Fitness and Well-being

Are Athletic Cups Really Necessary?

Almost all of us are aware of the different types of cricket bats available or the latest football in the market. However, when it comes to athletic cups, we are largely unaware of its use or importance.

Sure, all of us have been hit with a ball there at least once. A few quick jumps and everything’s fine after a few excruciating minutes, as always. Well, consider yourself lucky. Without the right protective gear, damage to your groin can cause irreparable changes!

Let’s look at how the cup works.

What is an Athletic Cup?

An athletic cup or an abdominal guard is a protective hard shelled cup, shaped like a pear. It is inserted into compression shorts or a jockstrap to hold it in place. It protects the genital area from any injury that could be caused while playing a sport. 

While the use of a cup is highly recommended for contact sports like rugby, many players do not wear them because it affects their strides. However, non-contact sports like cricket and baseball, where a ball is thrown or pitched at high speeds, wearing a protective cup is a must! 

How Do Athletic Cups Work?

Cups work the same way mouth guards do. The latter protects players’ teeth and gums and is worn by almost all contact sports players. Same way, abdominal guards protect players’ groin area.

They were introduced in 1874 for bicyclists to protect their genitalia better as jockstraps. They provided comfort for the bicyclists on bumpy terrains. The idea quickly started getting picked up by other sports, especially the ones played with a ball. The designs started getting better with the shells being made from hardened plastic or polymer to maximise protection. 

The force of the hit gets absorbed by the cup itself so the body doesn’t endure it. New cups in the market are designed not only to absorb the force but to send it away from the body of the user. This prevents all (some irreparable) damages that can be caused to the genital area.

To Wear or Not to Wear

Though many find it uncomfortable to wear one, it is advisable to start getting used to the feeling. Think about how everyone was complaining about wearing helmets while riding a motorcycle. But once you get used to the feeling of your head being protected, it feels unsafe to ride around without one.

A swift hit in the genital area is not something anyone’s looking forward to. As the saying goes, prevention is better than cure. So if you can avoid it, why take chances? Go on and protect your family jewels. 

Also Read: Protective Equipment for Cricket


Pratheek Suryadev