SPFA Player Safety


To the surprise of many, tackle football is ranked behind 4 other sports in Canada (and the U.S. too, for that matter) for injuries per event. Football is rated fifth in the number and severity of injuries incurred behind Soccer, Baseball, Basketball and Hockey. While Football has been rightly called a collision sport and serious injuries can occur during games and practices, they are truly rare. While on rare occasions ambulances are sometimes seen on the field, it is most often done as a precaution, and these occasions rarely involve a serious injury. That being said, hurts such as bumps and bruises as well as scrapes and cuts are common, everyday occurrences. Be prepared to ice their bruises and bandage their scrapes.

One of the reasons for the safety of the sport is the quality of the equipment. Our teams spend a significant portion of their budgets each year on equipment that is of the utmost quality. This equipment includes NOCSAE certified helmets and a variety of other padding. Often, the equipment is exactly the same as that used by professional players. The obvious exceptions are when the size of the player requires specifically designed equipment for youth football. The teams own their own equipment; unlike other sports, the parents are not required to shell out hundreds of dollars each year for equipment.  Ref:  CDMFA

In terms of safety, SPFA takes the players safety very seriously and it is a priority.  Here are a few ways we do this:

  • All teams must a have 1 or more Sports Trainer(s) attend all practices and games.  We provide all necessary training needed for these team positions!
  • Each Tackle team is provided Sport Trainer 1st Aid kit.  They cost roughly $500-$800/team/season. 
  • All Coaches must be trained in “Safe Contact”.  This is a course that teaches coaches how to coach players to be safe, how to have strong body position going into contact as a tackler and tacklee. Safe Contact teaches safe tackling and blocking techniques along with safety education and awareness.
  • All Coaches/Trainers must be trained in "Making Headway Concussion Smart Course." This is a course that teaches knowledge and skills required to ensure safety of athletes, what is a concussion, prevention of concussions and coming back after a concussion, etc.
  • All Coaches must be trained in the "Making Ethical Decisions" 
  • All Coaches must read, agree and sign the SPFA Coaches Code of Ethics.
  • All Coaches/Trainers/Staff and Executive must have a valid criminal record check done annually. 
  • All Coaches must be trained in "Coaching in Community Sport."
  • All Head Coaches and positional coaches must be trained in Position Coaching courses.
  • Head Coaches and assistant coaches are encouraged and supported to take courses annually for growth and development.
  • All courses are done in the off season and SPFA pays for all coaching courses.  It’s an investment of around $400 per coach/trainer.

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