The 'Health and Safety Management Strategies' below are ideas and standards for ensuring a safe and enjoyable environment for all Lakehill members. Coaches, parents and players should familiarise themselves with these strategies, and strive to abide by them as much as possible.
- Fields closures: Grass fields will be closed if the surface is saturated, and the turf field will be closed if there is standing water. The decision to close fields is not taken lightly and done with player safety in mind, and coaches should adhere to these policies.
- Turf temperature: The artificial turf often reaches excessively high temperatures during the spring and summer. In these situations, ample water breaks should be given, and activities should be moved to the grass fields if necessary.
- Washrooms: The facility has washrooms available in the building, and players should be made aware of the locations and encouraged to use them before practices/games begin. Also, due to soccer being both an outdoor and a contact sport, the importance of washing hands regularly should be emphasised.
- Lighting: Appropriate lighting is necessary to ensure the safety of the players, and the lights can be turned on between the hours of 4:00pm-10:00pm. The light switches are located on the outside of the building and do not require a key.
- Hanging on the goals: The goalposts are not designed to support human weight, and could fall over and cause serious injury, so there should no hanging on the cross bar of goals at any time.
- Use the gates: Nobody should be jumping over the fence to enter or exit the facility, and should be using the nearest gate to do so.
- Meeting point: Coaches or managers should designate a time and point of meeting for all practices and games. This is especially necessary at away games and unfamiliar venues.
Equipment & Apparel
- Turf & Grass footwear: Depending on the surface being used, players must wear the appropriate footwear. Turf footwear does not offer the same benefits on grass, and could cause injuries to both the person wearing them as well as other players.
- Clothing: The variation of weather can be fairly extreme, and appropriate clothing is necessary when playing outdoors. Clothing such as long sleeves, multiple layers and gloves in the cold, and lighter clothing in the heat are strongly encouraged.
- Jewelry & Watches: Players should not be wearing watches or any hard material bracelets on their wrists, as this can cause injuries to both the person wearing them as well as other players. Likewise, no necklaces or hanging earrings should be worn during practices, and no jewelry is allowed whatsoever in the games.
- Shoe laces: Shoe laces should be tied at all times as it is a serious tripping/falling concern to both the individual as well as other players. Any player with an untied shoe lace should be removed from the activity and have their laces tied on the outside of the area.
- Shin pads: Shin pads are required during game play and should also be worn during practices. The shin pads do not prevent serious injury but are necessary to minimise risk during collisions and accidental or incidental contact.
- Goalkeeper gloves: Players “in goal” should use goalkeeper gloves. These gloves protect the player’s wrists and fingers, and will also ensure the player is not too scared to block the ball from hitting other parts of their body.
- Casts/Braces: Players wearing “hard” casts wishing to practice should make adjustments(e.g. bubble wrap) in order to minimise risk of injury to others. These casts are not allowed during games, and any alteration or attempt to play will be at the discretion of the referee.
- Concussion helmets: Players with a history of concussion must wear a “helmet” or “protective head guard”. These players should only be involved once they have been cleared to play from the appropriate medical professional.
Practice & Games
- Practice areas: Team practice areas should be coned off by the coaches before the session begins and the players made aware of their boundaries. Different teams should also not be using the same boundary line as players from both teams are in danger of colliding with each other as they near or cross these lines.
- Practice area hazards: Playing areas should be kept clear of all unnecessary/miscellaneous items not being used such as: pinnies, balls, water bottles and clothing. Apart from simply interfering with the activities, these items are serious tripping hazards.
- Goalposts: Metal goals not being used in an activity should be moved away from the practice/game area beforehand. Players are in danger of colliding with the goals during these activities, and they should be at least two yards(six feet) outside of the designated area.
- Activities/Games: The variation of weather can be fairly extreme, and coaches should strive to both provide and manage the appropriate activities. There should be no long lines or excessive standing - especially in the colder weather - and ample rest and water breaks should be given in the warmer weather.
- Gates: Coaches should ensure that any gates next to the practice/game area remain closed. This will stop unplanned exits from players and soccer balls, as well as keep out extraneous distractions – such as pets or parents(as is club policy).
- Hydration: It is very important for players to remain well hydrated during practices and games. Drinking water is necessary for tissue hydration, and helps to prevent dehydration, muscle cramps and fatiguing too quickly. Every player should bring a water bottle to the field, and there is a water fountain on-site if required.
- First Aid Kits: Every team has been given a basic "First Aid" package with their equipment which includes ice packs and band-aids. Please ensure these kits are stored well and are present at all practices and games, and if anything additional is required please contact the club.
- Safe practices: To minimise the chance of injuries, coaches should implement rules during practice, such as eliminating slide tackles. Likewise, to minimise the risk of concussions(especially at the younger ages), activities where the ball is kept on the ground as much as possible are strongly encouraged.
- Player pick-up: A coach or team representative must ensure that all of their team’s players are picked up by a parent/guardian before leaving the facility. If the parent/guardian is not present within a reasonable amount of time after the practice/game, the coach/team rep is encouraged to contact them by phone.