Soccer Safety: Precautions to Avoid Injuries

Soccer SafetyIn contact sports, the number of sports injuries is always on the higher side. Taking safety measures while playing contact sports will ensure that one does not suffer from grievous injuries, and is also able to avoid causing injuries to other players. One contact sport where these safety measures have an important role to play is soccer, for there are always high chances of injuries happening on the soccer field.

There are many advantages of playing different sports, among them is being healthy and fit. Group sports entice a lot of people for it helps to make friends and instills team spirit. Due to the many advantages, it is seen that a number of people have turned towards sports to keep themselves fit, physically and mentally. However, along with reaping benefits of sports, one will also have to take protective measures to reduce the risk of injuries. In this write-up, we will concentrate on preventing injuries while playing soccer. Although physical contact between players is not a planned part of the game, the contact is inevitable during a sport like soccer. The injuries can range from minor to major.

If one has to look at the sports from the spectators point of view, it may not necessarily seem to be a sport where one can be seriously injured. This can be attributed to the fact that there are some players who have mastered the art of gliding through the matches without any physical contact with other players. However, this is true for very few players as most of them have suffered cuts and bruises or have crashed into the ground or have bounced off due to a collision with another player. Hence, safety precautions to be taken while playing soccer have gained immense importance.

Prevention of Soccer Injuries

In soccer, there is a sudden and quick change of direction which leads to contact with the other players. At times, some players can become reckless. Therefore, safety measures have to be in place to protect the player.

Using Protective Gear

The soccer equipment has an important role to play in preventing soccer injuries. If one observes the players when they are on the field, it will be noticed that very few players will have taken the pains to wear the entire set of necessary protective gear. However, to protect oneself from injuries, it makes sense to wear the complete set of protective soccer gear.

Soccer Shoes: Soccer shoes are available in three types, namely molded cleats, ribbed soles, and screw-in cleats. It is recommended that one opts either for molded cleats or ribbed soles. The use of screw-in cleats should be limited and should be used when one is playing in a wet field or on a field with tall grass in it. It is often seen that players do not use the right-sized soccer shoes. Using the right-sized shoes will help in minimizing injuries to a good extent.

Shin Guard: It is seen that shins are the most injured part of the body in a soccer match. The shin guard helps in preventing the common soccer injury, namely the injured shin bone. They protect the legs up to the knees. They can be bought in plastic, rubber, and other forms. Often socks are used to cover the shins which lends necessary protection to the lower legs.

Mouthguard: Other than leg injuries, it is the dental injuries that are commonly seen in soccer. Although it is not mandatory to wear a mouthguard, it is recommended that one wears mouth guards to prevent orofacial injuries. This will also help in protecting the other players from concussions, in case of a collision.

Goalie Gear: Goalies are prone to injuries, therefore, they will have to wear the goalie gear to protect themselves from soccer balls, kicks, collisions, etc. Equipment is also available to protect the wrist, hand, and fingers, which can get severely injured when the goalie is trying to prevent the soccer ball from making its way into the goal post. The clothes a goalie wears should have light padding, so that the other parts of the body are protected as well.

Protecting Yourself and Others

In all the excitement of playing soccer, soccer players often do not inspect the soccer field before taking to it. Making sure the field does not have holes or any other obstacle which can cause injury is important. Obstacles, if any, should be stored away from the field to keep injuries at bay.

The goal post should be well padded to prevent head injuries caused by possible and accidental collision with the post. Although goal posts are firmly entrenched in the ground, it is important to lock the posts so that it does not trip on the players.

It is the duty of the coaches to make sure that all the rules of the game are followed, while the game is being played. At the same time, it is the duty of each player to make sure that he adheres to the rules of the game. It will not only help in preventing injuries to other players but also to oneself. One of the rules followed by most of the leagues is not to use the sliding tackles from behind. This has caused serious injuries in the past, therefore, it has been prohibited.

Care should be taken when one is using heading techniques. There have been many injuries when a player has tried to head the ball and hurt another player in the process. It can also lead to neck injuries due to the impact. Along with head and neck injuries, one has to make sure that one protects the teeth, mouth, and tongue while heading the ball.

Along with taking care when one is heading the ball, one should be careful and avoid head-on collisions. The first precautionary measure that has to be taken is not to charge down the field without paying attention to the position and movements of other players. The next measure is to keep the head up and always be attentive of the players from your team as well as from the opposing team.

Some Essentials Not To Be Overlooked

Now is the time to check the measures that have to be taken to avoid personal injuries during soccer. The first measure that is to be taken is to maintain the fitness levels. If one is not at the optimum fitness level, the chances of injuries rise incredibly. One must have a fitness program in place, which will include aerobic exercise along with strength training. The other aspect of the fitness program is flexibility. If one has not trained in a long time, it is best to increase the training period gradually. This will help in building up the fitness levels.

Stretching is an important part of the fitness regime, which is a ‘must do’ part of the precautions to be taken when one is playing soccer. However, it is commonly seen that most players do not stretch before as well as after the game. When the muscles are stretched properly, tearing and pulling of ligaments and muscles are prevented. Hence, stretching has to be a part of the warm-up as well as cool-down. However, before you stretch before a practice or a game, it is important that you warm up the muscles a little. If the muscles are cold, it increases the chances of injury manifold.

Dehydration is often the cause of muscles cramps. Therefore, it is important that the player is well hydrated. However, it does not mean that one gulps down huge quantities of water at one go. Water should be consumed by sipping small quantities. Often, dehydration causes cramps. In case of a cramp, it is best that the player leaves the field and comes back only after the cramping feeling has subsided completely.

Following basic soccer ethics will go a long way in preventing soccer injuries. Here is a list of DOs and DON’Ts:

-Passing negative or personal comments about the players from the opposing team can insinuate a verbal battle, which in turn can turn physical and violent. Hence, it is necessary that one refrains from passing any hurtful comments.
-Often fights between team members ensue because a particular player does not pay attention to the spirit of the game. At the end of the day, it is important to note that one is after all playing only a game. Avoid cheating in the game. When a match is lost, you will learn from the mistakes, which will help in improving your game to a large extent, rather than cheating and winning the game.
-As a sports player, each soccer player should have and display sportsman spirit, which is the most important soccer etiquette. This should clearly be evident in case of a defeat. Defeat should be accepted with dignity. It is important that the opponent team is congratulated on their win. While accepting the congratulatory wishes, the winning team members should refrain from taunting the members of the opposing team and remember it is ‘just’ a game.
-Players should avoid getting into brawls on the field as well as off the field. Often it is small spats which become ugly. All that happens on the soccer field is best left there itself.

In spite of taking all the required soccer safety precautions, accidents are bound to happen given the nature of the game. Hence, it is important to have first aid kits handy in case of an untoward accident so that the basic treatment can be handed out to the player before he gets proper medical attention. Last but not the least, it is the duty of the players to protect themselves and the other players during the game of soccer and avoid any untoward incident.

Choose the Right Soccer Ball

All soccer balls might seem the same, but there are some major differences in the brands that you need to consider while buying the perfect one for your playing needs. In this article, you will come to know how to choose the right soccer ball for you or your team.

Soccer, also known as football in some countries, is believed to be one of the most popular sports in the world. Watching professionals play this game is certainly fun. Many people are impressed by the skills and stamina involved in this game and decide to start playing. However, you need to know that professional are trained athletes who have the best coaching and gear. If you are thinking about starting to play soccer, the first thing to do is to choose an appropriate ball. Though it may seem that all balls are the same; they might differ in size, quality, and some other factors. Beginners might go for a particular ball by looking at its color and design, which is not a good way of choosing the perfect ball.

Tips on Choosing the Right Soccer Ball

Seasoned football professionals say that there are four factors in determining a good soccer ball: the type, size, the bladder and brand.

Type of Soccer Sport
You need to decide on the level of playing you would be opting for, that is outdoor playing or indoor playing. Outdoor balls are made as per professional soccer standards and the wear and tear they happen to go through. On the other hand, indoor soccer balls are manufactured to suit indoor conditions. For example, these balls are made in a way that they would bounce about 30% less than their outdoor counterparts. Besides, the covering of these balls is made up with a material that is quite similar to that of tennis balls.

Size of the Ball
Next comes soccer ball sizes, which is generally classified in three, four and five. The smallest-sized balls range from 23 to 24 inches, and are most suitable for children. As per standards, these are good choices for those below 8 years. Balls of size four are a little bigger than the previous ones and are most suitable for soccer enthusiasts between 8 to 12 years. Those which have international standards come in size five which is the biggest. These are appropriate for anyone above 12 years.

The Cover or Surface Type
The cover and bladder are two major parts of a soccer ball, which differ significantly in ball types. Traditionally, the surface of the ball is made out of materials namely the synthetic Polyurethane (PU), Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC), and rubber. Those made with rubber are most suitable for practice and daily playing. Those made up of Polyurethane are more durable and have good water resistance qualities. Soccer balls whose surface is manufactured using PVC material are light and more durable.

The Bladder Type
The bladder is the main material that keeps the ball inflated and in proper shape. It has a valve for filling air. Soccer balls made for practice are manufactured using a combination of butyl and rubber. They do hold air much better than latex ones, but are not light and have a heavy feel on the feet. Professional ones have bladders made with latex, which make the balls more responsive both with the feet and head. They are soft on the feet and maintain the shape of the ball for a long time.

Choosing the Brand
If you are just playing for the sake of exercise, you can simply go into a sports shop and choose a locally made brand. However, if you are thinking about serious matches and practice, there are few good options like Nike, Adidas, Puma, and Umbro. Those from Nike and Adidas are used in professional league sports. However, you will have to pay a decent price for a soccer ball from these world famous brands.

For better control, practice with a ball which is of the same size like the one that you are going to play a match with. While practicing for a match, use the complete gear, to get a feel of the game and increase interest. For better control of the ball, choose good quality soccer shoes which fit you well. Choosing a ball with FIFA Approved or FIFA Inspected logo will ensure utmost durability and quality.

Plyometric Drills and Exercises

Soccer is a sport that is played on a large ground, with players taking very little rest during the game. It has been estimated that players cover 8-12 kms during a match, during which they jog, sprint, walk, move backwards and also move whilst in possession of the ball. It sure can be tiring! Strength training increases muscle and body strength, corrects muscle imbalances, and prevents injuries.

Plyometrics

In 1975, American track and field coach Fred Wilt coined the term plyometrics, combining two Latin words pilo, which means more, and metrics, meaning to measure. It is a form of exercise that produces fast and powerful muscle movements. It is designed to optimize contractions of the muscles at the highest speed possible, and aims to improve performance. Following are some exercises that make use of muscle elasticity, strength, and innervations, which in turn enables the player to jump higher, hit harder, or throw farther.

Lower Body Plyometric Exercises

Split Squat Jumps: Stand with feet apart, and take the left leg and step back approximately 2 feet standing on the ball of back foot. Your feet should be positioned in such a way that the head and back are in an erect and straight position. Lower the body by bending at right knee until thigh is parallel to floor then immediately jump back. Switch feet in the air so that the front foot lands backward and vice versa.

Tuck Jumps: Stand with your feet apart, and the knees slightly bent, with arms flung at sides. Jump up, bringing knees close to the chest. Land on balls of feet and repeat at once. Each time you jump, reduce ground contact time, springing into air immediately.

Bounding: This exercise is in a running motion, that focuses more on foot push-off and reduced air time. Start by jogging in a forward momentum. After a few feet of jogging, forcefully push off with the left foot and bring the leg forward, and simultaneously bring the right arm forward. Repeat with other right leg and left arm.

Upper Body Plyometric Drills

Plyometric Push-Ups: Get into a push-up position, lower yourself to the ground and then forcefully push yourself up so that your hands immediately leave the ground. Break your fall with your hands and lower yourself into a push-up again and repeat with force.

Overhead Throws: Stand with one foot in front, and knees slightly bent. Pull the ball back behind the head and forcefully throw forward as far as possible (preferably onto a wall). Catch ball as it bounces towards you, and keep repeating. The time taken between pulling the ball back and starting the throw should be reduced with every action.

Explosive Start Throws: Stand with feet slightly apart, and bend the knees slightly. Lift ball up to chest level. Quickly run forward and throw the ball straight out as far and fast as you can. At the same time you throw the ball forcefully, explode forward in a sprint.

Basic Plyometric Exercises

-Placing feet together, hop side to side, forward and backwards.
-Skip for distance and height, try being suspended in the air for a longer time.
-While jumping pull your legs up into your body.
-Run up and down the stairs, really fast. Hop and skip a few steps alternatively. But be careful, you don’t want to trip!
-Jump as high as you can, and land straight on your feet every time you do so.
-Jump on and off a sturdy platform, initially start with higher elevations, and then move on to a smaller platform.
-Jump over alternatively using the left and right foot. Follow-up with jumps over the ball from front to back.

It’s important to warm up with light aerobic activity followed by some stretching exercises. Though these drills don’t tire one out, it is imperative to take breaks and stick to the prescribed program. All these exercises and drills require professional advice and coaching, so make sure you get it before you embark on a plyometric fitness regime.

Pack a Golf Bag

Golf BagGolf is one of the most loved and also widely played sport in the world. However, along with actual game play, you also need to prepare a lot for it. Packing the bag tops the list of things that need to be done before a game. This article deals with the different methods and tips on organizing and packing a golf bag.

Tips on Packing a Golf Bag

It is easy to pack a golf bag; however, you need to do it with utmost care so that you find the right thing at the right moment. Before packing, you should make a list of things that you will require for golf: golf clubs, balls, tees, towels, gloves, socks, first aid, waterproof clothing, some food and water.

-The first thing you need to do is buy an appropriate bag. Golf bags are available in different sizes, shapes, colors, and price ranges. You should look for the one that suits your budget, is easy to carry and is durable. Although Callaway golf bags are considered as one of the best in the market; after a little research, you will find the one that fits in your criteria. If you are traveling a longer distance with the bag, make sure that they have padded slots for protecting the clubs. Bags with wheels are the most practical and easy to use.
-Most golf bags have 3 larger slots to keep the different types of golf clubs. However, some modern golf bags have individual slots for every golf club. Both these types can be convenient. You should first check out the pockets of the bag and place your golf clubs accordingly. The head of golf club should be at the top. Cover the heads of the clubs and pull the fastener over it to cover it completely.
-Apart from slots for golf clubs, the bag will have long, medium-sized and small pockets. The long pockets are for clothes, waterproof clothing, umbrella, etc. You can also pack a spare set of golf shoes in the long pockets. Make sure that the pockets are tightly closed.
-The medium-sized pockets are for socks, gloves, golf balls, towel. The towel can be taken out and placed at the outer loop of the bag during the game. Medium-sized pockets are also helpful for packing some dry snacks like protein bars, dried fruits, and a bottle of water. In case you are using the golf bag as your traveling bag, make sure you add other essential articles like hats, extra clothes, etc.
-Some golf bags have cooler pockets to their sides. These are insulated and can be used for keeping water bottles, etc. If not used for storing water, they can also be used for storing other things like clothes, towel, etc.
-Lastly, pack the first aid kit, sunscreen, lip balm, sunglasses, spikes, pocket knife, marker, in the smaller pocket.

Lastly, as one of the important tips, you can also make a list of things that are packed in your bag and keep it in one of the small pockets. You can also attach a name and contact number tag to it for easy identification. Good luck and enjoy your game!

Best Golf Balls for Distance

So, you’ve moved beyond the conventional hit-and-play game, and can now tee off on the greens! The next step to keeping your spirits high while playing golf is to pick up a set of golf balls that offer extra yards and lesser spin. While these aspects give a golfer a tad-bit of opportunity to hoist their scores, they also attack factors such as swing speed, handicap, and equipment. For both beginners as well as avid golfers, sports companies all over the world have put forth a variety of golf balls which create a difference in your game from the very first time you play golf. So, in accordance with all the latest reviews, allow me to update you with the best golf balls for distance. Make sure you don’t purchase them without assistance from a professional golfer.

For Beginners
Beginners can make the best use of golf balls for distance. The reason behind this fact is that for golfers who are in their initial stage of learning, such kinds of balls provide an extra distance and lesser spin, thus, encouraging them. The only suggestion would be not going for an expensive purchase, since, you cannot afford to buy a new ball every time you lose a ball while practicing, can you?

Name Price* (per pack)
Callaway Warbird Golf Balls $15-$40
Top-Flite XL Series Golf Balls $10-$15
Wilson D:25 Distance Golf Balls $10-$20
Maxfli HT Tour Golf Balls $20-$30
Noodle + Easy Distance Golf Balls $15-$20

For Seniors
Hardware equipment acquire a propensity in its performance wonted by its user. Although practically the statement is a moot point, personal experiences shared by professionals waves accountable reasoning. The best golf balls for a particular golfer can handicap another golfer’s game. Game experience earns a player to understand the kind of ball compatible to the game, granting him optimum performance. This aspect makes that brand the best pick for you. So, what are the picks within best golf balls for the money which offer great distance and lesser spin to avid golfers? Take a shot at the following:

Name Price* (per pack)
Titleist DT Solo Golf Balls $20-$30
Bridgestone Golf Tour B330 Golf Balls $25-$30
Nike One Vapor Speed Golf Balls $30-$40
Callaway HXBite Golf Balls $30-$40
Taylormade Penta TP Golf Balls $45-$50
Bridgestone e6 Golf Balls $25-$30

*The price of the above golf balls are approximate and may be subject to change.

How to Buy
The availability of options for selecting golf balls promotes the necessity of abiding by the idea that there are different type of balls with manufacture specifications suited for different kind(s) of players. The quintessential to be kept in mind before buying is to read and learn everything about the various characteristic features of the balls fulfilling that demand. Moreover, experience must determine the level of a golfer. It’s better to stick to economically priced balls if you’re a beginner, and later on switch to highly professional golf balls and kits as a whole.

Discussed above was all information about distance golf balls, which are affordable, and can offer a paramount quality game. Keep your golf balls clean, and maintain their quality for a better game, and soon you can become one of the top-league golfers. Come on, tell me… are you game for it?

Buying Used Golf Cart

A golf cart adds speed and style to your game. By saving you a few breaths, it keeps you fresh for the next shot. Here is information on buying a used golf cart.
You can choose either an electric or gas-powered golf cart depending on your inclination or need. The price of a new golf cart ranges from $4,500 to $14,000 plus. At the time of writing, the price of a used electric golf cart is in the range of $2,000 to $4,000, while a gas-powered golf cart can be bought for $2,500 to $4,000. Cost-wise, it is economical to buy a used golf cart. It will assist you to zero in on the right kind of golf cart you need.

Used Golf Cart Buying Tips

Personal Contacts
You may come to know that a used golf cart is for sale through your personal contacts. Have a look at the vehicle. Try to interact with the owner to know about the condition and performance of the cart. If possible test ride it. If the vehicle’s performance is already known to you, then it will be a deciding factor in your decision to buy it. You can also inquire if any of the golf courses, airports or resorts near your town is replacing its fleet.

Dealer
If you are looking for a used golf cart in your locality, then it is a better idea to contact a dealer directly. The dealer may offer you a renovated golf cart. While renovating a cart, a dealer repairs it to restore it to working condition. Such a vehicle, cleaned and painted, looks almost new. The dealer may offer a seller’s warranty to cover you, in case of vehicle malfunction. Or, he may offer you a golf cart on ‘as it is’ basis without any warranty. Such a vehicle may have a new coat of paint and will be cleaned, though not thoroughly; it could prove to be the cheapest option. On the other hand, it may breakdown often and you could lose money. Choose this option only if you really know about golf carts and its workings and how to maintain them. Test ride the vehicle to get a fair idea of its performance and suitability. It will help you to decide whether the vehicle is compatible with your needs or not.

Online Shopping
Nowadays, you can go to an internet websites such as eBay and check out the golf carts available for sale. Make sure you know as much as possible about the one that interests you. On such websites you have the option of participating in the auction to buy the cart or you can buy it immediately, if you want to match the cart’s reserve price. You may have heard one of two things about online shopping and may not like to invest thousands of dollars in a cart that you cannot touch or test drive. If these things are discouraging you from a golden opportunity, then you can check out the seller’s feedback rating; higher it is the more reliable the seller is. It is important to know how much it will cost you to get the cart delivered to your place.

Golf Cart Buying Checklist

-Does the golf cart appear well looked after?
-Are any parts or accessories such as the seats, windshield, canopy or bag racks missing?
-Check out cart’s frame and body for damage, like dents or corrosion. Normally, it is made of steel or aluminum and replacing it can be a costly affair. Check out the quality of the repairs too, if there are any.
-Check out condition of all the tires and suspensions. Test drive it to know that it runs smoothly, without making too much of noise and is easy to handle during turns and climbs.
-If it is a custom modified golf cart with lift kits or flip seats, get a grip on your heart rate and check them thoroughly for the quality of the work and inquire about who conducted it.
-If you have zeroed in on an electric golf cart, make sure that all the electric circuits and upgrades, if they are any, such as high torque motors or controllers, are in order and batteries are not leaking.

Gas Powered Golf Carts

If you are going to use the golf cart for hauling cargo, then surely you will need a box for the cargo. The price of the box will be an extra expense on top of the price of the cart. Carts powered by diesel or gas engines can be used for heavy-duty loads. The operating range of these carts can be increased with a can or two of petrol or diesel stored in the back of the car. If there’s no electric supply at hand, gas or diesel-powered carts are the right choice for you. Both are quite expensive to maintain and operate than an electric golf cart. They are noisy and pollute the environment. A diesel-powered cart is more economical than a gas-powered one. 4-stroke engines are less noisy, cleaner and more economical than 2-stroke engines. Gas or diesel-powered golf carts are not for you, if you want a silent and eco-friendly cart. These type of golf carts are not the preferred choice of customers. This is an important point to consider, if you are buying the cart with the intention of selling it in the near future. Before buying a used gas-powered golf cart, better check on the new models of the same type and the rising fuel prices.

Electric Golf Carts

People who use these type of carts for various purposes are preferring electric golf carts. Batteries function as the heart of this type of vehicles. These carts come in 24 volts, 36 volts, 48 volts and 72 volts models. A 48 volts model performs well, in most cases. How much weight an electric golf cart carries, and at what speed, affects the operating range of the cart. Driving through rough terrain, climbing hills with heavy loads will be more taxing on the batteries than driving on a grass or asphalt road. Try to match your needs to the carts available for resale. Suppose you need more pulling power or speed than the selected cart, then it can be modified. Electric golf carts are easier to modify than gas-powered carts, but you will have to spend extra money to do so. Electric golf carts are environment-friendly and less noisy.

If you are a golf player, buying a used golf cart will save you a lot of money and legwork. It can be put to other uses as well. Teenagers are using it to commute to college. You can use it to travel short distances and to run errands within the community where you live. When you are playing golf, you are in direct contact with the elements; the sun warming your back, the wind playing with your hair, the green grass under your feet, and the open turf of golf course in front of you. Add another element to this experience, the wheels of your golf cart.

Best Ankle Braces for Basketball

Basketball players who have a history of ankle injuries are required to wear an ankle brace to prevent the injury from worsening. Picking the best ankle brace requires careful attention to detail though, since an inappropriate brace can cause more damage.
Wearing an ankle brace while playing basketball is an effective way of preventing injuries during the game, and it is also a highly useful tool for someone who has suffered an ankle injury in the past and is still on the path to recovery. People who have a history of ankle injuries must wear these braces while they are playing basketball, so as to avoid a recurrence of their injury troubles. Many professional basketball players also wear these braces for the sole purpose of preventing injuries, since they are well aware that basketball is a game that often results in some pretty serious ankle damage.

The game involves a lot of high intensity movements by a player, and the constant jumping can lead to an ankle injury that stems from a sprained ankle. If a minor injury is not treated effectively, it can morph itself into full-fledged ligament damage, and this is something that takes years to recover from. As a result of this, basketball players are regularly advised to protect their ankle in any manner possible, and wearing ankle support braces for basketball is the best way to achieve this.

Top Ankle Braces for Basketball Players

Picking an ankle brace is something that needs to be paid close attention to, since there are many different types available in the market. Moreover, certain injuries require special kinds of ankle braces, so it is always best to consult a physiotherapist before settling on one. Trying on the brace itself is imperative, since putting on an ill-fitting brace can also lead to further damage. Many people feel that all such braces are similar, and this is a misconception that needs to be eradicated.

The support that these braces provide help a player get back to fitness faster, and it also helps him move around the court with less difficulty. There are some people for whom wearing an ankle brace while playing is something that they will have to do for the rest of their lives. While there are others for whom it speeds up the recovery process. Either way, it does take some time to get used to playing basketball with a brace on, since the brace restricts the movement and speed of the player to a certain extent.

ASO Ankle Brace
ASO is a brand that is famous for making some of the best ankle braces for athletes, and this particular brace is one of the best offerings by them. The design of the brace is such that it locks the ankle in a similar way that tying a tape around it would, and this inevitably leads to maximum protection of the ankle. People who are suffering from acute ankle problems should definitely try this brace, which is popularly recommended by many specialists. You can expect to pay around $30 for this one.

Cramer T2 Active Ankle Brace
This is a minimalistic and basic model that works wonders for someone who has had a serious ankle injury in the past. The design is such that it prevents any external contact on the ankle, and the strap which passes along the sole of the foot also prevents any injury that may occur when a basketball player lands awkwardly. A variety of sizes are available, and you can procure this brace for around $35.

McDavid Lightweight Ankle Brace
This one will cost you around $25, and it is the most widely selling basketball ankle brace over the Internet. This particular brace is highly recommended by physiotherapists, and it is popularly used by many thousands of people. In fact, this brace is not just used by basketball players alone, but by athletes and sportsmen who play multiple other sports. The lightweight nature of this brace makes it highly effective and non-invasive, and its 2 layers of nylon and vinyl grant it several other benefits as well.

Tandem Swede-O Tarsal Lok Ankle Brace
The design of this particular ankle brace is so effective that it has actually been patented by the designers. Since the brace is available in a variety of sizes it can easily fit the ankle of any individual. Moreover, the inner portion of the brace is made of Fortilene, which causes the brace to take up the shape of the wearers ankle after a few hours of use. The brace costs around $28, but you can also find it for as little as $15 on some online portals.

Some other famous brands from whom you can get the best ankle brace for basketball are Air Cast, DonJoy, MalleoLoc, Procare and Zensah. Keep in mind that every individual’s requirements are different because of the nature of their injury and the physical condition of their body. It is absolutely essential to consult a doctor and get his expert opinion before you settle on a specific one because the wrong kind of brace can inadvertently lead to worsening of the injury.

Basketball Equipment

Basketball is an immensely popular sport that is enjoyed by people of all age groups. Unlike football, baseball, and hockey, basketball is a sport that can be played with minimal equipment. However, when it is played competitively, the amount of equipment required does go up by a considerable amount.
Though basketball is considered a contact sport, there is not much safety equipment that is required. While players in the professional leagues wear mouth guards, and various other protective gear, this is not required for normal competitive basketball.
Did You Know?
Basketball was originally played with a soccer ball!
A basketball is definitely the most important equipment required to play the sport of basketball. You can have every other equipment but without a ball, it would account for nothing. Basketballs come in different sizes, that vary according to the age group of the players.
As far as professional basketball competitions are concerned, most leagues use size 7 for men’s competitions, and size 6 for women’s competitions. Size 7 corresponds to 29.5 to 30 inches of circumference, whereas size 6 corresponds to 28.5 inches of circumference. Besides the size, basketballs also come in varying materials, of which there are two major types.
Rubber Basketballs
Basketballs made out of rubber are primarily used on outdoor playing surfaces, though they can be used on indoor courts too. These balls are heavier, more durable, and cost less than other types of basketballs.
Leather Basketballs
Basketballs made out of leather are primarily used on indoor playing surfaces, and are referred to as indoor basketballs. They can be used outdoors as well, but are not made for outdoor courts, and hence get damaged or worn out quicker when used outdoors. They are lighter in weight as compared to rubber basketballs, and more expensive.
Basketball Court
A basketball court is a rectangular surface consisting of two posts on either side, to which the backboards are attached. The size of the court differs with every league. The surface of the court is usually made out of wood or cement. Indoor courts that are used for competitive matches are usually made out of maple wood which is polished, whereas outdoor courts meant for casual play are usually made out of cement.
In the National Basketball Association (NBA), which is the highest professional league for basketball in America, the official size of the court is 94 feet by 50 feet. In the International Basketball Federation (FIBA), the court is around 91 feet by 49 feet, which is slightly smaller than the NBA court. Schools and institutions have even smaller courts, some as small as 74 feet by 42 feet.
The Basket
The basket, also referred to as a hoop or a ring, is a horizontal metallic rim, circular in shape. This rim is attached to a net, which is usually made out of nylon or steel. The rim is mounted 10 feet above the court. Some leagues, that cater to younger children, may have baskets that are lower than 10 feet.
The Backboard
The backboard is a vertical board made out of Plexiglas or wood, to which the basket is attached. This is the surface used by players to rebound their shots into the basket. In professional basketball , this board is made out of Plexiglas and not wood, not only because the former is more durable, but also because the opaqueness of wood proves to be a hindrance for the spectators whose view of the game can be blocked if they are sitting in line with the backboard.
The Apparel
The clothing or the uniform used in basketball is the next most important thing, as having the right attire can make you feel comfortable during the game or practice. Comfort is important since a lot of actions and movements in basketball require your joints to have full range of motion. Wrong attire can hinder the flexibility of the player.
Jersey and Shorts
Basketball is typically played in a jersey and shorts. The jersey should preferably be sleeveless, so that it does not hinder the shooting action at all. If you are playing in competitive matches, it is advisable that a team should wear the same colored jersey and shorts as it makes it easier to spot your teammates. In professional leagues, this a mandatory requirement anyway.
Shoes
Wearing basketball shoes is very significant as opposed to donning usual sneakers, as these shoes are designed specifically for the game of basketball. They are ankle length shoes designed to give protection to the ankle, as basketball is a sport that involves a lot of jumping, twists, and turns. These shoes provide a lot of traction too.
Additional Equipment
In addition to the equipment mentioned above, other things are required when the game is played professionally. The most important of these are as listed:
Scoreboard
A scoreboard is required to keep count of the score when a match is being played. A basic scoreboard consists of a digital clock that keeps track of the time of the match, as well as a digital screen that keeps the track of the score of both teams. A scoreboard is usually placed on the sidelines in semi-professional leagues, and at the top in professional competitions.
Shot Clock
A shot clock is a digital clock, usually placed at the top of the backboard, which counts down from 24 seconds, during which time the team in possession of the basketball has to make a shot that touches the rim of the hoop. Failure to do so results in a violation against the team in possession. Once the ball has touched the rim, the shot clock automatically resets and begins another countdown of 24 seconds.
Referee Whistle
A referee whistle is required when matches are being played competitively. The referee uses a whistle to indicate the start or end of a game and to halt the play in the middle of a game. This is done to indicate fouls, timeouts, or if the basketball has traveled out-of-bounds. A whistle can be either made from aluminum or plastic.
Now that you are aware of the different equipment required to play the game of basketball, go out and get your gear to involve yourself in one of the most exciting and popular sports in the world.

Wide Basketball Shoes

Playing basketball puts lots of strain on ankles and feet. Wide basketball shoes can act as a great support for the tensed feet and ankle bones. Shopping the right kind of basketball shoes suited best to you, requires some pointers to be followed. Have a look on them, in this article.
Wide Basketball Shoes

If you think that basketball shoes are same as our normal track shoes then you are mistaken. Basketball shoes are manufactured keeping in mind the rigorous activities players have to perform during games or training sessions. Being a game that requires quick maneuvering, abrupt jumps and fast, subtle running, basketball is unique in many ways. Buying the right sets of shoes is essential for players because their stability in this intense court sport depends on the comfort level of their shoes. A basketball player who is mostly the attacker in the side will prefer a shoe that will impart him maximum thrust to jump when it comes to shooting the basket. A player who runs and ensures smooth passes will focus on shoes that can help him to run faster, stop abruptly and turn faster without causing any discomfort. Brands like Nike, Reebok and Adidas put significant research and scientific analysis before designing and manufacturing basketball shoes.

Why Wide Basketball Shoes for Men?
Many players with wide feet tend to prefer extra wide basketball shoes. The reason behind such an act is that unlike our common basketball shoes, wide basketball shoes have some significant advantages. When it comes to deciding the type of basketball shoes that is best for a player, one needs to look at the type of player an individual is. Power players, that is, those who attack and shoot the basket require wide basketball shoes, that are heavier and impart more cushioning, support and durability to the shoes. Being of larger width, wide basketball shoes allow a player with wider feet to adjust his feet with tremendous ease and flexibility inside the shoes, without creating any issues of decreasing the grip on the ground. For all round players and power players, cushioning acts as a great advantage in wide basketball shoes. Moreover, these shoes also allow excellent breathing mechanisms thereby decreasing sweating inside the shoes or preventing risk of any fungal infections.

Extra wide basketball shoes are specifically designed large sized shoes and if they fit you, then they are always a great option. They will absorb shock and safeguard your ankles and feet from injuries. Imagine wearing tight shoes for long hours and playing in an intense basketball match. Your blood circulation in feet and upper legs will not be adequate all through the game and you may end up performing poorly or suffering cuts or bruises in the feet. Continuous blood supply to the feet area is essential to keep the leg functioning effectively.

Who Makes Wide Basketball Shoes?
Many companies have dedicated series of shoes for basketball players with wide feet. Players who find it difficult to get a shoe of right size must try wide basketball shoes, as they offer excellent cushioning and are comfortable to wear. Nike, Reebok and Adidas are the world popular brands that make basketball shoes for large and wide feet. In case, you find it difficult to select shoes of your size in the market, you will be glad to know that you can order for customized shoes as per your requirements and that too for your brands like Nike, Reebok or Adidas! So you enjoy all the goodness of wide basketball shoes by designing them on your own. You can visit the official website of all the three brands to get updated information regarding their customized shoe programs.

Wide basketball shoes, meant for individuals with wide feet can be very spacious and easy to wear. If you have large feet and you don’t find appropriate shoes for them, then do buy them and have fun playing basketball!