Player Safety & Injury Prevention

Basketball Injury

Medical Emergency Preparation

What to Discover or Recall:

Discover the magnitude and responsibility of player safety and injury prevention.
Comprehend that, in addition to first aid certification, coaches need to be conscious of specific basketball related injuries.
Learn to be cognizant of potential safety hazards on and around the court at all times.

Beaware of the Post Traumatic Stress Disorder that can accompany medical emergencies.
Realize the importance of never putting a player at risk by having them play while injured.

| Player Safety & Liabilities | First Aid Certification | Emergency Preparation | PTSD |

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Player Safety & Liability

Player safety is an awesome responsibility and liability that is inherited with basketball coaching. It includes facility and equipment usage, proper skill & technique instructions, educating players, warming up & cooling down, and providing sufficient player rest during practice or games.

Facilities & Equipment Usage

Prior to any practice, game or open gym, make sure the facility is safe. Adhere to the first aid adage, "Ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure." Learn to be cognizant of potential dangers and hazards around the court area at all times. Double check to see that all standards are stowed out of the way, balls remained picked up, water is not on the floor, etc.

Make routine equipment inspections. Baskets and boundary lines should not be too close to walls, bleachers, water fountains, or other structures. Goals, as well as the walls behind them, should be padded.

List and post rules & warnings for equipment usage especially in weight rooms.  Have all equipment installed and repaired by qualified personnel only. Make sure that a first aid kit and supplies including ice or cold packs are available for practices as well as games.

Provide Proper Skill & Technique Instruction

Coaches must follow the accepted practices for teaching specific basketball skills and techniques. Drills and other methods that are standard for basketball instruction should be followed. It is especially important that coaches focus on the more hazardous areas of basketball training, such as proper techniques for taking a charge or diving for a loose balls.

Coaches should constantly update their coaching knowledge and expertise by attending classes, seminars, clinics and through online resources such as HoopTactics. If coaching certification is required, keep it up to date.

Liability & Responsibility

Liability laws have been enacted to protect athletes and to provide for a safe and healthy environment. Failure to act prudently during a medical emergency is major coaching liability. It is, also, the coach's legal responsibility to be aware of any preexisting health problems their players may possess. Court decisions have held that coaches have the duty to be aware of all players’ physical fitness, medical conditions, and skill level.

Require written proof of physical exams prior to participation along with evidence of medical insurance. In addition, be sure to create a list of players’ emergency phone numbers and keep it available at all times.

View/Print  Printable Emergency Phone Numbers Form

CAUTION: Health care providers cannot lawfully render treatment to a patient without consent. When a minor is involved, consent must be obtained from a parent or legal guardian. Having a "consent form" on file not only expedites medical care, but also provides some protection against a parent’s claim that emergency care was not authorized. Consent forms should list any allergies to medications along with specifying who to notify in the event of a medical emergency.

Learn More Personal Liabilities Inherited with Coaching


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First Aid Certification

First Aid Certification

If not, now  is a great time to become current. Training and certification does not take much time and the benefits are priceless. CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation) training is just not a simple matter of meeting a coaching certification requirement. It is a matter of obtaining the knowledge and capability to save the life of one of your players. Coaches should not step on the floor without it.

First Aid Care


Women’s head basketball coach, June Daugherty, who not only had one of her players survive a cardiac arrest (stoppage of the heart), but also survived a cardiac arrest herself, has reminded HoopTactics just how important it is for not only coaches, but also all players as well, to be trained in CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation). It was a teammate that administered CPR that saved the life of her former player!

 Online Resources:

Learn/Review CPR Online - Free public service supported by the University of Washington School of Medicine – Click Here

American Red Cross First Aid-CPR-AED Classes - Click Here


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Medical Emergency Preparation

Medical emergencies can be terrifying experiences, especially when unprepared for them. They can take place on the court, in the stands or in transit. It is not always easy to determine how to help in the event of a medical emergency since there are many ways to help, such as summoning first responders, providing immediate care, and keeping the scene safe.

In providing care always follow the basic first aid principles.

1. Survey the scene.

Take a deep breath and analyze what needs to be done. Desensitize yourself by concentrating entirely on the needed first aid, closing out all other sights and sounds.

2. Do a primary survey.

Checking for consciousness, airway, breathing and circulation.
If needed, activate the Emergency Medical System, call 9-1-1 immediately.

3. Perform a secondary survey.

Check for injuries from head to toe rendering first aid as needed.

4. Be sure to desensitize yourself.

Take a deep breath and consentrate on the firstaid required, not the injury or event.




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PTSD Brain

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

Be aware that Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder is an anxiety disorder that can develop after a person experiences a terrifying or extremely traumatic event. While Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder is mainly a result of being directly involved with a major medical emergency, you can also develop PTSD just by witnessing a traumatic event.

In addition, it can occur long afterthe event. If not recognized and treated, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder can have serious repercussions. These repercussions can range from feeling of extreme fear, anger, guilt, anxiety or helplessness. If any of these symptoms should occur, it is imperative to seek professional therapy and counseling immediately.

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