If you came across this article, you’re probably trying to find out whether you or your child should tuck in their soccer jersey. While it does seem ‘proper’ to tuck in their jersey, it is not always required.
Soccer officials are often instructed to ensure that players maintain a tidy appearance throughout the game, this includes tucking in their shirts and pulling up their socks. This loose rule is meant to ensure consistency and uniformity across all matches and teams.
While the rule may seem arbitrary, there are some practical reasons for tucking in shirts. Tucking in shirts can prevent them from getting caught on other players or equipment during the game, which can be dangerous.
However, not all soccer players tuck in their shirts. In fact, it is up to the player’s discretion and comfort level. Most players may prefer to leave their shirts untucked for a more relaxed look or to allow for greater freedom of movement. Others may tuck in their shirts for personal preference or to comply with team or league regulations.
At the professional level, it is recommended but not enforced. You’ll find more pro players opt for the more relaxed look and leave their jerseys untucked for the entire game.
Do Youth Soccer Players Need to Tuck In Their Jersey?
According to US Soccer, players’ shirts are to be tucked in when referees inspect the field. But, I can tell you that once the game starts, referees aren’t enforcing this. I personally haven’t seen a stoppage in play because a shirt was untucked.
My suggestion is to tuck in the shirt when the referee is inspecting shin guards and equipment. After the first whistle to start the game, it’s a personal choice.
Does tucking in their shirts create an advantage or disadvantage?
Honestly, I think a jersey that is tucked in can make it easy for the ref to see if the opponent is tugging at it. This may seem minor but could be a difference-maker during the right game.
At the same time, according to a Japanese heat experiment, the temperature of a player goes up four degrees when a jersey is tucked in. It makes sense…the heat is trapped and doesn’t really have much space to escape if a shirt is tucked in.
If you are a youth player or parent of a youth player reading this, I think you should do what you feel most comfortable with. If a coach sets a high standard for the boys or girls and wants their jerseys tucked in, I think you should respect that decision. If it’s up to the player then do what’s most comfortable but start the game with it tucked in.
In conclusion, soccer players tuck in their shirts primarily to maintain a tidy appearance and to prevent any mishaps during the game.
While the rule may seem trivial, it is an important aspect of the sport’s uniformity and safety. However, not all players choose to tuck in their shirts, and it ultimately comes down to personal preference.
If you find more freedom with an untucked shirt, go for it. If you feel as though a tucked in jersey makes you play more like the pros then tuck that shirt in!