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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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Rugby - Tackle


Secondary - Interschool 2018

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.

All equipment must comply with World Rugby Regulation 12.

Regulation rugby balls must be used.

A full fit interior mouth guard is required.


Appropriate clothing (e.g., snug-fitting, collarless jersey) and footwear 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.

No eye or sport glasses are permitted.

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.


Studs/cleats must be worn.

Studs/cleats must be consistent with World Rugby Regulation 12:

  • Stud/cleat length must be no longer than 21mm.
  • Studs/cleats must not be nylon.
  • Moulded rubber multi-studded soles are acceptable provided they have no sharp edges or ridges.
  • Replaceable studs must be capable of repeated fixing and removal without creating a hazard.

Soccer cleats or rubber/plastic rugby cleats are permissible.

Football and baseball cleats are not appropriate.

Metal cleats are not appropriate on artificial turf surfaces and are only recommended for natural grass in wet conditions.


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

The playing area must be inspected regularly, be free from debris and obstructions, allow for safe footing and traction, and be well removed from traffic areas.

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. Coach must notify 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 (e.g. line or pylon) must be designated and be properly identified.

Use collapsible flags or soft pylons to mark corners, mid-line and 22m (66’) line, or flags off the sidelines.

Goalposts must be padded if in field of play.

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

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.

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)

Any exposed orthopaedic apparatus (e.g., knee brace) that presents a safety concern to other players must be soft or padded. Such devices must be approved by the official prior to the commencement of the game.

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.

Prior to the first league game, 8 days of practices that contain contact (e.g. scrums, rucks, mauls, line-outs, and tackling) must have occurred.

Athletes must be taught that head hits and high tackles are not permitted.

Tackling, scrum, maul, ruck and line-out skill progressions must be taught and practiced prior to competition.

Training must include flexibility, strength and cardiovascular-enhancing activities.

Players must be physically prepared for contact.

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.


Constant visual supervision during initial instruction and practice of contact skills.

Subsequently, 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.

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

  • NCCP Community Sport Coach – Community Initiation/World Rugby Level 1 Course
  • NCCP Competition Coach – Competition Introduction/World Rugby Level 2 Course
  • Accreditation as a NCCP Rugby Learning Facilitator
  • Completion of rugby 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 rugby, having knowledge of the activity (e.g., appropriate skills and progressions) and current safety practices as outlined in the Ontario Physical Education Safety Guidelines.

As of September 1, 2019, one coach must have a minimum certification of NCCP Community Sport Coach – Community Initiation/World Rugby Level 1. This coach must supervise all the contact drills and all the competitions.

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.