When playing college ball, or sitting down to watch a favorite University compete against another college team, watchers or players may wonder if football players wear cups as part of their uniforms. If football players choose not to wear cups, what makes them come to this decision? After doing extensive research, here are the reasons why some college football players do or do not wear athletic cups as part of their uniform!
Most college football players wear cups to protect their groin area from hits or damage. Some college-level players do not wear a cup since it may increase the likelihood of other injuries, or make it difficult to run quickly. Every team and team player has a unique approach to using cups or not.
What makes cups a safe equipment choice to use during college football games, and what makes them less safe at times? Are there other alternatives to cups that are safer options used in football? Let’s go over what to look out for and think about before playing football and before hastily judging college ball players!
Why Some College Players Wear a Cup
Many professional and college-level football players will wear athletic cups because they protect the pelvic area of the player. However, cups are optional pieces of uniform equipment for a reason, and referees do not even check to see if players have or use one themselves.
Cups will often be voluntarily used if they afford the player increased comfort while sparing their sensitive groin area from injuries or painful hits while playing.
Both female and male athletes in football and other sports may choose to wear cups or jockstraps for the added protection and safety they offer.
Other forms and iterations of protective gear offer similar protection as athletic cups do.
For instance, jockstraps, also known as jocks, are athletic supporter pieces of equipment that protect the pelvic area of the football or sports player, while providing additional support to the pelvic region of the body.
In some leagues and sports like football or baseball, jockstraps are required elements of the game-day uniform.
Not only do male football players often wear cups, but even some female players choose to wear them! (Source)These players may wear them as an added layer of protection.
Male and female-style cups can be easily found and purchased online or in some sporting goods stores.
Why Some College Players Do Not Wear a Cup
Even when cups are worn, it isn’t a 100% certain guarantee that they won’t sustain groin injuries or pain.
Male athletes don’t usually mind wearing cups, but it is often important to know the cons and downsides of wearing a cup, especially in college leagues of football. Cups are not without their weaknesses and downsides after all.
For instance, these protective devices can still cause injuries, and they may even break if manufactured poorly.
To prove the validity of this, consider the fact that most NFL players don’t wear their athletic cups on game days! Some NFL players have had negative or painful experiences or injuries from using cups in the past, and don’t want to repeat this anytime soon.
Many players may choose to instead opt for jockstraps, tight compression shorts, or just skip using a cup at all.
Some college players just don’t like how cups restrict their movements and even cause groin injuries.
Cups can make it feel uncomfortable to run at high speeds. Some cups can also pinch in sensitive areas and spots following a forceful hit on the field.
Positive Results of Wearing a Cup
The biggest benefit to wearing cups is of course the protection and greatly decreased pain felt when getting tackled or hit during plays thanks to the cup.
This is why many parents insist their developing children and teenagers wear some form of a cup or jockstrap, as a means of protecting their body.
However, many adult and college-level players shed the protective equipment of the cup later in life for various reasons.
Negative Results of Wearing a Cup
Professional football players have plenty to say and complain about when it comes to cups, surprisingly! Some say the chafing from wearing one is next to unbearable at worst and distracting at best.
Many players in the NFL report that if they were to start wearing a cup, they would be made fun of and teased. Many players don’t wear a cup since they claim hits below the belt directly to the groin don’t come often, and that it’s basically a matter of being too prideful to wear one.
There is also the fact that hundreds of football players have personally felt that wearing a cup puts them at a notable tactical disadvantage, slowing down their speed, agility, and comfort.
There is also the added danger of an athletic cup slipping while a player is making a daring or strenuous play, and a possible tumble or fall resulting in a painful or dangerous impact from the player’s own body weight!
Alternatives to the Athletic Cup
There are many different types of and names for groin protectors, including the cup, a jock strap, a jill strap, a jock, a jill, a pair of compression shorts, a groin guard, and others.
Jockstraps are a more popular form of groin protective equipment.
They are often called jockstraps, or jocks, for male players, and jill straps, or jills, for female players. Luckily they usually only cost around $20 per player.
Sometimes the team itself even provides its football players with jockstraps.
Many football athletes may just take the chance and not wear a cup. They are often defending that the chances of getting hit right in the groin are very slim(Source).
Some NFL-level players even report that they or other fellow players weigh over 300 pounds, and have the muscles to match.
They may rely on their tree trunk-sized thighs and legs to do the work of blocking most incoming hits!
It’s surprising and impressive to see the lengths some college football players will go to in order to maintain a minimal tactical advantage, slight comfort, and appear strong to other players.
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