Terms of Use

This information is currently not accessible to residents living outside of Ontario. For more information on your own province’s Safety Guidelines, please consult with your provincial Ministry of Education.

Ce contenu n’est pas disponible à l’extérieur de l’Ontario. Veuillez communiquer avec le ministère de l’Éducation de votre province pour des renseignements sur les Lignes directrices sur la sécurité de votre province.

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Elementary - Interschool 2018



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.

Shin pads must be worn.

Size and weight of soccer ball must be appropriate to the age and skill level of the participants.

Example ball sizes and ages:

  • Under age 8 - size 3
  • Ages 8 to 11 - size 4
  • Ages 12 and up - size 5

Outdoor soccer balls must not be used indoors in gymnasium settings for games or shooting on goalie, but may be used for indoor drills.

Sponge, futsal or indoor soccer balls are to be used for indoor (gymnasium) soccer games.

Outdoor soccer balls can be used in covered/domed complexes.


Appropriate clothing and footwear must be worn. Molded cleats only. No metal or compound cleats 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.


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

Indoor playing surface and surrounding area must be free of all obstacles (e.g., tables, chairs), and must provide safe footing and traction.

Outdoor playing area must be free from debris and obstructions, provide safe footing and traction, and be well-removed from traffic areas.

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. Coach must notify principal/designate of unsafe field conditions.

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.

Consult Fundamentals of Safety for the opening and closing of gymnasium divider doors/curtains

When running takes place off school site for a warm, conditioning run and/or is an integral part of the activity:

  • Coaches must do a safety check ‘walk through’ in order to identify potential problems prior to initial use of route or course.
  • Coaches must outline to the students the route or course (e.g., notice of areas to approach with caution) before the start of the run.
  • Coaches must determine that students are not crossing busy intersections unless directly supervised.

Permanent Goalposts

Permanent goal posts must be checked that they are in safe condition and that the concrete footing at the base of the posts are covered and do not pose a hazard.

Netting on goal posts must conform to Ontario Soccer or the local athletic association regulations.

Portable Goalposts

A portable goal is described as a freestanding structure consisting of at least two upright posts, a cross bar and support bars. It is designed to be used as a goal and can be moved to different locations.

A portable goal must be located on a level surface and securely anchored in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions. When there are no instructions:

  • attach the goals securely to the ground, if the goal is located outdoors; or
  • attach the goals securely to the floor or the wall, securing them with weights, if the goal is inside.

The netting on goal posts must conform to Soccer Ontario or the local athletic association regulations.

Portable goals must be inspected on a regular basis for anything that would hinder effective movement (e.g. defective wheels).

Prior to use goals must be checked to determine that they are secure in such a way that they will not tip over.

Students must be instructed to not climb, hang, or swing on the goals.

The Moving of Portable Goalposts

The teacher/coach must provide instructions to the students regarding the safe movement of the portable goals. Only students who have been properly trained can assist the teacher with moving portable goals. Constant visual supervision is required.

The teacher/coach must designate an area a safe distance from the path of the moving of portable goals in which other students must stay. Check that the path is clear (no obstructions and/or students in the way).

Portable goals that are not in use or are in storage must be secured in such a way that they do not pose a risk of tipping and do not otherwise present a hazard (e.g. taken apart, chained face to face).

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)

Exposed orthopaedic apparatus/cast which represents a safety concern to other players, must be soft or padded. Such devices must be approved by the referee prior to the commencement of the game.

Any player with a playing cast must provide a doctor’s note or parent/guardian signed permission indicating it is safe for him/her to play.

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.

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.

No tackling from behind.

Heading skills are not to be taught or permitted during skills, drills, or games.

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.


On-site supervision is required.

Students must be informed that the use of equipment and the gymnasium are prohibited without supervision. In addition to verbal communication, the doors must be locked or signs must be posted indicating that students are not allowed to use the gym unless appropriately supervised.

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 and 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.