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Cross Country Running/Orienteering

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Elementary - Interschool 2018

Equipment

A fully stocked first aid kit must be readily accessible. (Consult Appendix D – Sample First Aid Kit)

A working communication device (e.g., cell phone) must be accessible.

Determine that all equipment is safe for use (e.g., no sharp edges, sharp corners, cracks, or splinters). Students must be encouraged to report equipment problems to the coach.

Clothing/Footwear/Jewellery

Appropriate clothing and footwear must be worn. No bare feet permitted.

Grades 1-6: No spikes/cleats of any kind permitted.

Grades 7-8: Spikes/cleats are permitted.

The wearing of jewellery during practices and competitions must meet the rules of the governing body of the sport/activity, OFSAA, and local athletic association. Consult the Fundamentals of Safety when jewellery is not addressed by the governing body of the sport/activity, OFSAA or the local athletic association

When long hair poses a safety risk it must be secured. Devices (for example, hair pins, clips and barrettes) used to tie back long hair must not present a safety concern.

Facilities

Determine that all facilities are safe for use. Students must be encouraged to report facility problems to the coach.

If the route is off school property, determine that the athletes are not crossing busy intersections unless they are directly supervised.

For practices: Holes, hazards (e.g. glass, rocks, sprinkler heads, sewer grates), and severely uneven surfaces must be identified. The conditions must be made safe or the activity must be modified or moved to a safe location. Hazards which cannot be removed must be brought to the attention of the athletes. The coach must notify the principal/designate of unsafe field conditions.

For competitions: Where hazardous conditions that cannot be avoided are identified by the coach and/or officials the conditions must be made safe or the competition must be cancelled or moved to a safe location. Coach must notify principal/designate of unsafe field conditions.

Turning points, finish lines, end zones, and boundaries must be a safe distance away from walls, stages, equipment, trees, posts, natural hazards, and holes. Walls, stages, equipment, trees and posts must not be used as turning points, finish lines, end zones or boundaries. A marker (for example, line or pylon) must be designated and be properly identified.

Prior to the Initial Use of the Route

The coach or convenor must do a safety check “walk through” in order to identify potential hazards and severely uneven surfaces which must be brought to the attention of the officials and athletes.

The coaches must outline the route or course (e.g., notice of areas to approach with caution) to athletes.

If the cross-country route or orienteering course is on grass and/or in a wooded area, coaches or convener must do a safety check “walk through” after a substantial rainfall and/or windstorm, in order to identify potential hazards.

If the route has been affected by weather conditions and degradations of the course occur during competition, ongoing safety assessments must be conducted by coach or convener, and the route changed if necessary.

Competition Route

The competition route must have marshals stationed throughout, all hazards well marked, gate and funnel markers set to enhance safety.

Start and finish area must provide a wide flat surface.

Special Rules/Instructions

Be aware of students whose medical condition (e.g., asthma, anaphylaxis, casts, previous concussion, orthopaedic device) may affect participation. (Consult Fundamentals of Safety)

Coaches must be aware of athletes with allergies (e.g., bees).

Students must not participate in the activity until they receive information on concussion prevention specific to the activity, inherent risks of the activity (e.g. outline possible risks and ways to minimize the risks), and procedures and rules for safe play. Students must receive instruction on the importance of reporting symptoms related to a suspected concussion.

Refer to the school board’s transportation procedures related to communicating with parents/guardians the location of an off-site activity and the means of transportation used as well as to the need for obtaining parent/guardian permission.

Athletes must be instructed in basic road safety.

Previous training, fitness level and the length of time and intensity of physical activity must be taken into consideration.

The activities must be based on skills that are taught.

The skills must be taught in proper progression.

A proper warm-up and cool-down must be included.

Fair play and rules of the sport must be taught and strictly enforced.

Minimum age requirements for competition must be rationalized, established and maintained.

Length and difficulty of route must be appropriate to the age and ability level of the participants (e.g., primary athletes must not be out of sight for long periods of time).

The number of participants in any one event must not present a safety concern.

Coaches must monitor weekly distance increases of student athletes.

Athletes must be coached in strategies that enhance safety with “crowded” starts.

No audio devices (e.g., MP3 players, iPods) may be used.

Adequate liquid replacement (personal water bottles, water fountains) must be accessible for students before, during and after physical activity to prevent dehydration.

Environmental Considerations

When environmental conditions may pose a risk to student safety (e.g. thunderstorms [lightning] or student(s) with asthma, triggered by air quality), teachers must take into consideration their school board/school’s protocols and procedures related to:

  • environmental conditions (consult Appendices F-1 to F-6: Lightning Protocol, Sample Air Quality Index, Sample Temperature, Tornado, Ultra Violet Index, and Wind Velocity Preparedness Guides]); and
  • insects (e.g., mosquitoes and ticks [consult the school/school board’s protocols and/or regional Public Health Department’s website]).

Students must receive instruction on safety procedures related to environmental conditions and be made aware of ways to protect themselves (e.g. sun burn, heat stroke).

At all times the school board’s weather and insect procedures are the minimum standards. In situations where a higher standard of care is presented (e.g., outside activity providers, facility/program coordinators), the higher standard of care must be followed.

Supervision

In-the-area supervision is required.

Off-Site Orienteering Ratios

Grades 1-3 - 1 supervisor to 10 students

Grades 4-8 - 1 supervisor to 20 students

Coaching Qualifications

The head coach must demonstrate knowledge of the sport, skills and strategies to the principal or designate.

All coaches must be familiar with and implement where applicable the criteria outlined in Appendix P – Coaching Expectations.

First Aid

An individual who takes responsibility for providing first aid to injured athletes through the entirety of a practice and/or competition must follow the school board’s concussion protocol and the school’s First Aid Emergency Response (consult Appendix E - Sample First Aid Plan and Sample First Aid Emergency Response).

Also see Fundamentals of Safety section to view complete safety requirements.