If you’ve unfortunately suffered an arm injury and you play soccer, you might be wondering if you can play soccer in a cast.
There are two answers to the question: 1. Do the rules allow it? 2. Are you medically cleared by a professional?
In most leagues, you will be allowed to play soccer with a cast if you are medically cleared and it’s not dangerous to other players.
But, the topic can get a little fuzzy when you are looking at the entire landscape of soccer. Let’s dive in.
Playing Soccer with a Cast
According to many soccer guidelines, if you want to play a game of soccer while you have a cast on, the cast itself must have padding on it that is a certain thickness. This is because a cast is incredibly hard, and during a game, it can potentially become dangerous to other soccer players.
It is essential to follow these guidelines to ensure the safety of all players involved.
However, if you have suffered a severe injury, it may not be possible to play soccer with a cast. For example, if you have broken an ankle, foot, or leg, and are involved in a sport that requires running or using the affected areas, the chances of you being able to play are highly unlikely, nor is it recommended by healthcare professionals. In such cases, it is best to rest and recover fully before attempting to play soccer again. This is pretty obvious as soccer is mostly played below the waist.
If you are confident that you can play soccer with a cast, padding it is the first and most important step for other player’s safety.
Playing Youth Soccer With a Cast
If you are playing club soccer, you will want to reach out to your coach and/or club director to see if players are allowed to play in casts. Typically it is on a league-level so they will know the specifics.
If you are playing rec or travel soccer, it’s also best to check in with the coach. The decision could be at the soccer organization, board, town, or league level. For example, any players playing within the American Youth Soccer Organization (AYSO) will not be permitted to participate in practices or games if they need to wear a cast.
If you are allowed to play with a cast, it is important to take extra precautions to avoid further injury. Here are some tips to keep in mind:
- Make sure your cast is properly padded and approved by the referee or league officials.
- Avoid contact with other players as much as possible to prevent any accidental hits to your cast.
- Be mindful of your movements and avoid sudden twists or turns that could cause you to lose your balance and fall.
- Consider playing in a position where your arm is on the outside. For example, if a player’s right arm is casted, then play right wing as most of the action will be coming from the middle of the field.
- Listen to your body and take breaks as needed to avoid overexertion.
By following these guidelines and taking extra precautions, you can still enjoy playing soccer even with a cast.
Safety Measures for Soccer Players with a Cast
If you have a cast on your arm or leg, playing soccer can be risky. However, if you take the necessary safety measures, you can still play soccer with a cast. Here are some safety measures that you should take:
1. Get Approval from Your Doctor
Before you start playing soccer with a cast or any other serious injury, you should get approval from your doctor.
Your doctor will examine your cast and determine if it is safe for you to play soccer. If your doctor gives you the green light, you can start playing soccer with a cast if your team allows you.
2. Use Adequately Cushioned Casts
If you want to play soccer with a cast, make sure that your cast is adequately cushioned. The leagues will have specific guidelines but shoot for more than a 1/2″ thickness. This is to ensure the safety of other soccer players.
3. Avoid Contact with Other Players
When playing soccer with a cast, you should avoid contact with other players as much as possible. You should also avoid slide tackling, as this action can cause your cast to hit other players and cause injury.
Also, be extra cautious about making sudden turns where your arm swings out. This can really injure a player if it connects with their head. Of course, sometimes it’s unavoidable.
4. Take Breaks When Necessary
Playing soccer with a cast can be exhausting, so you should take breaks when necessary. If you feel tired or in pain, take a break and rest for a few minutes. This will help you avoid further injury and keep you safe while playing soccer with a cast.
Medical Perspective on Playing Soccer in a Cast
While it may be tempting to continue playing your favorite sport, it’s important to consider the potential health risks and recovery process before making a decision.
Potential Health Risks
Playing soccer with a cast can pose several health risks, including:
- Increased risk of injury: A cast can limit your range of motion and affect your balance, making it easier to trip, fall, or collide with other players on the field.
- Delayed healing: Playing sports with a cast can slow down the healing process and prolong your recovery time. The constant movement and pressure can cause the bones to shift or the cast to crack, which can lead to further damage.
- Skin irritation and infection: Wearing a cast for an extended period of time can cause skin irritation, itching, and even infection. Sweat and moisture can accumulate inside the cast, creating a breeding ground for bacteria and fungus.
When playing with a cast on in a youth soccer game, expect some dirty looks from other parents. Some parents disagree with letting a player go out on the field with a cast even if it’s padded up.
In my opinion, soccer is one of the few sports that can get away with it. Most of the game is played with the feet so it limits the dangerous plays above the waist.
If you are a parent reading this and your child wants to play with an arm cast, I would check these boxes…
- Get clearance from a medical professional
- Check-in with your coach and league director to see if it’s okay to play in practices and games
- If it’s a go, ensure the cast is fully padded
- Practice first and assess how it feels. If it feels good, start playing in games.
At the end of the day, playing soccer with a cast requires careful consideration and consultation with a medical professional. While it is possible, it’s always important to prioritize safety and take necessary precautions to prevent further injury.
Frequently Asked Questions
Playing soccer with a broken elbow is not recommended as it can worsen the injury and cause further damage. Typically a player with a broken elbow should not play soccer until the injury has fully healed and the cast has been removed. It is important to follow the advice of a medical professional to ensure proper healing and avoid complications in the future.
When wrapping a cast for sports, it is important to use padding to protect the injured area and prevent discomfort. The cast itself must also have padding that is a certain thickness (usually at least 1/2″) to prevent injury to other players. The padding should be secured with tape or a bandage to keep it in place during soccer practices and games.
Playing soccer with a sprained wrist is possible, but it is important to take precautions to avoid further injury. Players with a sprained wrist should wear a brace or strap for support.