The aim of our sports field user guidelines is to minimise the likelihood of injuries caused by the environment sports are played in.

With the number of sports played across the city, it is appropriate to consider how to keep safe when using our sports parks, both casually and for organised training and play.

Goals and goal posts

The goals and goal posts in our sports parks are often an attractive climbing option for children so we have taken several measures to make them less of a hazard. 

Nets are only put out on most football goals during training and games, portable goals with nets are chained together and rugby and rugby league posts are fitted with pads during games and training to reduce injury risk to players.

While most of our goal posts are fitted into sleeves in the ground others are secured with large metal pegs. All goals and goal posts are checked before the season starts and weekly officials follow a pre-game check of the goal posts.

Despite these safety measures the goals and goal posts are not designed to have youth or children swinging or climbing on them. We are reliant on parents, coaches and managers to prevent these actions occurring during games, training and casual park use.

We appreciate your help in working with us to ensure that children and players do not swing, climb or play with the goal posts this winter season.

Hazard management

Christchurch City Council aims to provide a safe environment to play sport.  

You can assist by applying the principles of hazard management to identify and resolve issues using a simple series of steps:

  • Identify anything with the potential to cause harm.
  • Decide how it will be controlled and what action will be taken.
  • Decide who will complete the action.
  • Notify others if necessary.

The PlaySafe checklist [PDF, 225 KB] includes a list of typical hazards to help you evaluate your playing environment and manage any potential issues.

Pre-game checks

Clubs and regional sports organisations should regularly check the areas of play to ensure early identification of issues.

Referees should also follow a pre-game checklist to ensure that the field is safe and fit for purpose before play commences. 

Checks should ensure:

  • goals, posts and any other on-field structures are safe and secure
  • crowd control barriers are erected where required
  • emergency access and egress points are clear and accessible
  • first aid kits are available for all sports games with coaches or managers and tournaments with event organisers.

Urgent issues such as leaking water pipes, damage to sports fields or changing/toilet facilities should be reported directly to the Council on (03) 941 8999 or via Snap, Send, Solve.

Changing facilities

It is the responsibility of the sports club or organisation to keep changing facilities clean and tidy during the sports season.

These spaces are often shared between sports so please respect other users and their property.

The Council undertakes a pre- and post-season changing facility clean.

Neighbouring properties

During training and warm ups please be considerate of neighbours properties and avoid kicking balls towards them. 

If your ball goes into a neighbour's property, please request permission before entering to retrieve it. Failing to do so is trespassing. 

Vehicles on fields

Vehicles are not permitted on any Council sports field or park as it creates a hazard for other users and can result in potential damage to playing surfaces.

Please use designated parking and adhere to signage.

Rubbish removal

Please collect all rubbish after games and training. Rubbish bins are emptied once a week, so if the bins are full please take any extra rubbish and dispose of it appropriately.

Thanks for your cooperation and we wish you an enjoyable and safe sports season.

Winter training tips

By following these simple tips you can help ensure the playing fields remain open so players will get game time:

  • A rugby goal post in a sports fieldAll warm up and warm down drills should be done off the playing field. Move around to reduce damage in one place
  • Try to keep out of goal mouths for training as these areas deteriorate very quickly during games
  • If you have portable posts or cones, set these up away from the goal and where possible off the playing field
  • If you're training on the playing field, ensure that you move the players around so you do not wear only one area
  • Keep away from any areas that are showing damage
  • If you're training during the day try to leave the lit area for night training
  • If you have training on a particularly wet day/night, consider training options off the grounds
  • For junior and social grades we suggest that you do not train at all in wet conditions
  • All scrum machines should be used off the playing field and moved around to reduce wear
  • Ensure that children and players do not swing, climb or play on the goal posts.

Thanks for your help, enjoy the season!