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In order for a child to play soccer, parents should purchase soccer equipment that will ensure that the child remains safe as she plays this particular sport. Soccer equipment can be purchased at local sporting goods stores or even on the Internet. The basic equipment each child needs includes soccer cleats and shin guards.
Soccer cleats are an important piece of soccer equipment for any soccer player, since the sport is played primarily with the feet. Cleats come in various shapes and styles, depending on the terrain and weather conditions in which they will be used. Quality soccer cleats help the player have a firmer control of the soccer ball but also enable the player to wear comfortable shoes that can improve her game. The upper parts of cleats are manufactured from leather or synthetic leather.
High quality cleats are made from leather, but beginners may choose to start out with synthetic leather cleats. Synthetic cleats are more inexpensive and durable than those made from leather. When shopping for a pair of soccer footwear, it's important that the player wears the same socks she plans on wearing during soccer practice and games. This will ensure that she finds cleats that fit correctly.
Shin guards made their first appearance in the game of soccer during the 1800s. In the game's infancy, shin guards were not required soccer equipment so players often wore the smallest shin guards available. As the sport evolved, shin guards were deemed essential pieces of equipment as they distributed the force of impact on the legs so that no one section of the legs received the brunt of the soccer ball's impact.
Modern-day shin guards are comprised of a hard outer shell and a softer interior layer. Although guards protect the legs from minor impact, they are not foolproof. If a ball hits the legs with enough force, a player can suffer a broken or fractured leg.
When a child plays on an organized soccer league, the team will already have soccer balls available. The child will only need to buy her own ball if she plays at home or in the park. Soccer balls are manufactured in three different sizes and varying types of materials. The Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) is the international governing body of soccer and stipulates the measurements of soccer balls that are used in official tournaments. Local soccer leagues may determine which soccer ball sizes are appropriate for youth teams.