Soccer equipment has evolved quite a bit from the early period of the game. The basic equipment consists of a jersey or shirt, shorts, stockings, shin-guards and appropriate footwear. Besides this, each player must have a soccer ball. Soccer players generally wear a particular uniform in their team colors with a number and their name at the back of the shirt. Sometimes advertising logos are displayed on the shirts of professional players. The jersey is generally made of a natural fiber material that is part cotton and part polyester that can absorb sweat to enable players to keep cool through evaporation of sweat. Shirts can also be made of a polyester mesh that does not trap heat from the body. The shorts are also colored the same for a team and usually they are worn above the knees for easy movement. These too are made of sweat absorbing material.
Soccer boots are also made especially as part of the soccer equipment. The boots can be made of leather or a synthetic material. Most modern soccer boots are cut slightly below the ankles and have studs in their soles. The studs are helpful to grip the ground while running and also to suddenly stop when required. They can be either moulded into the sole or detachable with a screw thread. Modern soccer shoes are made by footwear giants – Adidas have an intricate scientifically aided design with air pockets to make the player’s feet breathe. Then there are modern turf shoes that can be worm on a hard artificial turf or sand.
All soccer players are allowed to wear gloves though the goalkeeper’s gloves are special. These gloves are made from a variety of materials that allow good flexibility and the palms are made to protect the hand and enhance the grip to hold the ball. Flat palm, roll finger and negative are some of the different fits to the gloves in any soccer equipment and this is indicative of the stitching and fit. The shin-guards worn just under the socks are extremely important as it protects the player’s legs from being kicked. They can be made of rubber, plastic or such similar substance that will provide a reasonable degree of protection. During a game, the two opposing teams must wear distinguishing colors to assist the referees to differentiate between them.
Softball is a descendant of baseball and is played between two teams of 10 to 14 players. A softball is a misnomer as the actual ball is larger and harder than a baseball. The game is played in a diamond shaped field which is roughly 220 feet. The softball equipment varies according to the kind of game played and is different for men and women. Normally the required equipment consists of a ball, a bat, gloves, uniforms and protective gear including helmets. The defensive team must wear helmets, shin guards, and chest protectors. Bats are made of wood or other composite materials.