A groin cup is a groin cup, right?
The simple “nut cup”, or athletic cup is a surprisingly complex product. Yes, they all “cover your junk”, and keep the testicles safe, or at least try to. But each sport we play has a unique challenge for protecting the balls.
In US football, the players are at fairly equal risk of groin injury since all players are near each other, kicking is not part of the game, and the game ball does not travel at a fast speed.
However, in baseball or softball, an outfielder would be far less likely to take a hard shot to the groin than the catcher would. The catcher is forced to keep his legs spread the entire time he plays, genitals are exactly in the strike zone, and the ball is traveling at a high rate of speed. Same with a female catcher. Hockey players have unique challenges as well due to the speed of the puck and “fouling” using their sticks to hit other players.
This creates very different needs for crotch protection, and so an athletic cup for that sport is used.
Even if they didn’t know better at first, a hockey goalie and baseball catcher learn quickly not to wear an off-the-shelf cup. They can “feel” that a standard groin cup is not working well, and can’t handle that type of impact. The risk of damage is also greater depending on the sport and position.
It’s one thing to be in terrible pain, but it is another to require medical care.
A single athletic cup is not designed for all sports.
Sports Injury Researcher, United States