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Sarrià de Ter's American football team

The Wolves

Set up six years ago, the Wolves American football club was co-founded by two former players: Enric Sucarrats, who played for the Manresa Bagmonts, and Manel Iribarne, who played for the Barcelona Howlers. The Wolves maintain strong links to the US, and club manager, Josep Maria Viladomat, says that the club philosophy is to motivate the players, not just to play the best football they can (American football and football flag), but to encourage team spirit and excellence both on and off the field.

1. Helmet: to be worn at all times. It is made from one piece and has cushioned air pockets to absorb shocks in tackles. It may not be used as a butt or ram.

2. Face mask: connected to the helmet on both sides of the face. It is made out of rubber-coated metal bars to protect the face without impeding vision.

3. Mouth-guard: made-to-measure silicon mould that fits in the mouth to protect the teeth and tongue from cuts, bruising and shock.

4. Gloves: most commonly worn by the attacking team, especially the running back and receiver. Not so common in defence. Usually fashioned from silicon and other adherent materials in order to improve the grip and enhance manipulation of the oval ball.

5. The ball: like in rugby, the oval-shaped ball used in American football is made from leather, but is smaller than a rugby ball. It is also lighter, so that it can be thrown a greater distance.

6. Shoulder pads: mainly plastic and under constant evolution. Shoulder pads offer protection but are also used in tackling and blocking. They cover the shoulders and upper back as well as the chest.

7. Cleats: of vital importance. These studs on the soles of the players' boots provide traction and differ depending on the playing conditions and the position of the player.

8. Thigh pads: obligatory protection for all players as this is the area of the body that takes most punishment in tackles and, therefore, is where most serious injuries occur.

9. Knee pads: also a key area and one which most American football players feel as they get older. The knees take a lot of stress and serious injuries here often mean the end of a player's career. Repeated injuries here also lower a pros value for transfer.

10. The jersey: another piece of the uniform that evolves in the search for resilience and efficiency. These usually colourful strips are blazoned with the numbers between 1 and 99 which most often, but not always, refer to a player's position. Most team shirts also sport the team name or logo, as well as the player's and the team sponsor's names.

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