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Why Do Football Players Tape Their Fingers?

taping your fingers in football

You might have noticed that your favorite football player is wearing tape on their fingers. We’ll have you know that finger taping is a common practice in many sports, including football. It might help protect their fingers or improve grip strength.


So, if you wonder why do football players tape their fingers, we answer why below.


Taping For Injury Prevention

One of the reasons football players put tape on their fingers is injuries. It is crucial for professional athletes to look after their bodies, including their fingers. Finger joints are easily susceptible to bending, dislocation, or jamming and could significantly affect a football player’s performance.


Most players who tape their fingers are defensive and offensive linemen. They might not be wearing gloves that leave their hands naked, increasing the risk of injuries such as a sprain or bend in the joint. Hence, taping fingers help in injury prevention, shielding them from the impact or brunt of a fall.


Taping for Injury Recovery

Besides injury prevention, taping aids in injury recovery. There are many unfortunate players who do get their fingers dislocated, sprained, or broken, and that’s why taping helps. Taping allows the injured finger to heal so the injury doesn’t worsen, and the player doesn’t have to sit out the game. The injured finger is taped together with the finger next to it. This way, the player will only use four fingers in a game, but the injured finger will be shielded. This practice is also known as buddy taping. It is important to note that fingers shouldn’t be taped if any ligament tears or fractures are involved. And a player must seek medical assistance if they have any injury.


Taping for Grip

Another common reason for finger taping is grip. Many football players tape their fingers as they believe it will provide them with a better grip. Few sports scientists have rejected this claim that, as per research, taping doesn’t provide any additional grip and grip strength remains the same for taped and untaped fingers. Despite this, football players, especially quarterbacks and running backs, seem to tape their fingers, hoping for an improved grip that allows a faster and more precise passing.


Taping Catching Support

Taping your fingers during a football game prevents the fingers from bending backwards, softening the impact of a football as the players leap to catch it. You’ll notice most receivers taping their middle fingers and pinky fingers because of this.


Taping for Style

One more reason for finger taping is the drip and the looks it provides. Taping has become an accessory of sorts nowadays. In addition to armbands, custom cleans, and visors, finger taping makes a player look good.


How To Tape Fingers for Football?

Here is a step-by-step guide on how to tape your fingers for football:

  1. Cut 1- to 2-inch-wide strips of sports tape. Cut as many pieces as you require, and make sure that the strips are comfortably long enough to be wrapped around the fingers without restricting blood circulation and movement.
  2. Hold two fingers in place and wrap the tape strip around them. Start byplacing the tape between the middle and base knuckle, then smooth the edges with the other free hand.
  3. Take another tape strip, wrap it around between the top and middle knuckle of the same two fingers, and smoothen the tape out.
  4. Move your taped fingers and see if they move easily and comfortably. If you feel uncomfortable, remove the tape, and replace it till you are satisfied with the taping.


Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) About Finger Taping

How To Protect Your Fingers Other Than Using Tape?

If the tape is not enough in protecting fingers from football injuries, here are some alternatives:


Splints help keep the injured finger in place by using another finger to provide support and faster recovery. Splints can be used when a finger is fractured or dislocated, and tape doesn’t provide sufficient support.



If a player suffers from a severe finger injury and is positioned where not much use of fingers is required, they can use a club. A club is a compressive tensor bandage that is wrapped all over the hands, and the hand will look like a club. Most cornerbacks and defensive ends use a club as it doesn’t affect their position, and they can still perform effectively.


What Kind of Tape Is Used in Football?

Any athletic or sports tape is the best choice for taping fingers during a football game. If you need to do buddy taping for injured fingers, then it is best to use medical tape.


Why Do Football Players Use Tape on Their Fingers?

Footballer players tape their fingers for the following reasons:

  • To shield the fingers during a football game
  • To recover from a finger injury
  • To improve grip
  • To facilitate better catching


Is Finger Tape Used in Any Other Sport?

Besides football, finger taping is a common practice in martial arts, climbing, and grappling sports to increase grip strength and prevent injuries.


Does Finger Tape Affect Performance?

Most likely, taping your fingers doesn’t affect your performance. However, if you tape more than two fingers, it can restrict your freedom to move your hand, which might alter one’s performance. Therefore, it is best not to go crazy with finger tape and tape more than two fingers at once.


Our Final Thoughts

Every athlete’s worst nightmare is getting injured in the line of duty. It affects not only their careers but also their physical health. That’s why footballers take precautions to prevent injuries as much as they can, such as taping their fingers. Taping your fingers with an athletic tape helps prevent injuries and recover from existing injuries. Other reasons for finger taping are improving strength grip and gaining catch support.