Shin guards, as the name implies, are equipment to protect the shin (the front part of the lower leg from below the knee to above the ankle) in the course of a sport. It is used in various games such as ice hockey and rugby. These items were made popular by football, also known as soccer and baseball.
Soccer is a game played by eleven people on a team, against another team on a rectangular field. The team that leaves the game scoring the most goals wins the game. Due to the nature of the game, players are kicked and injured in different parts of the body, with the shin being the one that records the most kicks and injuries.
Therefore, shin guards were invented for shin protection. They are made of plastic covered with clothing; they carry claps on the side, which the player uses to adjust to the size of the leg. In most cases, the player covers it with his stockings commonly called stockings. In the late 19th century, Samuel Weller Widdowson solved the problem of constant avoidable and manageable injuries in a game.
He invented the soccer shin guard in Nottingham Forest. The team from that town was the first to wear shin guards in a soccer game. These products are the only protective covering allowed for soccer players. For baseball, these accessories were invented by Roger Phillips Bresnahan.
He was an American baseball player and then manager from 1901 to 1945. Born in 1879 in Ohio, Roger played his first game 22 years later in the American league with the Baltimore team. Following closely behind, he played nationals with the New York Giants. After playing virtually every possible position in the game, Bresnahan finally settled for receiving.
He eventually rose through the ranks to become the coach of the St. Louis Cardinals, then moved on to the Chicago Cubs and finally the Detroit Tigers. It was at this point that he realized receivers need protection in the game. Therefore, the invention of these protectors for baseball catchers was an execution of his thoughts and dreams.
In addition to these accessories, there are also other protective gear worn by baseball players. They include padded leather gloves for catching the ball, protective helmets for hitters, protective chest gear, and a cage mask for catchers. In baseball, only catchers wear shin guards, unlike in football where all players wear them. The use of protective shin guards cannot be fully emphasized.
The shin, apart from the anterior head, is the only part of the body that is not sufficiently covered with meat. Shin injuries can be very painful and take a long time to heal. A blow to the shin goes directly to the bone and at the moment of the blow it destabilizes the player. The shin guards have been modified with better synthetic materials to offer protection at the top and at the same time very light so as not to weigh the player down.