Safety Rules to Remember about Team Sports

Nobody likes being injured. While there might not be a scientific study that proves this is true, it is pretty obvious that, at the very least, the majority of people hate being hurt. Because being in pain isn’t fun.

In an effort to reduce the amount of injuries that players sustain during team sports, safety rules are implemented. Some of these rules might not make sense to you, or you might think they are not important. You may be tempted to ignore these rules. However, do so at your own peril.

Ignoring safety rules could get you or someone else hurt. Nationwide has all sorts of resources for being safe while playing team sports. While the safety rules in place will be different from sport to sport, there are a few types of general rules applicable to most team sports.

Collisions in Team Sports

Many team sports either require player contact or will likely have it at some point. Think about tackling in football. If you want to win, you have to tackle. On the other hand, there is no tackling in soccer, but with all that fighting for the ball, collisions are going to happen.

Since you know you are going to run into people, should you just not care about safety? Of course not, you just need to collide safely.

Every team sport has rules about safe contact. While in certain sports, like the aforementioned football example, you can tackle, there are still rules on how you can tackle. You have to be able to accomplish this cleanly or else you will be penalized or worse, you or someone else can be hurt.

Similarly, even sports that do not require contact have contact rules. For example, in baseball, you generally do not have to touch other players. However, if you are sliding into a base, you might slide into another player. To help avoid injuries, there are rules about how you can slide or run into a player in a safe manner.

Communicating with Teammates

You have to be able to communicate with your teammates. If you do this right, it helps you avoid making errors and allows you to play better. However, there are also safety reasons that communication is so important.

Take a look at the following examples of how proper communication allows you to play safer.

• A tennis player is playing doubles. She and her partner both go for a ball that neither player calls. The run into each other and both are injured.
• Two baseball players have similar trouble communicating. They both collide while trying to catch a pop up. The ball is dropped, and they are hurt.
• Another baseball example happens when a player is injured running into a wall or fence when chasing down a ball because teammates failed to communicate how close they were to the obstacle.
• A football player does not communicate that a player from the other team is about to make a tackle. The teammate is tackled, but is not prepared and is injured.

These are just a few of the ways that a lack of communication can cause injuries – sometimes even serious injuries. What this should tell you is that it is very important to learn to communicate with your teammates, and then actually implement what you have learned.

Avoiding Violence and Fights

Another potentially unsafe aspect of team sports is the potential for violence or disputes. Players can become angry over calls, the actions of other players, or any other number of problems and concerns on the field. Maybe, the player is just a little bit hot tempered.

You cannot predict what will set another player off, but you can do some things to make violence less likely.

• Follow safety rules. If you keep your playing clean and make proper contact with the other team, you are less likely to make other players mad.
• Be a good sport. Whether you win or you lose, you need to be a good sport. If you taunt the other team or complain about losing (for example, if you accuse the other team of cheating) then you are more likely to make them upset.
• Keep your own temper. One of the best ways you can control violent behavior is to hold yourself accountable for your own actions. If someone else makes you mad, doesn’t follow rules, or is a bad sport, do not retaliate against them. If you keep your own temper, problems will be fewer.

Taking Breaks and Cooling Down

One of the best things about team sports is that there are other players there to help you out when you need a rest. It is easy to say you are going to play the whole game and not give anybody else a chance, but this could lead to problems.

First, your teammates may get upset because they want a chance to contribute as well. However, there are chances you can overheat and get sick.

If you feel too hot or overworked, let your coach know so they can put someone else in for you. You need to take time to cool down so that you can play your best when you go back in.

Safety Comes First

It is easy to ignore safety considerations when you are playing sports and instead focus on having fun. However, this is a mistake. Ignoring safety rules can lead to serious injuries. And serious injuries not only are painful, but they can stop you from being able to play at all.

Not only that, but your unsafe playing might not only hurt you. You could end up hurting your teammates, other players, or even people watching. So even if you do not understand why a rule is in place, follow it anyway. Safety should always come first.

When you take lessons or go to sports camps, you will learn a lot about how to play the game. However, you will also learn about how to play safely. Don’t play around during these lessons. Take them seriously because you do not want to end up injured when you get out there to play.