Archery and Clay Target Shooting
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission indicates that archery is one of the safest sports, with an injury rate of less than one incident per 1,000 participants. Common sports like soccer, baseball, and basketball have injury rates 15 to 25 times that of archery. The Archery Trade Association has developed its own Archery Park Guide, covering specific design principles and safety buffers to keep in mind. For example, controlling access by a type of barrier is important, such as a fence or gate; and the use of signage including range rules, procedures, ordinance language, and warnings to public of unsafe areas.
In 2012, the USA High School Clay Target League was incorporated as a non-profit organization geared towards attracting youth shooting throughout the United States, amassing 20,109 participants in 15 states. All students are required to complete and submit certificates from either the league’s approved firearm safety certification program, or a hunter education program.
For information concerning safety, it is advisable to first seek out the safety rules and regulations from the club sport sanctioning body to incorporate into your safety plan. Additionally, the Boy Scouts of America have available resources, including a comprehensive shooting manual.
Recreational Skiing and Aquatics
The involvement of recreational skiing depends on the demographic of the school and transportation. Both snow and water skiing adhere to large amounts of practice or expertise, as this sport club can lead to serious injury. Proper equipment and a helmet are instrumental for safety purposes. Ski resort signage must clearly indicate specific skill levels: beginner, advanced, etc.
Aquatic clubs can be for the competitive swimmer or a fun, social way to get in shape. The instructor should address certifications, such as CPR and lifeguard-certification courses. Aquatic managers must address the principal causes of drowning and how proper safety training is required.
Lifeguards at the pool facility must hold current, valid certification from an aquatic organization (ARC, YMCA, etc.). Facilities must also be equipped with first aid kits and AEDs. Signage should state pool rules and policies. If diving boards are used, they must meet YMCA standards for minimum water depth and distance from the beginning slope of the diving well.
For information concerning safety on skiing, the USA Water Ski Safety Manual provides safety guidance, as well the Canadian Snowsports Association Risk Management Manual. For aquatics, the Boy Scouts of America, YMCA, Red Cross, and other organizations offer excellent aquatic safety guidance for reference.
Safety Considerations and Best Practices
In extracurricular activities, it is important to involve the parent or guardian in the process of execution of waivers of liability. It is prudent risk management for a school to warn of the risk so both students and parents know what risks are being assumed. Risk transfer can be done through waivers of liability and event permission slips.
Waivers of liability for high school sport clubs are legal documents and should involve legal counsel guidance in their creation. They should be issued to each student at the start of each school year or when there is a change in activities. A waiver provides a written record informing and warning participants of the inherent risk of the activity and provides exculpation of simple negligence on the part of the school. It should be important to recognize the language utilized in these documents, as well as the size of the print, can be important. The print should be readable and the wording of the waiver should be clear and unambiguous. Likewise, permission slips are documents the parent or guardian sign in order to allow their student to participate in a school activity or club. They may or may not incorporate waivers of liability, release language, or other risk-transfer language.
Student travel to club sports should factor into the safety of the activity. It should be consistent with school policy, as well as state and federal regulations. If school policy allows staff, parents, guardians, or volunteers to transport students to school-sponsored or -sanctioned events, the school should require the following: