How to install a football backplate

Football Backplate


Football backplates aren’t just for looking cool – they offer essential protection for your lower back and tailbone. Installing them may seem intimidating, but it’s a task any player can tackle with the right tools, time, and guidance. Let’s break down the process of installing your football backplate for maximum safety and performance impact.

What You’ll Need

  • Football backplate (universal or Alpha BackPlate)
  • Football Shoulder Pads
  • Screwdriver (typically Phillips head)
  • Washers
  • T-nuts


  1. Locate the Mounting Holes: Find the designated mounting holes on your shoulder pads. These are usually located near the lower back area.
  2. Insert the T-nuts: Slide a T-nut through each of the backplate’s mounting holes from the inside of the shoulder pads. The pronged side of the T-nut should be facing outwards.
  3. Align the Backplate: Position the football backplate over the mounting holes, ensuring the T-nuts fit into their corresponding slots.
  4. Attach with Screws and Washers: Place a washer over a screw, then thread the screw through the football backplate hole and into the T-nut on the other side of the shoulder pads. Tighten securely with your screwdriver. Repeat for all mounting holes.


  • If possible, have a friend help hold the backplate in place while you tighten the screws.
  • Don’t overtighten the screws, as this could damage the shoulder pads.
  • For extra security, consider using a thread-locking compound on the screws.


  1. Why is installing a football backplate important? Backplates provide crucial protection for the lower back and tailbone, which are vulnerable to injury during tackles and falls.
  2. Can I install a backplate on any type of shoulder pads? Most backplates are universal or have adaptable designs to fit various shoulder pad models. Ensure compatibility by checking the product descriptions. Most should come with pre-drilled screw holes.
  3. My shoulder pads don’t have pre-drilled holes. What should I do? Carefully mark the hole positions on your shoulder pads and use a drill with a bit appropriate for the material to create the holes.
  4. Are there different types of football backplates? Yes! You’ll find a variety of backplates with different shapes, sizes, and levels of protection. Choose one that suits your position and playing style.
  5. How often should I check the tightness of my backplate screws? Check the screws before each practice or game to ensure a secure fit.