In semi-pro football, along with your uniform, you need special protection for your body:
- shoulder pads
- mouth guard
Ever since the development of the game, head injuries have been prevalent in football, and every year there are 300,000 incidents of concussions at all levels of the game [source: Berler]. Today's football helmets come designed with safety features to prevent concussions.
It's incredibly important to invest in a good helmet. It's protecting your head, after all, and you don't want to use your 10-year-old high school helmet. Look for helmets that have shock absorbers, polycarbonate shells, a proper ventilation system and foam inserts around the sides, where most concussion-inflicting hits occur.
This kind of protection may cost a few hundred dollars, but it's worth it, when you're trying to prevent head injuries. Price isn't necessarily an indicator of safety, so make sure that you aren't spending $200 on a helmet that will barely protect your skull.
And make sure your shoulder pads fit properly, or they don't offer any protection.
Be prepared to pay for this equipment yourself, though you may be lucky enough to be on a team that will provide some of your gear.
Equipment isn't the only thing you'll potentially pay for as a semi-pro player. How much do you really love this game?