Soccer Player Equipment

  1. All players must wear shinguards to every practice and every game. Hard surfaces of shinguards must be covered with socks. (Referees will check this). Encourage parents to buy properly sized shinguards that have a hard surface (plastic or fiberglass) and padding to cover the anklebone.
  2. No shoes with front cleats may be worn (i.e., no baseball or football shoes if they have a front cleat, unless you cut it off). Only rubber cleats are allowed; metal cleats are not allowed. (Referees will check).
  3. No jewelry, metal devices, or hazardous equipment may be worn. (Casts can be allowed if they are padded & the Referee approves them before the game).
  4. Each player should bring a plastic water bottle to games and practices. Coaches should allow adequate water breaks during practice & bring extra water (some players will always forget to bring water).
  5. Each player should have a stitched ball (as opposed to a hard seamless ball) of proper size. (Soccer balls come in 3 different sizes: 3, 4, & 5. The ball size is shown on the ball. Also, look for a stamp that says either "official size & weight" or "FIFA Approved". Even if a ball is the official weight, some balls are heavier & harder than others. Don't get a ball that is too heavy or hard (some seamless balls are especially hard). Some balls are so hard that it is painful to kick them. If you have a choice, a shiny, waterproof surface is best because it won't absorb water & will last longer. Test the ball to see if it's round & will fly straight by tossing it into the air with a lot of spin on it to see if it wobbles. U-6 & U-8 (i.e., Under-6 & Under-8) use a size 3; U-10 & U-12 use a size 4; and U-13 & older use a size 5 ball).
  6. To games, each player must wear a jersey or shirt, shorts (most leagues don't object to long pants if it is cold; note that the FIFA rules say that if thermal undershorts are worn they must be the same main color as the shorts), shinguards, stockings or socks that entirely cover the shinguards, and footwear.
  7. Goalkeepers must wear colors that distinguish them from the other players and from the referees. Mostly they either wear a special goalkeeper jersey, a mesh training vest (also called a practice vest or pinnie) or a T-shirt. Caution: Don't put a long sleeved Goalie jersey on a player in hot weather. It is dangerous because they can become overheated.
  8. Check with your league for other requirements.