In business, the term ‘collaboration’ implies the same sense of united effort that is commonly referred to in athletics as ‘teamwork.” Cooperation, alliance, and partnership are all central elements that support this concept of working together toward a common goal.

It was precisely this type of shared commitment between US Lacrosse and MedStar Health professionals that helped lead to the development of last week’s Return to Play recommendations, issued by US Lacrosse.  The document is designed to provide an initial framework of guidelines to be used in planning for a safer return to the lacrosse field during, and after, the COVID-19 pandemic.

Five of the 12 members of the medical advisory group that developed the return to play guidelines are affiliated with MedStar Health, which serves as Official Sports Medicine Partner of US Lacrosse & Team USA.

“These guidelines prioritize the protection of players, coaches, officials and volunteers, as well as their families and friends,” said Ann Carpenetti, US Lacrosse vice president and chair of the advisory group. “They are intended to provide program leaders with medically-informed guidance in the development of safer return to play protocols. The contributions of our MedStar Health partners were invaluable in helping to shape these recommendations.”

Through the years, many MedStar Health professionals have served as members of the US Lacrosse Sports Science and Safety Committee, which is committed to growing the body of lacrosse safety knowledge and serving as an advisory group for US Lacrosse leadership and committees.

“MedStar Health is proud of its long-standing relationship with the US Lacrosse Sports Science and Safety Committee, and the shared commitment in areas of research, education, clinical care, and teams coverage,” said Dr. Richard Hinton. “That history of collaboration made the COVID-19 related efforts to identify the return to play guidelines for the lacrosse community much more seamless than it would have been without this integrated platform. We all look forward to a safe return to play.”

The US Lacrosse return to play guidelines follow a five-stage process that will vary regionally based on recommendations and allowances from local and state public health authorities. Each of the five stages represent a progression that allow for further activity as public health conditions warrant.