​​Guideline review date: 28 October 2021​​

​​​​​​This guideline is provided to support schools in implementing the managing risks in school curriculum activities procedure.

The CARA planner must be used for the specific school context in conjunction with this guideline considering additional risks, hazards and controls and including environmental, facility, equipment and student considerations.

For activities beyond the scope of this guideline, complete a CARA record using the CARA generic template.

Activity scope

This guideline relates to student participation in field hockey as an activity to support curriculum delivery.

For activities conducted at a non-Department of Education venue, and/or when engaging external expertise, request written risk assessment advice and attach it to this CARA record.

For activities conducted off-site, schools must comply with the school excursions procedure.

For activities conducted as part of representative school sport programs, schools should consult with Queensland School Sport.

Risk level

Medium risk
Field hockey activities involving minimal risk of oppositional contact and/or mouth injury.
High risk
Field hockey activities involving risk of oppositional contact and/or mouth injury.

Activity requirements

If any requirement cannot be met, the activity must not occur.

If any other safety recommendation cannot be met, modify the activity (or elements of it) and/or identify and use the hierarchy of controls​ to implement alternative control measures to meet or exceed the minimum safety standard.

Competition rules and procedures with additional or more stringent safety requirements must take precedence.​​​​



Principals make final supervision decisions for the activity. Sufficient adult supervision must be provided to manage the activity safely (including emergency situations).

For activities with students with a medical condition or disability that may impact on safety during the activity, consultation with parents is required prior to allocating supervision to determine the impact of students' disability on safety during the activity.

The number of adult supervisors required to fulfil emergency and supervision roles must consider the nature of the activity, students' ages, abilities and specialised learning, access and/or health needs.

Before the activity, all adult supervisors:

  • must be familiar with the contents of the CARA record
  • must assess weather conditions prior to undertaking the activity, inspecting the intended location in order to identify variable risks, hazards and potential dangers.

During the activity, all adult supervisors:

  • must be readily identifiable
  • must closely monitor students with health support needs
  • must comply with control measures from the CARA record and adapt as hazards arise
  • must suspend the activity if the conditions become unfavourable (e.g. poor visibility, extreme temperatures).

Supervisor qualifications

Principals make final decisions in determining supervisor capability (competence, relevance and currency) and are responsible for encouraging and enabling school-based activity supervisors to raise their qualifications to improve safety standards.

All adult supervisors must comply with the working with children authority—blue cards procedure and be able to identify, and respond to, risks or hazards that may emerge during the activity.

A registered teacher must be appointed to maintain overall responsibility for the activity.

At least one adult supervisor is required to be:

Medium risk level:

  • a registered teacher with competence (knowledge and skills) in teaching field hockey or
  • an adult supervisor, working under the direct supervision of a registered teacher, with community coach accreditation from Hockey Australia for the current season.

High risk level:

  • a registered teacher with qualifications in HPE (or equivalent demonstrated capability) and competence (knowledge and skills) in teaching field hockey or
  • an adult supervisor, working under the direct supervision of a registered teacher, with level 1 coach accreditation from Hockey Australia for the current season.

Facilities and equipment

The qualified adult supervisor of the activity, in consultation with the principal, determines the requirements for facilities and equipment appropriate to the local context.

Location must be suitable for the activity being undertaken, including sufficient space to ensure safe participation and that safety rules and procedures can be followed.

Participants must wear personal protective equipment appropriate to the activity and playing surface (e.g. enclosed footwear).

Fit-for-purpose goalpost padding made from impact absorbing foam.

Shin pads for all players.

Goalkeeper protection includes headgear (helmet with face mask, throat protector), leg protection (leg guards, kickers, leg and foot pads) torso protection (chest, groin/pelvic protectors) and gloves. Mouthguards are not required when wearing face masks. For further information, consult the International Hockey Federation (FIH) Rules of Hockey.

Additionally for high risk activities:

Playing area orientated as close as possible to north-south.

Common hazards and controls

Further to those listed, include any additional hazards and control measures considering the local context of the activity.

Environmental hazards Control measures
Biological hazards
Body fluids (e.g. blood, saliva, sweat)

Manage bodily substances (e.g. blood) and open wounds before, during and after the activity. Consult infection control guidelines and Queensland Health's exclusion periods for infectious conditions poster for hygienic practices and first aid.

Follow appropriate cleaning and hygiene management practices when using shared equipment (departmental staff search 'practical subjects cleaning equipment' in OnePortal).

Chemicals Lines are marked on grass in accordance with the line marking of sports fields fact sheet.
Environmental conditions

The school's sun safety strategy must be followed when participating outside.

Assess weather (Bureau of Meteorology) and environmental conditions prior to participating outside.

Follow the managing excessive heat in schools guidelines when participating in very hot or extreme heat conditions.

Ensure drink breaks occur regularly. Make water available for individual participants between drink breaks.

Facilities and equipment hazards Control measures
Boundary clearance

Establish a 5m clearance zone around the playing area (1m along the side lines and 2m behind the goal lines). If this cannot be achieved, consider ways of reducing risks e.g. reducing the field size, padding the obstacle.

Surround synthetic pitches with a barrier (e.g. fence).

Fast moving objects

Use nets when hitting at goal. Consider chain-link mesh safety screen behind each goal and wherever balls are most likely to leave the playing area at speed.

Consider gloves, masks and protectors for short corner plays.

Goalkeepers wear masks (recommended) for corner plays.

Goalkeepers only be delivered to defend one ball at a time during skills practice.

Stop play to retrieve balls during skills practice.

Closely monitor wet field play (e.g. to prevent undercutting).

Faulty or dangerous equipment

Use markers made from non-injurious material (e.g. cardboard, foam).

Check equipment for damage before and during the activity.

Check footwear before each match to ensure they provide sufficient protection for the feet. Look for non-slip soles, no buckles or zips, no loose, sharp-edged or excessively worn studs and no sharp-edged soles.

Check the method of fixing nets to the goal-posts and cross-bar is secure and safe. Metal cup-hooks should not be used and any spring hooks should have screw caps.

Playing surface

Conduct a field check to identify and manage surface hazards. Clear the playing surface from loose items or debris. Do not participate on a surface that is slippery, unduly rough or chopped up.

Cover/fill playing surface hazards (e.g. sprinkler heads, holes) to be level with the surrounds.

Student considerations Control measures
Physical contact
Accidental bumping

Use headgear (recommended for activities involving collision).

Enforce rules to prevent rough play. Consult play by the rules (conduct and behaviour resources).

Do not allow students to return to play after injury until the injury has been managed according to established procedures. If in doubt, the student should not play until medically cleared.

Physical exertion
Exhaustion and fatigue

Conduct warm-up/cool-down activities.

Continually monitor participants for signs of fatigue and exhaustion.

Student issues
Student numbers
Special needs
High risk behaviours
Medical conditions
Separation from the group

Select students for on-field position(s) on the basis of ability, size and suitability.

Remove accessories (e.g. jewellery, lanyards) before participating.

Ensure fingernails, hair and clothing (e.g. pockets) do not interfere with the activity.


This information is developed and distributed on this website by the State of Queensland for use by Queensland state schools only.

Use or adaptation of, or reliance on, this information by persons or organisations other than the State of Queensland is at their sole risk. All users who use, adapt or rely on this information are responsible for ensuring by independent verification its accuracy, currency and appropriateness to their particular circumstances. The State of Queensland makes no representations, either express or implied, as to the suitability of this information to a user's particular circumstances.

To the full extent permitted by law, the State of Queensland disclaims all responsibility and liability (including without limitation, liability in negligence) for all expenses, losses, damages and costs arising from the use or adaptation of, or reliance on, this information.

Links to external websites are for convenience only and the State of Queensland has not independently verified the information on the linked websites. It is the responsibility of users to make their own decisions about the accuracy, currency, reliability and correctness of the information at these external websites.

Last updated 06 September 2023