A cup is a good idea in a wide variety of sports and may be required if you are male. Judging by the the sports that do require a cup, it seems that any game where balls or pucks reach extremely high rates of speed, you'll be expected to wear that most uncomfortable type of protection in order to step foot on the field. Many sports, as a standard rule and regardless of the league, require cups.
Lacrosse can be quite physical. As of April 2011, full-body checking is legal and so is intentionally using the lacrosse stick as a bludgeoning weapon. Throw in the fact that the sticks are made of fiberglass and metal, that they hurl a half-pound solid rubber ball at speeds up to 109 miles per hour, and there's little wonder why cups are a requirement.
Baseball and Softball
Unlike lacrosse, baseball doesn't feature full body contact, but it does have hard balls flying around at speeds of about 100 miles per hour. And don't let the name softball fool you; softballs are not soft. In baseball and softball, foul pitches and line drives have broken bones and blinded players. Without a cup, there's no telling what a direct hit below the belt would do.
Hockey also features projectiles which reach high rates of speed and sticks often used as weapons. Hockey also has razor-sharp skates. Often, players find themselves on the ground amid an intense scuffle for control of the puck. Consider that a hockey blade can easily slice through fabric or padding, and it is obvious why cups are required.
Sports Where Cups are Encouraged, Not Required
Many sports are physically dangerous but don't have factors such as high-speed projectiles and weapon-like tools that could cause irreparable harm to genitalia. Cups are still good protection. Sports in which a cup is beneficial include wrestling, rugby, soccer, American football, and extreme sports such as skating and motocross.
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