If you play ice hockey or lacrosse, then you’re no stranger to protective clothing or pads. Soccer players wear shin guards and squash players goggles, it’s just standard equipment. Even so, wearing protective padding is traditionally not worn in basketball, it’s a “non contact” sport. In reality, lots of contact happens both deep under the basket and out on the perimeter. Mostly it’s just a few bumps and pushes, and occasionally a hard full speed collision. As the level of play increases the force, number and frequency of contact increases. Top players actually seek out opposing player bodies and use the contact to their advantage.

Personally I’m regularly subjected to thigh bruises. Every year, I’d estimate that I get one of these bad boys at least three times a year. Typically this injury occurs when a defensive player sticks out their leg to prevent me from flying by them, or when I do the same. Damage can vary… a little one hurts and only slows me down a bit, a bad one features a multicolored bruise and at least a weeks RICE.