Football backplates have become increasingly popular over the years. As quarterback’s often elect to wear rib pads, skill players (wide receivers and running backs) are often seen wearing the more stylish backplate.
Football backplates are attached to the back half of the shoulder pads. They support the lower spine and decrease the amount of impact on the lower back region.
Backplates are great for protection, but over the years have become a fashion statement for players. They allow them to showcase their creativity, as players have customized their look with different decals.
Let’s take a closer look at the back plate and what it does.
Protecting The Lower Back
Players often wear backplates to protect against any lower spine hits. Wide receivers are in the most danger for lower back hits. Anytime they run a slant, square-in, hitch, or any sort of comeback route, they’re exposing their lower back and spine to the defender.
Because of the recent targeting rules and penalties, players are more likely to shy away from the high hits and aim for the lower back or legs. Football backplates will help reduce the impact in the lower back.
Football back pads, like rib pads, are not a required piece of equipment like shoulder pads are. Players may opt to wear them if they feel it’s necessary.
Although lower back hits are not as common as lower abdomen hits, players elect to wear backplates instead of rib pads – mainly because rib pads aren’t as restrictive.
Back Plate Style
Players started to wear backplates as fashion statements. The square traditional backplate (often un-branded) was seen hanging out of the shirts of skill players.
With the recent growth of Battle, players are more apt to wear a crescent-shaped back pad to make a fashion statement – similar to how players sport Nike cleats & socks. Pair the back pad with armbands, a towel, arm sleeve, flashy cleats, and a speedy running back – now that’s intimidation!
Similar to how players wore stick-on eye black with letters and numbers on them, it wasn’t to keep the sun or light out of their eyes, but for a fashion statement.
The style of the backplate hanging out of jersey has become illegal in most leagues. NCAA rules force players to tuck in their jerseys, ultimately forcing the backplate to be hidden. This is a rule that is mandated by all referees, and they may even remove a player from the field of play until they tuck their shirt in.
Best Football Back Plates
We’ve chosen the best football back plates to protect your lower back based on a few metrics. Protection, price, and style were the three categories that went into our list.
Protection is of course at the top. Having a well put together backplate that will last you the entire season is crucial.
We’re always conscious of the pricing, as these items can get pricey. Last having a stylish backplate that you’re happy to show off and can be proud to rep that brand.
Here are the best football back plates to help you protect your back.
- Battle Back Plate
- Shock Doctor Back Plate
- Schutt Back Plate
- EvoShield Back Plate
- Riddell Grey Back Plate
Learn more about these back plates below.
Battle Back Plate
Our first backplate is the hottest one on the market right now. Battle, both as a brand and as a leader in equipment, has sturdy backplates that look stylish and can retain impact to last a whole season.
The backplates currently come in gold, black and white colors. The pricing falls right in line with the other backplates on the market of $29-$40.
Battle has also released a line of customary back plates that will make you stand out from every other player.
Here’s our top picks:
Shock Doctor BackPlate
A new player in the backplate space, Shock Doctor, known for their mouth guards, has joined the back protection industry.
Their backplates are great for both style and protecting the lower back from high impact.
Designed specifically for football, protects the lower back, kidneys, and spine. It will NOT limit your movement, speed, or mobility. Slightly curved pad to fit the back
Universal fit for athletes of all sizes, this backplate is great for players who are just getting introduced to the backplate game.
Schutt Back Plate
Schutt backplates are popular because they tend to match Schutt helmets and other pieces of equipment. The Schutt backplate is a great pick because not only will its material keep your lower back protected, it will often last the whole season.
Ventilated from high-density EVA and breathable fabrics, this backplate provides protection to the entire lower back.-
Fits all varsity Schutt shoulder pads and most competitor’s shoulder pads.
EvoShield Back Plate
EvoShield backplates are known for their popularity in the youth football space. Their stylish “shield” design helps protect youth athletes from lower back hits.
Attaches to most standard shoulder pads. Great starter option for anyone looking to save some money, and still have a stylish backplate.
Riddell Gray Back Plate
Riddell back plates are made from the popular football equipment company. The price point sits right at $20 which is rather inexpensive.
Riddell is popular manufacture that often makes high-quality equipment. Expect no different from this backplate, as they are consistent with their production of all their backplates – no different from their backplate. This is a reliable backplate that can be used for the first time or experienced backplate wearers.
What Positions Wear Football Back Plates?
Any position can wear backplate. Typically ball carriers or receivers sport backplates, however, any play who wants to protect the lower spine can wear a back pad.
It’s not a forced piece of equipment, but rather a piece of luxury a player may add to protect themselves.
How Do I Attach My Football Back Plate?
Football backplates are often attached via screws directly into the shoulder pads. Also, players can use zip ties to secure the backplate in place – however zip ties may break during the game.
We recommend buying the screws from the manufacture if you lose the screws that typically come standard with each purchase.
What’s your favorite backplate? Does your league allow you to have it hanging out during games? Let us know in the comments!
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