Shin guards are an essential item for all soccer players. Even goalkeepers wear shin guards. Many collisions between players involve contact between one players' foot and the other's shin; wearing shin guards helps to protect the shins from serious injury. Wearing shin guards is mandatory for a player to play association soccer. A referee is not authorised to allow a player to enter the field of play without sufficient shin guards. FIFA's laws of the game stipulate that shin guards must be "entirely covered by the stockings," that they be "made of rubber, plastic or a similar suitable material" and "provide a reasonable degree of protection."
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Things you need
- Pair of shin guards
- Pair of soccer socks (stockings)
- Pair of soccer cleats (boots)
Apply the shin guard to your leg. Depending on whether the shin guard has an ankle strap, this is done either before or after putting on the soccer sock. If your shin guards have an ankle protector, you must first pull the shin guard over your foot so the ankle protector lies over both sides of the ankle. Align the shin guard over the middle of your shin. The shape of the shin guard should wrap tightly around the front of your shin.
Fasten the Velcro strapping of the shin guard. Most shin guards are secured by a single two-part Velcro fastener that is attached to either side of the rear of the shin guard. Pass one half of this Velcro across the back of your calf, and stick it to the other half. Tighten the Velcro so that the shin guard is held tightly and securely against your shin.
Pull the stocking over the entirety of your shin guard. As dictated by FIFA, world soccer's governing body, your shin guard must be fully covered by your socks on both legs. Many players apply tape both below and around the top of both sock and shin guard to secure the position of the shin guard against the leg.
Adjust the shin guard so that it is not worn too low as it can disrupt your ability to control the football, making your touch unpredictable and erratic. In particular, if your shin guards have ankle protectors, ensure that these do not ride too high over the ankle bone. If the ankle protector is not fitted flush against your ankle bone, it is both less effective at protecting your shin as well as disruptive to your control.
Put on your soccer cleats. Ensure that your equipment is comfortable, as you will wear the cleats, socks and shin guards as long as you are participating in the match and will engage in a range of diverse movements such as running, turning and pivoting.
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