Do High School Football Teams Provide Equipment?

Helmets, shoulder pads, cleats, and other football equipment are expensive. Do high school football teams provide equipment?

Do High School Football Teams Provide Equipment?

Yes, high school football teams usually provide players with their own equipment and replace equipment when it gets worn out or damaged. However, students might have to provide some equipment. For example, the school might provide a helmet, shoulder pads, and knee pads but not cleats. 

At my high school, we provide all of our football players with nearly all the equipment they need. Students only have to pay for equipment if they lose it. 

Do High School Football Teams Provide Equipment?

Yes, high school football teams provide most or all of a player’s equipment. Your high school may give you most but not necessarily all of the following equipment:

  • Helmet
  • Shoulder Pads
  • Thigh and Knee Pad
  • Hip Pads / Hip Guard / Hip Belt
  • Practice Pants
  • Gameday Pants
  • Gameday Socks
  • Practice Jerseys, Home and Away Jerseys
  • Mouthguard
  • Gloves
  • Cleats

Students don’t normally have to buy their equipment. While equipping a football team is expensive, high schools have big enough budgets. 

Do High School Football Teams Provide Equipment?

High School Football is Expensive

It can be expensive for a high school to equip a football team or to equip multiple teams. A large school with more than 1000 students might have three football teams. It might cost well over $100,000 to buy equipment for all of them. 

A helmet or a pair of shoulder pads costs $200, so the team might spend more than $30,000 on this equipment. Some helmets cost $400, and the team needs a lot of other protective equipment. Even the balls used in one season cost thousands of dollars. 

Occasionally, high schools and even universities cut their football teams because they don’t have the money for them. Football teams have a lot of players and they all need a lot of protective equipment. 

Football Equipment

Players, coaches, and parents should know a little about football equipment. A pair of cleats or shoulder pads that is great for a player in one position might not be good for another.


Modern helmets are better than earlier ones and protect against concussions and not only skull fractures. They are flexible as well as strong and include padding. A football helmet also protects the face and nose from injuries. 

Replacing helmets is a big part of the total expense of equipping a football team. Thankfully, helmets last for about ten years. Teams replace some helmets each year instead of most of them at once. 

If you are buying a helmet yourself, make sure it fits properly and has a chin strap to hold it in place better. If the helmet is loose, it won’t work that well to protect your head. You could be injured if your head moves around inside the helmet during an impact. 

Do High School Football Teams Provide Equipment?

Football Visors

A visor is also important. It prevents players on the other team from looking at your eyes to predict your movements a moment in advance. It also protects your eyes from dust and overly bright light. 

Make sure you get a high-quality visor. A low-quality one will fog up and obstruct your vision. It also needs to be very durable and able to handle an impact. 


Mouthguards are important in football, boxing, and many other sports. Many people lose some of their teeth if they don’t bother with mouthguards. 

It should fit properly so it is easy to talk and breathe with your mouthguard on. Mouthguards do not have to be uncomfortable. 

Shoulder Pads

Shoulder pads are mostly padding, with a hard plastic shell around them. They spread the impact across a wider area to prevent injury.

Shoulder pads protect your shoulders, chest, and upper back from injury. Without shoulder pads, you might break your scapula (shoulder blade) or your chest bones. Shoulder pads should protect the sternum in the middle of your chest. 

Shoulder Pads for Different Positions

Players in some positions need lighter shoulder pads for mobility or heavier shoulder pads for protection. Linebackers need fairly heavy pads, but wide receivers and quarterbacks need light ones. Defensive backs and running backs need the heaviest shoulder pads. 


Cleats both protect you from ankle injuries and boost your performance on the field. Ankle injuries are common, and it’s easier to keep your balance during a sudden turn if you have cleats on. There are different kinds of cleats for different positions. 

High Cut, Mid Cut, and Low Top Cleats

Low-top cleats offer the least protection but help you move the quickest. A player that needs to move fast and change direction suddenly needs low-top cleats. Defensive backs, running backs, and wide receivers can wear them. 

Mid-top cleats are somewhere in the middle and are best for quarterbacks. Some running backs and wide receivers might also wear mid-top cleats.

High-top cleats restrict mobility/agility a little but offer excellent protection. They are best for linemen. 

How Much Does High School Football Gear Weigh 2

Do Football Helmets Cause More Injuries Than They Prevent?

One could make a weak argument that football helmets cause rather than prevent injuries. This is not because the helmet injures the player, but because people play more recklessly without protection. 

The safety equipment makes the player feel like they won’t be injured. This false security makes them play unsafely and get seriously hurt. Without helmets, people might play more carefully and avoid injuries. 

However, it is more likely that injuries would increase if players stopped wearing helmets. Players should wear helmets but learn to avoid head impacts. They should know that a helmet does not always protect them in a collision. 

Key Takeaways

  • High schools usually pay for most or all of their football players’ equipment. Some students have to buy some equipment sometimes, but schools pay for most of it. 
  • Paying for a football team is expensive, but usually affordable. Many schools can afford teams, but some cut them due to budget issues. 
  • Helmets should have chin straps and visors. They should fight tightly or they won’t protect the player’s head that well. 
  • Helmets prevent a lot of injuries, and the technology gets better over time. However, it is still very important to teach players to avoid head impacts. They should not rely on their helmet to protect them. 

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