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Player Safety

Player safety is the primary consideration in every aspect of JDL football. It is embedded in the JDL philosophy and reflected in our training of all JDL coaches in teaching safe blocking and tackling techniques. Yet, injuries can still occur and JDL parents & coaches must be prepared to deal with such situations. Addressing the threat of dehydration, concussions, and even the spread of viruses does not start and end on the field. Instead, it requires the consolidated and collective efforts of players, parents, and coaches.

To that end, we ask that all parents be familiar with the following important elements of a safe football program.


Tragic events in which football players have become extremely ill or have died following strenuous workouts in the high heat should serve as reminders to all of the potential dangers of dehydration. It is imperative that you, as coaches and parents, take the following precautions, provided by the National Athletic Trainers Association, to ensure that your players are not placed in danger.

  • Schedule practices for the cooler times of the day whenever possible - a primary reason for our evening and morning practice schedules.

  • Encourage your players to drink plenty of water or sports drink (17-20 oz.) prior to coming to practice and games.

  • Schedule regular water breaks every 15 minutes during practice.

  • Encourage players to drink beyond thirst.

  • Never deny a player water or the opportunity to get a drink if needed or requested.

  • Players should drink 7-10 oz. of water or sports drink every 10 to 20 minutes of activity.

  • For a two hour practice, players should bring at least half a gallon of water or sports drink to the field with them.

  • Remind players to replace lost fluids after practice.

  • Athletes should drink at least 20 oz. of fluid for every pound of weight lost during a sports activity.

  • Parents should have their player drink the necessary fluids prior to and after practice and bring an adequate drink supply to practice.

  • Parents, Coaches, and Players should recognize the following warning signs of dehydration and heat illness:

    • Thirst

    • Headache

    • Irritability

    • Cramps

    • Nausea

    • Flushed skin

    • Weakness

    • Dizziness


Players displaying symptoms should stop participating immediately and move into the shade or indoors. They should be given cool water to drink. Wet towels may be used to sponge the body.

Dry, red skin; a fast, weak pulse; shallow, rapid breathing or blue lips are indications of severe dehydration and require immediate medical attention.Parents and coaches should remind their players to notify any coach immediately of any dehydration symptoms they may be experiencing


Additional Information on Hydration is available at



Increased concussion awareness in youth sports––especially youth football––is fundamental to the safety of every participant. Coaches, parents, and players must recognize the dangers a concussion presents and do everything possible to act appropriately and responsibly in the event of such an injury. To this end, JDL Football is participating in an education initiative sponsored by the US Department of Health and Human Services Center to help youth coaches recognize and respond to concussions in youth sports.

Please be sure to review the Concussion Fact Sheet with your child. Help them to identify the symptoms and advise them to immediately inform an adult (coach/parent/guardian) if such symptoms exist.


A portion of the fact sheet is repeated below.



A concussion is a brain injury that:

  • Is caused by a bump or blow to the head

  • Can change the way your brain normally works

  • Can occur during practices or games in any sport

  • Can happen even if you haven't been knocked out

  • Can be serious even if you've just been "dinged"



  • Headache or "pressure" in head

  • Nausea or vomiting

  • Balance problems or dizziness

  • Double or blurry vision

  • Bothered by light

  • Bothered by noise

  • Feeling sluggish, hazy, foggy, or groggy

  • Difficulty paying attention

  • Memory problems

  • Confusion

  • Does not "feel right"



Tell your coaches and your parents. Never ignore a bump or blow to the head even if you feel fine. Also, tell your coach if one of your teammates might have a concussion.

Get a medical check up. A doctor or health care professional can tell you if you have a concussion and whne you are OK to return to play.

Give yourself time to get better. If you have had a concussion, your brain needs time to heal. While your brain is still healing, you are much more likely to have a second concussion. Second or later concussions can cause damage to your brain. It is important to rest until you get approval from a doctor or health care professional to return to play. 



Every sport is different, but there are steps you can take to protect yourself.

  • Follow your coach's rules for safety and the rules of the sport.

  • Practice good sportsmanship at all times.

  • Use the proper sports equipment, including personal protective equipment (such as helmets, padding, shin guards, and eye and mouth guards). In order for equipment to protect you, it must be:

    • The right equipment for the game, position, or activity.

    • Worn correctly and fit well.

    • Used every time you play.


For more  information on concussions and traumatic brain injury, visit


Returning from Injury

Players who have suffered significant injuries during practices or games, including but not limited to concussions, will be allowed to return to play only with permission from a health care professional. In the event a player is injured during practice or games, coaches are to notify the parents as well as the league commissioner of the event and the circumstances surrounding the injury. Instruct the parents to seek professional medical care as soon as possible. Remind the parents that the player will not be allowed to return to action without permission from a health care professional.


MRSA (Methicillin-resistant staphylococcus aureus) is a bacterial infection that is highly resistant to some antibiotics. There have been increasing number of MRSA outbreaks in athletes through skin contacts in locker rooms and gyms. Players contracting the infection may not participate in practice or games until medically cleared.

At JDL Football we take safety of our players very seriously, that is why we partner with the very best. To learn more about a couple of our partners, please see the videos below and visit their website.

Mayo Clinic Sports Medicine is a global leader in sports and musculoskeletal injury prevention and rehabilitation, concussion research, diagnostic and interventional ultrasound, sports performance optimization, and surgical and nonsurgical management of sports-related injuries. We serve the needs of individuals of all ages and abilities – elite and professional athletes, weekend warriors, and youth athletes – with world-class sports training and sports medical care. To learn more, visit



Riddell Sports has created the next generation of proactive safety data. Riddell InSite Training Tool (ITT) uses a sabermetric approach to athlete protection. ITT is a web-based data center that is simple to use and rich with information a coach may use to identify opportunities to proactively influence player behavior through training techniques and practice plans and move their program and athletes forward.

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