How football equipment has changed over the years


Equipment used by footballers has not always been the same across the years. The game of football has greatly evolved from what looked like a rugby affair in 1860 to the game we all know now. The pieces of equipment used to protect the competitors from harm have also changed over the years. Either it is football helmet or Hook and loop boxing gloves.

This piece will major in demonstrating how the six football pieces of equipment has evolved. We will also seek to find out why the change had to occur in each of these equipment.

Some of the various factors that promoted evolution in this equipment include aesthetic desires, protection from injuries, and technological advancement. However, there is a relationship between football and boxing equipment.

The Helmet 

When the game of football was first played in the United States, it looked more of a rugby affair. However, during the first-ever football match to be played by Rutgers and Princeton, there was no use of a helmet.

Various sources claim a helmet was first used in 1893 in a football game happening in Annapolis which involved the army navy. The major reason for the use of a helmet and the technological advancement which happened across the years was to prevent injuries. However, Walter Camp came up with some rules which changed football to the game we know today.

These rules greatly separated football from rugby. The first helmets were made of leather straps  and they also ushered in the ear flap. Another major advancement of a helmet happened in 1940 when Riddell company in Chicago made plastic football helmets.

Once the technology of plastics and synthetic materials ended, helmets began to be made of the headgear which we all know today.

The face masks

 Before 1920, football players used to wear nose guards together with a helmet for protection.  This made playing football uncomfortable. Just like the helmet face mask, technology is constantly improving due to improvement in synthetic material.

The shoulder pads

 The idea of protecting the upper body came from the idea of protecting the head. The first shoulder pads were made by a student in Princeton in 1877. They were made of wool and leather. However, in 1970 shoulder pads began to be made of plastic materials.

As the was great change in the materials used to make shoulder pad so was the change in the area this equipment covered. This means that the equipment not only covered the shoulders but also the upper torso, upper chest, and ribs. However, there was a great evolution of shoulder pads in recent years.

The pants

Pants have not experienced a great revolution as compared to other gadgets. The first game in 1869 showed football players dressed like people in a civil war. This was followed by hip padding which came before the 19th century.

However, the design has remained the same across the century. The material in which they were made have evolved; from being made of canvas and wool to synthetic materials. This kind of pants also part of the boxing equipment being used in recent years.

The shoes

 The fast football match footballers played with boot-like devices. What caused an evolution in the shoes was not safety but the competitive nature of football as it was becoming a popular sport. Players needed to be effective and adapt to the changing field conditions.

The football shoe changed from being a boot like a shoe to a lower cut design also forms part of the boxing equipment. Technology has also changed the design in which shoes are made and what they are made of.

The ball

The ball is the most important piece of equipment in football games. The first ball to be used in football is thought to have its origin in ancient Rome and was round in shape. The first leather balls were also made by the sox pitcher. However, after many years of inconsistence, all footballs must now meet certain weight and size.

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Article by Lee

Lee created Football Jabber in 2007 as a sounding board for a love of the NFL, Fantasy Football, the NFL Draft, and College Football. He may or may not be responsible for the fall of the breakfast drink Tang. Lee tagged this post with: , , , , , , , , , , , Read 138 articles by Lee
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