ECNL implements new national team camp player safety policy
Acting upon the request of U.S. Soccer, the Elite Clubs National League has released a new national team camp player safety policy for all ECNL member clubs with the goal of reducing injury risks in players participating in U.S. Soccer youth national team camps.
The policy states that any player accepting a roster spot at a national team camp “should not participate in any ECNL competition scheduled either … within 24 hours prior to the player’s departure for YNT camp, or … within 48 hours after the conclusion of the YNT camp.”
The ECNL put the policy in place solely to benefit and protect the players, the league announced in a release. It provides guidelines for training and competition for youth players invited into U.S. Soccer Youth National Team camps in the days immediately before and after the camp.
“The most important goal of the policy is to reduce the risk of injury that occurs when players play in competition immediately after a grueling 7-9 day camp,” said Christian Lavers, ECNL president, in the news release. “The second goal of the policy is to help [ensure] that these players have the best possible chance to perform to their potential during camp by entering it healthy and fresh–not tired or with a recent injury.”
The policy, according to the league, is intended to ensure that invited ECNL players enter U.S. Soccer youth national team camps healthy and fresh, and to prevent potential injuries that could occur if the players participated in ECNL competition shortly after the camp concludes.
The league also recommended that any national team participant coming from an ECNL club:
• should not participate in any competition within 72 hours of leaving for national team camp
• limit training to 50-75 percent of capacity within 48 hours of leaving for national team camp
• limit training to 50-75 percent of capacity within 72 hours after returning from national team camp
“We appreciate ECNL’s leadership and cooperation in supporting the youth national team players involved in our programs,” said Jill Ellis, U.S. Soccer developmental director. “Working together for the benefit of player safety is an important step forward in the youth game.”