The world of sports is constantly evolving and changing. Sports-people have intense pressure on their shoulders and responsibility to perform to the best of their capabilities. Not only do they have to perform for themselves but also to complement their team and to cheer their fans. In situations like this, winning and losing is all that the player cares about. However, in games that involve aggressive contact with the other players, with the ground and the ball, taking care of the players’ safety becomes necessary.
Modern innovations have brought the implementation of several essential pieces of equipment. There are different sports gear available for each sport. They precisely operate to offer better performance or protection from injuries. A shin guard is one of the vital discoveries in this area, also known as the shin pad. As the name suggests, it is worn on the player’s front shin to protect it from any sort of injury, force, trauma, or object. Shin guards are worn by players of competitive sports like football, hockey, and kickboxing.
Different Types of Shin Guards
There are different types of shin guards available in the market, depending upon the purposes they serve and the group of the people that uses them. They are:
- Ankle Shin Guards
Along with protecting the shin, this type of shin guard is designed to offer protection to the ankles as well. They have a soft padded area near it that will protect the ankle from being hurt by the ball, the ground, or from contact with other players.
- Slip-in Shin Guard
This kind is extremely convenient and non-messy. All a person has to do is just slip the shin guard under the stockings and carry on playing. They are extremely comfortable and light-weighted, and there is no chance of any restricted movement. More advanced players mainly use this kind of shin guard.
- Shin Socks
This particular type of shin guards is an impressively innovative one. These are fixed with the stockings. All a person has to do is pull them on. It does not involve any tying or slipping in. Therefore, they are convenient and save time and effort.
Uses of Shin Guards in Different Sports
- Shin Guards in Kickboxing
Kickboxing is one of the many sports that require a highly sturdy sports gear. It requires the player to exercise proper safety protocols so as to protect their body parts from being hurt. Among boxing gloves, mouth guard, headgear, and the rest, shin guards are also necessary. There is always a possibility of fracturing your shin bones if one does not wear shin guards. Shin guards reduce the impact of any blow and therefore protect the shins.
- Shin Guards in Soccer
In soccer, shin guards must offer protection but not be a hindrance to the player. Soccer is a game that requires many quick movements, and therefore, the shin guards should be fixed in their place and stay there till the player removes them. The shin guards protect the players’ shins from the ground, the ball and the other players.
- Shin Guard in Hockey
Hockey is another game where shin protection is extremely necessary. The chances of getting hurt in hockey are also very high. The involvement of hockey sticks can lead to serious damage. Therefore, there is a different set of shin guards available for hockey players.
The hockey shin guards also extend to protect the knee. They are made of plastic on the outside and foam on the inside. To wear them, one has to fix them around the shin with the help of the straps and make sure that they are comfortable with the movement and not causing any sort of obstruction during the game.
- Shin Guard in Cricket
Unlike hockey and soccer, the shin guards in cricket are not worn by all players. They are worn only by the batsmen and the wicket-keeper. This is because they are the players that face the immediate threat from the ball, hitting them in the shin area. Also, the shin guard for cricket is a lot more different from the other games. It is worn not on the inside but from outside of the clothes. Shinguard in cricket is fixed around the shin using straps, and in case the ball hits the shin, there is no danger posed to the bone.
- Shin Protection in Baseball
Like cricket, the sports gear in baseball also involves shin guards for shin protection. Along with the helmet to protect the head, they use shin guards to protect their legs from the ball. Their shin guard is similar to that in soccer, but like cricket, it is mostly worn from the outside.
How to wear shin guards?
Wearing shin guards is a seamless procedure. You can follow these steps:
Step1: Firstly, to buy the right kind of shin guard, one must measure their shin and then purchase it. Buying a shin guard, which is not your choice, will neither serve the purpose of safety, nor will it be comfortable.
Step2: To put the shin guard on, slide it past your ankle and up your shin. After placing it correctly in the center, fasten all your straps securely and tightly. Remember not to secure it very tightly. That would cause discomfort and numbness in the shin area.
Step3: Pull your socks up to cover the shin guard. This will also ensure the secure placement of the same. In case you still don’t feel completely comfortable, try and use tape to secure the shin guards at a place.
The process of wearing shin pads is not very difficult. What is more important at this point is to make players, the ones that do not play at national and international level games, understand that safety should be prioritized. There are children playing these sports everywhere. They are in streets and fairly professional environments like school or state tournaments.
Here itself, they should be taught to follow safety measures and to take them seriously. There have, in fact, been instances in international games where ignorance during the game has taken the lives of some players. Raman Lamba of the Indian cricket team is one such example.
Therefore, the importance of safety must be taken seriously, and this attitude must be inculcated in children from the initial stages itself.