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Equipment Basics

A basic understanding of soccer equipment and their uses makes the shopping trip a little easier. At the youth soccer level, the equipment is relatively straightforward and easy to find. Here are the basic requirements your child needs to get started and a few other things to consider as they continue along their soccer journey.

  • Soccer cleats: Specialty soccer shoes are designed to provide support and traction necessary in the game.
  • Shin guards: Protective shin guards are a requirement to play. They rest at the front of the shin to protect from errant kicks and fast-moving balls.
  • Soccer socks: Just like your child needs special shoes, they also needs special socks designed for soccer. The long socks go up and over the shin guards.
  • Ball: Your child’s coach may provide balls during practice, but it’s always a good idea to have one of your own to practice at home.
    • U4-U6: size 3
    • U8-U12: size 4
    • U13-U15: size 5
  • Water bottle: Soccer players spend a lot of time running up and down the field. Hydration is important, so outfit your child with her own water bottle. Write their name on the bottle to avoid mix-ups on the bench.
  • Gear bag: A backpack or tote bag makes it easy to carry all that gear to practices and games.
  • Uniform: This might range from a simple T-shirt to a complete soccer uniform with matching jersey, shorts and socks. Check out the age and competition level under "Program" your child will be participating in for more information.
  • Practice clothes: Uniforms are reserved for wear in games only, so your child needs comfortable athletic clothes for practices. Choose clothes that allow a full range of motion and are weather appropriate as conditions can vary throughout the seasons.
  • Goalkeeper gloves: If your child is interested in playing goalkeeper, consider investing in a pair of goalkeeper gloves. These special gloves are designed to support the wrists while allowing freedom of movement in the fingers. If your child is young, the league may not play with goalies just yet, so hold off on the gloves until you know if your child will actually play the goalkeeper role.


Parents can play many roles in sport: current or former athlete, coach, fan, motivator, role model or critic. Studies have shown that family members may influence an athlete’s involvement, achievement, and enjoyment in sport more than coaches. Below are links to resources which may help your involvement as a positive supporter of your child and Bristol Soccer Club.

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