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We see it all the time when we watch soccer, players have certain parts of their bodies taped. They have their hands, ankles, elbows, knees all taped up. However it does make us wonder why they do it and when it comes to their wrists, why do they tape them when you do not use your hands? Read on to find out.
Soccer players will often wear tape or athletic tape on their wrists so that they are protected. Players will be fighting for position and pushing and shoving each other during a match and by taping their wrists it can prevent injury as wrists, fingers and other body parts can get injured doing this.
Why do soccer players tape their wrists?
Soccer players can wear tape on their wrists for numerous reasons like stability and also to help prevent injury. Players will often wear some form of athletic tape around their wrists and also this is usually worn on ankles, it can be used on wrists as well. It will last the duration of a match and it gives players enough flexibility so that they can still move their wrists around.
We will now list the reasons why soccer players tape their wrists.
1. To protect their wrists.
This is the main reason, to simply protect their wrists from injury. During a soccer match, players will often be pushing, shoving, and fighting for a better position. When doing this fingers wrists and other body parts can get bent in unnatural ways, taping helps prevent this.
The tape will aid players if they have sudden contact with a player for example when they are falling from a tackle or they have been chopped down from behind. When this happens their first instinct is to put out their hands to brace themselves and put pressure on their wrists.
Goalkeepers will also have their wrists taped too. This is because shots can come at them at lightning speed and the ball is just about always saved by the goalkeeper’s hands. With so much force being applied to the hands and wrists of the keeper, having tape can help reduce the chance of injury for the hands and wrists.
Although having tape on their wrists will not completely stop injuries from occurring, it can certainly limit the chances of an injury being picked up.
2. Jewelry being hidden.
Another reason that soccer players will tape their wrists is to help cover any jewelry or bracelets that they have on their wrists. This is because most leagues around the world do not permit players from having any type of loose jewelry and if they are found to have it on them, the referee will simply ask them to remove it before continuing playing.
If a player has a bracelet or a piece of jewelry on for religious or superstitious reasons, instead of taking it off, they will simply wrap the tape around it so they can still wear it but also so that they do not break any rules as well.
By doing this they can still feel happy because they are still wearing their bracelet but at the same time, to the referee and the league they play in, it simply looks like they just have their wrist taped for stability or injury prevention.
High profile players like Cristiano Ronaldo and Garth Bale will often wear bracelets from companies to promote their brands. Bale wears a live-strong bracelet yet taped it up to help cover it from the referee.
If a referee does see that a player is wearing any type of jewelry then they will stop the game and force the players to take it off. This is for both the player’s safety but also his team-mate’s and opposition player’s safety as well.
Referees do this because watches, jewelry, and other smaller ones can get caught on player’s shirts or shorts and can rip them or do damage to the players’ hands or fingers in the process. It is much safer for the player to simply remove all jewelry to avoid any chance of injury or to tape to cover it with tape so the jewelry is still on them but there is no chance of injury.
3. To cover their tattoos
This does not happen often, but it does happen. Some players will have a tattoo on their wrist that they do not want to be seen on TV so they will put some tape over it to cover it up. The tape can sometimes be a small section just to cover the wrist and other times there can be a lot of tape to cover up the wrist and forearm tattoo if other players or clubs are offended by it or if there are any policies that do not allow it.
4. Cosmetic Reasons
Aside from preventing injuries, this is the next most popular reason. Soccer players can have their wrists taped simply because of how it looks. You often see that some players have words or sayings written on the tape to remind them of certain things or family names.
Other soccer players have team words or instructions written on the tape so that during a game if they forget something, they can just look at the tape and remember what they have to do to help their team.
It will usually be wrist taping that will have words or writing on it in a black pen or a black marker and it can be seen from the professional levels down to the amateur levels. Some players even have family initials or names to help push them and remind them that they are not just playing for themselves, but their families as well.
5. An injury that is healing
If a soccer player has had an injury to their wrist, hand, or fingers, then having tape on it can help support it while it is healing. It also helps prevent the wrist from bending a way it is not supposed to while it is in the process of healing.
Soccer players will usually consult with the team doctor or trainer in what is the best way to tape it so it reduces the risk of re-injuring. The doctor or trainer will tape it in a way so that it gives the wrist a great deal of stability when they are playing.
The trainers or doctors will do this because players will find it hard to tape it themselves as they can not get the right angle to tape it correctly.
6. What type of tape do soccer players use on their wrists?
The best-recommended tape is a white athletic sports tape that is extraordinarily strong from Hampton Adams. It can be found on Amazon.com. It will not leave any glue on your skin like some of the other tapes that are used.
It is easy to tear with your fingers and you do not need scissors to cut it. Although the tape is strong, there is no need to cut it, just wrap it around and tear it off. The tape is really sticky too. Players do not want a tape that is going to come unstuck easily during a game, they want a tape that will stay stuck together for an entire game.
It is made of high-quality medical-grade cotton. It is built to last through an entire soccer match among other sports. It also comes in a pack of three so you will have enough tape to last you a while before needing to buy more.
7. How do you tape your wrist for soccer?
There are a few ways to tape your wrist, however, we will look at Seattle Sounders goalkeeper Stefan Frei and how he tapes his wrists before a game of soccer.
First, you are going to use a two-inch-wide roll of athletic or medical tape. You will start by putting the edge of the tape onto your wrist and the end of the tape should just about be above where your wrist will bend.
Then you will go around your entire wrist two to three times so that you can get the right stability and support and then you will simply cut the tape off with a pair of scissors or tear it if it is easy to do so.
If you happen to want added support for your wrist, then do one more wrap-around, going in between your thumb and your index finger and you can then go around your wrist one more time or any more additional support that you may want. Wrist-Wrapping and Finger-Taping Advice From MLS All-Star Stef Frei (storelli.com)