First-Aid Tips for Softball Coaches

R.I.C.E. Principles

At some point as a softball coach you're going to come across a twisted ankel or sore arm. In that case it's best to follow the R.I.C.E. system. Below is an overview of the R.I.C.E. Principles for treating injuries:


Activity should be discontinued as soon as the pain or injury is noticed. Continued exercise may further aggravate the injury.The concept of "no pain, no gain" is replaced with "train, don't strain; if stressed, get rest." The rest should continue until symptoms of pain and injury subside.


An ice pack should be applied immediately to a new injury. Ice decompresses swelling and blood flow and reduces pain. Where there is swelling, application should be continued intermittently for 72 hours. Ice should never be applied directly to the skin and the maximum time for each pack application is 20 minutes. Using ice at bedtime is not necessary unless the pain interferes with sleeping.


Initially, a wet wrap can be applied to give compression. Start distal to the injury and wrap toward the heart. Later, an elastic bandage can be used. It should be wrapped firmly, but not tightly enough to cut off circulation around the injured area. During the early stages when swelling is severe, the wrap should be loosened every half hour, then reapplied. Compression reduces swelling and blood pooling. Compression at bedtime is not necessary unless the pain interferes with sleeping.


Elevate the injured part so that it is higher than the heart at all times initially (including during sleep) and whenever possible until swelling has subsided. In this way, gravity prevents pooling of blood and other fluids. See a physician immediately following any major injury.

Courtesy of Amateur Softball Association of America (ASA)– the National Governing Body of Softball in the United States.
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