uniforms may seem pretty straight forward in terms of the jerseys themselves, but when it comes to the pads and the other equipment that make up the full uniform, you may be surprised by some things.
Football is one of the most physically taxing sports you can play. With every down and every play there is physical contact that most people would never experience even once in their entire lifetime. Because of the nature of the game, the uniforms and equipment used in the game has evolved over time. Helmets have been reinforced in ways that wasn’t possible before, pads have been updated to better protect the players, sensors are added to some areas in order to monitor different aspects of the players during the game, and there are even telecommunication devices in some helmets.
The equipment and uniforms that football players use today are far different from those that were used in the past. Let’s take a look at some of the new and unusual things about football players’ uniforms that you may not have known about.
While football jerseys seem like they are just shirts worn over football pads, there is actually a lot of interesting thought that goes into the design.
Football jerseys need to be lightweight but also durable. They need to be able to handle the impact of hits while also standing up to pulling and stretching, and at the same time be comfortable to wear when it’s hot outside.
By utilizing special dual layered fabric that is both strong and breathable, football uniforms are able to fit well on the players bodies while not allowing the jersey to hinder their ability to move.
In addition to the physical properties of the jersey being conducive to allowing the players to play the game to the best of their ability, there is also some really cool tech being built into the overall uniform.
RFID Tags in Football Pads
The NFL has recently partnered with Zebra RFID to help track player’s movement and other motions while on the field.
These RIFD chips are built into the shoulder pads of the players so they are non-intrusive and can actively send data to receivers placed around the stadiums. This information can then be used by players and coaches to make adjustments to training and workout regimens, injury reports and more.
The RFID chips found in the shoulder pads of uniforms are different from those found in your cell phones, keycards, and retail theft prevention as these are actively sending out the signal and do not need to pass near a reader in order for the data to be accessed.
Due to them being able to transmit the data at any time, the RFID chips are about the size of a bottle cap instead of the flat sticker types that we’re used to. This is why they must be placed in the shoulder pads instead of sewn into the jerseys.
This RFID technology can even be used to track the ball movement on the field which can then be compared to the yard markers and ultimately be used to determine exactly where the ball should be placed after a play. This could help alleviate the need for replays when coaches are trying to determine if a challenge should be attempted, and even help referees when trying to determine the spot of the ball.
The technology is not quite there yet in terms of making in-game decisions, but as things progress, we expect this to become a part of the game in years to come.
Football Helmet And Shoulder Pad Design
The football helmet has undergone a lot of changes over the years as concussions and head injuries continue to impact current and former players of the game. New padding materials that allow for more breathing room while also tightening up on impact, have allowed the helmets to remain lightweight while also being extremely durable during impact.
The shoulder pads that NFL players wear has also been updated over the years. The new pads that players wear may seem to be smaller than the pads worn in the past, but the technology and design of them has created a much safer and lightweight pad.
These pads are able to dissipate the impact from hits across the whole pad, thus absorbing most of the energy released from the hit. This means that the pads themselves are taking most of the pressure of the hit while the player’s shoulder is not.
This technology will help prevent injuries and make the game safer for all of the players.
Another cool thing about the football helmets in the NFL that you may not know, is that they have built in audio devices so that the quarterback can hear the play calling from the coaches within their helmet, without having to go back to the sideline to get a play or rely on hand signals or yelling.
This technology has been used for years now and has been a revolutionary part of the game.
Innovation is the key to keeping the players safe while still allowing them the movability and protection that helmets and pads offer.
We’re excited to see where the next generation of protective gear and uniforms leads football players and the game of football. With the ability to embed small sensors in the helmets, pads, and even on the field, the game of football
can be more accurate and more monitored than ever before.