The Nitty Gritty to Soccer Safety

by Rebecca Blain

As soccer is one of the most well loved sports on Earth, many children and adults are lured into participating in playing on a daily basis. Due to this wide spread popularity, soccer injuries are very common.

With over 80,000 adults and children going to emergency rooms every year as a result of soccer, knowing the safety rules is vital. When playing and watching, there are certain things that you should always be aware of so that you and your teammates or family members are not among those hurt through either playing or watching. There are several categories of safety rules that you should be aware of. These consist of the following:

Soccer PlayerOn Field Safety

Of all of the categories, on field safety is the one that players are constantly aware of. This is where most children and adults are injured. Whether it is a sprained ankle from tripping over the ball, collisions, and other accidents, there are several things that you can do to prevent injury. Sprained ankles are one of the most common soccer injuries, as there is a great deal of foot work involved.

These injuries can be avoided by using a slight amount of caution when passing or receiving the ball, as well as taking care when running down the field. Proper foot position when handling the ball is one of the most effective ways at preventing this type of injury. Unfortunately, accidents will happen, regardless of how careful you are. By being diligent, you can make certain whatever injuries you sustain are minor and should not interfere with future game play. The key rule to preventing injuries on the field is to always be observant. Know where the ball is and know who is around you.

Goal Safety

Whether you are the goalie, or a player on defense, the goal can occasionally become a safety hazard. In most instances, collisions with goal or goalie are caused by lack of observation. Whether you trip and fall into the goal posts, or hit the goalie by accident, you need to make certain that you are always watching where you going when moving in to score. Not only can this action cause injury, it can also get you carded which could potentially have you removed from the game.

Another point to consider when shopping for 8 x 24 soccer goals, is to consider goals with rounded posts instead of square posts. When colliding with a post, you're more likely to skip off a rounded one and avoid serious injury.
Stadium Safety

For parents, guardians and friends, there are a few stadium safety tips that tend to be neglected when the subject of soccer safety comes up. Occasionally a player can lose control of the soccer ball, and it enter the stands where you are observing the game. Injuries due to being hit with the ball, or any other piece of equipment that flies your way, can be easily prevented by making certain you pay attention at all times.

Running through the stands, or through the player's area can be dangerous to you and others. As a rule, common sense is the best safety precaution you have. If it involves doing something that could harm yourself or others, such as walking over the back of the bleachers, climbing over people and tall benches, it should be avoided for your sake and others.

Equipment

Without soccer safety equipment, all of the in game rules would be ineffective. Shin guards, cleats, jerseys and proper fitting shorts and socks all work together to ensure that every player can enjoy the game without being at high risk of injury. Shin guards are used to prevent bruising or breaking of the lower portion of the leg, where cleats and soccer balls are highly likely to hit you. Without these, such as lotto shin guards, you put yourself at high risk.
Wearing a proper pair of cleats, such as the ones designed by Nike, gives you more grip into the turf. This grip helps to prevent sprains and breaks in the ankles. These shoes also give your feet adequate protection from other pairs of cleats and impact with the soccer ball.

Proper fitting clothing, ranging from the jersey, shorts and socks, contribute to player comfort. This is important, as distractions from the game can lead to injuries to yourself and others. It is always advisable to wear your proper jerseys to practice or to games. Specially designed jerseys and shorts are designed to handle the rigors of soccer. The fabric in particular is designed to stand up against grass stains as well as be comfortable.

Weather

One aspect of soccer safety that is forgotten by many players and parents is weather conditions. Playing in the rain can be a fun, invigorating experience, treasured by players for years to come. Despite this, playing in muddy conditions is dangerous. The slipping and sliding that creates a great deal of the enjoyment taken from playing soccer in the rain leaves room for a wide variety of different injuries. If you choose to play soccer in the rain, make certain you take every precaution possible, from wearing cleats, guards and your protective gear.

When a full fledged storm comes up, complete with thunder and lightning, game play should be ended immediately. A soccer field is the worst place to be in the middle of a lightning storm, and parents as well as players have been killed or maimed by lightning. If lightning is spotted and your referee does not end the game, you should still leave the field as soon as possible.

Miscellaneous Accessories

Before you play soccer, you need to make certain that you are not wearing miscellaneous accessories such as earrings, anklets and other pieces of jewelry that could be broken or cause harm. Earrings in particular are prone to being torn from earlobes when contact is made with a soccer ball. By removing these pieces of jewelry and other items of this nature, you can help prevent injuries to yourself that could be disfiguring. If you are considering getting piercings and you play soccer, you may want to consider planning to have your piercings done when the soccer season is over.

If you keep all of these things in mind while playing or observing soccer games, you should be able to enjoy the sport while being at low risk of injury.

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