Sports Safety

Australian Rules football (AFL) is a physical contact sport that can result in injuries from tackling, kicking, running, hand balling, marking and constant physical competition. Being physically prepared and using the right techniques can help prevent injury.

What is the risk?

Common causes of football injuries are being tackled, collisions with another player, hit by the ball and falls. Injuries to the thigh, knee, lower leg and ankle are the most common non-hospital-treated injuries. Hospital-admitted injuries (which make up 30% of all Australian Football hospital presentations) are usually fractures, sprains or strains affecting the wrists, hands, shoulders, head or face, lower leg and knee.

Who is at risk?

Any student playing AFL, however being physically prepared and using the right techniques can help prevent injury. Also teachers, coaches, spectators can be affected.

Strategies

  • Goal posts must be fitted with appropriate padding
  • Padding should be no less than 2m in length, no less than 35mm high density foam and sufficiently wide to cover the circumference of the posts
  • The playing surface must be level and free of obstructions and loose objects
  • A space of 3m should surround the marked playing area
  • Spectators/reserve players must be positioned well clear of the boundary during the game
  • Wearing a correctly fitted mouthguard during training and competition is strongly recommended
  • Non turf cricket pitches must be adequately covered prior to use of the ground
  • A well-equipped medical kit must be readily available
  • Students should be made aware of the rules relating to marking, tackling and dangerous and illegal play.
     

Basketball is one of the most popular sports in Australia and is enjoyed by players of all ages and skill levels. Basketball is a fast game, with frequent and aggressive body contacts, so injuries can and do occur.

What is the risk?

Basketball is a contact sport that can result in injuries. The most common injuries are due to falls, contact, awkward landings, abrupt changes in direction and being hit by the ball. Common types of injuries are:

  • Injuries to the lower body, mostly ankle sprains
  • Injuries to the hand, fingers, head, face and teeth
  • Knee injuries – females are at higher risk of knee injury than males
  • Overuse injuries – are most common in higher level players due to the duration and intensity of play.
     

Who is at risk?

Anyone participating in a basketball game is at risk of injury including players, umpires and spectators.

Strategies

  • Backboard support posts and walls behind the posts must be padded
  • Soles of sport shoes should have enough grip for the surface on which the game is played
  • A well-equipped medical kit must be readily available
  • Always inspect the court before play, the court surface must be free of obstructions and loose objects
  • The court surface must be dry
  • The surrounds of the court perimeter should have a space clear of any objects or obstacles, e.g. equipment, seating. The minimum buffer zone is recommended to be 2m
  • The boundaries of the court should be clear of spectators and belongings to avoid interfering with the safe movements of players and umpires
  • Warning stickers about the risks of swinging on the basketball ring must be on the backboard (this is now required by law)
  • Always tell children to never hang or swing off the ring.
     

What is the risk?

Serious injury can occur if moveable soccer goals are installed incorrectly or when they are used inappropriately.  There are simple ways to prevent an injury from happening.

Who is at risk?

Any teachers, students, spectators, within close proximity of the soccer goals if incorrectly installed or being used inappropriately.

Strategies

Anchor

Anchor moveable soccer goalposts securely into the ground. It takes 200kilograms to properly anchor a full size portable soccer goalpost which equals:

  • 10 stakes
  • 12 bags of sand.

Check

Check that your moveable soccer goal is anchored correctly:

  • Ensure that there are no children around the goalpost
  • Shake the goalpost using both hands and push it from behind
  • If the goalpost falls, don’t use it until it has been properly secured.

Before every game or training session, test that the moveable soccer goal is properly secured and safe to use.

Respect

  • Ensure that no one climbs, swings or plays on a moveable goalpost
  • Store the moveable goalposts safely when not in use.

Weight Training (or resistance training) is the use of resistance to muscular contraction to build the strength, anaerobic endurance and size of skeletal muscles. Regular, repeated and consistent resistance training results in stronger muscles.

Resistance training can be dangerous if your technique is not right. Before starting any resistance training make sure you have an assessment and program written for your specific needs. Ensure you follow any medical advice and are shown the exercises by a physiotherapist, exercise rehabilitation professional or registered fitness professional.

What is the risk?

Resistance training can be dangerous if your technique is not right. Before starting any resistance training make sure you have an assessment and program written for your specific needs. Start slowly and within your capabilities otherwise injury is likely to occur.

Who is at risk?

Any person undertaking weight training can be at risk of injury.

Strategies

  • Ensure all equipment is checked prior to use
  • Ensure all items of equipment are safe, regularly inspected, repaired and maintained
  • Ensure records of inspections, maintenance and repairs are kept at the school
  • Provide a well-equipped first aid kit, that is easily accessible
  • Students must wear appropriate footwear (e.g. hard soled sports shoes) to ensure a solid footing
  • Layout for different exercises should be carefully planned to avoid congestion
  • Students who lift weights should be monitored closely, with the emphasis on correct form and not on maximum weight or number of lifts
  • Ensure that students do not train alone
  • Instruct students to clear the floor of training equipment which is not in use.