Most of us have experienced the thrill that comes with a new sports season. The idea of playing or watching the sport you love is magical, and it is easy to overlook the small details that are crucial to safety and success. While athletic performance is important, the more important aspect is athlete safety and that can often go overlooked in the excitement that accompanies the new season.
As a coach, administrator, athletic director, or parent, you are often in charge of ensuring the areas are ready to go. Here, you will find a basic checklist you can use to ensure your facilities are prepared for the excitement that is bound to come.
1. Understand and ensure proper training: Each school district or organized sport has its own safety regulations and proper training in place to ensure athletes stay safe during the season. All supervisors should complete training so they are prepared for any scenario.
2. Understand the legal aspects: As there are regulations with each district and sport, there are also laws that ensure proper protocol is met. Some of these laws cover proper equipment and safety regulations, as well as ensure the proper treatment of athletes.
3. Know your facilities: As the person in charge, you are responsible for the safety of others. In order to fully accomplish this, you should be familiar with any potential hazards in your athletic facilities and take action to remedy them. It could be anything from a hole on the playing field, to a loose floorboard, or the lack of proper wall and equipment padding.
4. Check your equipment: Before each season begins, you should ensure that all equipment is in good working condition to prevent injuries, including wall pads. If wall pads are damaged, they should be fixed immediately to ensure player safety.
5. Ensure fan safety: While fans are usually not in harm’s way, it is important to make sure they are as safe as possible. This can range from making sure fans are not too close to the action, to putting padding on the edge of the bleachers and score tables, as well as putting up bleacher covers so children cannot get underneath and risk being injured.
6. Don’t try to fix it yourself: Unless you are certified to fix equipment or safety features, don’t do it. Playing the handyman and trying to fix things yourself without proper knowledge could potentially do more harm than good if your solution fails.
7. Ensure athletes have proper equipment: Each athlete should have equipment that fits them properly so they do not sustain an injury due to failed equipment. Investing in new equipment to meet ever-changing standards could be the key to reducing injuries.
8. Keep an eye on your athletes: Athletes should always be made aware of anything in the facility that could be of harm to them. If you are waiting for a company to come in and fix equipment or wall mats, it is vital to the players’ safety for them to avoid the area.
9. Invest in emergency equipment: In case of an emergency, whether it be that of an athlete, fan, or coach, each facility should have the proper equipment or plans laid out. Proper safety plans, such as an evacuation plan, and equipment, such as a fire extinguisher or AED machine, very well may save a life in an emergency.
10. If something needs improved, don’t hesitate: Always trust your gut when it comes to the safety of your athletes and fans. The potential cost of not having the proper equipment is greater than the monetary cost of upgrading.
To learn how SportsGraphics can help keep your athletes and fans safe in the upcoming season, contact us today on our message page, or give us a call at 800-257-6405.