Terms of Use

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.

I Agree

Swimming and Synchronized Swimming

Print

Secondary - Interschool 2018

Higher Risk Activity

Consult the Outdoor Education - Swimming page for swimming in lakes, ponds and rivers.

For Class A pools.

All pools are governed by the Ontario Public Pools Regulation 565. Sections of this regulation have been highlighted, as they are of the utmost importance for the safety of students as they participate in swimming programs.

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.

Must have accessibility to standard safety equipment as stated in Ontario Public Pools Regulation 565.

Electrical equipment (e.g., MP3 players) must be properly grounded.

Clothing/Footwear/Jewellery

Appropriate clothing 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.

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

Backyard pools must not be used.

Use school or community swimming pools.

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

Pool deck must be kept clear of obstacles and excess water.

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)

Inform in-charge person on deck of any student with a medical history or any medical problems that may affect the student’s safety in water (e.g., diabetes, asthma, heart condition, convulsions, epilepsy, frequent ear infections).

Students with infected cuts or sores must not be in the pool.

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.

Emergency procedures must be outlined to students prior to entering the water.

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.

Students must adhere to the following rules:

  • no running or pushing on deck
  • no gum chewing
  • no food in pool area
  • no diving off deck or blocks into water less than 2.75m (9’) in depth
  • no street shoes on deck

Skill instruction can be followed by skill application (for example, relay activities, tag games which incorporate skills). This is considered to be part of the instructional program – not recreational/free swim.

Instructional swim may include organized games (for example, relays) but cannot include an unorganized recreational/free swim.

Showers must be taken before entering the pool.

During recreational swim, students must not use a mask, snorkel or use scuba equipment.

Teachers acting as aquatic instructor and/or lifeguard/assistant lifeguard must be knowledgeable of school board’s procedures for emergency, accident or injury in pool. O. Reg. 565, July 1, 2018 17 (1)

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 Shallow and Deep Water

An initial screening/testing of swimming ability must be done in shallow end.

Schools must adhere to the facility swim test standard regarding the components of the swim test for shallow and deep water. If a facility swim test standard does not exist, the Lifesaving Society Swim to Survive swim standard must be used.

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

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

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 compete.

Supervision

On-site supervision is required.

A coach or other school supervisor must accompany pupils to the pool, and be on deck or in the pool.

Close and frequent monitoring of change rooms must take place, but not by the lifeguard.

Athletes must notify coach/in-charge person if leaving pool area.

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 swimming coach must possess one of the following coaching qualifications:

  • NCCP Community Sport Coach – Fundamentals Coach (Swimming 101) course
  • NCCP Competition Coach – Age Group Coach (Swimming 201) Course
  • Accreditation as a NCCP Swimming Learning Facilitator
  • Completion of swimming’s 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 swimming 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.

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

  • NCCP Instruction Coach – Instructor Course
  • NCCP Competition Coach – Competition Introduction Course
  • Accreditation as a NCCP Swimming Learning Facilitator
  • Completion of synchronized swimming’s 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 synchronized swimming 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

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 16 (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:

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

A student may not act as a lifeguard if they are participating in the activity.

Supervision Ratios for the Swim Test for Shallow and Deep Water

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

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 Recreational Time (Free Swim – No Instruction)

According to Ontario Public Pools Regulation 565, during a recreational/free swim, a certified lifeguard is required. Aquatic instructor certification and OTAS do not meet the safety requirements of the regulation.

When certified lifeguards are on deck, the minimum ratio of lifeguards to bathers on deck and in the pool is:

  • 2 lifeguards per 1-125 bathers. If the teacher is a certified lifeguard, they may act as one of the two lifeguards, and therefore a third person is not necessary.
  • 3 lifeguards per 126-250 bathers. If the teacher is a certified lifeguard they may act as one of the three lifeguards, and therefore a fourth person is not necessary.

When certified lifeguards and assistant lifeguards are on deck the minimum ratio of lifeguards and assistant lifeguards to bathers on deck and in the pool is:

  • 2 lifeguards or 1 lifeguard and 1 assistant lifeguard per 1-100 bathers. If the teacher is a certified assistant lifeguard/lifeguard, they may act with a lifeguard, and therefore a third person is not necessary.
  • 3 lifeguards or 2 lifeguards and 1 assistant lifeguard per 101-200 bathers. If the teacher is a certified assistant lifeguard/lifeguard, they may act with two lifeguards, and therefore a fourth person is not necessary.

The number of assistant lifeguards may never exceed the number of lifeguards on deck.

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.