What is Sock Tape?
Let’s be honest, we have all spotted it at some point when watching football but have we really taken notice?
Sock Tape is an important part of any players pre match ritual but there can’t be any other reason for it to be there outside of holding socks in place, can there? Well, the simple answer is yes but not quite how you think!
For years, the tried and tested PVC Sock Tape (also known as Electrical tape) has been the stalwart for every footballer from Sunday league to the Premiership. A strong, hard wearing tape made from Polyvinyl Chloride, it comes in a whole range of colours. Usually placed above and below the shin pads over the socks, it not only hold socks in place but also stops the shin pads from moving. Due to is strong adhesive it stays in place long enough to do its job. This is great but it can leave marks on socks or give irritation if it gets stuck to the skin.
Here comes the sock tape newbie!
Now, we all know what PVC Sock Tape looks like, but you may have noticed a very different tape making appearances on footballers legs over the last few years. This tape is not like PVC Tape, it has completely different properties and is becoming a hot favourite on football pitches up and down the country
Made from a non-woven material, and again available in a wide range of colours, Cohesive Bandage is a tape that is growing in popularity. This is due to the way it adheres to itself and not to material, skin or hair. It doesn’t leave marks on socks or kit and is safe to be worn straight on the skin. Because the tape has no adhesive it cannot lose its stickiness. Meaning it can be applied and reapplied over and over again. It is also quick and easy to apply! Tearable by hand both in both width and length, you can chose how thick or thin you want your sock tape to be.
Cohesive bandage can also aid soft tissue compression and support the joints such as the ankles. Because of this Goalkeepers and players alike wear it around their ankles not just as general sock tape but also to protect and stabilise their ankles.
Now the rules
Governing bodies love making rules and FIFA is no different. Back in 2012, FIFA made the decision that any tape or material worn over a players socks must match the colour of their socks. The rule change was put in to place to help as-sistant referees when looking across the offside line to enable see the distinc-tion between the teams. Players wearing too much tape or different colours of tape can make this difficult. And you don’t want wrong decisions being made in that all important game!