Sports Law • Risk Management

katharine's blog

October 30, 2010: Protecting Superstars from Negative Headlines: Athlete Risk Management

The Brett Favre investigation of his explicit text messages has garnered a lot of attention. The NFL is conducting an investigation into whether Favre broke league rules regarding workplace conduct. It wasn’t long ago that Tiger Woods’ antics created a news sensation, which also drew attention away from his golf talent and into his private, shall I say, bedroom affairs. These amazing athletes are just two of a constant string of alleged inappropriate behavior by our sports heroes that are brought to our attention on almost a daily basis.

October 29, 2010: Is Your Organization Overdue for a Risk Assessment?

When is the last time your sports or recreation organization or facility performed a risk assessment? What is a risk assessment, you may ask (possibly embarrassed that you don’t know)? Generally, a risk assessment is a step in risk management planning in which there is a determination of the quantitative or qualitative value of risk in relation to recognized hazards. What does that really mean?

October 29, 2010: 4 Year Old Cyclist a Defendant in Lawsuit

A bizarre lawsuit came to my attention today. An injured elderly woman sued a 4 year old girl, claiming that the little girl was negligent for running her down while riding a bicycle with training wheels. The court actually is allowing the lawsuit to proceed, despite the young age of the defendant. I doubt that this court ruling will result in a rash of lawsuits against little kids. However, it does serve as a warning to parents and youth coaches that supervision of children playing sports is crucial.

October 26, 2010: Mind Your Head

Earlier in the week I introduced the golden rule of risk management. Let me now introduce the “silver rule”: Mind your head. Yes, it is every athlete’s responsibility to mind their head. Afterall, each athlete has only one noggin. Helmet requirements for sports are widespread. But even with helmet rules and regulations, there is still room for foolishness.

October 25, 2010: Cheerleader Suspended for Facebook Picture

Social networking has become a terrific way for people to interact without leaving their computers. As long as a person has an Internet connection, reliable computer and telephone, there is no need to leave the comfort of a chair or couch for any reason, except, perhaps to sleep. So far, sports and recreation participants must drag themselves away from their computer screens. Once they are done with their workouts and the few actual real life encounters they allow themselves, they return to Facebook and other sites to report to their “Friends” about their adventures. High school cheerleader Bree Vargo, of Middlefield, Ohio, is the subject of a recent social networking issue that links sport with technology.

October 23, 2010: U.S. National Swimmer Dies—Concerns about Hot Water Swimming

The United States lost a talented open water swimmer today. U.S. national team medal winner, Fran Crippen, died in the FINA Open Water 10 kilometer World Cup in Fujairah, United Arab Emirates today. The water temperature was unusually hot, in the high 80’s, causing several competitors to suffer from heat exhaustion. When Crippen did not finish the race, other swimmers returned to the water and found his body near the last buoy of the triangular course.