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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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Secondary - Interschool 2018

Ice hockey games
Higher Risk Activity


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.

Goalies must wear:

  • a properly fitted (as per manufacturer's guidelines) and properly-worn CSA approved hockey helmet with full face mask;
  • a throat protector;
  • a catcher, blocker, leg pads;
  • a chest and arm protector; and
  • a cup or pelvic protector.

Players must wear:

  • a properly fitted (as per manufacturer's guidelines) and properly-worn CSA-approved hockey helmet with full face mask;
  • a throat protector;
  • shin pads (cracked shin pads must be replaced immediately);
  • pants;
  • shoulder and elbow pads;
  • hockey gloves; and
  • a cup or pelvic protector.


  • Regulation hockey sticks must be used.
  • Butt end must be covered with tape or a commercially made butt end.
  • Cracked or splintered sticks must not be used.


Appropriate clothing and footwear must be worn. Properly fitting ice hockey skates must be worn.

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 (e.g. 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.

The ice surface must be free from debris and deep ruts.

Break away net mandatory.

For outside facilities (e.g., ponds, lakes), prior to activity, check with local authorities to determine whether ice is safe for skating and that there are no hazards.

When running takes place off school site for a warm-up or conditioning run:

  • 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.

Natural Ice Locations (Lakes, Ponds, Rivers)

Only Board/school approved natural ice locations must be used.

An approved natural ice location is one that is monitored and tested by a recognized organization (e.g., local municipality, police, and snowmobile clubs) and/or a recognized knowledgeable individual (e.g., winter camp supervisor) that measures ice thickness for activity safety.

Prior to an activity on natural ice surface the teacher/supervisor must contact local authorities to determine with absolute certainty that the ice surface is thick enough to be safe. The ice thickness must be a minimum of 15cm (6") and must be measured in several places.

The use of natural ice involves some risk. Here are safety criteria minimize the risks:

  • Stay off the ice of any natural ice surface where conditions cannot be measured.
  • Stay away from unfamiliar paths or unknown ice, avoid traveling on ice at night unless necessary
  • Obey all ice warning signs.
  • The teacher/supervisor must be in close proximity to students on the ice surface.
  • The teachers/supervisors must be knowledgeable of the procedures to follow for rescuing an individual who has fallen through the ice.
  • Students must be informed on ice safety and ice rescue procedures prior to the activity (e.g., not to go on the ice surface alone).

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.

No more than three games can be played in one day, as per Ontario Hockey Federation (OHF) rules.

The number of games and skill competitions (e.g., agility, racing) in any one day must not present a safety concern.

Prior to the first game, multiple practices on ice must have occurred.

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 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
  • snow conditions (e.g. snow/ice storms) and visibility.

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

The school board’s weather procedures are the minimum standards at all times. 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.


Constant visual supervision during initial practice of contact skills.

On-site supervision thereafter.

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.

At least one hockey coach must possess one of the following coaching qualifications:

  • NCCP Community Sport Coach – Coach Stream Course
  • Completion of hockey NCCP level 1 and/or level 2 certification in the past
  • Accreditation as a NCCP Hockey Learning Facilitator
  • Attendance at a clinic or workshop within the last three years provided by an instructor who is knowledgeable of the activity (e.g., appropriate skills and progressions), and where safety is addressed as outlined in the Ontario Physical Education Safety Guidelines.
  • Past experience within the last 3 years as a coach in hockey, having knowledge of the activity (e.g., appropriate skills and progressions) and current safety practices as outlined in the Ontario Physical Education Safety Guidelines.

For more information on sport-specific NCCP training please visit coach.ca.

First Aid

The individual who takes responsibility for providing first aid to injured athletes must:

  • as a minimum, have a current first aid certification from a recognized first aid provider (e.g., St. John Ambulance , Red Cross) that includes CPR B or C and training in head, neck and spinal injury management;
  • be in the area and readily accessible during the entire practice/competition;
  • follow their school’s First Aid Emergency Response (consult Appendix E - Sample First Aid Plan and Sample First Aid Emergency Response);
  • follow their school board's concussion protocol for a suspected concussion; and
  • not be a participant in the activity.

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