FA Guidance for use of Shinpads in Grassroots Football

Safety is a key consideration for our game and the Laws of the Game state that shin guards/pads are a compulsory piece of equipment.

Shin pads play an important role in injury prevention as they are intended to protect the shin from injury. The amount of shin physically covered is an important consideration as any part of the shin that is not covered is not as well protected.  “Micro” or “Mini” shin pads may therefore increase the risk of injury due to the smaller amount of shin covered compared to larger sized shin pads. We advise that when considering the protection offered by shin pads, safety is prioritised by ensuring a good proportion of the shin area is covered and therefore protected.  The materials used are also an important factor.  Always look for a CE mark which means the shin pads achieve minimum standards.  We suggest that shin pads not carrying such a mark should not be worn as they may present an increased risk of injury to players.

Please give these protection levels serious consideration when deciding what is the right shin pad for you or for your child.

6 thoughts on “FA Guidance for use of Shinpads in Grassroots Football

  1. I’m sorry, but that statement is just a ‘cop-out’.
    The micro/mini pads are too small for even the smallest legs and as the ‘ Governing body’ surely you should make a decision on them.
    I appreciate there are many thousands out there being used now and there may be some push-back, but you should have made a decision when these came on the market 6-12 months ago, or have you been unaware of what’s happening?
    Regrettably, someone is going to get hurt wearing these and it needs a strong statement banning the use of them.

    1. Couldn’t agree more with this, give the refs the opportunity to deny the player participating if wearing micro shin pads.
      The FAs statement is not strong enough.

    2. Well said Paul, the LOTG do not state a minimun coverage and thus Refs can’t force decisions, someone will get seriously hurt before they take action. A ref isn’t going to ask each player to remove each pad to check the CE marking either.

  2. So that “guidance” just passes the blame!
    Shinpads should be a minimum size either by age or leg length. The shin pads kids see on TV by some Pro footballers are completely inappropriate! Way too small, and everyone knows who wears them. Stop them NOW!

  3. Think it’s absolutely disgusting that governing bodies are willing to pass the buck on safety in sport as though it’s none of there concern. Kids in grassroots football look up to the big stars in the game and of course they are going to want to copy the things these top players do. The governing bodies need to step up and at the very least need to ban these mini shin pads from being used by youth players.

  4. Companies now giving out these shin pads free with purchases I.e gain the edge. I was horrified when I seen them. They were barely bigger than my pinky finger! Straight in the bin. I haaave witnessed first hand , children on my sons team receiving fractures from tackles. Why would anyone encourage or allow their child to wear micro pads? I personally want my child as protected as possible. Responsible clubs have already banned micro pads and I know my sons team will not allow child to play or train without proper full size shin pads

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