Sports Equipment List

sports equipment and gear

Sports Equipment

Sports equipment is needed to compete in many different sports. Without the proper equipment, playing the sports we love would be unsafe and more challenging.

Each sport has its own unique set of equipment that an athlete must have to compete and succeed. The type of equipment depends on the sport you are playing as well as what kind of surface you’re playing on. For example, if you are playing on a field, it is important to have cleats, so that you can gain traction while running on the grass. While playing sports on ice, you need the right skates to skate efficiently.

Coaching Equipment

Coaches are an essential part of just about any sport. While they aren’t on the field making plays, coaches still have a fair bit of equipment they’ll need in order to coach and lead their team to championships. Common forms of coaching equipment include:

  • Bags
  • Clipboards
  • Pinnies
  • Whistles

Bags

coaching bags

Bags are a must-have for any coach. Whether a backpack, drawstring, or duffel bag, coaches need an easily transportable piece of equipment to store their gear. Clipboards, play sheets, cones, whiteboards/markers, and spare safety items are just a few of the items that are often stored in a coaching bag. Duffel bags are often preferred amongst avid or full-time coaches, as they have lots of space to allow for storage of all the essentials. Most bags are relatively inexpensive, ranging anywhere from $30 to $80.

Clipboards

coaching clipboards

Clipboards are used by coaches across a wide range of sports. They are used to hold important documents in place (i.e. scouting reports, diagrams, practice agendas) and easily carry them from one place to another. In basketball, coaches can often be seen presenting tactical adjustments and strategies to their players using a clipboard. The clipboard is generally the first thing to be destroyed when a coach becomes extremely frustrated, so most coaches have several of them on hand, especially since they are inexpensive and easily replaceable.

Pinnies

sports pinnies

Pinnies are sleeveless mesh tops worn over a player’s regular game or practice uniform. Different colored pinnies indicate which players belong to each team during competitive events. In football, the quarterback is equipped with a red pinnie during practice to remind teammates to avoid initiating physical contact with the player at all costs. Pinnies are extremely lightweight and breathable, so players are not inhibited in any way by wearing an extra garment. While multiple pinnies are generally bought in bulk to accommodate an entire team, each individual item costs between $10 and $25. 

Whistles

sports whistle

Whistles are integral pieces of coaching equipment in sports such as soccer, football, and basketball. They are used during practice sessions to direct players or indicate when play has stopped/resumed. Most whistles are tied to a string worn around the coach’s neck to make them easily accessible. The biggest advantage to using whistles is that they allow coaches to grab the attention of a large group of players in noisy environments where simply shouting would not suffice. Whistles can be purchased for under $10.

Game Equipment

In every sport, at least some type of equipment is required to play the game. Each sport has its own unique set of game equipment, but the types of equipment used can be separated into a few categories. The types of game equipment include:

  • Balls
  • Bases
  • Bats and Sticks
  • Goals and Posts
  • Racquets
  • Nets

Balls

sports balls

Balls are perhaps the most important items when it comes to game equipment. Depending on the sport, balls come in a variety of different shapes and sizes. For example, basketballs are round and weigh approximately 22 ounces, whereas footballs are pointed spheres that weigh 15 ounces (NFL). In most sports, the ball must cross a certain boundary line or area for points to be awarded to the scoring team. Since balls change hands frequently and are constantly subject to being kicked or thrown out of play, several backup balls are often brought to each game in addition to the ball used at the start. They can also be used in sports such as rhythmic gymnastics, where competitors earn points by performing a series of skills with the ball in hand. Balls for most sports can be purchased for under $50.

Bases

sports bases

Bases are found on every baseball and softball field. There are four different bases, and each is square-shaped, with the exception of home plate, which has a pointed tip that extends towards the backstop. Home plate is the most important base, as it is used to indicate where batters must stand in addition to being the point of contact needed for baserunners to score runs. First, second, and third base are the same with regards to size and shape. There is 90 feet of distance between first and second base, as well as second and third base. First base is positioned on the right side of the infield, followed by second base in the very center, and finally third base on the far left side. Baserunners must touch each base before proceeding to the next one. Bases cost anywhere from $30 to upwards of $350, depending on quality and material.

Bats and Sticks

sports bats and sticks

Bats and sticks are a common aspect of sports, and are typically used to hit a ball or other game object in order to score points. Premier examples of sports that use bats or sticks include baseball, lacrosse, and ice hockey. In sports like lacrosse and ice hockey, sticks are used to move a ball/puck down the field of play and take shots at the opposing net. Meanwhile, in baseball, bats are used to hit balls in hopes of getting on base and scoring runs. Not all sports utilize bats or sticks, but this piece of equipment is essential to any sport it's a part of. Bats and sticks can be purchased from sports retailers for $100 to $400, depending on the sport and quality.

Goals and Posts

sports goals and posts

Goals are metal structures with netting attached to the inner portion. They are used in soccer, lacrosse, field hockey, and ice hockey to indicate when a team has scored. In each sport, the ball (or puck) must cross the goal line for a point to be awarded. Goals cost anywhere from $100 to thousands of dollars, depending on the brand, sport, and quality.

Posts are used in rugby and football and serve a similar purpose. Most posts are made out of metal, with a large cylindrical base and two L-shaped arms. In both sports, points can be scored by kicking the ball in between the uprights. Different point totals are awarded for different situations. For example, a successful field goal attempted from 40 yards away is worth three points in football, as compared to a one-point kick from a short distance following a touchdown. Goal posts are an especially expensive piece of equipment, typically costing over $5,000.

Racquets

​​Sports Racquets

Racquets are pieces of equipment that utilize a stringed design to hit balls or other objects, equipped with a grip for the athlete to hold on to. Racquets are used in a variety of sports, most notably tennis and badminton. Many sports are referred to as “racquet sports” due to the necessity of a racket to play them. In sports like tennis and badminton, racquets are used to hit either a ball or shuttlecock back and forth over a net. Meanwhile, in sports like racquetball, racquets are used to hit a ball off of a wall in a way that it bounces back and is unable to be hit by an opponent. Racquets typically cost anywhere from $50 to $300, depending on the sport and quality.

Nets

sports nets

Nets are crucial components of any goal or basketball hoop. They attach to the structure’s frame and are used primarily as a buffer to prevent the ball from sailing through the goal or hoop. Nets also help to easily see when a goal or basket is scored. Most nets are made of knotted nylon squares, as the material is extremely durable in addition to not inhibiting the flight of the ball in any way. The purpose of the net in a soccer goal is different than that of a basketball hoop, with the former preventing the ball from continuing to roll outside of the field of play while the latter ensures that the ball falls gently towards the floor so that it can be easily recovered by the opposing team. Nets are relatively inexpensive, usually costing under $20.

Player Equipment

No matter what sport you play, certain equipment is required for the athlete to be able to compete. Some player gear is used to help boost performance, while other equipment is used for regulatory purposes. Some common types of player equipment include:

  • Cleats
  • Jerseys
  • Sneakers
  • Skates
  • Uniforms

Cleats

Sports Cleats

Cleats are far and away one of the most prominent forms of footwear in sports. Cleats are similar to typical sneakers, except they have either rubber or metal spikes in the bottom. These spikes allow for improved traction on playing surfaces like grass, clay, and turf. Some of the most popular sports that utilize cleats include football, soccer, and baseball. These sports typically have similar designs for their cleats. However, the material of the spikes and the overall ankle support of the shoe may vary from sport to sport. Cleats typically cost anywhere from $50 to upwards of $300.

Jerseys

sports jerseys

Jerseys are numbered garments that athletes wear for identification purposes. Various types of fabric and jersey styles are utilized depending on the sport. For example, basketball jerseys are sleeveless garments that are made out of sweat-wicking polyester material, whereas baseball/softball jerseys are short-sleeved shirts made of breathable heavy-duty cotton fabric. Not only do jerseys help commentators recognize each athlete based on their own unique number, but they also help to differentiate one team from another since each team generally has its own color patterns and designs. Sports jerseys typically cost anywhere from $50 to $200, depending on the sport, style, and quality.

Sneakers

Sports Sneakers

Sneakers are a type of athletic footwear that most resembles everyday shoes. Sneakers can be used for a variety of different sports such as basketball, volleyball, tennis, and other indoor sports. Sports that are played on hard surfaces such as wood or clay require these shoes. Most sneakers will feature a hard rubber sole that is used to create traction on these hard surfaces and will provide ankle support, depending on the style. Sports sneakers will cost anywhere from $80 to $200 depending on the style, sport, and quality.

Skates

Sports Skates

Skates are another common type of player footwear. Skates typically feature metal blades on the bottom, which allows them to be used on the ice. These skates are known as ice skates. Ice skates enable athletes to glide across the ice at tremendous speeds and often feature high ankle support to protect against injuries out on the ice. Common sports that feature skates include ice hockey, figure skating, and speed skating. Each of these sports is very prominent in the athletic world, with each being featured in the Winter Olympics every four years. Ice skates have a wide price range, costing anywhere from $100 to over $1,000.

Skates can also feature wheels on the bottom instead of a metal blade. These skates are meant to be used on a flat surface like hardwood or blacktop and are often called roller blades. Common sports that utilize roller blades include roller derby, rink hockey, and roller skating. Roller blades cost anywhere from $80 to $300.

Uniforms

sports uniforms

The term ‘uniform’ is used to describe the entire ensemble worn by an athlete or group of players. This includes the jersey, pants, footwear, and headwear in some cases. For example, a football player’s uniform is not complete without a helmet, jersey, football pants, socks and cleats. Each team has its own set of home and away uniforms, complete with the team or school’s designated color patterns and insignias. Uniform packages can be purchased for around $150 to over $400, depending on the sport and equipment items included.

Referee Equipment

Referees and other game officials are an invaluable part of any sports game. They maintain the rules and make sure that each team/athlete has a fair shot at winning. In order to uphold the rules and regulations of a game, there are certain pieces of equipment referees need. Major forms of referee equipment include:

  • Penalty Cards
  • Uniform
  • Whistle

Penalty Cards

referee penalty cards

Penalty cards are used in both soccer and rugby to indicate when a player has committed an illegal or unnecessary act that warrants formal acknowledgment by the referee. They are similar in size to a set of traditional playing cards. There are two different cards that can be issued during the course of a soccer or rugby game. Yellow cards represent a warning. In other words, if the player that has just received a yellow card commits another excessive or forbidden offense, further action will be taken (i.e., ejection from the contest). Red cards, by contrast, are given for intentional or extremely aggressive acts, with the receiving player being instantly ejected from the game without a prior warning. A set of penalty cards costs around a dollar. 

Uniform

referee uniform

Referee uniforms are generally made out of the same cotton or synthetic material as player uniforms; however, they are designed much differently. In most sports, referees wear black hats, shoes, and pants, in addition to shirts that have alternating black and white stripes. This ensemble makes them easily distinguishable from players and coaches on the court or field of play. Referee jerseys and pants cost around $50 each. A full set of referee-specific gear can be purchased for around $125.

Whistle

referee whistle

Much like coach whistles, referee whistles are small metal or plastic pieces that can be worn like a necklace or a ring. Referees blow into their whistles to signal a stoppage or start of play, as well as indicate when an infraction has occurred. Virtually every referee needs to have a whistle in order to perform their duties effectively, as whistles represent a much more effective means of alerting a large audience than verbal communication. A basic whistle costs between $5 and $10, with electronic whistles like the ones used in the NBA costing $25.

Training Equipment

Outside of the equipment commonly used to participate in a game, there are also various forms of equipment that athletes use to hone their skills and prepare for competitive matches. These different pieces of gear are generally known as “training equipment.” Some of the most common types of training equipment include:

Cones

sports cones

Cones are normally orange, with a square or round base and cone-shaped upper body (can also be cylindrical). They are primarily used for practice purposes, as they can be scattered across the court or field of play to indicate spots that players should navigate towards. For example, one common drill in basketball involves positioning a series of cones in a straight line, and players are required to weave through each set of cones while dribbling the basketball to improve their ball-handling skills. Cones may also be used to mark boundaries such as out of bounds. A pack of 24 sports cones costs under $15.

Machines

sports machines

Many different types of machines can be used to help athletes practice their skills. One such machine that is used to train for a variety of sports (baseball, football, soccer, and volleyball) is a ball pitch machine. After setting the machine to the desired output speed, several balls can be loaded into the device, which are then shot out towards a player standing anywhere from 10-60 feet away. The main advantage of machines is that they allow players to hone their craft when another person is not available to deliver the balls by hand. Football players use them to sharpen their catching skills, while baseball players use automated pitch machines to get some extra batting practice. Ball pitching machines cost between $1,000 for a basic, manual-fed model and over $4,000 for a full-featured automatic machine. 

Weightlifting Belts

Weightlifting Belt

Weightlifting belts are a type of belt often worn by any person during a weightlifting routine. It is common to see weightlifting belts being used by people in the gym ranging from professional lifters to recreational gym-goers. The main benefit of weightlifting belts is to help stabilize and take pressure off of one’s spine when performing heavy lifts. Some of the most common types of lifts that people use weightlifting belts for are deadlifts and squats. Belts are usually a good idea to bring to the gym if you are lifting a lot of weight and constantly straining your back. A weightlifting belt costs between $30 and $120, depending on materials and construction.

Weights

weights

Weightlifting is an important form of training that athletes engage in to increase their strength. There are several different types of weights that can be used to activate the muscles. One example is free weights, which are hand-held weights that are used primarily for upper body exercises. Lifters often use a pair of dumbbells ranging all the way from 10 to 100 pounds for bicep curls and shoulder presses, among other exercises. Weights can also refer to machines that assist with strength development. Popular examples include leg presses and benching platforms.

Dumbbells cost between $30 and $100 each, with dumbbell sets totaling several hundred or thousand dollars. A single set of barbells with 5- through 45-pound plates, including a bar, costs around $400. Weightlifting machines range in price from a few hundred dollars for a compact home model to over $6,000 for the large, professional machines found in commercial gyms. Weightlifting equipment can be very expensive, so gyms and team facilities are often the best places to train.

Protective Equipment

Athletes are no strangers to injuries, so much so that there is a whole categorization of sports equipment dedicated to preventing injuries. This type of equipment, commonly known as protective equipment, is prevalent in most sports, especially those that involve contact between players. Some of the most common types of protective equipment include:

  • Elbow Pads
  • Gloves
  • Helmets
  • Jockstraps
  • Mouth Guards
  • Shin Pads

Elbow Pads

Elbow pads are worn in countless sports, including basketball, football, volleyball, wrestling, and skateboarding. While they are not required pieces of safety equipment, they are preferred by many athletes as a means of protection against physical contact with the ground or other players. Elbow pads are worn as nylon sleeves with dense foam padding that covers the elbows. Simple, lightweight elbow pads cost as little as $30, while more heavy-duty options can exceed $50. 

Gloves

Gloves are worn in sports such as baseball, softball, football, and boxing to protect the hands from cuts, scrapes, bruises, and breakages. Football gloves tend to have small, padded inserts towards the fingertips to help prevent any damage that might occur when the hands collide with an opponent’s helmet or shoulder pads. In addition, most football gloves are sticky near the palms to allow for greater success rates when trying to catch the ball. Baseball gloves are much thinner, with their main function being to protect the batter from blistering while gripping the bat for an extended period of time. Football gloves cost around $50 per pair, and baseball batting gloves are $70.

Helmets

Helmets are worn by football, lacrosse, and baseball/softball players to protect the head and neck area from serious physical contact. Without helmets, players would likely suffer countless concussions due to being hit by other players or banging their heads against the turf after a tackle (baseball/softball helmets also protect batters in the event that a wild pitch strikes them in the head). Football helmets are circular, with soft padded foam on the inside that is protected by a polycarbonate outer shell. The material is preferred due to its shock absorption ability and resistance to even the most jarring physical impact. Helmets are simply a safety measure, however, as even the best helmet cannot guarantee protection against concussions with 100 percent certainty. Since football helmets usually cost between $300 and $1,000, most players opt to have theirs provided as part of the costs associated with joining a team.

Jockstraps

Jockstraps are undergarments worn beneath a male athlete’s pants to protect the pelvis and groin. They are warranted mostly in sports where a serious risk of being hit below the belt by a ball exists. Jockstraps are similar in design to conventional briefs, with the one exception being that they contain a pocket for the insertion of a hard plastic protective item called a cup. A basic jockstrap costs around $25.

Mouth Guards

Mouth guards are protective items with a hard plastic outer shell and gel-filled inner layer. Both stand-alone and strapped varieties exist. The beauty of mouth guards is that basic models can be purchased at any sporting goods store for about $25. They are essentially one-size-fits-all, fitted to match each individual athlete’s unique bite simply by boiling the mouth guard, biting down, and allowing it to cool until it conforms to the desired shape. Fully customized mouth guards can cost over $150. Mouth guards should be worn in any sport that involves physical contact, as they protect against head and jaw injuries by minimizing vibrations that occur when one row of teeth forcefully collides with the other. 

Shin Pads

Shin Pads, worn primarily by soccer and field hockey players, are rectangle-shaped guards with a padded inner layer and a hard plastic or carbon fiber shell. Velcro straps are used to secure them to the shin area of each leg in order to prevent injuries from being kicked in the lower leg. Shin guards come in a variety of different sizes, and choosing the right one depends entirely on personal preferences and comfort. Depending on the sport, a pair of shin pads costs between $10 and $90, and lasts for several years before replacements are needed. 

Youth Sports Equipment

Youth sports are organized activities and events that are played by children within the 7-18 age range. While youth sports can be played recreationally, they often involve coaches that oversee a series of organized practices and games. Both individual (i.e., gymnastics, skateboarding) and team sports (football, basketball) are included in this definition. Many participants engage in youth sports as a means of enjoyment or socialization, although youth sports are often viewed as a gateway to higher levels of competition.

Since youth sports include such a large age range, the equipment is unique in that it comes in all different sizes and styles. For instance, a 10-year-old football player that is less developed from a physical standpoint likely requires a smaller and more protective pair of shoulder pads than a 16-year-old high school athlete. Moreover, there is a large discrepancy between what is provided by a team or organization and what must be purchased by the athletes and their families. Some clubs provide full sets of outfits and gear, whereas others account for only the bare essentials.

FAQ

How Do You Pick the Best Sports Equipment?

Generally speaking, there are two standards for picking the best sports equipment. The first is safety. When deciding between two or more pieces of equipment, always gravitate towards the one that has the most safety features and protective padding. Another important factor is comfort. Most equipment is worn over the course of an entire season, so settling for uncomfortable or fragile equipment is likely to have negative consequences.

Finally, it is helpful to look for trusted brands that are highly recommended by athletes and coaches competing in the same sport. Strong reputations are achieved only by producing gear that consistently delivers and exceeds expectations, so the best equipment is highly regarded.

How Much Does Sports Equipment Cost?

The overall cost of sports equipment depends on the sport that is being played. Some sports require more equipment than others, so they naturally cost more. The average athlete in America spends approximately $600 per year on sports gear. As alluded to in previous sections, this cost can be greatly reduced by joining a team or club that provides a large majority of the required equipment.

Is it Better to Buy New Equipment or Used Sports Equipment?

The choice to buy new or used equipment depends on the timeline over which the athlete plans on playing. First-time youth athletes are better off saving money by purchasing used gear since they will likely outgrow it over time. However, high school and collegiate athletes can save money over the long-term by buying new equipment that will hopefully last through their four-year tenure.