Football equipment comes in various shapes and sizes. a possible option used in many sports is a cup. If you, or possibly your child, are preparing for a soccer game, you may be curious about whether you should wear a cup during a game.
Professional soccer players, except goalkeepers, do not wear cups during a match. however, youth players sometimes wear a cup during youth soccer games to protect themselves. in soccer it is allowed to carry a cup, but it is not compulsory. it depends on the person if they want to use one or not.
Reading: Do soccer players wear cups
There are pros and cons to using a cup. We’ll get to those in a bit, but first, let me explain why pros don’t use cups, but some young players do.
use a cup in football
Athletes around the world are at risk of injury if they don’t wear the proper protective gear.
There are only a few pieces of equipment required in soccer, and the only items needed for protection are shin guards.
However, that doesn’t mean players can’t wear other protective gear, like a cup, if they choose.
For example, some goalkeepers choose to wear headgear and some younger players wear a mouth guard. (I did when he was younger).
The only stipulation in the football rules is:
“A player must not wear equipment or wear anything that is dangerous.“
because using a cup cannot be considered dangerous, they are allowed according to the rules of the game. but that doesn’t mean all players choose to use one.
Professional soccer players choose not to wear a cup because they don’t believe the benefit of wearing one outweighs the risk of not wearing one.
all soccer players should consider how each item of equipment affects their movement and mobility during a match, not simply what offers the most protection.
We’ll get to this more in a moment, but you may also want to check out my list of specific items that players may or may not wear during a game.
Do goalkeepers use cups?
The only exception to what I’ve shared so far is a goalkeeper.
Soccer goalkeepers often wear cups during training sessions and games because they are more likely to sustain an injury to this area than other players on the field.
You only have to study the role of a goalkeeper for a moment to understand why they are more vulnerable to the impact of the ball in this area.
A goalkeeper will often put their body on the line to protect their goal, which usually means reaching out to stop the ball.
And not only are they vulnerable to contact from the ball or another player, but when the ball does make contact with a goalkeeper it often has a huge impact as it comes from an opposition goal attempt.
All of this means that it can be advantageous for a goalkeeper to wear a cup, as the probability of ball impact is much higher for a goalkeeper than for another player on the pitch.
Do young soccer players wear cups?
This brings us to young footballers.
Young male soccer players may choose to wear a cup to protect themselves, as younger players have a lower tolerance level towards the pain associated with the impact of a soccer ball in this area. however, junior soccer players rarely wear a cup.
When players are younger, they are more prone to longer-lasting injuries. Therefore parents should consider a higher level of protection for their kids when they send them out on a youth soccer field.
However, the reality of a youth player sustaining a long-term injury to this area during a soccer game is relatively low, and I’ve never heard of it happening. though you should be aware that the Urology Care Foundation recommends using a cup to play soccer.
The most important concern is temporary pain associated with contact with the ball or with another player.
Most young male players find this pain more than they are willing to tolerate, so wearing a cup during soccer can put them (and parents) at ease.
Ultimately, this is a decision to be made between the player and their responsible adult.
should soccer players wear a cup?
Having explained the rule for soccer players at different levels, I want to briefly give you some areas to consider if you are thinking of using a cup for yourself or your child.
the first thing to take into account is the age of the player and the possible risk/reward balance
As I’ve mentioned several times, younger players are more at risk than older players. this is why adult professionals rarely use a cup, but younger players do.
professionals are also more agile and able to move their body away from the ball or another player under any impact.
Young players often haven’t mastered this art yet!
the benefit of using a cup for a professional player is minimal, unless you are a goalkeeper. the main problem the cup protects against in an adult is temporary pain, and most players can tolerate it.
However, the problem of impact pain is more serious for young players. it can discourage them from committing to the game so quickly.
another issue to consider is comfort
Using any item of equipment has an impact on how a player feels. and using a cup is no different.
If you decide to use a cup, you should choose one that is comfortable and avoid cheap ones. this on amazon is a great option for comfort.
If a player feels uncomfortable, it can negatively affect their performance. and wearing something that hampers your performance might be too much of a sacrifice for most players.
however, it will come down to personal preference.
a player must also consider how it affects his movement on the field
Wearing a cup between your legs has significant potential to affect your movement while running, jumping, shooting, or even walking.
This is less significant for a goalie who doesn’t have to move as much as most other players, but can still be noticeable.
If a cup has too much of an impact on a player’s movement, it’s probably not worth using one.
The only exception to this is players under the age of 10.
At this level of soccer, players are still playing more for fun than competition. Since there is less importance in optimizing a player’s movement and there is an advantage to wearing more protective gear, it may be worth sacrificing movement for more protection.
again, this will ultimately be up to the decision of the child and their responsible adult.
what do soccer players wear under their shorts?
I just want to end this article by sharing what most soccer players wear under their shorts, as this is a question I often hear people ask.
Most soccer players wear compression shorts under their soccer shorts. players wear compression shorts for modesty reasons but also for comfort and to keep the upper legs warmer during the winter months of the year.
There are no specific rules in soccer that describe what a player must wear under their shorts. As long as what he is wearing is not visible or dangerous, the referee will allow the player to participate in the game.
I always recommend wearing something comfortable and fitted.
For more on what a soccer player wears, check out one of my recent articles below:
- why do soccer players wear long socks?
- what are soccer cleats and why do players wear them?
- how to use shin guards