Drop-In Self-Directed Physical Activities Safety Standards

Drop-in self-directed physical activities (sometimes referred to as an Open Gym) is a menu of school approved intramural activities, planned, organized, and supervised by school staff addressing criteria for safe intramural activities and in a safe environment, where students are free to select and participate in individual and/or group activities.

Drop-in self-directed physical activities organizers must follow the safety standards within this section.

Safety Standards

Parent/Guardian Information/Permission to Participate

Schools must have a process in place on how parents/guardians are informed that Drop-In Self-Directed Physical Activities is available to their children for physical activity participation (for example, information letter to parents/guardians; parent/guardian permission to participate form).

Selection of activities

  • The appropriate safety standards for each intramural activity (elementary, secondary) must be addressed.
  • When introducing an activity/sport (for example, special event or theme-based activity) that is not included in the safety standards, refer to the activity page of the activity/sport it most resembles. When considering an activity/sport that is not included in the Ontario Physical Activity Safety Standards in Education and does not resemble an activity/sport in the Ontario Physical Activity Safety Standards in Education, approval from the appropriate school or school board official must be received prior to running the activity/sport. Once the activity has been approved by a school board official, the inherent risks of the activity must be identified and minimized.
  • The number of participants in the activity area (for example, gymnasium) must not pose a risk or hazard to activities and/or active participants.
  • Safe boundaries or zones of play to avoid interfering with other activities taking place simultaneously must be established.


  • Clothing and Footwear – the minimum requirement for participation is appropriate footwear for the activities in question.
  • Where supervisor observes a type of clothing or jewellery that would be a hazard to the participant or others, accommodations must be made for participation.
  • No spectators allowed.


  • On site supervision
    • Quantitative:
      • Schools must have a process in place to determine the number of supervisors for the activity area, based on:
        • the predetermined number of students allowed to be active in the gymnasium (based on size); and
        • the types of activities offered (no higher risk activities).
    • Qualitative:
      • Supervisors must be familiar with the types of physical activities being offered.