Returning to play for young lacrosse athletes is not a one-size-fits-all process. It’s a very individualized decision that parents and young players should consider together, according to Dr. Richard Hinton, medical director for MedStar Sports Medicine.

“The assumption is that all our kids are ready to go out and play,” Hinton said. “This is a time to sit with family and talk about why you are playing, and are you ready to play.”

Even for those who are ready to get back on the field, easing into full activity should be a gradual process. Jay Dyer, director of sports performance for MedStar Health, advises coaches and parents to take a cautious approach in order to minimize the risk of injury to players.

“This is when you have to use your best judgement in regards to how quickly you are going to bring your athletes back (to full speed),” Dyer said. “A conservative approach is the best approach. It’s a marathon, not a sprint.”

Hinton and Dyer share their return to play advice for coaches, parents and league leaders in a new video produced as part of the US Lacrosse/MedStar Health & Performance Series.

Hinton also noted that local leagues and programs should all have adequate preparations in place for resuming lacrosse activity.

“Any organization you are playing with now should have a COVID action plan,” Hinton said. “Pre-planning is the key, even if the specifics in the plan may change.”

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The Center for Sport Science at US Lacrosse seeks to expand, broaden and elevate the safety initiatives that the national governing body has been committed to since its creation in 1998.

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