Sports Law • Risk Management


Shaving Before Swimming = Disqualification

Most all swimmers will shave their body hair prior to diving into the water to reduce drag and improve the athlete’s speed. But, on February 22, 2012, Yahoo wrote about one particular athlete who was retroactively disqualified from all her swimming events for shaving. When it was discovered that the high school swimmer shaved her body hair at the swimming facility before getting into the pool, she was stripped of her points, which, cost her team the county championships. It turns out that shaving on the premises of the meet is a rule violation.

Indoor Climbing Wall Risk Management

Indoor climbing gyms are a fun way to practice climbing in a controlled environment. As an owner or manager of a climbing wall, though, there are many things that should be done to ensure that it is a safe environment for its users.

NCAA New Rule Regarding Pole Vault Helmets

Not so long ago a pole vaulter who wished to use protective headgear had few options. Vaulters resorted to wearing equipment, such as skating helmets, that were neither tested nor specifically recommended for use in pole vaulting. However, over the last decade there has been increasing concern and discussion about creating standardized pole vaulting headgear in order to minimize head injuries and to prevent the death of athletes’ who hit their head during a vault. Such widespread concern for pole vaulters’ safety has prompted some significant changes in the last five years.

May 22, 2011: Inspect Your Pole Vault Equipment

There is something comforting about watching an airplane pilot walk around the outside of an airplane for a visual inspection prior to takeoff. Even though there are mechanics that work on the planes, the pilot who knows it is his or her ultimate responsibility for everyone’s safety onboard takes his or her due diligence seriously. It should be no different for athletes, and especially coaches, to inspect sporting equipment prior to each use.

February 27, 2011: Adventure and Extreme Sports Safety Rule #1

The movie 127 Hours attracted me and repelled me at the same time. I was looking forward to watching the gripping story of Aron Ralston cutting a portion of his own arm off in order to free himself from a boulder that had trapped him for days in a remote canyon in Utah. On the other hand, I was not looking forward to watching the agony that he had to endure---and the blood---when he had to amputate his own arm in order to save his life. The message that I took from the movie was that if he had told someone---anyone---where he was going, he may have been rescued and possibly, might have saved his arm.

November 12, 2010: Risk Management Step 1: Identify Risks

The risk management process can be daunting. The first step in this process, however, is to identify risks to your business. But how should you go about identifying risks to which your organization might be exposed?

For starters, brainstorm with your current employees. Collaboration with your staff can bring new perspective to the risks to your business. Also, observe a competitor’s operations to see how an organization in a similar industry manages its risks. Another option is to review trade magazines and journals to keep up on current issues and trends relevant for your organization. Yet another way to help in identifying risks is to attend professional workshops or educational seminars to learn from experts.