Sports Law • Risk Management

katharine's blog

October 2, 2010: 10 Tips for International Sport Risk Management

Risk management in sport and recreation is of global importance. Not all countries are as litigious as the United States, but they still have real concerns about managing risk and promoting safety. Athletes, facility owners, event directors, facility managers, coaches, sponsors and fans all share an interest in risk management and safety. For example, if a football (soccer) player trips over a protruding object in the field, causing injury to his knee, that means that the athlete will require medical treatment and may be forced to sit out the remainder of a practice, a game, several games or maybe even a season.

September 29, 2010: Triathlon Risk Management: Part II---Cycling

While chatting with JJ Johnson, a certified USAT coach at Starbuck’s yesterday, I introduced him to our website and we discussed safety issues in sports. Since I’m the Regional Officials Coordinator for USAT for Hawaii, JJ often asks me about issues relating to the USAT Competitive Rules. We discussed our amazement that so many triathletes claim that they do not know or understand the rules. This seems absurd as athletes in every other sport---football, basketball, baseball, golf, and tennis---seem to be well aware of their sport’s rules. Why should triathlon be any different?

September 27, 2010: Skier Assumed Risk of Injury by Snowboarder

In a recent case, Bell v. Dean, __A.2d __, 2010 WL 3211956 (Pa.Super. August 16, 2010), Plaintiff Bell, a skier, brought a personal injury action against Dean, a snowboarder, claiming that he sustained injuries arising out of a collision at Ski Roundtop, a recreational ski area. The accident occurred while they were both progressing down Ramrod, an “expert level” ski slope. Bell claimed that Dean was snowboarding at a high rate of speed down the steeper “headwall” of the slope and failed to keep a proper lookout, and by doing so was negligent.

September 19, 2010: Football or Endangered Species?

The question of whether to continue with Friday night football games or protect threatened Newell’s shearwater birds was one that had to be addressed on Kauai recently. The lights used to illuminate the Friday night football games confuse newborn shearwaters flying from their nests out to sea. Apparently the lights are mistaken for moonlight and have caused about 30 birds to become disoriented and fall from the skies around Vidinha Stadium on Kauai.

September 16, 2010: Crowd Management: Lessons from Hawaii 5-0

The World Premiere of Hawaii 5-0 held on Waikiki Beach attracted over 5,000 fans. I should know, because I was one of those that arrived early to stake out a place on the small area of beach located in front of a makeshift stage and large screen. There were certainly no sports and recreation involved, except for the water sports in the ocean adjacent to the event. The event did present the same issues of crowd control as any sporting event that attracts hoards of people.

September 13, 2010: Incident Reports: An Essential Element of Risk Management Planning

About 15 years ago, I was running on a treadmill in a very exclusive health club when I suddenly flew off the machine, cutting my leg in the process. I’m not sure if the tread on the machine was worn out or if I stepped in a way that contributed to the mishap. Nevertheless, I suffered a bloody gash in my leg that required some minor first aid. There were quite a few horrified witnesses, but no gym staff to be found. I wandered the club, hoping to find an employee. Eventually, I came upon a staff member in an office adjacent to the weight room. His response to the incident was to give me 2 small bandages. I was not asked to fill out an incident report of any kind. There was also no special attention given to the wound. No questions were asked about how the incident happened.