Do Football Players Wear Cup? (Full Information!)

Last Updated on October 15, 2023 by Alex PT

Whether or not football players wear a cup is a personal choice. There is no requirement for football players to wear a cup, and many professional and collegiate players do not. However, some players do choose to wear a cup for added protection, such as to reduce the risk of testicular and groin injuries.

What Is A Cup For A Football Player? 

One of the most delicate parts of the body is the reproductive part which needs some protection considering the nature of the game. American football, as we said earlier, is an impact sport where players get hit to the ground or by the ball on any part of their body. A cup helps to offer reasonable protection to minimize the impact of any hit on or around the reproductive parts. Just like the helmet protects the head from getting hits, cups are designed to protect a player’s reproductive parts. Cups are built with hard plastic and equipped with some type of spandex material or jockstraps. Normally, these cups are built to be in the shape of a player’s legs to provide maximum comfort and enough space for free movement. In the last few years, cups haven’t really seen any modifications as they are still designed and manufactured the same way. There are no changes in the way they are supposed to be used or worn during a match or practice. 

Can I Get Penalized If I Don’t Wear A Cup?

Can I Get Penalized If I Dont Wear A Cup

Nothing happens! A cup isn’t compulsory gear in American football just like high socks and rib pads. It is completely optional and depends on your preference. It is basically at your discretion as a player to wear a cup and you won’t be penalized or disqualified for not wearing it. As a matter of fact, even the officials won’t check for it. Most importantly, youth players should wear these cups as they will protect them and also offer greater comfort. If we are to advise you, we will suggest wearing cups during practice and games. Truthfully, football players get accidentally hit directly on their reproductive parts sometimes during a game which leads to temporary or severe injuries depending on the impact. 

Do Female Players Still Use Cups In Football?

Female players also have reproductive parts that need protection during the game. Although it is not mandated or made compulsory for female players to wear cups during football games. They can only wear these cups depending on their preferences. In terms of material used and build, the male type of cups is very similar to that of the females. They deliver a better fitting for female players even if they are constructed with the same shape as male cups. Just like we said earlier, whether a young female player wears cups during practice and games depends on the parent’s decisions. Most parents may feel like the cup will be better protection for their children. 

How Can I Get The Best Cups For Football?

If you’re planning to get the right cup, then it will be advisable to visit online or physical sporting stores. A physical sporting store is more preferable because you’ll get to try the cup on to see if it fits perfectly. But that’s not to say that you can’t get a good-sized cup online, especially if you’re looking to buy one as soon as possible. If you’re buying online, we suggest that you check for the sizing charts which will help you pick the cup that will fit your pants size accurately. 

Why don’t professional football players wear cups?

  1. Discomfort and Limitation in MobilityThis is arguably the most significant reason. Athletic cups are generally agreed to be uncomfortable, and professional football requires optimum speed and agility. Players have expressed feeling confined and hindered by cups, which impairs their performance on the pitch.
  2. Modern Safety Equipment Provides Sufficient ProtectionThe advances in safety gear for football, such as improved padding and securing features in shorts and trousers, reduce the chances of direct, harmful contact in sensitive regions. Consequently, players often deem the added discomfort of wearing a cup unnecessary.
  3. Lower Likelihood of High-Impact InjuryUnlike sports like martial arts, cricket or baseball, where direct body hits are recurrent, major impacts to the groin area are relatively infrequent in football. As a result, the perceived need for extra protection via a cup is significantly reduced.
  4. Risk of the Cup Causing InjuryIn high-intensity sports, there is a risk that the hard plastic of athletic cups can cause injury from abrupt contact or sudden sideways movement. Some players deem this risk sufficient reason to forego wearing a cup.
  5. Cultural Norms within the SportIn professional football, the collective decision to not wear cups has created an entrenched culture where newcomers to the sport follow suit. This culture has been solidified by coaching advice and professional tradition.
  6. A Matter of Personal PreferenceGiven the choice, individuals often prioritize comfort and freedom of movement over the marginal extra protection a cup might provide. This applies to football players with years of experience in the sport, having weighed the risks against their personal comfort.
1.Discomfort and Limitation in Mobility
2.Modern Safety Equipment Provides Sufficient Protection
3.Lower Likelihood of High-Impact Injury
4.Risk of the Cup Causing Injury
5.Cultural Norms within the Sport
6.A Matter of Personal Preference


We’ve compiled a list of the frequently asked questions. Let’s check them out! 

Are Football Players Supposed To Wear Cups?

As we said earlier, football players don’t necessarily have to wear cups during games and practices. However, teenage players should wear cups for maximum protection of their private parts. More experienced and skilled players don’t feel comfortable wearing cups since most of them complained that it hinders rapid movements on the field. 

Why Do NFL Players Not Wear Cups?

Despite the fact that the NFL is one of the most physical and violent football leagues in the world today, most NFL players still don’t wear cups. They believe it is not cool for superstars like them to still wear cups that are common among younger players. 

Do High School Football Players Wear Cups?

Yes, of course! High school football players wear softer plastic cups that aid movement and provide protection from accidental hits on their reproductive parts. 


Generally, football players won’t be penalized for not wearing cups because it is not mandated by the football bodies. There are still some who wear cups, but only a few of them. Cups are common among younger players. We’ve reached the closing chapter of this informative article. We hope you were able to find good resources in your quest to know whether football players wear cups during games and practices. If you have any questions or comments about the article topic, don’t hesitate to contact us. Thanks.


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