Nova Scotia Curling considers the safety of our youngest athletes to be the utmost priority. We recognize the need for all sport governing bodies to play a stronger role in protecting athletes and coaches. We are working diligently to ensure that our rules and policies align with Safe Sport movement from the Coaching Association of Canada.
Click on the boxes below to read more from Nova Scotia Curling regarding Concussions, Helmets, the Responsible Coaching Movement. We encourage all athletes, parents, coaches, and program administrators to review this information and resources as we all work together to provide a safer environment.
While throwing rocks at houses is a lot of fun, the combination of slippery ice and granite rocks can lead to falls, accidents, collisions and in some cases, concussions. Concussions can occur while participating in any sport or recreational activity, including Curling. A concussion is a brain injury that cannot be seen on routine X-rays, CT scans, or MRIs. It affects the way an athlete may think and remember things, and can cause a variety of symptoms. A reminder that an athlete doesn’t need to blackout (lose consciousness) to have had a concussion. As a coach or administrator, when dealing with a suspected concussion, your actions in the immediate aftermath play a huge role in the successful recovery of that athlete.
What to do if you suspect an athlete has a concussion? (From the Parachute Concussion Series)
- In all suspected cases of concussion, the athlete should stop playing right away. Continuing to play increases their risk of more severe, longer-lasting concussion symptoms, as well as increases their risk of other injury.
- The athlete should not be left alone and should be seen by a doctor as soon as possible that day. They should not drive.
- If the athlete loses consciousness, call an ambulance to take them to the hospital right away. Do not move them or remove any equipment such as a helmet.
- The athlete should not return to play the same day.
How can I recognize the symptoms of a concussion?
- We encourage all coaches to use (and carry with them) the Pocket Concussion Recognition Tool.
The Coaching Association of Canada has a great and FREE e-Learning module regarding concussions. Click here for a link to the module. As a bonus, coaches will receive 5 PD points upon completion.
Our partners at Curling Canada have established a Return to Play Policy if an athlete has suspected. This policy is in effect at all our Provincial Championships and we encourage all our member clubs to adopt this policy as well. Click here to review the full document.
Curling Canada recommends the of helmets by novice curlers, or curlers who are at high risk of falling. The Nova Scotia Curling Association recommends this as well, in addition to our own helmet policy. We mandate that all competitors under the age of twelve (12) years must wear an appropriate helmet on-ice at all NSCA sanctioned events and championships. To review the policy in full and see which helmet standards are approved, please click here.
Responsible Coaching Movement
The Responsible Coaching Movement (RCM) is a multi-phase system-wide movement, coordinated by the Coaching Association of Canada and the Canadian Centre for Ethics in Sport. As of September 1, 2019, the Nova Scotia Curling Association has pledged to align our practices with Phase 1 of the Responsible Coaching Movement and is committed to ensuring that our athletes and coaches are protected. There are three areas of focus for Phase 1 of the RCM. They are:
- Rule of Two
- Ethics Training
- Background Screening
Rule of Two
This rule serves to protect athletes, especially a minor athlete, in potentially vulnerable situations by ensuring that more than one adult is present. The Rule of Two states that there will always be two screened and NCCP trained or certified coaches with an athlete, especially a minor athlete, when in a potentially vulnerable situation. This means that any one-on-one interaction between a coach and an athlete must take place within earshot and view of the second coach, with the exception of medical emergencies. One of the coaches must also be of the same gender as the athlete. Should there be a circumstance where a second screened and NCCP trained or certified coach is not available, a volunteer, parent, or adult can be recruited. In Curling, this can be met by having a parent remain behind the glass during a practice or practicing at the same time as a another team on a separate sheet of ice.
Vulnerable situations can include closed doors meetings, travel, and training environments amongst others. Click here or visit: https://nscurl.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/11/Rule-of-two-infographic.pdf for a helpful infographic explaining the Rule of Two and various ways to ensure the rule is being met.
Ethics training prepares coaches to effectively handle situations that arise from ethical dilemmas or even legal challenges that concern individuals, teams, and their organization.
Ethics training includes the Make Ethical Decisions module within the National Coaching Certification Program (NCCP), as well as training in abuse and harassment prevention, such as Respect in Sport, which can be taken before and during their coaching career. By successfully completing the NCCP Make Ethical Decisions (MED) training, coaches will be fully equipped to handle ethical situations with confidence. NCCP Make Ethical Decisions training helps coaches identify the legal, ethical, and moral implications of difficult situations that present themselves in the world of team and individual sport.
We encourage all coaches to take this NCCP module. Coaches who are Competition Coach Trained or Certified have already undergone this module.
- For more information on the module, click here.
- For more information on when and where the module is being offered by Coach Nova Scotia, click here.
Background screening ensures that coaches meet the important requirements to coach athletes. All those coaching and volunteering with youth under the age of eighteen must have a current Criminal Records Check. Once current checks are submitted, they are considered valid for a duration of three years. In addition, everyone coaching youth under the age of sixteen, must have a current Child Abuse Registry Check completed.
For coaches in rural areas, please click here for an endorsement letter. This letter can be used to potentially receive a discount on your Criminal Record Check at your local RCMP detachment if you live in a rural area.
The Nova Scotia Curling Association has partnered with mybackcheck.com to offer all coaches a Criminal Record Check at a discounted rate of $25. This rate is less than the regular price in some areas across Nova Scotia. Please email our Technical Director, Ryan Abraham (firstname.lastname@example.org) to take advantage of this discount.
Halifax Area Clubs: Click here for information on how to complete your Criminal Record Check.
Cape Breton Clubs: Click here for information on how to complete your Criminal Record Check.
Truro Curling Club: Click here for information on how to complete your Criminal Record Check.
Bridgewater Curling Club: Click here for information on how to complete your Criminal Record Check.
Bluenose Curling Club & Stellar Curling Club: Click here for information on how to complete your Criminal Record Check.
All Other Nova Scotia Clubs: Click here for information on how to complete your Criminal Record Check.