SAFETY: Including Concussion Management

Posted by Lee Spooner on 1/1/2021

Q: How is COVID-19 affecting youth sports?

A: We are following recommendations from CDC and US Youth Soccer. Moving to games will be evaluated based on continued recommendations from the CDC, federal & local government, and our local health department. The risk of COVID-19 spread increases in youth sports settings as follows:

Lowest Risk: Performing skill-building drills or conditioning at home, alone or with family.

Increasing Risk: Team-based practice.

More Risk: Within-team competition.

Even More Risk: Full competition between teams from the same local geographic area.

Highest Risk: Full competition between teams from different geographic areas.

Q: What precautions are you taking with kids due to COVID-19?

A: US Youth Soccer has provided a “Play On Guide” for returning to Youth Sports that has integrated current information into one guide. We encourage all families to review while making their decision for Fall Sports. Our program will be using these guidelines for both our Soccer and Flag Football Leagues this Fall. In addition, we are following recommendations from CDC, federal & local government, and our local health department.


As most sports require frequent closeness between players it is understood that it would be difficult to maintain complete social distancing. The CDC Considerations for Youth Sports address this and some contact should be expected. We are following the recommendations for outdoor sports as we resume our program.

1.) YMCA staff will be doing temperature checks on coaches, players, and staff at the start of your practice session at all fields. Anyone who is sick or has been in contact with someone who has COVID-19— including players, family members, coaches, staff, and spectators — should not come to our fields. Be on the lookout for symptoms of COVID-19, which include fever, cough, or shortness of breath. Call your doctor if you think you or a family member is sick.

2.) YMCA Staff will be required to wear masks and we encourage all others to wear a masks following current orders.

3.) Promoting healthy hygiene practices with coaches and players. Hand sanitizer will be provided before and after practices or games. Remind players to cover coughs and sneezes, to use the inside of their elbow, and reminding them to not spit.

4.) Limiting the sharing of equipment by Players. Equipment will be provided to each team and then sanitized by YMCA staff before being assigned to another team for use.



REGULAR NON-COVID SAFETY

Smoking is not allowed on any part of YMCA property or property we are using for our program.
We do not allow dogs on YMCA property or property we are using for our programs.

We have first-aid supplies in the following areas:
Snack Bar has the most extensive kit and supplies ice packs.
Supply Side of shed has a first aid kit inside to the left on the wall.
Super-Micron Fields has a brown bin and first-aid kit is inside.

Majority of YMCA Soccer Staff has been certified in CPR and there is an AED located at the pool and the gym. Lifeguards and Y Soccer Staff are informed on AED procedures. 1st step is to call 911.

SNACKS
Make the call for a healthy team! Coaches across the country are helping players perform their best by following three healthy principles.

Drink Right: Choose water instead of sugar-sweetened beverages
Move More: Boost movement and physical activity
Snack Smart: Fuel up on fruits and vegetables

Start by taking the training below, then get ideas to bring to your next practice or game. Be sure to share with other coaches and parents. http://www.healthykidshub.org/sports


GOAL SAFETY
#1 rule regarding goal safety: Do not hang or allow players to hang on the goals.
All our U8 and above goals are anchored into the ground. Hanging on goals stress these anchors and damages goals.
CLICK BELOW FOR INFORMATION FOR PARENTS



CONCUSSION IN YOUTH SOCCER
As a member of US Club Soccer, an official member of US Soccer Federation we abide by all federation Guidelines.

#1: Concussion Protocol states the if the game is stopped for a player that had a head trauma my not return to the game for the remainder of the day. Examples of head trauma: "ringer" this is when a player takes a ball to the head, two players colliding, player hit their head on the ground.

#2: No heading will be allowed in our U12 and lower divisions.
This mean no child 11 years of age, as of 12/31/2020 or younger will be allowed to do heading in games or practices.

A headed ball will be treated the same as a hand-ball. Goal made by heading will NOT count as a goal and treated as a hand-ball.

Coaches at U14 and above must be certified by the Director of Soccer before they will be allowed to coach or allow head balls in practices or games.

Concussion Awareness Website
http://www.cdc.gov/headsup/youthsports/index.html

Concussion Awareness Training Video (Required for Coaches)
http://www.cdc.gov/concussion/HeadsUp/Training/index.html

Concussion in Youth Soccer Research websites:
Safer Soccer: http://concussionfoundation.org
Cindy's Story: https://saveinjuredkids.org/blog/cindys-story-concussions-in-soccer/
Girls HS Soccer: http://www.newsday.com/sports/high-school/girls-soccer/high-school-girls-soccer-tallying-risks-of-concussions-1.12763894?