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Player Safety

Practical guide to player safety

"YOUTH" lacrosse is a relatively safe team sport. But it is a sport and injuries can and do occur. It is also a FAST growing sport and experts are taking initiatives to make it safer. Article from Baltimore Sun

Fortunately, there a some things you can do to protect the team and protect yourself as the coach.

Have a plan.
Be committed to Injury Prevention.
First Aid Kit.
Injured player on the Field.


-Grow your knowledge of lacrosse safety. Place to start.
-Have a plan for the season. Write it down

-Get adequate medical release forms and injury records. Keep them nearby during season.
-Have an emergency plan for your game and practice fields. Know where emergency phones are just in case there are no cell phones. Be familiar on how emergency vehicles will access the fields.
-Learn emergency procedures and First Aid. Coaches should take a CPR and First Aid courses. For a nearest Red Cross Center click here.
-Always supervise practices and games closely
-Make sure to have a properly fitted first aid kit and inspect it often.
-Ask parents if anyone is certified in CPR . If yes, see if they can attend practices and games. As a minimum, make sure there are always two adults at practice. Have a plan in advance, which coach will leave and which one will stay.
-Have an inclement weather policy.
- Discuss your plan with assistant coaches and parents. Inform parents of inherent risk of Lacrosse at your team meeting.


More items to add to your prevention plan.

Emphasize proper skill development.

Make sure players properly warm up, stretch and cool down sufficiently

Match up players according to their ability and size.

Water. Make sure players stay hydrated.

Prepare (and keep) practice plans with properly planned drills and activities.


  • Ice (in a plastic bag)
  • Band-aids
  • Rubber gloves
  • Compression bandages
  • Antiseptic solution
  • Adhesive tape
  • Zip Lock Baggies- to secure any bloody bandages, band aids, ....
  • Small towel
  • Eye wash
  • Scissors - large, blunt ended
  • Zip Lock Baggies- to secure any bloody bandages, band aids, ....
  • CPR mouth barrier or pocket mask.
  • Two quarters taped to the inside for emergency phone
  • Medical release forms
  • List of emergency phone numbers (paramedics, hospital emergency room).


When you see a player go down on the field, the first thing you want to do is remain calm. Next, immediately stop practice or if it is a game, bring it to the referees attention so they can stop the game. If no ref, call a time out.

As you approach the injured player, observe his/her actions. If the player is flailing all over the place, most times he or she is not seriously injured. If the player is laying perfectly still, you might have a severe injury. CPR and First aid training will guide you here. If it is a serious injury, call emergency personnel and follow your emergency plan sequence from your First Aid Class. Do not move the player. This is especially important if they are complaining of neck or back pain. Wait for emergency medical personnel to arrive.

If it looks do be a minor injury, the next thing you want to do is calm down the injured player. A good way to do this is to ask the player to relax and breathe "in" through their nose and "out" through their mouth. Repeat several times. Most young players will concentrate so much on the breathing and will forgot about the injury.
If you think the player can stand ,ask him/her if they can stand up. If the player stands and appears to be fine, send them to go get a drink from the bench and observe how they walk. To be safe, give the player a break and get a substitute for them.

If the the player cannot put any pressure on your hand because it hurts their knee or ankle ASSUME THE INJURY IS SEVERE.
Immobilize the player which is avoiding any movement that causes pain.
Next perform the RICE method of injury care

Rest: stay off of the injured area as much as possible.
Ice therapy: apply ice packs to the injury. 10 to 20-minute intervals for 24 to 48 hours.

Compression: use a firm wrap or bandage (not too tight) around the injury.
Elevation: raise the injured leg or arm to reduce swelling.

If the pain does not resolve itself after 1 to 2 weeks, see a physician. In the case of severe pain or swelling that does not recede within a few days, see a physician immediately.

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