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Question Number: 31150

Law 4 - The Players Equipment 1/3/2017

RE: Rec Under 15

Alyssa of na, georgia United States asks...

I tore my MCL approximately a month ago. Our soccer season is coming up and I have to wear a hinged knee brace. The hinges are covered by padding and cloth by DonJoy, I did not alter it in any way. Am I able to play with this brace?

Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Alyssa
It is up to each individual referee to decide based on his opinion and experience. Sometimes it can be the reaction of opponents that can pressure the referee into an unfavourable ruling particularly when hard parts of a brace, cast etc are visible. For me once the brace is covered with padding and cloth it will look acceptable.



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Answer provided by Referee Gary Voshol

Georgia Youth Soccer Rules and Regulations (found at http://www.georgiasoccer.org/about/bylaws__rules/) prohibit casts but do not mention a brace.

So it would fall under this section of the referee's power and duties:

'230.5a Rule on what equipment or accessories are considered dangerous'

While some refs might find it OK, others might not.



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Answer provided by Referee Richard Dawson

Hi Alyssa,
my suggestion is DO NOT PLAY until the doctor (competent surgeon sports specialist in written consent SAYS its ok to do so!) The knee issues woman have playing soccer are life defining for many in they can no longer do the things they used to! I feel badly for anyone who receives an injury but I can tell you with 100% accuracy that woman have a far greater number of knee injuries playing soccer than men. You need to follow a carefully crafted regime of exercises that strengthen the core and leg muscles and imbue flexibility to that region of the body.

Perhaps lookup the national teams training schemes and see if you can find a series of specific exercises. It was a FACT that woman teams used to travel to tournaments with as many as 6 to 12 extra players simply because knee, hip and leg injuries took their toll over the weekend. I know this as a friend is a certified sports trainer to the Canadian National Women's team and designed strength and flexibility exercise programs to specifically to combat knee and core injury issues!

I know you wish to continue to play but please grasp the need to be careful as an injured knee while medically they can do amazing things once injured it is susceptible to further damage. Brace or no brace, it might be permitted if the association or ROC mandates or allows for certain types by certain manufactures but as in any safety related issue the referee will examine it to decide if it possess a threat to anyone be it yourself or others.
Cheers



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