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WAYS Guidelines for Coaches on Injury Awareness & Prevention 

September 2012 - WAYS has adopted policies and procedures (in alignment with the MIAA and Wayland Public School Athletic Department) for prevention and management of sports-related head injuries within the town soccer program. 
All WAYS Coach “Blue Books” are to contain this document, plus selected CDC reference material, which together are intended to help coaches correctly assess and manage injuries.
Coach Preparedness & Awareness
1. Exercise caution & conservatism with all injuries
2. Be vigilant about player safety
3. Ensure First Aid kits are complete, intact and present for all practices and games
4. Possess parents telephone numbers for all practices/games (always possess “Blue Book”)
5. Contact parents if injured or symptoms of injury
6. “When in doubt, sit them out” 
7. Reminder: BAYS prohibits players from wearing casts, braces, and such modalities in any games. See rule.

A Word About Heading the Soccer Ball…
Heading is part of the game, becoming more common from U14 up. It is important to introduce PROPER heading, as IMPROPER heading can potentially cause injury. WAYS follows a policy of caution. Therefore, to maximally protect players:
  • Heading should not be introduced until at least U12
  • Softer balls (partly deflated) are to be used for instruction
  • Coaches should not dwell or spend extensive practice time on heading, as there are many other more important fundamentals to teach/introduce in soccer – remember the name: FOOTball, not ‘headball.’
  • Do not push, encourage or require heading of players who are reluctant to do so
  • See WAYS Director of Coaching for instruction if needed
  • See WAYS Protocol for Handling Concussions & Head Injuries
V1.0 WAYS Sept. 2012