Shin pads, cleats and more
One of the most popular sports worldwide, soccer is played by people of almost all ages. While the main requirements for playing soccer are a ball and a space such as a field, there are a few additional pieces of soccer equipment that can enhance the enjoyment of the sport.
Equipment for Soccer
Soccer balls are the most vital piece of soccer training equipment, and are available at sporting goods stores as well as large stores like Target and Wal-Mart. They come in three sizes: 3, 4 and 5. Size 3 soccer balls are the smallest and are appropriate for players under 8 years old; size 4 balls are a bit larger and are used by players who are 8 to 12 years old. The largest ball size, size 5, is the international standard size of soccer ball for players who are 13 years old and up.
Goal nets are handy to have when playing or practicing soccer; these nets keep the ball from rolling far away once a goal is scored. Some nets are small and portable pop-up-type nets, while other nets attach to existing goalposts which are already installed in a field.
Soccer clothing is fairly loose to allow for movement; most players wear T-shorts or jerseys on top and shorts or sometimes sweatpants on the bottom. Soccer shoes are one of the most important pieces of soccer clothing; these athletic shoes almost always have cleats to help to grip the field and prevent slipping. Soccer cleats are available in sporting goods stores and other locations where athletic footwear is sold.
Another fairly important piece of clothing for soccer players are shin pads, which are also called shin guards. These consist of protective plates for the front of the lower legs which are attached to stretchy material to fit over the foot; they usually have Velcro straps to secure the shin pads just below the knee. Shin guards are available for purchase in sporting goods stores and wherever soccer equipment is sold.
Some soccer players like to wear wristbands and/or headbands when playing soccer to reduce the impact of sweat in their faces. Female soccer players usually secure their hair back in ponytail bands if they have long hair, and most soccer leagues ban players from wearing jewelry of any kind during competitions.