Football | Basketball | Soccer | Field Hockey | Baseball/Softball
Track and Field | Wrestling | Volleyball | Boys’ Lacrosse | Girls’ Lacrosse

Football – Specific Guidelines

  • Intentional spearing of opponents is never to be considered.
  • Blocking below the waist should be minimized during practice.
  • Block and tackle with the head up to reduce the risk of neck injuries.
  • In addition to total strengthening and conditioning, football-specific conditioning exercises should strengthen the neck to allow players to keep their heads firmly erect while making contact during blocks or tackles.
  • Make sure the practice and playing areas are safe.  Look for holes, broken glass and other hazards on and around the practice field, game field and blocking sleds.
  • Ample fluid replacement should be available at all times.
  • Mouthpieces and proper protective equipment must be worn at all times.
  • Protective equipment should be cleaned with a disinfectant and dried immediately when wet.
  • Football players with open wounds, broken skin or diseases of the skin should be cleaned and dressed every day.   A licensed physician should evaluate skin diseases. Cross-contamination must be prevented.
  • Adhere to the rules of the game.

Basketball – Specific Guidelines

  • Players should focus on conditioning exercises for the total body, including upper and lower extremities.
  • Players should focus on good warm-up and stretching prior to any ballistic movements.
  • Footwear should fit properly to minimize the risk of ankle- and foot-related injuries.
  • Replace footwear when the shock absorption is no longer adequate.
  • Adhere to the rules of the game.

Soccer – Specific Guidelines

  • Players should be encouraged to wear appropriate shin guards during practice and play.
  • Provide fluids on the sidelines throughout practice and games. Although soccer requires non-stop play with no time outs, athletes should be encouraged to come to the sidelines or touch line where they can replenish fluids without penalty.
  • Warm up for approximately 15 minutes, beginning for half that time without a ball. Warm-up exercises should include light jogging and stretching.  Without these warm-ups, the explosive action of shooting can result in strained muscles.
  • Adhere to the rules of the game when tackling.
  • Although soccer does not provide time outs, injuries should be evaluated immediately to ensure the athlete is not worsening the injury.
  • Adhere to the rules of the game.

Field Hockey – Specific Guidelines

  • Players should be encouraged to wear appropriate shin guards during practice and play.
  • Provide fluids on the sidelines throughout practice and games.   Although field hockey requires non-stop play with minimal time outs, athletes should be encouraged to come to the sidelines or touch line where they can replenish fluids without penalty.
  • Warm up for approximately 15 minutes, beginning for half that time without a ball. Warm-up exercises should include light jogging and stretching.  Without these warm-ups, the explosive action of shooting can result in strained muscles.
  • Although field hockey does provide minimal time outs, injuries should be evaluated immediately to ensure the athlete is not worsening the injury.
  • Adhere to the rules of the game.

Baseball/Softball – Specific Guidelines

  • Most injuries in baseball and softball involve the throwing arm and shoulder, but these injuries usually result through a gradual process.  Athletes should not abuse the throwing arm by overusing it.
  • Players should incorporate conditioning and stretching exercises for the shoulder into their overall program.
  • It is to the player’s advantage to warm up and cool down the throwing arm properly to minimize the risk of injuries.
  • Condition all shoulder muscles, emphasizing muscles in the back of the shoulder that is required to stop the pitching motion. Muscles in the front of the arm are naturally stronger — shoulder injuries can result from weaker muscles in the back.
  • Adhere to the rules of the game.

Track and Field – Specific Guidelines

  • Stretching is key to minimizing the risk of injury in every event.
  • Conditioning programs should concentrate on muscular strength, muscular endurance and flexibility. Individual event training should be emphasized.
  • All athletes involved in running events should work to maintain year-round cardiovascular endurance.
  • Before and after each event, athletes should warm up and cool down, stretch and hydrate with fluids.
  • Special attention should be paid to the nutritional needs of the endurance athlete.
  • Adhere to the rules of the game.

Wrestling – Specific Guidelines

  • Depleting food and fluid to make a particular weight class may be detrimental to the health and safety of the athlete.  Body composition and weight loss should be closely monitored.
  • Wrestlers should be encouraged to wear protective headgear that provides ear protection.
  • Wrestlers should be encouraged to wear protective kneepads.
  • To reduce the risk of skin diseases, wrestlers should shower before and after workouts; wash their workout clothes daily; dry their skin adequately; clean mats daily; avoid wearing street shoes on wrestling mats or wrestling shoes off the mats; wipe headgear down with alcohol pads after each use; and conduct daily total body skin inspections.
  • Wrestlers with open wounds, broken skin or diseases of the skin should be discouraged from participating until the skin is healed or the wrestler has been cleared to participate by a licensed physician.  If allowed to wrestle, the athlete should have the affected skin covered to prevent cross-contamination.
  • Proper strength and conditioning regimes should be encouraged.
  • Adhere to the rules of the game.

Volleyball – Specific Guidelines

  • An overall strength base with emphasis on leg, back and posterior shoulder (rotator cuff) strengthening during pre-season is vital.
  • Proper equipment should include volleyball-specific shoes and knee-pads for shock absorption.
  • A proper warm-up and stretching program should emphasize the shoulder, low back and legs.
  • Do not start spiking before warm-up stretching for the shoulder. After stretching, start throwing the volleyball easily, gradually increasing intensity until the muscles are warm.
  • Advanced drills and conditioning, such as plyometrics or jump training, should not be conducted unless the athlete has been tested and can demonstrate balance, flexibility and strength.
  • Ample fluid replacement should be available at all times.
  • Adhere to the rules of the game.

Boys’ Lacrosse – Specific Guidelines

  • In addition to general strengthening and conditioning, lacrosse-specific conditioning exercises should strengthen the neck to allow players to keep their heads firmly erect while making contact.  Adhere to the rules of the game when making contact with the lacrosse stick or body.
  • Provide fluids on the sidelines throughout practice and games.
  • Mouthpieces and proper protective equipment should be worn at all times.
  • Protective equipment should be cleaned with a disinfectant and dried immediately when wet.
  • Lacrosse players with open wounds, broken skin or diseases of the skin should be cleaned and dressed every day.  A licensed physician should evaluate skin diseases.  Cross-contamination should be prevented.
  • Players should focus on conditioning exercises for the total body, including upper and lower extremities.
  • Players should focus on good warm-up and stretching prior to any ballistic movements.
  • Footwear should fit properly to minimize the risk of ankle and foot related injuries.
  • Adhere to the rules of the game.

Girls’ Lacrosse – Specific Guidelines

  • Players should focus on conditioning exercises for the total body, including upper and lower extremities.
  • Players should focus on good warm-up and stretching prior to any ballistic movements.
  • Footwear should fit properly to minimize the risk of ankle and foot related injuries.
  • Mouthpieces and proper protective equipment should be worn at all times.
  • Provide fluids on the sidelines throughout practice and games.
  • Adhere to the rules of the game.