Safe Re-opening of Schools Supports:

for the reopening of schools Ophea will continue to prioritize student safety and provide standards that will meet education's changing needs.

Relay and Tag Games

Elementary - Curricular 2019

  • Consult Risk Management.
  • This activity page must be presented to the activity provider prior to the activity taking place. The activity provider must meet the minimum requirements listed on this page. For more information on planning trips using outside providers, consult Outside Activity Providers.

Equipment

  • Determine that all equipment is safe for use (for example, no sharp corners, cracks, or splinters). Students must be encouraged to report equipment problems to the teacher.
  • If tagging is done with objects, use soft items (for example, foam balls, sponges, rubber chickens).
  • The equipment must not have hard or sharp edges.
  • Pylons or other markers are used to define the activity area.

Refer to the First Aid section for first aid equipment requirements.

Clothing/Footwear/Jewellery

  • Appropriate clothing and footwear must be worn.
  • Hanging jewellery is not permitted.
  • When long hair poses a safety risk it must be secured. Devices (for example, hair pins, elastics 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 teacher.
  • Playing surface and surrounding area must be free of all obstacles and must provide safe footing and traction.
  • Communicate to students the boundary lines for the activity.
  • There must be adequate space for all participants.
  • All doors in and out of the playing area must be closed for tag games.
  • 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 (for example, line or pylon) must be designated and be properly identified.
  • When running takes place off school site for a warm up:
    • Teachers must do a safety check ‘walk through’ in order to identify potential problems prior to initial use of route or course.
    • Teachers must outline to the students the route or course (for example, notice of areas to approach with caution) before the start of the run.
    • Teachers must determine that students are not crossing busy intersections unless directly supervised.

Outdoor Relay and Tag Games

  • Immovable hazards (for example, goalposts) must be identified to students and marked with pylons.

  • Holes, hazards (for example, 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 participating students. Teacher must notify principal/designate of unsafe field conditions.

Environmental Considerations

  • When environmental conditions may pose a risk to student safety (for example, 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 Weather); and
    • insects (for example, 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 (for example, 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 (for example, outside activity providers, facility/program coordinators), the higher standard of care must be followed.

Special Rules/Instructions

  • Be aware of students whose medical condition (for example, asthma, anaphylaxis, casts, previous concussion, orthopaedic device) may affect participation. Consult Medical Conditions.
  • Students must not participate in the activity until they receive information on concussion prevention specific to the activity, inherent risks of the activity (for example, 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.
  • Activities must be modified according to the age, ability level, language, and experience of students and the facility available.
  • Previous training, fitness level, and the length of time and intensity of physical activity must be taken into consideration.
  • Activities must be based on skills that are taught.
  • Skills must be taught in proper progression.
  • A proper warm-up and cool-down must be included.
  • While moving, students must not be required to close their eyes or be blind-folded.
  • Emphasize controlled movement when requiring students to walk or run backwards. Backward-running races are not permitted.
  • When appropriate, where more than one person is a tagger (“it”) a moveable identification is to be used.
  • In games where participants as permitted to block the player who is attempting the tag (for example, triangle tag and train tag) the tagging player is not to make intentional contact to move the blockers out of the way or reach through the blockers to make the tag. But rather move around the blockers in order to make the tag.
  • The blockers are not to intentionally make contact with the tagger with their bodies, arms or legs, but rather to move in front of the tagger, to block access, so the tagger has to go around the blocker.
  • Clearly define areas of the body that can be tagged (for example, arms, legs, back).
  • Inform students that a tag is a touch, not a push, grab or punch.
  • Games must be played at a speed that is appropriate for the activity /area chosen (for example, walk briskly, rather than run, when playing tag games in areas with limited space, such as multi-purpose rooms).
  • In tag games where participants are “frozen” and required to perform an activity, provide a safe zone where this activity can take place, away from others who are running or inform students of the importance of avoiding contact with a “frozen” participant.
  • When a student displays hesitation (verbally or non-verbally) with participating, the teacher must determine the reason(s) for doubt. If the teacher believes that a potential hesitancy during the skill could put the student at risk, the student must be directed toward a more basic skill, or be permitted to select a challenge at their comfort level, including the choice to not participate.
  • Students with Special Needs: Prior to participation the teacher must address student's safety concerns and make appropriate accommodations/modifications to provide a safe learning environment.
  • Adequate liquid replacement (personal water bottles, water fountains) must be accessible for students before, during, and after physical activity to prevent dehydration.

Relays

  • Running backwards (students must be taught to turn and run forward when fleeing) is not allowed.
  • Participants in a relay must have their own lane.
  • Be aware of increased risk with oversized apparel or tying legs together.
  • Walls and doors must not be used for turning points or finish lines. Designate a safety or slow down zone (for example, using pylons or a line).

Supervision

  • All activities must be supervised.
  • On-site supervision is required.
  • The level of supervision must be commensurate with the inherent risk of the activity. The level of risk increases with the number of participants, the skill level of the participants, and the type of equipment used.
  • A volunteer could assist in the supervision of physical education activities. Examples of volunteers are educational assistants, retired teachers, co-op students, parents/guardians, early childhood educators, and teacher candidates. Refer to your school board’s policy regarding volunteers. These volunteers must be accompanied by a supervisor.
  • 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.

First Aid

  • A working communication device (for example, cell phone) must be accessible.
  • Follow the school's first aid emergency response (consult First Aid Plan and First Aid Emergency Response) and the school board’s concussion protocol (consult Concussions).
  • An emergency action plan and response to deal with evacuations and lock downs must be followed and communicated to students.

Definitions

  • Constant Visual Supervision:
    • Constant visual supervision means that the teacher is physically present, watching the activity in question. Only one activity requiring “Constant visual” supervision may take place while other activities are going on.
    • Curricular example: During a track and field session, some students are involved in high jump, some are practising relay passing on the track while a third group is distance running around the school. For high jump, the teacher is at the high jump area and is observing the activity.
    • Intramural example: During a school outdoor special events day, some students are involved in parachute games, some in relay games, and others in a team scavenger hunt around the school. For parachute, the intramural supervisor is at the event and is observing activity.
  • In-charge Person:
    • Some activities refer to an “In-Charge” person. While the teacher is in-charge and responsible for the overall safety and well-being of students under their care, sometimes there are other personnel who must be identified as “In-Charge” related to specific situations (for example, a pool lifeguard). In activities where an “In-Charge” person is designated, that person, in consultation with the teacher, must make final decisions regarding safety of the students
  • In-the-area Supervision:
    • In-the-area supervision means that the teacher could be in the gymnasium while another activity is taking place in an area adjacent to the gymnasium. In-the-area supervision requires the teacher to be readily accessible.
    • In-the-area supervision occurs:
      • in activities in which students may be out of sight for periods of time and the location of the teacher is not nearby (for example, alpine skiing, cross-country running). At least one of the following criteria must be in place:
        • The teacher is circulating
        • The location of teacher has been communicated to students and volunteers
      • in single activities and those that may be combined (for example, other in- the- area activities such as badminton, table tennis, handball – wall) with the following criteria in place:
        • The teacher must be circulating between the activities and readily accessible
        • The teacher informs students of the location of the activities
    • Curricular example: During a track and field session, some students are involved in high jump, some are practising relay passing on the track while a third group is distance running around the school. For distance running, the students are running around the school and at times may be out of sight.
    • Intramural example: During a school outdoor special events day, some students are involved in parachute games, some in relay games, and others in a team scavenger hunt around the school. For a scavenger hunt, the students are running around the school grounds and at times may be out of sight.
  • On-site Supervision:
    • On-site supervision entails teacher presence but not necessarily constantly viewing one specific activity. Momentary presence in adjoining rooms (for example, equipment room) to the gym is considered part of “on-site supervision”.
    • Curricular example: During a track and field session, some students are involved in high jump, some are practising relay passing on the track while a third group is distance running around the school. For a relay, the students are practising on the track and can be seen by the teacher who is with the high jumpers.
    • Intramural example: During a school outdoor special events day, some students are involved in parachute games, some in relay games, and others in a team scavenger hunt around the school. For relay games, the students are participating on the playground and can be seen by the intramural supervisor.
  • Supervision:
    • The vigilant overseeing of an activity for regulation or direction. Activities, facilities, and equipment have inherent risks, but the more effectively they are supervised, the safer they become.
    • The Ontario Physical Activity Safety Standards in Education designate three categories of supervision, Constant visual supervision, On-site supervision, and In-the-area supervision. The categories take into consideration the risk level of the activity, the participants’ skill level and the participants’ maturity. The three levels of supervision described are not hierarchical but represent the type of supervision that an activity requires and the type of supervision that is inherently possible.
  • Supervisor:
    • A supervisor is defined as a teacher, vice-principal or principal with a current certification from the Ontario College of Teachers and under contract by the school/school board. The supervisor is legally responsible for the students.

Tue, 08/20/19 12:56 pm

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