Do Football Players Wear Cups?

By Alex Mercer

October 31, 2019

The common question among football players is whether or not they wear cups. Football is an impact sport with helmets, shoulder pads, hands, and feet flying all around the field.

Football players don’t wear cups. The cup can interfere with running strides, and many players believe it slows them down.

In this article, we will look more at male and female cups and how they can benefit and hurt a football player.

What Is A Cup For A Football Player?

A cup is a protective piece of plastic that protects a male’s reproductive parts. It’s a form of protection to ensure that no severe contact is made directly with it. Like how a hard plastic helmet protects the head, a cup is worn to protect the private parts.

A cup is typically made of hard plastic, which sits on a jockstrap or some spandex material. It is shaped like a male’s legs and provides enough comfort and space for players to move around.

cup in football

Over time, cups have remained the same, as there’s been no innovation to cups. The identical cups worn 20 years ago are still shaped and worn the same way today.

Do Football Players Wear Cups?

As the years passed, more and more football players started to forego wearing cups. Football players, by nature, have thick legs from all of the power-lifting they do. Wearing a cup causes chafing and discomfort, leaving a player’s inner thighs feeling chafed.

The way the pants are designed (tight to the body, almost as a second layer of skin), a cup is uncomfortable to wear throughout an entire practice or game.

For this reason, football players often do not wear cups as they age. However, players often wear cups when playing youth football, as the parents insist the younger players protect themselves.

Wearing a cup helps younger players feel as if they’re completely protected in all areas.

What Happens If You Don’t Wear A Cup?

A cup is not a necessary piece of equipment in football. It’s optional, similar to rib pads or high socks. The referee will not check to ensure every player has a cup; it is simply at the discretion of each player.

If you’re a parent and are concerned about your player’s safety, we recommend checking out these cups, which can help protect your player and make him feel more comfortable.

On the health side, not wearing a cup could result in a player getting hit directly in their private parts. We can’t tell you exactly what will happen (I’m sure you can google it), but players do get hit there accidentally, and it can cause some short-term pain.

If a player takes a hard blow below the belt, it can cause significant discomfort and long-term health problems. Although very unlikely, it could happen if hit directly in the right spot.

Do Females Wear Cups In Football?

Females can choose to wear cups in football if they please. Here is an example of a female cup if they purchase one.

female cup for football

Female cups are similar to that of a male in that they are made to protect the private parts. They are typically in the shape of a male cup but provide a better fitting for a female.

As a male, if the parent thinks it will help protect the player from head to toe, buying a female cup may not be bad. Again, a female doesn’t need to wear a cup in football; it’s an optional piece of equipment.

See Our Complete List Of Helpful Football Articles Here


Football players are not mandated to wear cups, although it is common for younger players to wear them.

Players concerned about protecting their private areas should always err on the side of caution and wear a cup. People who are just starting or younger should try wearing a cup to feel comfortable, especially with football pants.

The cup can feel awkward as players’ thighs get more prominent, especially as they start lifting weights in preparation for the season. This can cause the cup to feel more uncomfortable than younger players wearing a cup.

As players get older, they will be less likely to wear cups because it’s not “cool.” It also may hinder an athlete’s performance and cause discomfort to those with thicker thighs.

We recommend wearing a cup as if you would rib pads; it’s your own choice, and if you’re comfortable with it, then wear it. If not, it’s entirely up to you, and you accept the factors that come with not wearing one and the potential risk of possibly getting hit in that area.

About the author

Hey There! My Name is Alex and I run Get Hyped Sports. I created this platform to help people find their love for sports and gaming.

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