Sports Law • Risk Management


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.

October 22, 2010: The Golden Rule of Risk Management

Most people are familiar with the “Golden Rule” of treating people as you would like to be treated. This rule is considered the most essential basis for human rights. What if there was a golden rule for risk management? What if there were a principle that if followed, would reduce risk significantly and make for a much safer sports and recreation environment? I propose that the golden rule of risk management should be, “watch where you’re going”.

October 21, 2010: Assumption of Risk: T.J. Lavin's BMX Bike Crash

Following a tragic bike accident in Las Vegas last week, T.J. Lavin, a BMX biker, is still in a doctor-induced coma, according to yesterday’s report from People. On a qualifying run at a Las Vegas event, Lavin was unsuccessful in getting his feet back on his pedals and was knocked unconscious after he landed hard on the ground (ESPN Action Sports, Oct. 18, 2010). The risk associated with sport is what makes an activity exciting and challenging, but risk can be frightening for the host of a competition.

October 19, 2010: Lessons from a Haunted Marathon Training Run

A number of years ago, my marathon club enjoyed a Halloween themed training run. We wore costumes and ran through a graveyard. My friend, Cindy, and I dressed in t-shirts that had pictures of beautiful, fit bodies, wearing bikinis. The great thing about those costumes (besides their obvious appeal to the opposite sex) was that they were easy to run in. I’m sure that there were some costumes that would not have been safe and so the coach should certainly have put some restrictions on the costumes of the night. Also, running in the dark is always perilous.

October 15, 2010: Locker Room Risk Management

Injuries occurring in saunas, locker room, bathrooms and shower facilities have been the source of much litigation. Wherever there is water, slip and falls are bound to occur. There are also concerns with security from intruders and cell phone cameras. Sexual harassment and bullying have also occurred in locker rooms. The following factual scenario resulted in litigation, which ultimately found its way to an appellate court: