Sports Law • Risk Management


One Strike and You’re Out: Lightning on the Playing Field

On September 1, 2009, the Associated Press headline, “Lightning Strike Causes Amputation”, referred to Danish soccer player Jonathan Richter’s unfortunate injury arising out of a brief thunder storm on July 20th while he was playing a reserve game. The 24 year old athlete had to undergo an induced coma for 10 days and then suffered the amputation of his lower left leg. This incident dramatically illustrates the danger that lightning strikes pose to athletes during practices and competitions held outdoors.

Foolish Behavior and an Athlete's Denied Visa

Sports visas are a common way for professional sports teams to expand its talent base by acquiring international athletes. Unfortunately the immigration approval process can be complicated when an athlete has criminal infractions.

The Hunger Games Influence---Unsportsmanlike Conduct

The popular movie and book, The Hunger Games, centers around a reality show of a survival game in which only one player will survive. The object of the game is for the teenagers to kill each other using any means available. This is not a very good example for sport and recreation, which have rules of sportsmanlike behavior in order that players will avoid injury and be able to play another game.

Sport Team Travel Risk Management

The big news this week was the Jet Blue pilot Clayton Osbon’s breakdown on a flight from New York to Las Vegas, causing his co-pilot to lock him out of the cockpit. The pilot proceeded to rant about Afghanistan, Iraq, Iran and Al-Qaida, while walking in the aisle of the plane until passengers restrained him until the plane landed safely in Texas. Despite this incident, official statistics reveal that there has never been a safer time to fly. When considering your team’s transportation plans, flying is a safer alternative to any other travel.

The Fundamentals of the Risk Management Process in Sport and Recreation

Sport and recreation risk managers should understand the risk management process so that when evaluating risk and engaging in risk management planning, the steps can be applied. The steps are as follows: 1. Risk Identification; 2. Analysis and Measurement; 3. Risk Control; 4. Risk Financing; 5. Implementation; 6. Monitoring. These steps can be applied systematically in your analysis so that your organization has a comprehensive risk management plan.

Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum Suffers the Consequences of Alleged Mismanagement

The Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, the site of the 1932 and 1984 Olympic Games, is the center of a controversy involving the recent grand jury indictment which alleged that the former long term general manager of the Coliseum, the former events manager, and the chief executive of a rave promotion company were involved in embezzlement, bribery, conspiracy and conflicts of interest. The financial consequence of this alleged mismanagement has led the Coliseum to hard times in recent years and time will tell whether the facility will survive. Unfortunately, facilities operating in the red have challenges addressing risk management issues as the cost of maintenance, security personnel, safety measures and insurance is high.