In addition to the below protocols, HEADstrong follows all USA Lacrosse health and safety guidelines. Those are available HERE.

COVID-19 Protocols

HEADstrong Lacrosse will follow the rules mandated by the CDC and local governments. Coaches will develop plans to help promote safe distancing of players during practices as necessary. Any players that are not feeling well, either with COVID-19 symptoms or other illness, should not attend practices or tournaments. Should that occur, players and or their parents must tell their respective clubs’ general manager immediately. 

Thunder and Lightning Safety Procedure

Late spring and summer are perfect months for athletic activities associated with summer weather. These warmer months also give rise to ideal atmospheric conditions that generate thunderstorms. As spring and summer sports seasons get underway, it is important to review the lightning safety policies and procedures that protect athletes and spectators.

Given the variation in distance that lightning may travel and the deadly force with which it strikes, the importance of keeping athletes and spectators safe through education and appropriate event planning cannot be understated. Postponing contests or practices should be strongly considered when a thunderstorm is predicted. In the event of an unexpected or fast-moving thunderstorm, appropriate steps should be taken to remove participants from the threat of lightning.

When thunder is heard or lightning is reported within six miles of the outdoor event, everyone should be in a designated safe area.  Consideration for the size of the event and the number of people who will have to be evacuated should be given when making the decision to suspend activity, erring on initiating evacuation sooner when larger crowds are in attendance or when a longer time is needed to get to a safe place. Activities should not be resumed until 30 minutes after the last rumble of thunder or lightning flash.

Dependable and working communication with all in attendance must be maintained during an event to allow for timely notification of potential weather-related danger, instructions for prompt evacuation to designated safe areas and safe resumption of activities. Safety information regarding designated safe locations and evacuation protocols should be made readily available for everyone in attendance. 

A safe lightning shelter is often not a place otherwise considered a “shelter.” Picnic, park, sun and bus shelters as well as storage sheds are not safe locations. Other locations with open areas including tents, dugouts, gazebos, refreshment stands, screened porches, press boxes and open garages are not safe shelters. Tall objects, such as trees or poles, elevated areas, and bodies of water must also be avoided. Once inside a safe place, people should stay away from plumbing, electrical equipment and corded phones.

If an appropriate safe place is not available, a hard-top vehicle with the windows closed and buses are safer than open areas. If no safe place can be found, people should seek out the next best option. While there is no absolutely safe place outdoors when lightning is in the area, the risk of being struck may be slightly lessened by seeking out low areas such as valleys, which are slightly less dangerous than higher elevations. In a large group of trees, spreading out within 50 feet or more between individuals will reduce the likelihood of multiple casualties caused by a single lightning strike.

If someone is struck by lightning, the individual needs immediate medical attention. Call 911 to activate emergency services. Initiation of CPR or use of an AED may be necessary. All coaches/spectators must be CPR/AED Training certified in order to perform these actions. After assessing the safety of the scene, move the victim to a safe place and monitor the individual’s condition until help arrives.

While there are several weather-monitoring apps and devices available for use, the use of these programs should not override guidelines to seek a safe place when thunder is heard or lightning is seen. Phone apps, in particular, may lack accuracy as to the location of each strike and may also have a delay of several minutes from when the strike occurs until it is displayed. They also should not be substituted for the 30-minute guideline designating when it is safe to resume activities after lightning has last been detected.

Concussion Protocol/Air Quality 

HEADstrong Lacrosse will follow the regulated Concussion Awareness Protocols. Please view the attached link to learn more and to stay up to date on the proper precautions. ANY PLAYER WHO HAS BEEN DIAGNOSED WITH A CONCUSSION IS NOT TO RETURN TO PLAY UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES. A coach that allows his player to continue playing after such diagnosis may face further consequences.

In the event air quality has become unplayable, seek shelter immediately if outdoors. All practices, games, clinics, tryouts, etc. should all be postponed until it is deemed safe. Any player, parent, coach, or spectator who feels they have been exposed to poor air quality should see a doctor immediately. Please follow AirNow’s steps to reduce your exposure, you can find the link HERE.

Player Responsibility

All parents/guardians who arrive with a player are now responsible for this individual. If another family brings a player outside of their family, they are now responsible for the additional player in the case of a serious emergency. A parent/guardian who drops off their player must stay within the area in case they need to be reached in the event of a serious injury. HEADstrong Lacrosse coaches do not assume responsibility if a parent/guardian is not present.