Safety: Game Days

You can help your youngster and your team in several ways to encourage safe play during games and tournaments.

Being prepared

First, be certain your athlete has eaten and is well-hydrated before leaving for a match. Not only do we play matches on warm days, but lacrosse is a vigorous sport, and game time conditions contribute to the risk of players getting potentially overheated or dehydrated. Bring plenty of snacks, water and sports drinks. Inevitably your child will have a teammate who would appreciate being able to share, so bring extras if you can!

Next, please remember to bring all safety gear to every practice and every match. You will do yourself a favor by having extras of certain inexpensive equipment that is easy to lose, such as mouthguards and athletic cups. 

Third, many of us have found it helpful to have a standard bag to pack all your gear the night before a match or tournament. We can all get frazzled when rushing out the door to the match and then realize something is missing.

Keeping gear clean

Also, be certain to wash and dry gear in between practices and matches. It is very likely that your player’s gear will get damp from the rain, from hard work and from good old fashioned sweat. Keeping the equipment clean and fresh will avoid nasty odors, mold and mildew.  

Additional gear you may want to consider

Be prepared for inclement weather, or cold or hot spells. Also, on tournament days, a comfy chair, games to play during breaks in between games, and even an umbrella or a day-tent can be really helpful. 

Spectator decorum

During games, players and coaches stand on one side of the field, and parents stand on the other. This helps the coaches focus on the game play and their players. It will be pretty clear when you arrive which side is which. 

Also during the game, stay positive and root for your athletes, for your team, and for a positive sports environment. The coaches will appreciate it when you let them manage the athletes, the gameplay, and above all the communications with the players and the referees. In fact, if a parent or other spectator abuses the referee during a match, the game will stop, the referee will speak with the head coach, whose responsibility is then to work with the parents to keep direct communication between spectators and referees to a minimum. A second infraction may result in our team losing a player (i.e., playing “man-down”) for the remainder of the game. 

Keep an eye on your player’s gear in between games

Finally, some tournaments are really big events with hundreds of players walking around with their gear, which tends to get tossed around with sometimes minimal regard. Keep an eye on your stuff! You don’t want it to get up and walk off on you or your youngster.