Youth sports might not seem as dangerous as professional sports, but there are physical risks none the less. Safety precautions should be taken in every sport, and at Liberty Mutual Insurance Play Positive™ we encourage coaches and parents to educate themselves on where to find information on preventing and identifying head injuries, especially concussions.
Here's some valuable information to help protect young players:
According to the Children’s National Health Systems' Safe Concussion Outcome Recovery & Education (SCORE) Program, a concussion, also known as a mild traumatic brain injury, is "a disruption in the function of the brain as a result of a forceful blow to the head, either direct or indirect."
Protecting the head with proper equipment to reduce the risk of serious head injury and prevent concussions is vital, but not always enough. Coaches and parents must be properly informed as to the signs of a concussion in order to act quickly and responsibly, and seek medical attention as soon as possible.
Signs and symptoms a child with a possible concussion might show include:
Additionally, a young athlete may admit to these symptoms:
Emotional changes might also be evident:
Some of these signs and symptoms of concussions could show up right after an injury, or take a few days. If you notice any of these warning signs in your child, or if your athlete tells you about them, give him or her a break from the sport and seek medical attention right away. After assessing your child, a doctor will be able to tell you if any other activities should be limited, and for how long.
Remember, every concussion is serious, so early recognition and appropriate response is important in reducing the risk of additional injury. Coaches and parents who arm themselves with the tools and knowledge to protect young players will keep more heads in the game.
At Liberty Mutual Insurance, we constantly look for ways to celebrate the countless acts of sportsmanship and integrity shown by people every day. We created Play Positive™, powered by Positive Coaching Alliance, as part of this belief to help ensure that our kids experience the best that sports have to offer in environments that promote and display good sportsmanship. We believe kids can learn valuable life lessons when coaches and parents come together to support winning on and off the ice.
In an effort to benefit millions of youth athletes, parents and coaches, this article is among a series created exclusively for partners in the Liberty Mutual Insurance Play Positive™ program powered by Positive Coaching Alliance.
©2014 Liberty Mutual Insurance and Positive Coaching Alliance. All rights reserved. This material may not be distributed without express written permission. Any reproduction in whole or part by and individuals or organizations will be held liable for copyright infringement to the full extent of the law.
This week’s features:
QUESTION: We have a Dr. who we rostered as a coach to be the teams “medical trainer”. Would he be included in the (4) coaches on the bench or are we allowed to have (4) coaches + (1) medical trainer? (5) total?
ANSWER: USA Hockey Rule 201(b) states that a team may have up to four Team Officials which includes coaches and medical trainers.
QUESTION: At the final buzzer, players from both teams are leaving their benches to congratulate/console their respective goalies. An altercation breaks out near the goal where play ended and the players from both benches skate towards the altercation. Some players get involved in pushing, shoving, etc. Should any of the players be assessed a 629(a) penalty for leaving the bench?
ANSWER: Assuming the players were in the act of leaving the bench when the altercation occurred, Rule 629(a) would not apply to your situation. However, any infractions that these players commit should definitely be penalized.
QUESTION: A player on the ice punches/slashes a player who has left the ice after being ordered off by a referee. Ordered player was headed to the dressing room with under 5 minutes remaining in the game when opposition player slashed the back of his legs after he stepped through the gate. Player then sucker punched the other player when he turned around after the slash. Player who left the ice returns What penalties and are both players subject to suspension?
ANSWER: These infractions should be penalized under Rule 634 (Slashing) and Rule 615 (Fighting).
QUESTION: Are officials required to wear a HECC Certified Helmet and does that include wearing ear guards, as required of players?
ANSWER: Rule 501(c) in the USA Hockey Playing Rules states,
“Each official is required to wear a black hockey helmet, with chin strap properly fastened, and a half-shield visor properly attached to their helmets.”
The helmet does not have to be HECC approved.
QUESTION: A substitute player whose teammate is already standing on the bench plays the puck while seated on the top of the boards (has not yet made contact with the ice). Both skates are dangling in the playing area. Should this have been penalized as interference seeing he hadn't made contact with the ice yet (rule 625(a)9); or, because both feet were in the playing area the play was good?
ANSWER: A player must be standing on the ice to participate in play. This situation should be penalized for interference.
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