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As the most popular sport in the United States, football has been undergoing some safety upgrades in both equipment and rules over the last few years. The concentration on concussions and keeping players generally healthy that started in the NFL has since trickled down into youth leagues, so there are some things to look out for both on the field and in the store.
 
The National Federation of High School Associations made some rule changes for 2014, including some that have already taken effect in higher leagues. Rules prohibiting the “targeting,” or taking focus off the ball to hit a player, and protecting “defenseless” players, as well as a provision to clarify the forcefulness of a hit, are all changes in store for 2014.
 
While these offenses are penalties, it’s unlikely they’re intentional. So how can players better protect themselves? Thanks to companies like CHAMPRO Sports, there are some padding options aside from the helmet to keep players safe.
 
“Dunham’s has an increasingly broad line of compression garments and accessory sleeves with integrated pads systems, particularly Champro’s TRI-FLEX products,” said Ryan Hunt, vice president of marketing and product development of CHAMPRO Sports. “These items are more form fitting and move with players’ bodies better than previous generations of rib cage and arm protection.”
 
And these protective devices aren’t only for safety – they’re built for fashion, too. Hunt says that if a protective device is fashionable as well, there’s a better chance the player will wear it more often.
 
“We want to design protective equipment that looks good and that kids want to wear. If kids feel cool and comfortable when they wear their gear, they’re more likely to have it on when they need it,” Hunt said.
 
If the risk of injury is too much for you or your child to bear, there’s a safer option: flag football. Programs like USA Football and NFL Flag, through the NFL, teach young players all about topics like sportsmanship, injury prevention, concussion awareness and nutrition. With these types of programs, players of all ages have the ability to learn football the right way from the equipment, to play on the field, all the way to the handshake after the contest, and there’s a greatly reduced chance of injury.
 
Whether you or your child are learning how to make a proper tackle or how to pull off an opponent’s flag, Dunham’s has the gear to keep players safe from head to toe. And thanks to the innovations from companies like CHAMPRO Sports, America’s favorite sport will only grow safer.
 
-Laces Out
 
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