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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

Lob Ball/Slo Pitch/Three Pitch

Softball - Fast Pitch is not an appropriate activity at the Elementary – Interschool level.


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.

Wooden bats must not be cracked. All of the bats must have a proper grip.

The bats must comply with the current Slo-Pitch Ontario Association (SPO) rules (e.g., Amateur Softball Association bat policy (ASA2004)).

The pitchers, catchers, infielders and outfielders must wear softball/baseball gloves when a regulation/official or hard, flight-restricted softball is being used.

Where helmets are equipped with chin straps, they are to be done up; otherwise, the helmet must fit such that it will stay on the head.

Athlete umpires must wear a mask and chest pad when positioned behind home plate.

Th catchers must wear shin protectors, a chest protector and a mask with a throat protector. If playing behind the screen, this equipment is not required.

All catchers must wear an athletic support with protective cup.

Use softballs appropriate to the skill level of the athletes.

The batter, on-deck batter, bat boy/bat girl, base runners and base coaches (e.g., first and third base coaches) must wear a properly fitted (as per manufacturer’s guidelines) and properly worn batting helmet with flaps, covering both ears and certified by a recognized safety standards association.

A safety bag must be used at first base.

The bases must be properly secured.

All of the equipment not being used must be kept out of the practice/playing area.

Where pitching machines are being used they must be inspected prior to use and be under the direct supervision of a teacher/coach.


Appropriate clothing and footwear must be worn.

If wearing cleats, no metal or compound cleats. Molded cleats only.

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.

Playing area must be inspected regularly for debris and obstructions, provide safe footing and traction as well as be well removed from traffic areas.

Prior to use, backstops, fences and fields must be checked for hazards. Any hazards found must be reported to athletes and appropriate officials.

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.

Modify the activity to avoid hazards (e.g., mark hazards with cones, cover hole in fence with mat).

The field of play must never be located near an open roadway onto which an active player might run.

If more than one activity is going on, determine that there is a safe distance between the activities.

If, in the opinion of the umpire, after consultation with both coaches, the field is deemed to be unsafe for play, the game must be rescheduled.

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

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.

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.

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)

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.

The players must be taught to drop or lay the bat down after hitting, not release it during the follow-through of the swing.

To avoid dangers of a slipped bat, non-fielding players must stand well back of the batter’s box, must be on the bench, or must be behind a screen or fence (with fingers kept way from the screen). If using an on deck batter circle it must be located a safe distance from batter and other non fielding players where the swinging of a bat does not present a hazard.

The students must be informed about the importance of keeping their eyes on the flight of the ball when playing offense (e.g., running bases) and when playing defense (e.g., pitcher, infielders and outfielders).

Use a commitment line on third-base line.

All plays at home plate must be force plays. No tagging at home plate.

Appropriate sliding techniques must be taught to minimize the risk of injury.

Head-first sliding techniques are not allowed.

When practicing indoors with a regulation bat:

  • use a batting cage;
  • use a pitcher behind a protective cage or batters hit off a tee (in each case batters hit into a cage);
  • all non active players must be behind cage, no fielders allowed.

The location of spectators must not present a safety concern.

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.