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Safe Sport

What is Safe Sport


Bowls Canada places the highest priority on a safe and fun environment for all of its participants.

Safe Sport provides a framework to ensure that everyone in the sport of lawn bowls has the right to enjoy the sport at whatever level or position they participate. Bowlers, coaches, umpires and volunteers have the right to participate in a safe and inclusive environment that is free of abuse, harassment or discrimination.

Bowls Canada’s Safe Sport Framework includes a blend of programs, policies, education and access to third-party resources:


Help Line

The Canadian Sport Helpline

The bilingual national toll-free confidential helpline for harassment, abuse and discrimination provides a safe place for victims and witnesses of incidents of harassment, abuse and discrimination in sport to report their concerns.

The Canadian Sport Helpline will provide callers with advice on the next steps they can take, as well as direct them to the most appropriate national and local services and resources available to them, including the police, child protection services, existing provincial/territorial helplines, or any other relevant services.

It provides professional listening and referral services by phone and text at 1-888-83-SPORT (77678) and by email at, from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. ET, seven days a week.

For more information, visit


Independent Safe Sport Officer

This person is an independent third party who will guide you through the complaints process and/or explore other options.  An Independent Safe Sport Officer is empowered to supersede national sport organization staff and launch appropriate policies as required based on evidence or a situation reported. 

Bowls Canada has partnered with Brian Ward of W&W Dispute Resolution Services Inc. to serve as BCB’s Independent Safe Sport Officer.  Experienced in discipline and harassment matters, the Bowls Canada Independent Safe Sport Officer provides confidential, expert and objective facilitation of complaints and is an essential part Bowls Canada’s commitment to Canada’s Safe Sport Movement.

Specifically, the Bowls Canada Independent Safe Sport Officer:

  • receives and acknowledges all complaints, allegations and concerns of possible breaches of the organization’s policies or procedures.
  • determines if the complaint is admissible as per the application of the policies and procedures of the organization.
  • preserves the confidentiality of the complaints, allegations or concerns
  • designates who the investigator will be when and if appropriate.
  • where appropriate, convenes the appointment of an administrative body as referenced within the organization’s applicable policy or procedure.
  • reports to Sport Canada as required.

The existence of the Independent Safe Sport Officer does not prevent individuals from contacting Bowls Canada directly with complaints if they are comfortable with the process.

Please refer to the Bowls Canada Discipline and Complaints Policy for specific guidance on the process of making a complaint.


Reporting a Complaint

Any individual may report an incident or complain in writing to the Independent Safe Sport Officer using the BCB Complaint Submission Form.




Bowls Canada has partnered with Respect Group to bring our members the very best in Safe Sport training to ensure a healthy, safe and respectful environment for all of our participants. 

Respect in Sport LogoThe Respect in Sport Activity Leader / Coach Program educates leaders, coaches, officials and participants (14 years and up) to recognize, understand and respond to issues of bullying, abuse , harassment and discrimination.  It is an online training that is accessible on your computer, laptop, iPhone, iPad, Android and other mobile devices.  Mobile Apps available through the App Store and Google Play allow for the completion of the training even when not connected to the Internet.

The Respect in Sport Activity Leader training has been approved and certified by “Respect Education”, an educational offering of the Canadian Red Cross.  This training is endorsed by institutions such as Sport Manitoba, the Government of New Brunswick, SaskSport, University of Calgary, Viasport, Coaching Association of Canada, Canadian Olympic Committee, AthletesCAN and many more.

All Bowls Canada coaches, activity leaders, Directors, staff, national event volunteers, umpires and national committee members are expected to complete this training.  NCCP Coaches can have the course completion recorded on their Locker transcript through a simple opt-in process at the beginning of the training. 


Bowls Canada members can access this training here.




Bowls Canada Boulingrin, in collaboration with Parachute Canada (a nationally recognized safety organization), developed the Bowls Concussion Protocol to help guide the management of individuals who may have a suspected concussion while participating in the sport bowls.


While it is nationally recognized that lawn bowls is a low risk sport for sustaining concussions during play, our participants are not immune from head injuries.  Often associated with a severe blow to the head, leading causes also include falls and the sudden jerking motion of the head and neck (whiplash).  This means that a tripping incident at the club or a car accident in the grocery store parking lot could both result in a head injury.


It is important that our coaches and sport leaders understand the signs and symptoms of concussions that may have occurred within and beyond the boundaries of the lawn bowls green.  The Bowls Concussion Education Sheet is an excellent overview and must be reviewed by all activity leaders and coaches at the beginning of each season



Responsible Coaching Movement

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 that has the potential to affect all sport organizations and coaches. The RCM is a call to action for organizations to implement realistic change based on their individual state of readiness. The RCM is the result of extensive ongoing consultation with the Canadian Sport Community. These consultations will guide the different phases of the RCM that will address the role coaches play with issues relating to the health and safety of athletes, both on and off the field of play.

The first phase of the RCM focuses on three keys areas: Background Screening, Ethics and Respect Training, and the Rule of Two.


Background Screening

Screening is an important part of providing a safe sporting environment and has become a common practice among sport organizations that provide programs and services to the community. BCB and its Members and affiliated clubs are responsible to do everything reasonable to provide a safe and secure environment for participants in its programs, activities and events. Requiring that valid police record checks, and other background checks as appropriate, be submitted, as part of the screening process, is part of this duty of care.



All coaches must take the Make Ethical Decisions module from the National Coaching Certification Program (NCCP). This module will help coaches be able to identify the legal, ethical, and moral implications of difficult situations that present themselves. 


In addition, as of April 1, 2020, bowls coaches must also take the Activity Leader/Coach Program from Respect in Sport. This online training will educate coaches and staff on the prevention of abuse, bullying and harassment. It will also build a culture of respect and enable coaches to become better role models.


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.” – Coaching Association of Canada.