I want to have the guys over for some home brew and this time I will ask some of my old rugby teammates from college. We will have a casual match before socializing and catching up. For some of us it has been a long time and beer is a great way to bond after years of absence. I went to pull out my gear and was floored that I only had soccer shin guards. I had gotten rid of my old ones ages ago when cleaning out the garage storage area to make room for new stuff. We all have way too much “stuff.” I am going to have to buy new shin guards which will be adding more junk to the overloaded garage.
Soccer shin guards can be molded plastic or a man-made fabric. Like the rugby version, they protect shin and ankle from bruises and abrasions. If you have ever played without them, you know how valuable they are. No one likes injuries, aches, or pains after having so much fun. My new shin guards have built-in elastic that keeps the pad contoured comfortably to my leg. I found them here: https://www.topcornermag.com/best-shin-guards-soccer/ It is double stitched to prolong the life of the item.
Rugby shin guards are similar but not exactly the same. They are protective gear nonetheless that have been around as long as the game itself. You need them if you are exposed to the studs of an opposing hooker when he strikes the ball. You might even get injured by your own hooker when he sweeps his foot around to gather the ball in the scrum. In the really early days, shin guards were primitive in construction. Players would just put a resin-based product around the top of their boots. Eventually, this evolved into a kind of padding that was put into the socks. We have come a long way, baby in our modern molded plastic versions with special shock-absorbing qualities.
Okay, so much for the difference between soccer and rugby shin guards. You get the idea. When playing a given sport, you simply must have the right equipment. You can’t always interchange them. To end the blog and tell the tale, the game went off without a hitch. It was fun to play rugby for a change. These days it is all about soccer, even on Facebook. It has replaced the old favorite and is super popular with kids. I have made the switch myself; hence the shin guards in the garage. But I get nostalgic about rugby as do the other guys. Last, but not least, they enjoyed the homemade beer and drank for several hours into the night. I ran out to get food and left everyone to their own devices while I was gone. They were certainly happy to see me return with fortifications. Playing a game like rugby can develop a big appetite along with thirst. It was a great time for all and we planned to meet again in a few months to resume our reunion match.