The basic jock strap consists of an elastic waistband with a supportive pouch for which the genitals rest, optionally, two straps from the bottom of the pouch stretch across the buttocks and up to the waistband for additional support. The jockstraps used for strenuous sports, like football, also have a pocket to hold a protective cup; usually the protective cup is made of hard plastic with holes for ventilation and padding around the rim for comfort. Cup protectors that do not use the pouch (the waist attaches directly to the cup, in a one size fits all design) are also available, they are designed to be worn over briefs.
Other styles of jock straps have narrower or wider waistbands, or have a seat as opposed to the straps (the support briefs and jock briefs). Additionally there is the strapless alternative that has a pouch hook under the scrotum, in lieu of being held in place by the leg straps. This design is less secure but fulfills the same purpose of covering and comfort. Frequent intense movements or arousal can result in this type of jockstrap slipping off.
Most men have memories of learning about jockstraps in school, however, ironically as it is, many schools abandoned them in favor of compression shorts, during the 1980’s and 1990’s. In retrospect, over the last two years some schools have started to implement them again because of design improvements.