Do Soccer Players Wear Cups? (Know Why)

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Soccer is a tough sport with the risk of injuries from collisions to stray kicks. A fast-moving ball risks a player if it hits a potentially sensitive area. 

Unwanted injuries can disturb the flow of the game. Also, the injuries may require the need for substitution of players, which can change the dynamics dramatically. 

So, do soccer players wear cups? Yes, but rarely! A cup acts as a protective layer. It reduces the risk of injury and prevents unwanted disturbances during the game. 

It is an item of safety gear worn by players to guard their pelvic area. They are usually made of hard plastic but can be softer based on the quality. 

Do Soccer Players Wear Cups? 

While the rule book outlaws any dangerous protective wear, it doesn’t bar the use of cups.  

Some players use a protective cup as their wingman, but most don’t like to sport one. A handful of soccer players choose to do it during serious matches. One of the main reasons – a prior injury in the groin area had made safety necessary.  

While others use cups as a part of standard practice, soccer rules respect individuality. So wearing a cup isn’t a rule but a personal choice.  It is to serve the player’s best interests. 

But there’s a clincher, youth players often go for protective cups, and professional players go for specially designed fabric lowers, a modern hack that blends comfort and safety. 

A protective cup has its advantages and disadvantages. It can act as a barrier, absorbing collisions, stray kicks, or fast-moving balls. This is especially true in the case of amateur soccer players. 

Experienced players develop reflexes to avoid such collisions and develop agility that avoids hits in their sensitive parts. As they progress in their careers, the perceived need for a protective cup may diminish. 

The groin area is sensitive, second only to the eyes. Cups, which also go by names like athletic cups, groin guards, or supporters, consist of a snug-fitting waistband connected to a cup or pouch that encloses the genitalia. 

Despite their protective benefits, most soccer players opt not to use them for several reasons, with a key concern being the restriction of player mobility.

Do Youth Soccer Players Wear Cups? 

There is a high chance of younger players following the preference of experienced players. Only a handful will choose to wear a protective cup based on their personal experience and playing position. 

Younger players, especially males, have a lower tolerance for discomfort from the impact of a high-impact soccer ball hitting sensitive body parts.

They need constant supervision from their coach and may end up with minor injuries because of their inexperience. 

Urologists are clear on this, when it comes to young players, having a protective layer to avoid serious injuries should be a priority. Essentially, it’s not just about safety; it’s about securing the future of these budding soccer stars. 

The sting of contact from the ball or another player, even if it’s momentary, can be a game-changer for young players.

So, it’s better to slip on a cup during soccer to put the minds of their parents and themselves at ease. To avoid worst-case scenarios, peace of mind can be just a cup away.

Should Soccer Players Wear a Cup?

When it comes to having safe play in soccer, it’s essential to wear a protective cup, especially in youth soccer. Let’s explore the different criteria for why wearing a cup is crucial to some age groups and their effect on agility. 

The First Thing to Consider Is the Player’s Age and the Potential Risk/Benefit Balance

Young players are often less disciplined as they are new to the game. They fail to make safe maneuvers that protect both themselves and other players. They are more prone to injuries. 

FIFA rule book maintains certain codes which safeguard the physical safety of the players. This has been imbibed since youth soccer. 

In adult soccer, the decision to use a cup is position-based and personal, some choose to wear one for added protection based on past injuries, while others find it an impediment to their agility.

Younger players are often learning the fundamentals of the sport and may have less powerful shots or are less likely to perform high-intensity shots. The youth soccer league recommends age-sensitive protective gear. 

While shin guards make into the compulsory list, cups are not commonly included in such recommendations.

Coaches and parents employ safe practices to avoid actions that could lead to injury to players surrounding them. This helps reduce the likelihood of high-impact contact with sensitive areas. 

Another Issue to Consider Is Comfort

Comfort is a critical factor, players must feel light and fluid to perform their best. Wearing a cup can be uncomfortable for many, including goalkeepers. This discomfort may outweigh the benefits of protection. 

Some players choose to wear compression shorts or padded underwear to provide protection and not compromise on comfort since it omits the bulkiness of a traditional cup.

Cups must offer the right fit and material to ensure comfort during play. There are different availability options for cups ranging from metal-lined, hard plastics, and softer polymers.

It is also important to see if they generate an unwanted amount of warmth, which may irritate the player. 

A Player Should Also Consider How It Affects Their Movement on the Field

One of the very reasons players choose not to wear cups is the trade-off between protection and mobility. The game demands swift and precise movement. 

Cups can interfere with the player’s game, affecting their ability to effectively run, kick, and change direction. This is true in the case of younger players, as they find it hard to adjust to new gears. 

It becomes a problem when running or providing accurate passes. Experienced find a workaround as they mature, with more emphasis on speed and agility than superior limb movement. 

What Do Soccer Players Wear Under Their Shorts?

Players traditionally wear briefs under soccer shorts depending on the weather and their personal preference. They offer good security and a comfortable fit that compliments their activity on the field.

Players select briefs meticulously depending on their physical endeavors, they have a special seamless design blending nylon, spandex, elastane, or lycra. The blend helps the brief remain light and breathable, which is ideal for soccer activity

Professional soccer players go for the comfort of compression shorts worn under their soccer shorts. These customized shorts serve a dual purpose of providing an extra layer of protection and maintaining warmth in the upper parts of their legs. 

This improves blood circulation, aiding in enhanced agility and explosive maneuvers. These shorts are designed to elevate the game experience. Its fabric wicks away sweat and bids farewell to any uncomfortable chafing. 

It enhances the concentration of the player by providing support and enhanced circulation. It is useful, especially in chilly weather. 


In summary, using cups in soccer is personal and varies based on the player’s position, prerogative, and experience level.

Goalkeepers sport protective cups due to their unique exposure to high-impact positions and are advised to wear a cup. 

The dynamic and multifaceted movements that make the game exciting make wearing a cup a less-than-ideal choice. 

Players often feel restricted particularly when executing swinging kicks or agile maneuvers.

The choice to use a cup is personal and often leans towards perception and comfort level. Players should brainstorm these factors under the supervision of the coach and medical experts to get the best result.

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