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Do Soccer Players Wear Cups?


Let’s delve directly into addressing the central question posed by the title, shall we?

Indeed, soccer players do opt to utilize protective cups during play. However, it’s important to note that this practice isn’t universal—only a select few players choose to incorporate them into their attire. The proportion of players actively embracing protective cups is notably minuscule, bordering on insignificance.

In my experience, I’ve encountered merely a handful of soccer athletes who opt for athletic cups. Among them, one individual’s decision to wear a protective cup was driven by a previous injury to their groin area. Another player’s rationale for wearing one stems from their engagement in mixed martial arts, where such gear is customary.

So, what factors contribute to this discrepancy in usage?

Why Don’t Soccer Players Wear Cups?

The straightforward response to this lies in a simple reality: many soccer players choose not to wear protective cups.

In a sport characterized by extensive running, the prospect of enduring prolonged discomfort associated with cup wear looms large. It’s worth acknowledging that contemporary cups are designed for enhanced comfort during extended wear. Nonetheless, the inclination to incorporate a cup into one’s gear seldom crosses the minds of typical soccer players. Those who might contemplate such a decision are likely individuals who have experienced prior hits to their groin area.

Moreover, it’s important to note that the likelihood of players encountering hits to the groin region is relatively low in soccer. The sport’s dynamics revolve around fluid movement, and instances permitting kicks in that vicinity are infrequent.

A telling observation can be made during free-kicks, where numerous players instinctively place their hands over their private areas. This gesture emerges as a consequence of their choice not to utilize this particular protective accessory.

What is an Athletic Cup?

While we’ve delved into the intricacies and rationales surrounding athletic cups, it’s pivotal to provide a descriptive overview of this essential gear.

Commonly referred to as a jockstrap, athletic cup, groin guard, supporter, or simply a cup, a protective cup comprises a waistband securely affixed to a cup or pouch that envelops the genital area snugly.

In essence, it serves as a safeguard, shielding the genitalia from external impact. With the majority of sports inherently involving physical contact, the potential for inadvertent hits to the groin region remains a significant concern. The familiar agony associated with such impacts underscores the necessity of this gear, which provides a crucial layer of protection.

History of the Protective Cup

The origins of the athletic cup can be traced back to 1874 when it was invented by C.F. Bennett. Initially conceived to safeguard bicycle jockeys navigating the streets of Boston, this innovation found an unexpected niche.

The reception was so overwhelming that Bennett established the “Bike Web Company” to facilitate large-scale production of the cup. At its inception, it bore the name “Bike Jockey Strap.”

Remarkably, the design of the jockstrap has remained remarkably consistent since its inception. While materials have evolved over time, the fundamental purpose of this undergarment has endured without alteration.

In contemporary times, jockstraps primarily find application among men engaging in sports, particularly those involving physical contact such as wrestling, boxing, hockey, and even soccer. This enduring gear has transcended its humble beginnings to become an essential accessory for safeguarding athletes across various disciplines.

Do Soccer Goalies Wear Cups?

Just as soccer players on the field commonly abstain from wearing one, the practice of not wearing protective cups extends to many soccer goalkeepers as well.

This might appear unexpected, given that goalkeepers face a higher likelihood of being struck by the soccer ball. However, it’s crucial to consider their unique advantage – the ability to employ their hands. This capability effectively minimizes the likelihood of encountering impacts in their genital region.

Why Are Protective Cups Used?

It’s widely acknowledged that the groin area ranks among the body’s most sensitive regions, rivaling only the eyes in terms of vulnerability.

Prudent logic dictates safeguarding this delicate region during activities that heighten the potential for impact. However, the utilization of protective cups remains relatively infrequent in soccer. This choice isn’t rooted in an inadequacy of protection offered by the cups. Rather, it’s associated with the potential to hinder natural movement. Moreover, given the minimal likelihood of encountering hits in the groin area within the context of soccer, this choice is substantiated.

In contrast, protective cups are notably prevalent in contact-intensive sports such as American football, hockey, handball, MMA, and other similar disciplines. The adoption of protective measures like cups is more pronounced in these sports, where direct physical engagement amplifies the risk of injury.

Should You Wear a Protective Cup?

The response to this query entails a degree of complexity.

In an ideal scenario, opting to wear a protective cup seems judicious. It serves to safeguard the sensitive groin area—an anatomical treasure, so to speak.

However, the associated risk isn’t exceedingly high. To clarify, occurrences of impacts to the groin region do transpire in soccer. Yet, candidly speaking, such incidents are rather infrequent.

This rarity is akin to the occurrence of an opponent accidentally poking one’s eye during a match. We’ve all witnessed such instances, yet this occurrence doesn’t compel players to don protective eye covers in their games. The parallel can be drawn to protective cups in soccer.

The adoption of such gear may witness increased traction if they can replicate the comfort level akin to boxers or briefs. Until that threshold is achieved, the utilization of protective cups in soccer might remain relatively limited.

Is There a Comfortable Alternative?


Reaching the comfort level akin to donning a brief might be a stretch.

Yet, attaining a level of comfort akin to “I could manage this” is certainly within reach.

Regrettably, sourcing a suitable protective cup poses challenges. The predominant hurdle often encountered pertains to sizing discrepancies.

When it comes to safeguarding the groin area, sizing is of paramount importance. Unfortunately, the availability of sizes for these cups remains somewhat restricted. Unlike clothing, where customization can cater to individual proportions, protective cups are limited in this aspect.

Where to Buy a Soccer Cup?

The majority of sports equipment outlets offer a selection of protective cups within their inventory. A convenient approach involves visiting a nearby sporting goods store, enabling you to peruse and select a cup that aligns with your requirements.

For optimal results, I recommend purchasing an athletic cup from a physical store. This facilitates firsthand assessment of the item’s material and fit. While trying on the jockstrap isn’t feasible for obvious reasons, a visual inspection in person grants you insight into its potential fit.

In cases where concerns about purchasing such an item in person arise, online shopping presents a viable alternative. Numerous online stores provide sizing guides for their jockstraps, assisting you in identifying the best possible fit. This avenue ensures you secure an appropriate protective cup while preserving your comfort and discretion.

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