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Tuesday, January 27, 2009

When An Opposing Player Gets Injured

Yesterday we discussed what to do when one of your teammates gets injured, so naturally today we will discuss what to do if an opposing player gets injured.

Many of the tips are the same, but since you probably don’t have a familial relationship with the guy or gal who is injured, you should take precaution in giving advice or assistance.

To start off with, as with anyone, stranger or friend, when it comes to a life or limb-threatening emergency you should act as if a family member is the one in trouble. Immediately call 911! Since you don’t know this person as well as someone who may be on their team, it might be best to let their teammate comfort them and hand the phone over to talk to the 911 operators to receive instructions. Having a familiar voice giving them directions and motivation may help them to calm down and lessen the chances of shock. If you are a trained medical professional and feel comfortable with the situation, go ahead and assert your knowledge and help in any way you can. Another way to help would be to calm down anyone on your team or the opposing team, if they start to get crazy or wild or disruptive. Simply pull them aside and calm them down. What the situation doesn’t need is any more stress placed upon it.

If the injury is serious, but not life or limb threatening (aka broken bone or torn ACL) the best advice is similar to what is above. First surmise the situation and make decisions based on what is best for the individual. Generally these injuries do not need an ambulance, but if you happen to have stuff in your car or truck that could be useful in the situation, run out and retrieve what can be used. Maybe you have cardboard and duct tape to immobilize the broken bone. If not, your best course of action may be to act as a bystander. Again, help in calming down anyone who may need calmed down, but in these situations, you may be best served as a spectator.

With minor injuries, you really should try and stay out of the way. If there is a cut, no matter how bad, you should first notify the ref or ump and let them know of the situation. Generally they will then stop the game and let the injured player get off the playing field or court. Even if your team is on a great run and hot, give the other team enough time to get their player situated with an ice pack or rag or whatever is needed. Injuries of this nature generally heal in a matter of minutes and you may see the injured player back playing in no time. One way you can be of help is, again, if you have the necessary first aid tools at your disposal and the league doesn’t have access to them, you might volunteer to retrieve what you have. Band aids, gauze pads, wrap, athletic tape. Whatever the situation calls for, if you have it handy and nobody else seems to have access it, you should volunteer your services.

Essentially the difference between your involvement in helping a teammate and an opposing player is that with an opposing player your service is needed only when the opposing team cannot provide it. As with any situation, familiarity of people around will help the injured party.

Keep sporting!
- Who’s In First

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