Proper youth sports supervision is of the utmost importance to ensure the safety of your participants and should be taken very seriously. It only takes a few seconds of complacency for an incident or accident to occur.
Here are several things you should be monitoring to provide the best youth sports supervision possible for your participants:
- Monitor the safety of the players before, during and after all games. Ensure your rules, policies and procedures are being followed so the participants are safe while playing their games.
- Check equipment before every game, both on the players and the equipment in use during the game.
- Monitor the conduct of your coaches, parents and referees. Watch the adults’ actions on and around the field constantly to prevent any incidents from occurring, especially if things get heated during a game.
- Whether you have the ability to staff your league or you are a volunteer-run organization, you should have a field monitor on each field and a site supervisor on site at all times. This ensures game play rules are being followed along with your code of conduct to greatly limit the possibility an incident will occur.
- Monitor any staff or volunteers who are scoring the games. They are not just score keepers when they are at the desk, but also the field or court monitors. They are your extra set of eyes when you cannot watch the entire game and need to make sure rules of the game are being followed and expectations are being met on and around the field or court.
- Keep an eye on the playing conditions as the day goes. If you’re outside, look for heavy turf wear, potholes, rocks, irrigation heads etc. that could form throughout the day and pose the safety hazard. If indoors, make sure the court is being swept and there is no debris anywhere on the play area.
- For outdoor events, monitor the weather constantly to ensure safe playing conditions.
- Make rounds throughout the day to check high traffic areas in your facility such as your spectator areas, around concessions and park entrances.
- Keep up with trash and other items on team benches and in the spectator area. Make sure trash and other debris are cleaned up by each team after every game so it doesn’t build up and interfere with your games.
Do everything you can to make sure there are eyes on every aspect of your game days on and around the playing area. The more supervision you provide, the better your game days will go, and the lesser chance an incident will occur. Take supervision seriously and you will have a safe and incident free season.
For more resources on youth sports supervision, view the handout.