AYSO’s highest priority is the safety and well-being of our children. We aim to provide a safe and nurturing environment where they can play and have fun. Safety can be achieved when all parities (Parents, Referees, Coaches, Guest Visitors, Field Monitors…) work responsibly to keep our kids and visitors safe from all danger.
Remember, Safety starts with you!
Safety and Risk Management Director:
Phone: (818) 317-9049
Concussion and Concussion Policy
Any player observed to have, or is suspected to have, a sign or symptom of a concussion by the coach, referee or parent, must be removed from participation for at least the remainder of the day. Inform parents of events, symptoms and strongly encourage seeking professional medical care. Also see AYSO Concussion Release Form and information below.
When in Doubt, Pull Them Out!
What Is a Concussion?
A concussion is a type of traumatic brain injury—or TBI—caused by a bump, blow, or jolt to the head or by a hit to the body that causes the head and brain to move rapidly back and forth. This sudden movement can cause the brain to bounce around or twist in the skull, stretching and damaging the brain cells and creating chemical changes in the brain.
Concussions Are Serious
Medical providers may describe a concussion as a “mild” brain injury because concussions are usually not life-threatening. Even so, the effects of a concussion can be serious.
For more information and some really great resources, go to the CDC Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Heads Up Concussion pages at HeadsUp
AYSO Participation Release Form and AYSO Concussion Release Form
Whenever a player or youth volunteer has suffered an injury or illness that required the care of a physician or a visit to an emergency care facility, the AYSO Participation Release Form must be completed in full and signed by the child’s parents or guardians before the player or youth volunteer will be allowed to participate further in the program. In addition, if a player was evaluated by a medical professional, for symptoms of concussion, the AYSO Concussion Release Form must be completed and signed by a medical professional.
These forms protect not only AYSO, but more importantly, the participants. Players should not participate until they are fully healed and ready to play. The AYSO Participation Release Form and/or the AYSO concussion Release Form must be completed and given to the Region 88 Safety Director before the return to participation in any AYSO activity.
Send the completed forms to:
Safety and Risk Management Director
1455 Melwood Dr.
Glendale CA 91207
Heat Policy and Procedures
In the event of high temperatures:
- The players are not to be poled for the purposes of deciding to shorten or not play the game.
- A parent may choose to not have their child play.
- A coach may choose to not have his/her team play.
- Before the game, coaches and referees will discuss whether or not the game should be shortened or not played. The coaches must agree. If they do not agree, see above. You must consider temperature and humidity (Heat Index). It can be found on any mobile weather app.
- If the temperature hits 98 degrees at the field of play, the game will be shortened by approximately 1/3 – as outlined in the table below.
- If the temperature hits 102 degrees at the field of play, the game will not be played.
- If a child shows any signs of dehydration, heat stroke, or heat exhaustion, that child must not play!
|Division||Standard Duration||High Heat Duration|
|U5||10 minute half||8 minute half|
|U6||16 minute half||12 minute half|
|U8||20 minute half||14 minute half|
|U10||25 minute half||16 minute half|
|U12||30 minute half||20 minute half|
|U14||35 minute half||24 minute half|
|U16||40 minute half||26 minute half|
|U19||45 minute half||30 minute half|
Please use common sense! If it’s too hot to play, don’t.
Hydration and Heat Related First Aid
Professional soccer players lose seven and a half pounds of sweat during a game. In order to avoid serious heat-induced conditions, players must drink enough fluids to replace that sweat. Every player should carry his or her own sports bottle to practice and games, and coaches need to stop practice for drink breaks every 15 minutes during the summer.
Symptoms of dehydration may include:
- Dry lips and tongue.
- Sunken eyes.
- Dizziness or a loss of energy.
In addition to staying hydrated, wearing loose-fitting, lightweight clothing in light colors will help keep the body cool. Coaches must remember to conduct shorter, easier practices in the summer.
Heat cramps, heat exhaustion, and heat stroke are all serious (in some cases fatal) heat-induced conditions. It is imperative for the safety of your players and volunteers that you and your coaches know how to identify and treat them.
When a body loses too much water and salt through sweat, muscles tend to cramp (particularly in the abdomen and legs).
Players suffering from these painful “heat cramps” should:
- Rest in a shady spot.
- Sip one glass of cool water every 15 minutes until the pain relents.
- If the player’s parents are on hand, have them help by:
- Massaging the affected muscles.
- Applying cool, wet cloths to help relax the muscles.
Players with cool, moist, or flushed skin, heavy sweating, headache, nausea, dizziness, or muscle cramps may be experiencing heat exhaustion. This condition occurs when, because of high humidity or restrictive clothing, sweat is not properly evaporated and the body cannot cool down.
To assist a player experiencing heat exhaustion:
- Have the player lie down in a shady spot and elevate his or her feet.
- Remove the child’s shoes, shin guards, and socks.
- Apply cold packs to the armpit and scalp areas.
- Have the player drink water or an electrolyte solution.
- Dampen the player’s skin with cool cloths.
- Fan the player to help evaporate excess sweat.
- If the player’s parents are on hand, have them:
- Remove the player’s shirt.
- Apply cold packs to the groin area.
When a body completely loses the ability to cool itself, the internal temperature continues to rise resulting in heat stroke. If a player’s temperature rises too quickly, brain damage and/or death may result. Players suffering from heat stroke may have hot, dry skin — those with fair complexions may appear red, while darker-skinned individuals may appear gray. Victims may also experience a very rapid pulse and extremely high body temperature. In some cases, victims of heat stroke may seem confused, unresponsive, or even suffer from seizures. Recovery from heatstroke depends on the amount of time it takes to return the body temperature to normal, so immediate medical attention is imperative.
- If you suspect that a player is suffering from heat stroke:
- Call 911 immediately.
- Follow the recommended treatment for heat exhaustion.
- DO NOT attempt to give any liquids.
- Contact the player’s parents.
Lightning Policy and Procedures
If there is thunder or lightning games must be suspended and all participants must seek safe shelter. Play may continue if there has been no thunder for more than 30 minutes if the schedule permits.
Areas considered safe:
- Inside a fully enclosed metal vehicle with windows up.
- Inside a substantial building (roof and four walls).
- Small buildings including picnic shelters and the open area of a concession stand.
- Anywhere near metallic objects like flagpoles, soccer goals, metal bleachers, electric equipment.
- Open fields, trees and water.
Open area without shelter:
- Avoid standing in groups.
- Spread out to reduce risk.
- Crouch on your feet, keep your head low.
- Avoid being the tallest object.
- Avoid lying on the ground.
If a strike occurs to an individual:
- Call 911.
- If you are qualified to do so, apply First Aid or CPR immediately.
- People struck by lightning do not carry an electrical charge and are safe to touch.
It is strongly recommended that a player’s parent or guardian be present during all AYSO games and practices. If that is not possible, parents or guardians are required to inform the coach beforehand, preferably by email.
They must inform the coach:
- Who will be bringing their child.
- Who will be picking up their child.
- Who is responsible and should be contacted in case of injury or emergency during the game or practice.
- Contact numbers for all responsible persons must be included.
When arriving at practices or games, parents must not drop off players at fields without contacting the coach. This means the person responsible for your child must walk them to the coach.