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Question Number: 33045

High School 2/5/2019

RE: Select, High school Under 18

Andrew Shih of Mequon, WI United States asks...

Can I play with a wrist cast? High school and or club soccer in the state of Wisconsin?

Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Andrew
Two very different approaches here.
In NFHS any hard/unyielding cast on the hand (including thumb/fingers), wrist, forearm, elbow, upper arm or shoulder must be covered and padded with a closed cell, slow recovery foam no less than half inch thick. In addition some states reqire a medical release for the injured player signed by a physician. Your coaches should be aware of the rules.
In FIFA games the referee will make the decision as to whether a cast is dangerous or not. If it is considered a danger to the player or opponents the player will not be allowed to play. Generally hard casts even covered are seen as a danger and most referees will not allow them. In some Leagues there can be a local competition rule which may not allow the wearing of hard casts in any circumstances. In those leagues the referee has no discretion on the matter.
As we have said on other such questions the use of a cast is to aid the healing process by effectively immobilising the injured limb. Playing sports while injured increases the risk of further injury or delaying the recovery. As a young player I broke my arm playing soccer and I had no choice but to sit out games for the duration. At the time it was difficult yet it was done to aid the healing process. After the cast was removed I was back playing with no complications.

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Answer provided by Referee Joe Manjone


Under NFHS rules which are followed by the WIAA, casts are permissible but they must be padded and covered with foam that is closed-cell, slow recovery, and is at least 1/2 inch thick. Wisconsin high school coaches should be aware of this rule and have the casts appropriately covered.

I hope that you have a successful high school season this spring.

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