Preventing Injuries

Unfortunately, injuries play a part in almost every sport, and soccer is no exception. Athletes take a risk every time they choose to play. Most would say that these risks are worth it; even so, it is very important to know how to prevent injuries, when NOT to play and how to heal from injuries when they do occur.


Your first line of defense to prevent injuries is conditioning and stretching. Being in physical condition will help you react more quickly to potential risks, and help your body withstand to wear and tear of playing sports. Stretching should be done after warming up, and at the end of exercise for maximum benefit.

Playing Under Control

While soccer is considered a contact sport, the rules of soccer require all players to play in a manner that protects themselves and other from injury. Please play with caution.


Shin guards should be worn at all times when playing soccer, including during practices and games. Some players do not like to wear their shinguards during practice, but its RYAA policy that shinguards are required during practice. Wearing shinguards is better for your practice anyways. Since you must wear shinguards during the game, you should practice with them on so that you have the correct touch and feel of playing with them during the game.


Believe it or not, something as small as jewelry can cause serious injury to players.

The sharp end of earrings can very easily poke the skin behind the ears and cause serious injury, including infection. Any kind of tugging or jostling on the earring can cause ripping, which often leads to permanent scarring.

Other types of jewelry, including necklaces, bracelets and watches, can become caught, tangled, or pulled extremely easily while playing sports. They could be broken and you could be left scratched up.

For your safety and the safety, RYAA requires the you remove all jewelry before playing.


Exercise during pregnancy can be beneficial, but for the safety of baby and mother, it needs to be approached with extreme caution. Contact sports, including soccer, pose a special risk to pregnant women and their unborn baby. Doctors recommend that if you are pregnant, you should not play soccer after the first trimester. Even durig your first trimester, you should exercise extreme caution to prevent overheating, dehydration, and over-exertion.

When NOT to Play - Healing From Injuries

No game is worth the permanent damage that can occur if injuries are left unattended. It can often be frustrating for players who cannot participate in practices and games with the rest of their teammates; but most injuries will not require the entire season to heal. Even if they do require the whole season, caring for your body should take priority over playing.

Consult a physician about the specific injury and exactly how much time or what procedures should be done to bring the fastest, fullest healing. In general, listen to a doctor or expert’s advice over the coach’s.


RYAA will not allow players while wearing casts or splints, even if the cast is wrapped in padding. A cast or splint is designed to prevent bones and joints from moving while you are at rest or doing normal activity. A cast is not designed to do this while you are playing soccer, it will not do its work, and playing soccer with a cast can fiurther injure you and others.


A concussion is a serious brain injury. It is most commonly caused by a direct blow to the head but can also be caused by a hard hit to the body or even a fall. Even a small hit can be serious.

Concussions can occur in any sport, and are very common in soccer. Concussions pose a particular risk to young players. A concussion is an invisible injury. Oftentimes, a player who is suffering from a concussion may feel fine, or may not remember what happened. Athletes, coaches and parents need to be aware of its signs and symptoms to know when a concussion has occurred and when its time to tell a player to "sit this one out".

If you are suffering from a concussion, it is extremely important that you stop playing sports in order to rest your brain and heal. Continuing to play sports after recently suffering a concussion can put you at risk for permanent brain injury! RYAA policy is that we will only allow players back on the field after being cleared by a doctor for play.

Signs and Symptoms

It is crucial to know the signs and symptoms of a concussion to assess whether a player has suffered a concussion. Most signs and symptoms will appear soon after the incident, but sometimes they are not noticed until later on. This means you need to repeatedly check for signs and ask about symptoms.

Be aware that a concussion won’t always knock the player unconscious.

Common signs to look for:

Common symptoms to ask player about:


Healing from a concussion is crucial to preventing further and more permanent brain damage. You may hear concussion patients say, "I feel fine, just let me play.” But if they have not fully healed, they are at risk for very serious and sometimes irreversible brain damage. Full healing NEEDS to happen before players are back on the field.

Follow these guidelines for full, proper concussion healing:

REST! Rest is the single most important part of the healing process. Do NOT try to tough it out or ignore symptoms. You must be patient and rest for at least 2-3 weeks or until you have permission from your doctor. Don’t just avoid your sport…avoid all types of heavy exercise/physical activity.

Get plenty of sleep and avoid physically demanding work.

Try to focus on one thing at a time if you’re having trouble concentrating. Avoid multitasking, as it will likely lead to frustration.

Avoid (or at least limit) screen time as much as possible, including computer work, television, video games, etc.

More Information

What's a Concussion?

Concussion en Fútbol (En Español)

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