PLAYER HEALTH AND SAFETY

The Development Academy believes in player safety and reducing the amount of injuries soccer players sustain. To help create a safe environment for all players, the DA has implemented safety standards including the presence of a medically certified trainer at every game, the Recognize to Recover program, and safety guidelines all clubs are required to follow.

U.S. SOCCER COMPREHENSIVE
PLAYER HEALTH AND SAFETY PROGRAM

U.S. SOCCER DEVELOPMENT ACADEMY
INSURANCE COVERAGE

Every Academy player is covered by secondary insurance for Academy related injuries. If you are a parent or administrator, plaease read the policy and filing instructions below. Teams are responsible for assisting parents in filing claims with the Development Academy.

2019-2020 DA Insurance Filing Instructions
2019-2020 DA Participant Accident Form
DA Insurance FAQs

Claims and additional questions can be sent to
DAMedical@ussoccer.org

 
HEAT AND COLD WEATHER GUIDELINES

U.S. Soccer Heat Guidelines

A reference for coaches, referees, and players for training in warmer climates. Additionally, the guidelines serve as a guide for game play, hydration breaks, and participant safety during extreme temperature conditions. More information on the guidelines can be found here.

U.S. Soccer Cold Weather Guidelines

A reference for coaches, referees, and players for training in colder climates. Additionally, the guidelines serve as a guide for game play and participation safety during extreme temperature conditions. More information on the guidelines can be found here.

 
RECOGNIZE TO RECOVER

Recognize to Recover is aimed at promoting safe play and reducing injuries in soccer players of all ages. The first-of-its-kind, the program was developed with the the help of medical experts to provide coaches, players, parents and referees with information, guidance and additional educational materials to improve the prevention and management of injuries.

Learn more about the R2R program.

RECOGNIZE TO RECOVER

 
U.S. SOCCER CONCUSSION MANAGEMENT PROGRAM

As the science of evaluating and managing concussions has advanced, key findings emphasize the need for education of players, families, coaches, medical staff and the general public on the signs and symptoms of concussion. There is also a critical need for early identification and proper management of a concussion.

The goal of the U.S. Soccer Concussion Management Program is to provide state-of-the-art education and management of concussions among Development Academy and National Team players. The program includes pre-injury baseline testing with comprehensive post-injury follow up evaluations and return to play protocol.

At the core of the program is a network of sports neuropsychologists who will serve as referral sources for post-injury evaluations and provide team medical staff with important information about a player's post-injury neurocognitive status.

For more information, review the Head & Brain Conditions page of Reocognize to Recover.

DEVELOPMENT ACADEMY CONCUSSION TESTING AND MANAGEMENT PROCESS

ImPact is the Concussion Management Program that the U.S. Soccer Federation uses for all of the National Teams and in the Development Academy. All players complete the baseline test before the start of the first game in the season. The baseline test can be administrered on the ImPact website.

It is important to establish a relationship with a sports physician neuropsychologist who is trained in the evaluation and management of concussion. Find a Sports Neuropsychologist near you.

Concussion Testing

  • Per Academy rules; all players must have a current and valid concussion baseline test as part of determining eligibility for the season.
  • Testing must be completed in the U.S. Soccer database, even if an outside medical group is used to administer the tests
  • Baseline tests are valid for one (1) season if the player is under 16 years old on or before Aug 1. If the player is 16 and over on or before Aug 1, their test will be valid for 2 years.

Concussion Protocol

Immediately remove an athlete from participation in training or games if concussion is suspected. If a player sustains a concussion, they must follow the U.S. Soccer Federation Development Academy Return to Play Protocol (RTP). This process must me managed by the team's Athletic Trainer and a Physician. The Return to Play Protocol can be found here. Consult a healthcare professional for final clearance.

RESOURCES

 

CONCUSSION DEFINED

Concussion is a complex pathophysiological process affecting the brain, induced by traumatic biomechanical force.

  • Concussion may be caused by either a direct blow to the head, face, neck, or elsewhere on the body with an "impulsive" force transmitted to the head
  • Concussion typically results in the rapid onset of short-lived impairment of neurological function that resolves spontaneously.
  • Concussion may result in neuropathological changes. Acute clinical symptoms largely reflect a functional disturbance rather than structural injury.
  • Concussion results in a graded set of clinical syndromes that may or may not involve loss of consciousness. Resolution of the clinical cognitive symptoms typically follows a sequential course.
  • Concussion is typically associated with grossly normal structural neuroimaging studies.