Do Baseball Players Wear Cups? And Why?

A. Coatess

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A. Coatess



Sean Hunter

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do baseball players wear cups

In playing sports, you should not limit your protective gear to just helmets. There is another body part that is susceptible to damage from 100-miles-per-hour baseball pitches!

The player’s crotch is a fragile area that needs to be protected with cups. But do baseball players wear cups?

Catchers need to use these cups. This protects their crotch area from getting hit by a ball down there, as it does happen! Still, some players opt not to wear cups despite the risks.

Protective Cups: What Are They?


Protective gears provide players with the protection they need to prepare themselves from injuries that could damage their careers. The primary purpose of any protective equipment is to protect a certain body part without compromising the movement or performance of the player.

One of the gears that are not as talked about as much is the cup for baseball players. A protective cup for baseball athletes is used to cover their genital area to protect the delicate structures here.

These baseball cups are essentially a sturdy shield over a male player’s crotch and are usually made of robust plastic or metal.

Protective cups come in various sizes, and players should use one that is the perfect size to protect them but not too large that it hinders their comfort and movement.

To wear a cup in baseball games, players will use jockstraps and compression shorts to keep the cup over their crotch area.

When worn properly, male players can be more confident that their manhood is well-protected!

Why Should Baseball Athletes Wear Protective Cups?

Professional baseball players get so indulged in the game that they might miss out on safety precautions while in game!

Let us first talk about your anatomy. The groin area is where the most sensitive part of the genital is located. First, massive impact from a speeding pitch can be an excruciating experience!

The pain from impacting your groin area with all sorts of objects is due to the massive amounts of nerve endings present here. For males, it is quite a spot you would not want to get hit on!

Furthermore, the tissues and organs in the male crotch area are very delicate. Aside from the pain, you risk getting the testicles and nearby organs damaged.

So, pro baseball players know better than to take the risk! And this is the main reason why MLB players wear cups. Baseball cups will be the easiest way to avoid unnecessary pain and health damage to your crotch area as you play.

Most pitchers and catchers are expected to use the best protective cup that fits their body and needs. But most outfielders sometimes skip wearing this groin protection. Currently, there is no rule for the MLB players that requires all players to wear cups while at play. But an added protection would not hurt!

Health Risks of Not Wearing Cups

Getting hit by a speeding ball in the groin would be a harrowing experience for the player. And, there is no specific set of rules on what protection the player wears.

Aside from the excruciating pain, health risks are also associated with testicular injuries. You can also get traumatic hematoma from the direct hit from the speeding ball.

Getting hit in the groin with a speeding ball is not something you see every day on the baseball field. Ideally, all baseball players wear cups to protect themselves because this can happen to them at the most unpredictable time!

MLB pitchers wear cups to protect their manhood. A speeding ball is making its way to the player, and a slight miscalculation can land it in the private area.

Many unfortunate incidents happened to profesional players due to the lack of this protective gear.

Jose Manzanillo is a batter that is known to skip baseball cups when he previously played. Unfortunately, he got hit in his crotch area.

It did not end well for Manzanillo as he eventually landed in the operating room and got one of his testicles out due to irreversible damage. If he had worn a cup, this problem would not have caused that massive damage to him.

Yadier Molina was not spared from the excruciating pain as he got a direct hit from a 102-mph fastball on the crotch. The player needed immediate medical assistance.

Of course, catchers wear cups too because they are constantly faced with lots of speeding balls.

At first, it may look like quite a funny scene, but the health risks involved are serious and could be debilitating. Hence, getting the most appropriate cup for you and wearing them during games would greatly benefit you.

Choosing the Right Baseball Protective Cups


Players have different sizes in their gloves, helmets, shoes, and other gear. The same holds for a cup!

There are differences in build and body shape. Plus, you will see different materials that make a cup stand out from other brands.

1. First, let us talk about the size

Children can already start entering tournaments as young as five years old. And there are adult players in the big league. Some high school baseball players would also have different body builds.

Protective cups come in different sizes. And each size comes with a recommended age group depending on the size of the product.

  • Children aged five to seven can use extra small sizes at 19 to 22 inches.
  • Small size is recommended for ages eight to 12, which is between 22 to 28 inches.
  • Teenagers can get the medium size at 28 to 30 inches.
  • Large and extra large cups are usually for adults.

Still, you can choose the best size as these are just recommendations. You can note the size of your pants and waist and match it to the sizes available.

2. A protective athletic cup also comes in different forms

Commonly, you will see a crescent moon-shaped and form-fitting design. Both do the purpose of protecting your private area and keeping you injury-free.

So choose the design that is comfortable for you. You can also choose a cup with a thick gel lining inside so that it will not irritate your skin during the constant friction.

Frequently Asked Question

At what age should players start wearing protective cups?

It is highly recommended that young kids understand the risks involved in games without a cup. College baseball players should also learn to incorporate the cup into their habit because it is a good practice if they eventually pursue the professional league.

And the little league is also up for some protective cups! Kids as young as five can start entering games, but since their pitches probably would not be strong enough for major testicular injury, the earliest age for boys to wear a cup would be at seven.

Competition usually increases among kids aged seven and above, so it is good to start safe!

Do female baseball players wear protective cups?

Female players are also at risk of that high-speed baseball hitting their pelvic area and are susceptible to the same pain and damage as males. Damage to them is also generally high.

The protective cup for male players have a female counterpart. This is called the pelvic protector or the jill.

And yes, even female players in Major League Baseball wear some form of an athletic cup in their game. This is their option to wear for added safety in their private parts. However, like males, no rule in the MLB requires every player to wear a cup.

Why don’t some baseball players wear cups?

As many as 25% of players do not like wearing their cups. Players opt not to wear their athletic cups because of some disadvantages.

Baseball is very mobile yet it is not a contact sport. Players need to be swift, agile, and adaptable. Some players claim that wearing an athletic cup would hinder their movement and versatility, degrading their performance in this very fast-paced sport.


Accidents do happen from time to time. And it would never be too much to be prepared for them, especially when playing baseball!

Baseball players always face the risk of getting hit in the groin by speeding balls or other moving objects. To avoid pain and other health risks, wearing cups is the best solution.

Do baseball players wear cups? Most catchers and pitchers do use a baseball cup, but outfielders usually skip it.

Still, the cup is recommended to a young baseball player at seven years old and is highly encouraged to find a cup that suits their body and comfort.

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