Skiing (Alpine)

Secondary - Interschool 2023

High Risk Activity

  • 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.
  • Consult curricular Fitness Activities and curricular Weight Training when involving participants in weight training and/or training and fitness development activities.


  • 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 coach.
  • Protective equipment must not be altered (for example, cutting a portion off the back of mouth guards).
  • Students must check all equipment prior to use and report concerns to coach.
  • In practice and competition, students must wear: a properly fitted (as per manufacturer’s guidelines) and properly worn hard shell crash helmets (designed for Giant Slalom alpine ski racing) which provide complete head protection (front and back) and full ear protection. Fédération Internationale de Ski (FIS) approved slalom helmets with a chin guard attached to the helmet and bearing the following certification codes (ASTM F2040, CEN 1077, or Snell S98)
  • When renting equipment, the facility operator must provide:
    • skis and poles appropriate for the size and ability of the student;
    • skis with edges and bases must be in good condition;
    • an inspection and adjustment of boots and bindings by a knowledgeable equipment technician on-site;
    • snow sport helmets that are in good condition and are certified by a recognized safety standards organization (for example, ASTM F2040, CEN 1077, Snell RS 98);
    • a check that rental helmets are properly fitted (as per manufacturer’s guidelines) and properly worn.
  • There must be a functioning, reliable communication system covering the course.

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


  • Appropriate clothing and footwear for outdoor activity must be worn (for example, use layering principles, hats, mitts or gloves). (“Comfort Tips” guidelines within the Safety and Risk Awareness section of the Ontario Snow Resorts Association website can assist skiers in determining appropriate clothing for a comfortable outdoor snow sport activity.) Long scarves are not permitted.
  • 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 General Safety Standards for Clothing, Footwear, and Jewellery 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 (for example, hair pins, elastics and barrettes) used to tie back long hair must not present a safety concern.
  • Students must not participate when the length of fingernails poses a safety risk to themselves or others.


  • Determine that all facilities are safe for use. Students must be encouraged to report facility problems to the coach.
  • Only commercially operated ski facilities with suitable teaching areas must be used.
  • The facility provider must define skiing area to the students so they are aware of the boundaries and hazards for the activity.
  • Course poles must be full-length breakaway style, and in good repair.
  • Race course must be set by experienced, qualified course-setter.
  • Course must be away from dangerous obstacles.
  • Safety walls, nets or barriers must be placed where required.
  • There must be a clear run-out at the end of the course.
  • When running takes place off school site for a warm up, conditioning run and/or is an integral part of the activity:
    • 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 (for example, 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.

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), coaches must take into consideration their school board/school’s protocols and procedures related to:
    • environmental conditions (consult Weather); and
    • snow conditions (for example, snow/ice storms) and visibility.
  • Students must receive instruction on safety procedures related to environmental conditions and be made aware of ways to protect themselves (for example, frostbite, hypothermia).
  • The school board’s weather procedures are the minimum standards at all times. 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.
  • Prior to participation students must receive concussion information through the appropriate Ministry of Education’s Concussion Awareness Resource or the school board approved concussion resources. Students must also receive information on:
    • the Concussion Code of Conduct;
    • concussion prevention strategies specific to the activity and inherent risks of the activity (that is, outline possible risks and ways to minimize the risks);
    • procedures and rules for safe play; and
    • the importance of reporting symptoms related to a suspected concussion.
  • Students must confirm their review of the concussion awareness resource and Concussion Code of Conduct prior to participation.
  • Refer to school board policies and procedures (i.e., transportation, excursion/field trip) for communication with parents/guardians, the location of an off-site activity, means of transportation, supervision ratios, and parent/guardian permission.
  • 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.
  • Emphasize controlled movement when requiring students to walk or run backwards. Backward-running races are not permitted.
  • When involved in practice drills, students must not be required to close their eyes or be blindfolded.
  • 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.
  • Students must be informed that they are not to share water bottles.
  • Proper racing techniques must be taught prior to competition.
  • Students must be taught the importance of skiing in control at all times.
  • Students must ski in areas identified as appropriate by the qualified instructor.
  • Communicate to students the importance of being aware of the location of other skiers, around them, to avoid interference and collisions.
  • Parents/guardians must be informed of the school board’s policy related to initiation/hazing activities.
  • The presence and location of spectators must not present a safety concern. A school is responsible for supervising its own spectators. The ratio of supervisor to spectators must address safety concerns.


  • All activities must be supervised.
  • The level of supervision must be commensurate with the inherent risk of the activity. The level of risk is related to the number of participants, the skill level of the participants, the type of equipment used, and environmental conditions.
  • In-the-area supervision is required.
  • Certified Alpine Officials must preside over all racing competitions.
  • Members of a recognized ski patrol must patrol the area and be present on the course when a race is in progress.
  • As a minimum the designated coach liaison will provide in-the-area supervision for all practices, games, and competitions.
  • When a school team is travelling outside of their school district, a coach liaison from the same school/school district must accompany the team, must be accessible and at least one of the following criteria must be in place:
    • coach liaison is visible;
    • coach liaison is circulating on the same site;
    • location of coach liaison is at the same location and whereabouts is known;
    • if a coach is a high school student and under the age of 18, the coach liaison must be visible at all times.
  • Consult school board and local athletic association rules and regulations with regard to coach and coach liaison duties and adhere to the higher standard of care.


  • Game/match official(s) must be certified and/or experienced in officiating the sport.
  • 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 Coaches Expectations.
  • At least one alpine skiing coach must possess one of the following coaching qualifications:
    • NCCP Instruction Coach – Entry Level Course
    • NCCP Competition – Development Level Course
    • Completion of alpine skiing NCCP level 1 and/or level 2 certification in the past.
    • Accreditation as a NCCP Alpine Skiing Learning Facilitator
    • Attendance at a clinic or workshop within the last three years provided by an instructor who is knowledgeable of the activity (for example, appropriate skills and progressions), and where safety is addressed as outlined in the Ontario Physical Activity Safety Standards in Education (OPASSE)
    • Past experience within the last 3 years as a coach in alpine skiing having knowledge of the activity (for example, appropriate skills and progressions) and current safety practices as outlined in the Ontario Physical Activity Safety Standards in Education.
  • For more information on sport-specific NCCP training please visit

First Aid

  • A working communication device (for example, cell phone) must be accessible.
  • The individual who takes responsibility for providing first aid to injured students must:
    • as a minimum, have a current first aid certification from a recognized first aid provider (for example, 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;
    • be aware of the school's first aid emergency action plan and follow their first aid emergency response (consult First Aid Plan and First Aid Emergency Response);
    • follow their school board's concussion protocol for a suspected concussion; and
    • not be a participant in the activity.

Information for Parents/Guardians

  • Parents/guardians must be informed:
    • that their child/ward must wear a properly fitted (as per manufacturer’s guidelines) and properly worn snow sport helmet certified by a recognized safety standards organization (for example, ASTM F2040, CEN 1077, Snell S98) as appropriate for skiing
    • that when their child/ward uses their own personal equipment or borrows equipment:
      • of the importance of instructing their child/ward on how to wear their helmet properly
      • an equipment inspection by a knowledgeable equipment technician must take place prior to the activity to ensure:
        • skis and poles are appropriate for the size and ability of the student
        • all bindings are in working order and set to the proper tension
        • all bindings meet current manufacturer’s guidelines
        • boots and bindings are compatible

Information for Students

  • Prior to the competitions review the following with students:
    • A properly fitted (as per manufacturer’s guidelines) and properly worn snow sport helmet certified by a recognized safety standards association (for example. ASTM F2040, CEN 1077, Snell S98) as appropriate for skiing must be worn
    • Students must receive instruction on safety procedures related to environmental conditions and be made aware of ways to protect themselves (for example, frostbite, hypothermia)
    • Safety procedures related to cold weather conditions (for example, temperature, wind chill) and methods for preventing frost bite and hypothermia
    • Selection of proper clothing for the weather of the day
    • The Alpine Responsibility Code found in the Safety and Risk Awareness section of the Ontario Snow Resort Association website
    • Lift use guidelines


  • Coach:
    • Any individual approved by the principal or designate (consult Coaches Expectations). All new coaches must go through an approval process by school administrator/designate to determine the coach’s knowledge, experience and, where appropriate, qualifications (for example, higher risk sports) to safely coach the sport.
  • Coach Liaison:
    • A teacher, principal, or vice-principal with a current certification from the Ontario College of Teachers and under contract by the school/school board. Consult Coaches Expectations for more information.
  • Supervision:
    • The vigilant overseeing of a sport for regulation or direction. All facilities, equipment, and sports 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.
  • Types of Supervision:
    • Constant visual supervision:
      • The coach is physically present, watching the activity in question. Only one activity requiring “Constant visual” supervision may take place while other activities are going on.
      • For example, during a track and field practice, some students are involved in high jump, some in relay, and others in distance running. For high Jump, the coach is at the event and is observing the activity.
    • In-the-area Supervision:
      • The coach could be in the gymnasium while another activity is taking place in an area adjacent to the gymnasium. In-the-area supervision requires the coach to be readily accessible.
      • For example, In-the-area supervision occurs:
        • in activities in which students may be out of sight for periods of time and the location of the coach is not nearby (for example, alpine skiing, cross-country running). At least one of the following criteria must be in place:
          • The coach is circulating
          • The location of the coach 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 coach must be circulating between the activities and readily accessible
          • The coach informs the students of the location of the activities
    • On-site Supervision:
      • Entails coach 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”.
      • For example, during a track and field practice, some students are involved in high jump, some in relay, and others in distance running. For the relay, students are participating on the track/field and can be seen by the coach.

Mon, 10/30/23 11:51 am

Question Mark

Ask Ophea

Have questions? Fill out our Ask Ophea webform.