Do Baseball Players Wear Cups? The Truth Revealed!



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Joining a baseball team is a great way to stay active and participate in a team event. Many memories and friendships are made playing baseball. When you first start playing baseball, it is important that you purchase all of the necessary safety equipment.

This might have you wondering, since baseball isn’t a contact sport do baseball players wear cups? The answer to this is always yes! Baseball players should always wear a protective cup while playing a game. 

Team sports are meant to be fun. Get hurt during the game is never a good time. If you want to continue to have fun playing on your baseball team then you always need to wear the right safety gear. The best athletes always work to prevent an injury before it has a chance to happen. Even if the chances of getting hit are low, why risk it? 

What Is A Protective Cup?

A protective cup is a hard shell, usually made of either hard plastic or lightweight metal, designed to fit over a male player’s genitalia. It is usually attached to jockstraps or compression shorts to hold it in place comfortably. Male players of any sport should never leave their manhood unprotected while playing a game.

You never know where some of those balls will go flying. Imagine getting hit by a fast hardball? I don’t want to think about it. 

Why Do Baseball Players Need To Wear A Protective Cup?

Can you guarantee that you won’t get hit in the genitalia while playing a game? No, it’s very unlikely to happen but it still can. It has happened to players, as some described in this Quora thread and it doesn’t sound pretty. Wearing a cup is an easy way to avoid a very painful incident in case it occurs. 

While most pitchers and catchers always wear a cup, a lot of outfielders have been known to skip out on wearing one. On average, 25% of baseball players skip out on wearing a cup. One thing all successful athletes have in common is taking the steps to avoid an injury before it occurs. Do you want a groin injury? 

In case you think you don’t need a cup, just think about famous baseball player Jose Manzanillo. He didn’t think he needed one either when he was batting. One bad throw later, and he got hit in the groin, which tore one of his test-icles. If you think that was bad, it gets worse! He lost that test-icle during surgery. Is losing a test-icle worth not wearing a cup to you? I hope it isn’t!

In case that tale didn’t frighten you enough to put on a cup here’s another baseball horror story for you. Have you heard of the baseball player Yadier Molina? Well, he got hit in the groin by a ball that was flying at a speed of 102 mph. You may be strong but not strong enough to handle that. 

Wearing a protective cup while playing baseball isn’t a mandatory rule, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t put one on. The two cases mentioned above should be enough to make you realize why every male player needs a protective cup. This is not something that should be risked. 

How Much Impact Does A Hit To The Groin Really Have?

Some players will try to argue that a protective cup limits their flexibility range, but can you imagine what a hit to the groin would limit? Baseball may not be a high-contact sport, but there are flying and swinging objects at full force. Your chances of getting hit by a ball or bat are very high, so it’s best to stay protected.

The impact of getting hit by a ball flying full force is the equivalent to getting hit by a 2,500-lb object. This impact is lowered significantly is a baseball player put a protective cup on before they played. 

How To Choose The Right Protective Cup?

Not everyone is built the same down there, so it’s best to make sure you know how to pick out the right protective cup for you. To get a perfect size either correlate it to your ideal pant size or measure your waist and chose one that matches that size. 

Every sporting goods store will have guidelines for choosing the right sized cup. The most common sizes ranges are as follows: 

  • Extra small 19-22 inches (Pee/Wee, ages 5-7)
  • Small 22-28 inches (Youth, ages 8-12)
  • Medium 28-30 inches (Teen, ages 13-17)
  • Large 30-36 (Adult, ages 18+)
  • Extra Large 36-46 inches (Adult, ages 8+)

There will be a few different designs to choose from. For hygiene reasons while in-store you can only try a protective cup on over your shorts. If you know that you will be shopping for a protective cup avoid wearing jeans or other heavy materials. Stick to lightweight shorts or sweatpants to make it easier to determine which fit you like best. 

The two most common sizes are one that is shaped similar to a crescent moon, and another that is more of a form-fitting design. The better choice depends on what style of fit you prefer to wear. It is important to choose one that you will be comfortable wearing on the field. 

If you want to avoid chafing on your skin, look for a protective cup that has a thicker gel lining. It is a lot easier against the skin and doesn’t cause irritation. 

Jockstrap Or Compression Shorts: Which One Is Right For You?

There are two ways that you can keep your protective cup in place while you play, either jockstraps or compression shorts. Let’s take a look at the difference between the two so you can decide which one is the right choice for you:


A jockstrap is the more popular choice of the two different protective cup supporters. It is two elastic straps that hold a pouch in place. You can insert your protective cup in that pouch and the jockstrap will keep it in place while you play. Jockstraps are great for holding your protective cup in play while you move around a lot during play. They allow a bit more flexibility than compression shorts. They are also a lot more affordable too!

Compression Shorts

People with sensitive skin tend to prefer compression shorts to hold their protective cup in place. Elastic bands can be irritating for some, making compression shorts a great alternative. Compression shorts are tight-fitting boxers that have an opening to place your protective cup in and hold it in place. Baseball players like compression shorts because they offer a lot of support while running. 

How To Wear A Protective Cup The Correct Way 

It is pointless to wear a protective cup during the game if you are not going to put it on the correct way. Always follow instructions with your sports gear to ensure safety. Imagine putting one on only to realize after you got to hit that it wasn’t in the proper way? I am cringing just thinking about it. Here are the steps you should take to ensure that you put your protective cup on the proper way every time:

  1. Take a look inside your jockstrap or compression shorts and locate the middle seam. You should find it in the front, near the middle of the waist. Use your fingers to open this slot and slide your protective cup down inside. 
  2. If you have chosen a jockstrap, then slide it on over your underwear. Put each leg in through one of the hoops and pull the waistband up over your legs. Once you have the jockstrap on your waist adjust the elastic bands so they are comfortable. 
  3. If you have chosen compression shorts then simply pull them up no differently than you would if you were putting on boxer shorts. Pull your compression short up, overtop of your underwear, and adjust them comfortably on your waistline.
  4. Adjust your cup so that your genitals are comfortable and fully covered. You should have at least 1-2 inches of the cup below your genitals. 
  5. A good way to test if you have your protective cup in place is to walk around and do some lunges. Really move those legs and hips around to make sure it stays in place. 
  6. Always remember to wash your jockstrap after every use. That thing gets sweaty and you don’t need it stinking up your gym bag. 

These are the basic steps you need to know in wearing your protective cup correctly. Taking the time to make sure you have put your cup on correctly, can save you from a major injury if you happen to get hit. 

Final Thoughts

Every single player should be wearing a protective cup, even though it is not mandatory. It is always better to be prepared and protected before you play a game. After all, baseball is supposed to leave you with happy memories. Don’t let a torn test-icle be one of those memories. Wear a cup and stay safe. 

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