Tucked vs. Untucked Soccer Jerseys - What's the Deal With the Rule?
Aug 2, 2022
You’ve probably heard this debate or seen it discussed in your league - whether soccer jerseys should be tucked or untucked. Arguments can be made for both sides of the discussion. The big question is whether tucking in jerseys is a bonafide soccer rule or not. And perhaps, an even bigger question is whether tucking or not tucking a soccer jersey even matters at all.
History/Origins - League Rules (FIFA)
First off, here’s FIFA’s stance on whether players need to tuck their soccer jerseys in or not.
"Guidelines for FIFA Match Officials" handbook instructs officials to make sure the players maintain a "tidy appearance throughout the match (shirts tucked into shorts and socks pulled up)."
However, FIFA doesn’t enforce these standards per se. If you look at any FIFA-sanctioned league worldwide, from the EPL to MLS, you’ll find players who leave their jerseys untucked. Not all spectators are fond of it, but more players nowadays keep their soccer jerseys untucked. So it’s safe to say that FIFIA doesn’t enforce the rule.
Untucked Soccer Jerseys - Who Started It?
Who or what triggered a rebellion against FIFA etiquette? Well, it didn’t happen yesterday - legends from the 1960s such as Man U’s Dennis Law and George Best kept their jerseys untucked. Of course, more modern players such as the French phenom himself - Zinedine Zidane - broke FIFA’s dress code with their untucked shirts.
How did they get away with it? It’s hard to say. But remember, soccer players have broken other rules, too, such as goalkeepers who didn’t bother wearing soccer goalie gloves.
There’s also the issue of kit manufacturers changing their designs. Recently, the world’s biggest soccer jersey manufacturers have made the shirts a tad shorter. The result is a more untucked look.
Notable Players Who Still Tuck in their Soccer Jerseys
We mentioned a few players above who bucked the prevailing trend (and rule) of the tucked soccer jersey. On the other hand, some of the biggest names in soccer always keep their jerseys tucked. They include the likes:
- Adama Traore
- Alexis Sanchez
- Kiernan Tierney
- Riqui Puig
- Jesus Navas
- Cesar Azpilicueta
These traditionalists may just respect FIFA’s authority or feel unbothered by new fashions. But one thing is sure: seeing them with an untucked soccer jersey would be a strange sight.
Adidas Euro 2020 Kit Dilemma
As we mentioned earlier, one of the reasons why some players wear untucked soccer jerseys is due to how newer shirts get made. A recent example of this is Adidas’ Euro 2020 kit. Whether a flaw by mistake or design, these shirts were longer than usual and had a strange bulge on each side.
For smaller players, the added length creates sizing issues, and it’s perhaps part of the reason for the unusual tuck. If anything, this manufacturing defect could create some problems with comfort, affecting performance ever-so-slightly. But we highly doubt that’s an issue.
We’ll say that keeping soccer jerseys tucked or untucked is likely a matter of choice, especially if a league or coach enforces it. But according to some research, how players wear their soccer jerseys could have a noticeable impact on your performance.
Japanese Heat Experiment
According to some scientists, a tucked versus an untucked soccer jersey can affect players’ performance to varying degrees. And by degrees, we mean that literally.
A Japanese teacher, Dr. Naomichi Tomita, conducted an experiment to measure temperature differences between players who tucked in their soccer jerseys and those who left their jerseys untucked.
He experimented between June and July 2018, with two students keeping their shirts tucked in and the other two untucked. He measured their body temperatures using thermography after they trained. He compared their body temperatures two minutes after.
The results of the experiment went viral on social media. Tomita found that the players who left their jersey untucked was 29-30 degrees, 4 degrees less than those who kept their jerseys tucked in. Four degrees may not seem like much, but an added four degrees can induce a heat stroke or heat-related injury in some players. So it’s a big deal.
Tomita has stated that he’s interested in using these findings to protect players from the effects of heat. As he said: "It is cooler to put out the hem of the gym suit shirt." We’re sure he means that from a safety and fashion standpoint.
Our Soccer Jerseys Suited for Tuck or Untucked Players
Some of you are probably conscious of how your soccer jerseys hang on your body. And after reading about the Japanese heat experiment, you might say that you want to keep your jersey untucked from now. Ultimately, you want a soccer jersey that fits well and also keeps you cool.
Enter our Storelli Gladiator soccer jerseys. We designed them with a slim-fit construction so that they hug the body and arms. That prevents the jersey from hanging unnaturally or causing distraction. That awkward Adidas Euro 2020 kit look won’t be an issue here.
When it comes to heat, our jersey has got you covered too. We use lightweight materials that are also breathable and moisture-wicking. Moisture-wicking materials pull sweat from your skin via the process of capillary action. Tiny holes in the fabric called “micropores” pull sweat from the skin upwards until it reaches the surface of the jersey’s fabric.
Once there, it all evaporates. That keeps you cool and dry faster than any other type of material. So even if you have to tuck your jersey in, you won’t overheat.
Tucked vs. Untucked Soccer Jerseys - Do What Feels Right
Unless you have a hard-and-fast rule to keep your jersey tucked, then how you wear it is personal. FIFA-sanctioned leagues and most amateur leagues don’t enforce this rule. But whether you tuck the shirt in or not, take time and care to choose the right soccer jersey.
A good fit prevents distraction and keeps you cool. Pick a jersey of the sort, and you’ll find that you can play comfortably at all times. The tucked vs. untucked debate won’t even cross your mind.
Are you looking for soccer jerseys and tops? Browse through our selection to find your ideal fit for comfort and performance.