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There have been numerous times where soccer players get injured as it is just part of the game. However, with certain injuries, it is ok to play while for others it is a big no. So that brings us to the question, can you play soccer with a cast?
Normally a soccer player can partake in soccer training sessions while they still have a cast on after a week of it being put on the players’ arm. However, when it comes to a soccer competition match, the cast is going to have to be padded so the arm does not get re-injured again.
Can you play soccer with a cast?
As we mentioned above, yes a player can. After around a week the soccer player is deemed fit to participate in training drills with his teammates. However, when it does come time to play a competitive match, the player must wear appropriate padding to reduce the risk of not only themselves getting injured but other players as well.
Once a soccer player is injured the very first thing they think about is if they are going to be out for a while or if they can continue to play with the injury. If the soccer play injures themselves in a bad way, then a doctor putting on a cast might be the best option so that the injury can heal the right way.
Just because a soccer play does get injured this does not mean that they cannot play while they are injured. Several factors go into deciding whether a player is deemed fit enough and allowed to play. Here are a few things we are going to look at when the governing body looks at if soccer players can play soccer while they have a cast on either their arm or their hand.
Protecting the injury
One of the very first things that come into consideration when deciding if a soccer player can play with a cast on their arm or hand is that will the injured area be properly protected. The verdict between whether a player can play with their injury or whether they must sit out matches is ultimately decided by if the player will injure the area further and make it worse or if they will not.
Even if there is a slight chance that the soccer player might re-injure the area, even if they do have the area protected with padding, then it is not the best idea to continue to play soccer. This is most common with injuries that require a surgeon to fix them.
On the other hand, if the injury is a non-surgical fracture, the cast that is placed on the injured area will not just help the injury to heal properly, it will also help the soccer player’s injured area from becoming worse.
It is a good thing to remember that because there is such a variety of injuries that soccer players can get, it is always a smart move to consult a doctor or specialist as well as your coach to see if they are happy for you to return to the soccer field.
The official guidelines
Now according to many soccer guidelines, if a player wants to play a game of soccer while they have a cast on, the cast itself must have padding on it that is a certain thickness. Why? Because a case is incredibly hard, during a game, it can potentially become dangerous to other soccer players.
The material that a cast is made from (fiberglass) is extremely hard, to the extent that is it easily a high risk to other players that will be on the field with that player. The guideline also states that any casts, braces, or splints that players wear had to be padded by at least two inches as the minimum thickness required for the soccer player to be deemed ok to play.
When the guidelines are not met, then the chances of the injured player being ok to play are virtually zero as player safety is paramount. They are just a couple of the main things that go into consideration when an injured soccer player is being looked at if they can be ok to play soccer while they have the cast on.
In general, as long as the soccer player’s injured area is protected and it is not in danger of hurting other players and the player and club have adhered to the guidelines, then there should be no reason why the soccer play would not be deemed fit to play.
The proper regulations for a referee to follow regarding a players cast
The law states that a soccer player can not use equipment or be wearing anything that is deemed dangerous to other players. All things that players wear other than the most basic soccer equipment have to be looked at by the main referee and he/she will ultimately decide if it is too dangerous for the soccer player to play or if it is ok for the player to take to the field.
In the laws of the game handbook under Other Equipment, that is not seen as being non-dangerous protective equipment like facemasks, headgear, or other protectors for knee and arm injuries that are soft and lightly padded are allowed.
So are the caps of goalkeepers as well as sports glasses too. Soccer players that are seen wearing a thing called a soft cast or a soft protection guard as it can be referred to, will be allowed to play if the cast itself will not put other players in danger. They are general made from a soft light material that is padded.
When it comes to the main referee, they should apply the rule of “does it feel like an arm with the cast and padding on? Most of the time an arm is considered soft, however, the elbow is a hard area of the arm, so it is usually common sense for the referee when making the decision and if it will be harmful to other players or not. Ultimately the referee will have the final say on whether the player’s cast is thought to be ok to play with and will not be harmful to the other soccer players.
Because of their hard material, the hard plaster casts are not allowed to be worn with no padding as they are a real threat to the safety of other players on the field.
Can youth soccer players play with a cast or splint?
The short answer is no. The AYSO or the American Youth Soccer Organisation will not allow a youth player to play soccer games or even practice if they are wearing a cast or a splint. Also, if a match official sees a player or parent removing the cast or splint from their child while at the ground or near it, then the official has the power to immediately disqualify that youth player from playing in that match.
This is largely down to the sole fact that we want to protect children from injury and further risk of injury as much as we can. Also, the fact that most youth sports around the world do not keep score or who wins then there is seen as no point in risking that child’s safety or other children’s safety for the sake of a soccer game.
How do you cover a cast for soccer?
One way is to cut some bubble wrap and place it around the cast. First, cut it to the desired length (enough to cover the cast) Then use scissors and cut the wrap to the desired length you want.
Next, you should wrap the entire cast completely with bubble wrap. Now depending on how thick the bubble wrap is, you might need to go around a few times as the thickness of the wrap will need to be at least two inches.
Then you should properly make sure the bubble wrap does not move by wrapping medical tape or packing tape around the cast. Make sure you cover the bubble wrap with elastic bandages and make sure the entire surface of the cast is covered. Overlap it as many times as you need to and keep the wrap nice and tight.
Most elastic bandages now have a self-adhesive texture so it will be easier to stick onto the wrap. By continually wrapping with the bandage, because of its sticky nature it will stick perfectly onto the cast.
Make sure the bandage is on properly and you can do this by putting packing or medical tape along with the last piece of the bandage. Keep in mind however that these elastic bandages will not be as stick the more time passes so you will want to add a few extra layers, so this does not happen, and the wrap falls off.