Eyeglasses without a doubt are the least among accessories you can find on soccer players during a soccer match. It always seems as if soccer players rarely develop eye defects even as it is a very common problem.
Although optical enhancing glasses help in improving or correcting eye defects, they are often not suitable for certain activities and occasions. Wearing glasses while participating in sporting activities that have a high frequency of contacts can affect your average performance.
Optical glasses aside from being fragile are also expensive sometimes which makes them difficult to replace. Receiving a blow on the face from severe collisions or a fast-traveling ball while wearing glasses can leave shards of glass stuck in your face.
Some soccer players have active eye defects but you would never see them with glasses on the soccer pitch because they can adequately manage without them carefully considering the nature of the sport.
It may seem insensible to use glasses while playing soccer—except in situations where it can’t be avoided. However, does the law of soccer prohibit players from using glasses or are they avoiding it on their own terms?
Using glasses in soccer is not completely ridiculous. In fact, many players have used glasses on the soccer pitch in the past and you can do so too if need be.
In this article, we will be teaching you about some safer alternatives to optical eyeglasses and other vital information relating to this topic.
Do you need good eyesight to play soccer?
Aside from every other thing that soccer enthusiasts and match officials tend to mostly care about during a professional soccer match, the eye condition and quality of vision of soccer players are the least discussed.
Having good eyesight is very crucial in attaining success in any sporting activity and soccer is not an exception. Soccer players must make sure that their eyes are in good working condition before engaging in the game of soccer.
For example, you often see players (mostly defenders) shoot long passes to attackers in an effort to counter the opponent’s attack. Such counterattack moves have mostly led to goals.
A defender with shortsightedness may find it difficult seeing his teammate in the opponent’s half to give a pass and drive such counterattacks. In fact, with shortsightedness, giving long accurate passes will be difficult.
Likewise, a soccer player with long-sightedness may find it hard seeing an oncoming player, trapping a ball, or heading balls during a corner kick. Other forms of eye defects will also affect how you experience the game—and can limit how fast you can make decisions and that may prove costly.
Knowing your optical status as a soccer player will help you in a lot of ways and also save you from a lot of horrid experiences on the pitch. Getting professional help from an ophthalmologist to fully certify your eyes are organically correct and sound is highly recommended.
An organically correct pair of eyes must be sharp, clear, and be able to see both near and natural eye length distances properly. Yearly eye checks are often recommended for soccer players because the eyes play a very important role in soccer aside from motor skills.
There are a few indicators of eye defects in soccer which may include:
- Running far behind or way ahead of soccer balls
- Consistent missing of soccer balls while taking kicks
- Unprovoked nervousness
- Incessant itchy eyes
- Blurred view
- Difficulty in concentrating
- Excessive squinting or blinking when the sun is very bright
- Severe redness of the eyes and secretion of eye fluid
When a soccer player starts to notice any of the above-mentioned symptoms or anything similar, he or she must quickly discuss with the team coach to find a suitable solution.
Before patronizing the services of an ophthalmologist, you must first make sure they are fully licensed and certified to operate. There are certain ophthalmologists specially trained to attend to athletes and sportspeople, those are more suitable for you as a soccer player.
In situations where a player needs constant use of corrective glasses, they must consult with their soccer coaches to properly check the rule books on laws and rules guiding the use of glasses in soccer.
Proper consulting and education about eye defects and possible corrective measures can help a soccer player make the best available decision when seeking solutions. Not all eye defects necessitate the use of glasses, some can be fixed with surgery and adequate medication.
From our research, we discovered certain options soccer players can use in correcting defective eyesight. They are listed below.
Laser-assisted in situ keratomileusis is a very common laser eye surgery used in permanently altering the shape of the eye’s cornea. It is used in treating hyperopia (farsightedness), astigmatism, and myopia (nearsightedness).
LASIK is an effective procedure but very expensive when compared to several other options. As a soccer player, if the use of lenses can properly correct your eye defect, then LASIK shouldn’t be an option for you.
2. Soft contact lenses:
These contact lenses are skillfully designed to enhance vision and also provide needed comfort to the eyes of an athlete. Soft contact lenses can be scientifically modified with a layer that protects the eyes from ultraviolet light.
3. Rigid gas permeable contact lenses (RGP):
These contact lenses are firm in texture, they are manufactured from silicone-containing compounds designed to allow the easy flow of oxygen through them into your eyes.
They require a little time to get accustomed to, especially for soccer players who haven’t used them for long. They appear smaller than soft contact lenses which is why they dislodge more easily.
4. Medicated contact lenses:
These contact lenses are more preferable to sports goggles and glasses because they are much safer and comfortable while playing soccer. They are usually manufactured from water-containing plastics known as hydrogels.
Some of the numerous benefits of medicated contact lenses are that they correct distorted field of view, enhance exterior vision, are less likely to cause injuries, have no slippage, splattering, or fog, and stabilize vision.
5. Sports Goggles:
- Ratcheting Quick Release Interchangeable Temples And Strap
- Scratch Resistant Polycarbonate Lens Provides 99% Uva/B/C Protection
- Outer Polycarbonate Lens Protects Against The Environment, While Inner Acetate Lens Is Designed To...
Last update on 2023-05-28 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API
Sports goggles can only be used if they are permitted by your league’s laws, rules, and regulations. They are produced in a variety of fashionable designs, shapes, and sizes suitable for use in sporting activities.
Sports goggles normally come with elastic straps and their frames are rubberized and semi-rigid while their lenses are usually polycarbonate materials. They surely improve a soccer player’s vision but they splatter and fog after a while especially when playing in hot weather.
6. Sports glasses:
Last update on 2023-05-28 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API
We know you might be probably asking right now, “aren’t sports goggles and sports glasses the same?” Well, sports glasses are specially designed forms of regular glasses, fabricated to help soccer players with better vision, protection, and eye coordination during soccer matches.
They have polycarbonate lenses and flexible frames similar to sports goggles and they also come with flexible straps. They can positively impact a soccer player’s eyesight but must be used cautiously according to the doctor’s advice.
Can you play soccer with glasses?
You can freely play soccer while wearing glasses as long as the rules of your league permit it and they are genuine pairs. Flying soccer balls and slightly intense physical contact makes the use of glasses risky but not unfit for soccer.
In the Laws of the Game, Law 4 to be precise, the rule prohibits the use of any harmful or dangerous object by a soccer player while on the pitch. It is entirely in the jurisdiction of the referee to decide if a gear is dangerous or not.
Spectacles are good at providing added protection to the eyes and they also enhance vision for players using prescription lenses. Sport lenses must be designed with polycarbonate materials for them to be able to withstand impact from external forces.
Even though goggles normally have temples, temples can’t possibly secure a goggle to a player’s face while he/she is stumping, struggling, and sprinting on the soccer pitch. The use of straps is compulsory if you must play soccer with glasses.
If you intend to play soccer with sports glasses, always ensure that you go on regular check-ups to get your eyes properly evaluated and monitored by a professional eye doctor. Constant check-ups and adequate treatment can prevent a lot of eye defects from ever occurring.
Can goalkeepers wear sunglasses?
With the advancement of science and technology, a company in Japan (VisionUP) has been able to invent a special set of sunglasses to be used by soccer goalkeepers during games.
They promise that it can give the goalkeeper a better focus and clearer eyesight while on the soccer pitch. It is still under the testing phase. The professional Swiss goalkeeper Patrick Foletti recently recommended them after using them in a training session.
The glasses’ effectiveness has also been tested by other athletes including Japan’s top tennis star Ukina Saigo and Czech’s gold medalist David Kosteleki. Will this be the next biggest trend in the world of soccer? Let’s patiently watch and see.
Even though goalkeepers have lower chances of getting hit in the face compared to other players on the soccer pitch, wearing normal sunglasses is a turn-off for most players.
Casual sunglasses are not optically correcting lenses in any way, they are mainly designed to be used in protecting the eyes from the sun’s harsh rays. Their lenses have a dark tint on them so they can effectively block off the rays of the sun from penetrating the lenses.
The dark tint on their lenses can not only block off the sun’s rays effectively, but it can also obstruct proper vision to an extent. Goalkeeping jobs require people with the best pair of eyes to partake, due to its nature.
Seeing fast traveling soccer balls is often very difficult for goalkeepers and further obscuring your vision by wearing casual sunglasses to a soccer match is the easiest way to lose a match. At the end of the day, even the slowest of balls may find their way to the back of the net.
Goalkeepers with bad eyesight can try out using corrective contact lenses or specially designed sports goggles as requested by their ophthalmologist instead of using casual sunglasses that can limit their normal sight.
What soccer players wore glasses?
Sports glasses have been worn in the past by a few soccer players while playing soccer. Note, we are emphasizing the “sports glasses” and not just any pair of glasses.
The invention of contact lenses has made it very difficult to differentiate which players have eye defects and which players don’t.
Not all players who wear glasses on the soccer pitch need them for better eyesight. Some only wear them to draw attention to themselves. Below are some of the players known for wearing glasses on the soccer pitch.
Edgar Davids was a former Dutch professional soccer player. Although he had exceptional balling skills, it was his iconic sports glasses that earned him a place in the history books of soccer.
He wasn’t the first to use sports glasses in soccer but he made them very popular due to how popular he was when he first used them. Davids helped Ajax in winning the Champions League in the year 1995 and also played alongside soccer icons like Thierry Henry and Zinedine Zidane.
He started wearing glasses after undergoing corrective eye surgery for glaucoma which was triggered by a head injury he had in 1995. Glaucoma usually attacks the optic nerve by forming a white sheet over the retina thereby obstructing normal vision.
He wore glasses for the first time on September 4th, 1999, and was using the original Water Jackets glasses before later swapping them for a pair of Nike glasses.
Annibale has a unique kind of story which unfolded in the 20th century in faraway Udine in Italy. The cops were once called on him by his mother because he refused to go to school.
He was defiant about becoming a doctor as his mother had wanted him to be—just like his father. Only soccer made him happy and he managed to convince his mother to also believe in him.
He was not very good at ball control because he had to use glasses while playing but he surely had a passion for the game. He never allowed his disability to cripple his hopes and aspirations.
When Annibale was playing soccer, special sports glasses were non-existent, so he had to stick to his normal pair. He helped his home country’s national team win their first gold medal during the 1936 Olympics that were held in Berlin Germany.
Some other soccer players who have also worn glasses after Davids and Annibale are Ignazio Abate, Roberto Firmino, Alex Song, Andrew Farrel, and Javier Montero.
It is OK for soccer players to wear sports glasses as long as they are the recommended type. Therefore, having any form of eye defect shouldn’t limit talented soccer players from participating in the sport.
Perhaps, there are soccer players out there who might be scared and shy to try out corrective contact lenses. You need to know that they also work as fine as medicated glasses.
However, many soccer players use contact lenses instead of glasses because they are generally safer and easier to use. Whichever glasses you decide to go for, just know that you will not be the first to do so.
Hi there, I’m Jay.
The Pitch is Ours is a new beginning for me and a stepping stone to prepare before retiring from the professional soccer team. Soccer is everything in my life! My friends and I have created this blog with all our enthusiasm, passion, and understanding after years of playing pro soccer. Hope you will enjoy it!