RECOGNIZE to RECOVER is U.S. Soccer’s comprehensive player health and safety program aimed at promoting safe play and reducing injuries in soccer players of all ages.
The program, which was developed with the help of medical experts, will provide coaches, players, parents and referees with information, guidance and additional educational materials to improve the prevention and management of injuries.
- U.S. Soccer Announces Recognize to Recover Player Health and Safety Program
- U.S. Soccer Chief Medical Officer and Medical Committee Member Speak In Depth About Recognize to Recover Program
Information about head injuries, including new guidelines regarding concussions, will be included in the program, but other important player health and safety topics such as heat-related illness and injury prevention will also be provided.
Beginning in January 2016, additional areas of focus will be added to the overall program.
For complete information on all U.S. Soccer health and safety initiatives, please visit their Recognize to Recover and Sports Medicine pages on the U.S. Soccer website.
RECOGNIZE TO RECOVER TOPICS
- Concussions and Head Injuries
- Heat-related Illness
Additional topics will be provided starting in January of 2016
A main component of Recognize to Recover is focused on head injuries, including concussions. U.S. Soccer has taken a lead in education, research and proposing rule changes to improve player safety for several years.
U.S. Soccer Concussion Guidelines
In December of 2015, U.S. Soccer unveiled the U.S. Soccer Concussion Initiative that provides information guidelines that will be implemented in January of 2016.
The elements contained in the initiative are intended to give U.S. Soccer Organization Members, as well as players, parents, team/club staff and coaches and referees, guidance and direction when dealing with head injuries and potential head injuries during soccer participation.
U.S. Soccer Concussion Initiative
Included in the U.S. Soccer Concussion Initiative are specific changes to rules on substitutions and heading for certain age groups. Those changes included:
- Modify substitution rules to allow players who may have suffered a concussion during games to be evaluated without penalty
- Eliminating heading for children 10 and under, and limiting the amount of heading in practice for children between the ages of 11 and 13.
These are recommendations for youth members because some of the youth members joining in the initiative do not have direct authority at the local level to require the adaption of the rules. Although these are only recommendations, they are based on the advice of the U.S. Soccer medical committee, and therefore U.S. Soccer strongly urges that they be followed.
As noted in the Concussion Initiatives, U.S. Soccer has implemented these rules as requirements for players that are part of U.S. Soccer’s Youth National Teams and the Development Academy. It should be noted that Youth National Teams will continue to be bound by the substitution rules of the events in which they participate.
For more information, please refer to the frequently asked questions, which should help clarify questions regarding the new initiatives.
As the science of evaluating and managing concussions has advanced, key findings emphasize the need for education of players, their families, coaches, medical staffs and the public at large 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, evaluation and management of concussions among national teams players. The program includes pre-injury baseline testing with comprehensive post-injury follow-up evaluations and return to play protocols.
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.
Additional Concussion Information:
- U.S. Soccer National Teams Concussion Testing and Management Process
- U.S. Soccer National Teams Concussion Management and Protocol
- U.S. Soccer National Teams Concussion SCAT3
- U.S. Soccer National Teams Concussion SCAT3 Child
- U.S. Soccer National Teams Concussion Daily Symptoms Checklist
- Concussions - "Let's Take Brain Injuries Out of Play."
- USSF-CDC A Fact Sheet for Athletes
- USSF-CDC A Fact Sheet for Coaches
- USSF-CDC A Fact Sheet for Parents
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Heads Up: Concussion in Sports
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Heads Up: Information for Youth and High School Sports
Heat-related illnesses, such as heat cramps and heat exhaustion can be a serious condition and potentially life-threatening.
Below is a reference for coaches, referees and players that are training in warmer climates. Additionally, the guidelines serve as a guide for match play, hydration breaks and participant safety during extreme temperature conditions.