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Rowing

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Secondary - Interschool 2018

Higher Risk Activity

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.

Shell inspected before each outing (e.g., check for holes, cracks, loose hardware).

Shell must have bow-ball in good repair.

Bow and stern buoyancy compartments must be securely closed with water-tight hatches.

In practice sessions, each shell must be equipped with a signalling device and a watertight flashlight.

Heel restraints on shoes must be in place and adjusted properly to permit effective extraction of feet during emergencies.

Must have bow and stern lights attached during poor visibility (e.g., bike lights, flashlights).

Oars must be checked for splinters and cracks.

Riggers and oar-locks must be secure and operate freely.

Steering lines must be secure and operating correctly.

Regattas require dedicated safety boats with communication (e.g., two-way radios between boat and shore).

Boat engine must be running before crew leaves dock.

Boat must be equipped with a 60cm life ring with 9m floating lines attached in addition to the 15m heaving line.

One supervisor/instructor boat must be motorized and equipped as per Transport Canada's Safe Boating Guide requirements. Examples:

  • One CSA approved lifejacket/PFD of appropriate size for each member of the coach boat plus one for each member of the largest vessel
  • paddles
  • bailer
  • watertight flashlight
  • signaling device
  • motor in good repair, with sufficient gas for entire session
  • 23m (75’) floating rope

Clothing/Footwear/Jewellery

Appropriate clothing and footwear must be worn.

A dry change of clothes must be available on shore.

Coach boat occupants are required to wear PFDs at all times.

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.

Long hair must be secured. Devices (e.g. 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.

When using an indoor rowing facility, the rules and regulations of that facility must be followed.

Dockside/Boathouse

Must have posted walking traffic pattern with hazards identified (e.g., keep to right, dock slippery when wet).

Must have phone with posted emergency numbers (e.g., 911).

Keep spectators out of boat launch area and high boat-traffic areas.

On the Water

Course must be inspected before each use.

Be aware of debris on course, especially after heavy rain.

Coach/Instructor must inform athletes of debris.

Be aware of water currents, especially those created by rapids and waterfalls.

All practice and competition sites must not include rapids and waterfalls.

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.

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

Swim Test for Watercraft

Prior to rowing, students must successfully complete the following swim test in its entirety:

  • rolling entry (backwards or forward) into deep water at 2.75m (9’) minimum depth
  • tread water for 1 minute
  • swim 50m (164’) continuously any stroke
  • demonstrate the ability to put on a PFD while in the water

The components of the swim test must be completed in sequence and without any aids or stops.

The test must be administered by a certified aquatic instructor (test is based on the Lifesaving Society’s Swim to Survive™ Standard).

The swim test must be completed within the school year in which the activity is taking place.

In lieu of completing the swim test, students may provide proof of Bronze Medallion certification or higher.

Results of the swim test must be documented and communicated as per school board policy (e.g., to the student, teacher, principal, parents/guardians, trip guide(s), lifeguards, aquatic instructor, and outside provider [if applicable]).

Students who do not pass the swim test or who do not have the aforementioned certification must not row.

Emergency Procedures

Site specific rescue plan must be devised and shared with all supervisors and participants.

Athletes must receive instruction on safety procedures, use of equipment and rowing techniques prior to initial practice.

Athletes must be instructed to remain with rowing shell and oars for flotation and visibility purposes if an accident occurs.

All instructors must be knowledgeable of the established safety and capsize procedures. Instructors must outline these procedures to rowers and coxswains.

Should a shell swamp (take on water), rowers are not to attempt to swim to shore but stay with the boat using it as a flotation device and follow these steps:

  • Crew numbers off and removes feet from shoes. Remain in place if possible.
  • Make distress signal.
  • If necessary, crew enters water in pairs from middle of boat, buddy up across boat.
  • Coxswain buddies with stern pair.
  • Swing oars parallel to shell to increase flotation.
  • Unless rescue is imminent, move crew to bow and stern and roll shell over (fin up) with the wind. Crew should lie across hull, as far out of the water as possible, in pairs, holding on to the other person.
  • Coach boat distributes PFDs on arrival and conducts headcount.
  • Coach boat shuttles rowers to nearest shore. DO NOT overload coach boat.
  • Conduct headcount on returning.
  • Recover shell.

In case of an emergency, a pre-determined return route must be established.

A log book must be provided on-shore with all students and coaches required to sign out before launching and in upon returning.

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.

Before involving athletes in outdoor activity, coaches must take into consideration:

  • water conditions (e.g. temperature, currents, tides and wave conditions).
  • visibility of 500m (1640’) is required

Follow cold water rules specific to the rowing facility.

Coaches/supervisors must be aware of weather forecasts, especially wind conditions, temperature of the day, potential for thunder/lightning and fog conditions.

Rowing must be cancelled in adverse conditions (e.g., first sign of white caps).

If stormy weather approaches suddenly, seek appropriate shelter immediately.

Daylight rowing only.

Supervision

On-site supervision is required.

Operator of boat must have Pleasure Craft Operator Card.

Coach in motorized boat within 500m of crew during all on-water practice sessions.

Coaching Qualifications

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

All coaches must meet with the head coach of the rowing club (if applicable) prior to the start of the season and be in communication throughout the season.

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

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

  • NCCP Competition Coach – RCA Coach Course
  • Accreditation as a NCCP Rowing Learning Facilitator
  • Completion of rowing NCCP level 1 and/or level 2 certification in the past
  • 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 rowing, 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.

Aquatic Instructor Qualifications for the Swim Test for Watercraft

Aquatic instructors must hold one current (to be current, the date on the certificate must not be older than two years) aquatic instructor certificate and one current assistant lifeguard or lifeguard certificate. If the aquatic instructor does not hold a lifeguard certificate or an assistant lifeguard certificate, a certified lifeguard must also be on deck during the aquatic instruction and/or swim test.

Aquatic Instructor Certificates:

  • Canadian Red Cross - Water Safety Instructor Certificate
  • Lifesaving Society - Instructor Certificate
  • Lifesaving Society - Swim Instructor Certificate
  • YMCA - Instructor Certificate
  • Ontario Teachers Aquatic Standard (OTAS) - for pool situations only

Lifeguard Certificates:

  • Canadian Red Cross - Pool Lifeguard
  • Lifesaving Society - National Lifeguard - Pool
  • Equivalent certificate approved by Minister of Health and Long Term Care

Assistant Lifeguard Certificates:

  • Canadian Red Cross - Assistant Lifeguard
  • Lifesaving Society - Bronze Cross
  • Equivalent certificate approved by Minister of Health and Long Term Care

Lifeguard Qualifications

An individual over the age of 18 (e.g. teacher, instructor, trip guide, volunteer) must have a current (to be current, the date on the certificate must not be older than two years) lifeguard certificate issued by one of the following organizations:

  • Lifesaving Society - National Lifeguard – Pool;
  • Canadian Red Cross - Pool Lifeguard;
  • Equivalent certificate approved by Minister of Health and Long Term Care.

Supervision Ratios for the Swim Test for Watercraft

There must be a minimum of two certified aquatic instructors on deck or in the pool.

Supervision ratio is 2 certified aquatic instructors per 50 students, with both instructors also certified as lifeguards or one lifeguard and one assistant lifeguard.

In situations where there are 51-75 students, an additional certified aquatic instructor is required.

If assistant lifeguards are used, the number of assistant lifeguards may never exceed the number of lifeguards on deck.

Supervision Ratios for Instructional Time

Beginner rowers: 1 coach per 9 athletes

Experienced rowers: 1 coach per 18 athletes

In addition, there must be a minimum of two certified aquatic instructors on deck or in the pool.

Supervision ratio is 2 certified aquatic instructors per 50 students, with both instructors also certified as lifeguards or one lifeguard and one assistant lifeguard.

In situations where there are 51-75 students, an additional certified aquatic instructor is required.

If assistant lifeguards are used, the number of assistant lifeguards may never exceed the number of lifeguards on deck.

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).

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.