New Policy Ensures Safe Use of Aquatics Play Structures

Innovative and creative aquatics play structures currently exist in many Scouting settings, with more councils and Scouting groups evaluating the many play structure options entering the marketplace. Many local councils have asked about safety requirements for use of aquatics play structures and guidance in how to operate them. As a result, the National Aquatics Task Force has developed:

  • A BSA Aquatics Play Structure Policy, which applies to all play structures operated in Scouting. Although aquatics play structures take many forms—such as inflatable, floatable, or fixed structures that include slides, swings, mats, logs, rockers, and climbing or bouncing devices—certain policy elements apply to all.
  • Operational Practices and Procedures Guidance for three of the more popular play structures found in Scouting:
    • The Blob and other inflated catapult devices
    • Climbing Devices including icebergs, climbing walls, and other structures designed for climbing to some height
    • Rockers, which are play structures used in a seesaw mode

The task force intends to create additional Operational Practices and Procedures Guidance documents for other types of aquatics play structures as these needs develop.

The Aquatics Play Structure Policy and guidelines can be found on the Aquatics Program portion of the Outdoor Programs Web page and should now be implemented at local councils.

Councils with play structures covered by the guidance documents should review them against their current operational practices and procedures and implement changes as needed. Engagement of council aquatics and enterprise risk management committees is also recommended.

One Response to New Policy Ensures Safe Use of Aquatics Play Structures

  1. Charles Huse says:

    I think it is great that the BSA is addressing these type of water attractions. I would recommend that councils check with their state and local agencies to determine if these structures are regulated as amusement rides.

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