Sports Law • Risk Management


Upholding Olympic Values with Handshakes: Managing the Risk of Spreading Illness

Should Olympic athletes risk the spread of germs and shake hands with other athletes at the Olympic Games in London? Chief medical officer of the British Olympic Association suggested that athletes not shake each others’ hands and was quoted as saying, “At an Olympic Games or any major event the performance impact of becoming ill or even feeling a little bit ill can be significant… Essentially we are talking about minimizing the risk of illness and optimizing resistance. Minimizing exposure and getting bugs into the system and being more robust to manage those should that happen.” The advice of not shaking hands was rejected by the British government and so athletes will be free to shake hands, which is more consistent with the spirit of the Games.

Risk Financing for Tornadoes and Other Weather Disasters

Hopefully, your sports facility did not suffer any damage from the tornadoes that struck Kentucky, Indiana and Alabama this weekend. Standard business owners’ policies provide coverage for damage caused by tornadoes, including physical damage to business property business interruption—reimbursement for lost income.

Breathless CPR: The New Technique for Cardiac Arrest Victims

Sports and recreation organizations and facilities face the challenge of providing first aid to participants and spectators who have medical emergencies. In recent years, AED’s (automatic external defibrillators) have become more common in public places and sports facilities. However, if someone goes into cardiac arrest, even if there is an AED in the vicinity, there may be a need to begin CPR immediately.

Sports Organizations Must Comply with Federal Law Regarding Athlete’s Private Health Information

Any organization that obtains, creates or maintains medical records or information regarding athletes or others is required to adhere to the Health Insurance and Portability Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA), a Federal law, which went into effect in April of 2003. After 9 years, anyone who seeks medical treatment has become well familiar with the privacy policies of health care providers as such policies are provided in writing for patients’ review and signature before treatment.

Scuba Diving Risk Management Lesson

In Hawaii, seldom a week goes by without hearing news of a drowning death. Even experienced swimmers, divers and surfers can be no match for strong ocean currents, undertows and waves. This week a remarkable rescue of a diver who survived the open ocean for 12 hours was a surprising outcome to a nearly fatal mistake. Scott Folsom was Scuba diving, using the boat’s anchor line to keep track of his location in the water. Unfortunately, his underwater exploration led him away from the line and currents carried him even further away.

Back Country Skiing Avalanche Risk Management

Earlier in the week, professional skier, Elyse Saugstad, was enjoying a back country ski outing with two other skiers near Stevens Pass in Washington state when an avalanche swept them down the mountain. Saugstad immediately deployed her airbag that was in her backpack, which saved her life while three others died in the avalanche.
Back country skiing risk management, includes use of equipment such as avalanche airbags, which allow a person to avoid burial by an avalanche by forcing the person to the surface.