When you are watching a football game, you may notice some players with tape covering the backs of their arms. The sight of NFL football players with tape reaching from the wrist to the back of the triceps on their arms is becoming increasingly prevalent. Alvin Kamara is the most well-known player to be seen wearing this tape at the moment, but others in the league do the same thing.
You may be wondering if the tape provides an advantage or if it is merely for show. Turf tape is the name of this type of tape that we commonly see today. Here’s a rundown of the several reasons why NFL and amateur football players wear tape on their arms.
Football is a particularly dangerous sport. Every season, many players are sidelined by injury, and some of them never return to the ring in good shape again in their lives. Wearing a single strand of tape around your arms can be all that’s needed to provide the protection you require. Yes, you read that correctly. This tape can aid in the prevention of injuries.
What Is the Tape that Football Players Wear?
In the NFL, college football, and high school football, it is common to see football players with white tape on the back of their arms. This style has become a growing trend and is popular among running backs and wide receivers.
The type of tape they use is Kinesiology arm tapes, and they are pretty easy to come by in sports stores and online. The tape is made using a combination of adhesives and mesh that provide a solid hold on the arm for a solid grip. It’s an adhesive that adheres directly to the arm, preventing it from being scratched by the turf surface.
Why Is this Tape Growing in Popularity?
Up until the late 90s, football games were mostly played on natural grass fields. Since the invention of field turf, the game has been played on these artificial surfaces, which have become increasingly popular. While synthetic turf is much easier to manage and maintain, it does increase the risks of injuries like scratches, cuts, and abrasions to the players. This is the primary reason behind the tapes growing popularity in football.
Why Do Football Players Wear Tape on Their Arms?
The main reason for wearing this tape is to protect football players’ arms, elbows and knees from cuts and scrapes when they fall to the ground. All football fields, whether natural grass or artificial, have some chance of causing scratches and cuts. So, players wear tape to protect themselves. Any method to reduce the potential of sports injury while not decreasing a player’s range of motion is preferable, so tape is the popular solution.
Any flesh that comes into contact with the turf surface rapidly will cause turf burn. Turf burn is hundreds of small scratches caused by the turf surface on your body, and the scratch gives the sensation of burning. Turf burn can especially be felt in the colder months when the ground is naturally harder, and the colder temperature just makes the pain worse.
This turf burn can develop infections if not taken care of properly or when it gets exposed to bacteria and sweat. The best method to avoid turf burn is to keep the skin covered and protected at all times. Aside from the tape’s ability to cover and protect the skin from turf burn, this tape also acts like a ‘bandage,’ which prevents dirt and sweat from adhering to the area and creating an infection. Hence, you usually only see tape being used on a player’s elbows, knees, and triceps area, as these parts of the body are most likely to come into contact with the ground.
Another reason you will see football players wear this tape is to customize their appearance. Like their counterparts in the NBA and MLB, NFL players like customizing their on-field appearances. As you might have seen, baseball players wear tinted visors; football players can use this tape to modify how they look and add some ‘swag’ to their game. Football tape is also common nowadays due to superstar players like Alvin Kamara. As an alternative to protecting crucial body regions such as elbows and knees, Kamara wears a band along the length of his entire arm as a styling choice.
Football Positions That Wear Tape
Turf tape can be and is recommended to be worn in any position. Since they are the primary targets for tackles, skill positions like running back and wide receiver are frequently seen wearing tape. As for defensive players, it can be worn by any defensive player to protect themselves from turf burns on the field. Playing in any high-impact position should require protecting yourself with turf tape. Football players protect most of their bodies with a helmet and body pads, so why not protect your skin too using a little bit of tape?
Doesn’t the Tape Come Off Due to Contact?
The quick answer to that question is – it shouldn’t. Good quality turf tape is designed to adhere to your skin and withstand wear and friction from the game’s surface. Turf tape can come off or be ripped if it is not put on properly, as is the case with most things. As a result, pay close attention to all of the directions. There can be many reasons for turf tape to not stick properly – due to hair or excessively oily skin.
What Is the Best Football Tape on the Market?
You can buy good-quality kinesiology tapes anywhere online or in most sports or health and wellness stores. Our choice for the best overall kinesiology tape is the KT Tape Original Cotton Elastic Kinesiology Therapeutic Athletic Tape. The KT tape is soft and breathable, and the material used is latex-free and hypoallergenic. This tape is also water-resistant, so it will remain on whether you are playing football in the sun or under the rain.