Tiny shin guards are all the rage right now. I’ve seen more and more players wear these shin guards in the last two years than ever.
What are they exactly? They are regular shin guards who were shot at by the shrink gun in ‘Honey, I Shrunk the Kids‘ movie. Here’s a pic…
This begs the question, can you wear tiny shin guards? Yes. But, should you? Probably not.
Let’s dive into this some more.
Is There a Rule Regarding Size of Shin Guards?
According to The FA, the governing body of soccer in England, shin pads must be made of a suitable material such as rubber, plastic, or polyurethane and provide a reasonable degree of protection.
The shin guard should be covered entirely by the sock and be held securely in place by straps.
It is important to note that there are no specific rules regarding the size of the shin guard. However, it should be long enough to protect your entire shin from the ankle to just below the knee.
This means that tiny shin guards are not recommended as they do not provide adequate protection.
The U.S. follows the rules above but some youth leagues may have their own take on it.
Consequences of Improper Gear
If you do not wear the proper gear, you may be at risk of injury. In addition, failure to comply with the equipment rules can result in a yellow card or even a red card.
Sometimes, it’s up to the referee to determine if your shin guards are appropriate or not.
What is the Risk of Wearing Tiny Shin Pads?
If you are a youth soccer player, all it will take is one swift kick to the shin and you might be out for the season. Is it really worth it?
These modern, tiny shin guards will cover a small part of your bone…at best.
In the event of a collision or impact, tiny shin guards may not be able to absorb the force as effectively as larger pair.
This can increase the risk of injury to your shins and other parts of your legs.
Should I Wear Them?
If you were my child, I would say “no”! I don’t think it’s worth it.
Think about all the time you put into becoming a better soccer player. Do you want to waste it away with one mishap?
I’ve seen too much soccer not to notice players getting kicked often. Most aren’t bad but some are.
If you are a youth player, your bones aren’t fully developed yet. You have less muscle mass than a pro. And, your opponents are less aware of what they are doing.
For these reasons, I think you should consider wearing normal-sized shin guards.