Today NFL owners voted to approve a new rule that requires all players to wear knee and thigh pads beginning with the 2013 season. While leg pads are mandatory at all other levels of play, many professional football players choose to play without them.
The league feels that requiring pads will increase player safety, which has been a hot topic as of late. It without much surprise that the owners have voted in favor of the new rule. The change still has to be approved by the NFL Players Association (NFLPA) since it constitues a change in working conditions covered by the Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA). The NFLPA has called for additional research on thigh and knee pads.
It is likely this will stir up some conflict as many players feel their speed is affected by wearing more pads. This is increasingly important for positions that rely on quick movement and speeds. Additional votes on rule changes will happen throught the day as owners review and discuss each proposal.