Football 101 | Chapter 3 | A Game for everyone

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The game of football is commonly played using 11 players from each team on the field at one time. Some teams and leagues in less populated regions of our country may play a modified version of the game with only six or eight players on the field from each team. Based on the position they play, players will vary in size, speed, overall physical ability, and technique development.

Tackle football is a full-contact sport. With the help of USA Football, administrators and coaches are constantly adjusting the game to make it safer. Rules are changed when needed prior to every season. Equipment is always undergoing testing and modification to make sure to provide as much protection as possible. Coaches teaching methods are always under review and change to provide the safest possible learning environment. Practice plans are formulated to teach the game with a minimum of full contact.

The level of contact is closely controlled by the distance the players are apart and the speed at which they conduct the drill. Players are matched, when possible, by size and temperament when conducting contact drills.

Coaches constantly monitor the weather and make certain that the players are properly hydrated during any practice session or game.

Abrasions, bumps and bruises are all part of the game and should be expected during the course of the year.

At the start of the season and again weekly during practices, parents, players and coaches need to make certain equipment fits correctly and is functioning properly for every player.

One of the most important pieces of equipment is the helmet. Next would be the shoulder pads, which may vary in size and construction, based on the position a player is playing. Hip, Thigh, Knee and Tail pads, some of which may fit into pre-constructed areas of the player’s football pants or compression girdles. Jersey and football pants, both should be washed after each practice and following games. Mouthpiece should be fitted properly, cleaned and kept in a secure carrying case. Appropriate well-fitting football cleats are important. It is important to try to hang and dry all pads and equipment after each practice or game.

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