We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.
Advertiser Disclosure
Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.
How We Make Money
We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently of our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

What is a Camp Arm?

Malcolm Tatum
Updated: Feb 07, 2024

Camp arms are individuals who are invited to participate in spring training, but who are not really expected to make the final cut and become part of the team when the new season begins. The idea of the camp arm is most closely associated with American football, although the term is used in the context of other sports as well. Depending on the circumstances, this person may find a spot in the second string lineup of the team when the season begins. In sports where the use of a third string or fourth string lineup is common, the camp arm may also be assigned to one of those two categories.

When it comes to functioning as a camp arm in the National Football League or NFL, the player is considered to be proficient enough to be invited to participate in the NFL camp. However, the skill level is not generally determined to be worthy of inclusion in the first string of a club. This does not mean the athlete arm lacks essential talents. The thought process may be that with additional training, the individual will eventually be worthy of making the first string. In the interim, the player may be invited to take a slot in a lesser string.

As the camp arm continues to improve, there is a chance for the player to undergo a process that is usually referred to as rostering out of camp. This essentially means that the player is now considered good enough to take a slot on the first string when and as the appropriate position becomes available. In some sports, rostering out of camp can also mean the player can be approached by other clubs and possibly earn a first string position with a different team.

Earning a reputation as a camp arm does not mean that a career as a professional sports player is out of the question. But it usually does mean less immediate opportunities in the short term. By exhibiting a credible level of expertise at training camp, the athlete may eventually become more attractive to scouts and team coaches and eventually have the chance to move up in the sport.

WiseGeek is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Malcolm Tatum
By Malcolm Tatum
Malcolm Tatum, a former teleconferencing industry professional, followed his passion for trivia, research, and writing to become a full-time freelance writer. He has contributed articles to a variety of print and online publications, including WiseGeek, and his work has also been featured in poetry collections, devotional anthologies, and newspapers. When not writing, Malcolm enjoys collecting vinyl records, following minor league baseball, and cycling.
Discussion Comments
By fify — On Dec 27, 2014

@ddljohn-- There is no such thing that a camp arm will never become a player. There have been quite a few talented and successful football players who were once a camp arm. Kurt Warner, for example, used to be a camp arm for the Green Bay Packers once upon a time. And now we speak of him as one of the best players of AFL. So being a camp arm is not a bad thing. It needs to be thought of as a stepping stone.

By literally45 — On Dec 27, 2014

@ddljohn-- I'm not a football expert either but I always thought that the "camp arm" was the guy that helps the team players get ready for the season. He practices with them, throws ball, etc.

I think camp arms know that they're never going to play. They do it just to be part of the experience. A lot of people also take this role to learn more and practice as they work with the other players. It's actually a great experience for aspiring players.

By ddljohn — On Dec 27, 2014

I'm very ignorant about football, so I apologize if this question sounds dumb. But why does a team need a camp arm again?

If this person never makes it onto the team and if he can never play in the games, what's the point?

I would be very disappointed if I was a camp arm and I'm sure I wouldn't want to stay on in that position for long. That can't be a good feeling for any player.

Malcolm Tatum
Malcolm Tatum
Malcolm Tatum, a former teleconferencing industry professional, followed his passion for trivia, research, and writing...
Learn more
WiseGeek, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

WiseGeek, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.