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Softball - Lob Ball/Slo Pitch/Three Pitch

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Secondary - Interschool 2018

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.

Wooden bats must not be cracked. All bats must have proper grip.

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

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

Helmets equipped with chin straps must be done up; otherwise, the helmet must fit such that it will stay on the head.

All of the defensive players must wear baseball gloves.

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

The catchers must wear shin protectors, a chest protector and a mask with a throat protector.

The catcher must wear suitable protection for the pelvic area.

Use softballs appropriate to the skill level of the athletes.

The bases must be properly secured.

A safety bag must be used at first base.

Keep all of the equipment not being used 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.

Clothing/Footwear/Jewellery

Appropriate clothing and footwear must be worn. Molded baseball cleats or running shoes 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.

Facilities

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, be free from debris and obstructions, and be well removed from traffic areas and provide safe footing and traction.

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

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.

Goalposts must be padded if in field of play.

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.

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)

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.

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

Players must be physically prepared for contact.

Non-fielding players must be on the bench or in the designated area of bench.

The players 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).

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 away from the screen to avoid dangers of a slipped bat.

A commitment line on the third-base line must be used.

All plays at home plate must be force plays. Tagging at home plate is not permitted.

Players must be instructed to drop or lay the bat down after hitting, not release it during the follow through of the swing.

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

The location of spectators must not present a safety concern.

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); and
  • all non active players must be behind cage, no fielders allowed.

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.

Supervision

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 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.