their risk of suffering lower back injuries, which can be debilitating and career-ending.
In addition to providing protection, backplates also offer increased comfort and support. The hard plastic shell of the backplate helps to stabilize the lower back, which can help to reduce fatigue and improve a player’s performance on the field. Backplates can also help prevent chafing and irritation, a common problem with other types of protective gear.
How to Choose the Right Backplate
When choosing a backplate, there are a few key factors to consider. First and foremost, you’ll want to look for a backplate that fits properly and is comfortable to wear. You should also look for a backplate made from high-quality materials that can absorb and dissipate impact force.
Another important factor to consider is the style of the backplate. Some backplates are designed to be worn independently, while others are designed with a shoulder pad system. Consulting with a coach or equipment manager is always a good idea if you need help determining which backplate type is right for you.
Backplates have become an essential piece of football gear in recent years thanks to their ability to provide increased protection and comfort for players. By wearing a backplate, players can reduce their risk of suffering lower back injuries and improve their performance on the field. If you’re a football player looking to improve your gear, consider investing in a high-quality backplate.
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