At rugby practice tonight, we all received our new and mandatory safety gear. The first item was a scrum cap, which is a sort of padded helmet that helps protect your ears and head from the constant contact there is in rugby. The second item was a set of shoulder pads, which probably aren’t what you’re thinking but are small foam pads build into the shoulder and neck area of a kind of spandex shirt, it fits tight and offers some impact protection to the area of our bodies we primarily use to hit others in the game.
Coach has made these things mandatory at all practices and optional at games but highly recommended. I am glad to have something to wear that I feel will help protect me a little bit. I personally think that this will offer me some kind of mental boost as I feel a little more confident going into contact with the other team because I am slightly more protected (at least more than I would be wearing no gear at all).
They do make us look pretty funny, and they feel a little weird at first. But as with all equipment in my experience, it just needs to be worn and broken in, and then you won’t even notice it there anymore. I actually used to wear my new hockey skates around the house with wet socks for a few hours to try to help break them in. Then they invented a skate oven that would heat up your skates and help mold them better to your feet so they were a little more custom.
Either way, I think our team will look a little more intimidating and come out with a more focused attitude for our first regular season game coming up this weekend against a very strong opponent, Wisconsin!