Sports policies and the sports environment are extremely important to promote safe participation on an athlete, by ensuring these factors are optimal, the chance of injury can be avoided, thereby promoting safe participation.
The rules or laws that govern an organisation are in place to protect all participants and spectators. Clubs generally have a set of rules and regulations, which often include the club’s constitution In case of injury; the sports organisation must have appropriate first aid facilities and an insurance policy, which covers both the individual and the sports organisation. first aid facilities allow quick treatment of any injuries to promote safe participation.
The grounds and facilities must be safe for all players. This effectively reduces the risk of many injuries and provides support for the players in the care of an injury. The grounds must be well lit, such as with good lights, so that competitors have clear vision. The grounds must be clear from obstruction to prevent injury. For example, potholes may cause a player to fall over and fracture their ankle. Filling these potholes will promote safe participation. Some reasons why grounds might be inadequate may be due to financial limitations.
Where children are concerned, applying simplified or modified rules will contribute to a more enjoyable safer and satisfactory sporting experience. The emphasis is on fun and promoting participation rather than competition. For example, as children cannot focus for as long and become fatigued more easily, using smaller fields and shorter games will contribute promoting safe participation, similarly providing more breaks limit risk or overheating. An example of a modified sport is Netta Netball. Netta Netball is a modified version of netball, some of the rules that accommodate participation for children include; reduced height in the goal post, 8 feet instead of 10 feet, which makes it easier to shoot goals. Shorter quarters, 4×10 minute quarters rather than 4×15 minute quarters which reduce fatigue. More time to pass the ball, 6 seconds rather than 3 seconds, which makes it easier to pass the ball.
Sports policy must also enforce or encourage the use of appropriate protective equipment. The playing equipment needs regular checks and must be suitable for the size of the player. For example, a cricket helmet must be free of cracks and a suitable size for the athlete. Protective equipment can often soften blows to reduce the risk or injury. Ill-fitted equipment may cause discomfort for players and this increases the risk of injury. For example supportive and cushioned shoes for runners will reduce the risk of injuries such as shin splints. Mouth guards are frequently used to protect teeth and the jaw in sports such as, boxing, rugby league and hockey or any other sport where there is a possibility of getting hit in the face.
The rules and competition structures must also be modified based on the skill level, growth and development. This effectively promotes safe participation as it decreases the risk of injury. Mentally athletes are more positive when playing against people of their own size. There are certain sports such as rugby union, which promote ‘weight for age’ competitions, where players compete under weight categories to promote safe participation associated with size contact. Combat sports such as boxing an judo are also examples where competitors are based on weight category.
University/College: University of Arkansas System
Type of paper: Thesis/Dissertation Chapter
Date: 19 December 2016
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