Westfield Soccer Association

Health and Safety Information

Health and Safety

The Westfield Soccer Association believes that the health and safety of all players, coaches, trainers, referees and parents is of the utmost importance.  We strive to create a fun and safe soccer environment for all.  The following content is to provide a written safety program that our trainers and coaches should follow to ensure that kids are protected and cared for in an appropriate manner and is based on the guidance of US Youth Soccer's Recognize to Recover program.

Recognize to Recover is aimed at promoting safe play and reducing injuries in soccer players of all ages. The first-of-its-kind, the program was developed with the help of medical experts to provide coaches, players, parents and referees with information, guidance and additional educational materials to improve the prevention and management of injuries.

Injury Prevention

Injury prevention is central to safe play. U.S. Soccer’s Recognize to Recover program provides resources and guidance to help players fight off injury so they can stay on the field. Not all injuries can be avoided, but the severity and probability of injury can be reduced through proper conditioning, training routines and good sportsmanship, making the game of soccer safer for all who participate. 

Equipment is there for a reason – to prevent injury. Players who do not wear protective equipment, or wear it incorrectly, are much more likely to get hurt. U.S. Soccer’s Recognize to Recover program provides resources and guidance to help players fight off injury so they can stay on the field.

Soccer injuries typically fall into two categories:

  • Those caused by use, such as muscle strains and joint pain
  • Those resulting from a sudden forceful event, such as ankle sprains and knee injuries.

Please continue reading at http://www.recognizetorecover.org/injury/#injury-prevention

Nutrition and Hydration

Soccer is a demanding sport that requires both endurance and sprint ability, and those high-intensity efforts result in a high- energy demand. Especially during periods with many matches or a lot of training, hydration and nutrition are important to recover and protect against overuse injuries. A good diet and the right nutrition can support intensive training while limiting the risks of illness or injury and are also important in the preparation for games and speeding up recovery afterwards.

Please continue reading at http://www.recognizetorecover.org/nutrition-hydration/

Injury Recovery

Ankle sprain, the most common injury for soccer players, is an injury to the ligaments of the ankle. Ligaments connect bones and provide stability for the body’s joints. The ligaments on the outside of the ankle are injured when the foot rolls inward. Ankle sprains can occur when a player is running, cutting, kicking, tackling or being tackled, or landing from a jump.

Please continue reading at http://www.recognizetorecover.org/injury-recovery/#ankle-injury

Head and Brain Conditions

A concussion can be difficult to recognize on the field. Most occur without a loss of consciousness or an obvious sign that something is wrong with a player’s brain function. They can occur at any time throughout games or practice, as a blow to the head or body from contact with the ground, the ball or another player. Working with leading physicians for more than a decade, U.S. Soccer created Recognize to Recover resources that will help coaches, players, parents and referees identify the signs and symptoms of concussion and immediately take action with the appropriate treatment. 

Please continue reading at http://www.recognizetorecover.org/head-and-brain/#concussions

Cardiac Conditions

Non-contact collapse of an athlete, coach, referee, or bystander is presumed to be sudden cardiac arrest. While not common, an immediate and appropriate on-site response with bystander intervention is critical for a potential positive outcome. As part of your emergency action plan (EAP) "hands only CPR" with the use of an automated external defibrillator (AED) should be incorporated as part of your program. All staff and players should be educated and trained on this skill with access to an AED either on site or within a rapid response by local emergency personnel. U.S. Soccer recommends annual video or on-site skills CPR and automated external defibrillator (AED) training for coaches, referees, parents and players 10 years and older.

Please continue reading at http://www.recognizetorecover.org/cardiac/#cardiac-conditions

Environmental Conditions

Environmental conditions can significantly impact player health and safety. Extreme temperatures, severe weather and the integrity of the playing field and its equipment all impact players’ ability to practice and compete safely. U.S. Soccer’s Recognize to Recover program gives players, parents, coaches and referees information and guidelines to make sure the desire to play does not cloud the decision-making process when it comes to evaluating environmental conditions to ensure the safety of those on the field.

Please continue reading at http://www.recognizetorecover.org/environmental/#environmental-conditions