Sports Law • Risk Management


Fitness Pole Dancing: Appropriate for Children?

I was surprised to read the article: “UK Pole Dancing Class for Young Girls Sparks Outrage”, as it had not occurred to me that pole dancing classes are being offered to children as young as 7 years old. A debate has been sparked as to whether teaching young girls to pole dance objectifies them and places them in some danger or whether it is simply a form of gymnastics using the pole as an apparatus.

Psychological Abuse in Sport

Last night while walking by some batting cages, I observed a middle-aged man swearing at a young teenage boy and telling him that he was worthless and pathetic. There was no team and there was no game, just a single man humiliating a little boy with his angry words following what must have been perceived as an unsuccessful batting practice. I can only assume the verbal abuse was rained down on the boy by his father in a likely failed effort to motivate the child to improve his athletic performance. However, this negative treatment from father to son, can have serious psychological consequences on the child and might be classified as psychological abuse.

October 29, 2010: 4 Year Old Cyclist a Defendant in Lawsuit

A bizarre lawsuit came to my attention today. An injured elderly woman sued a 4 year old girl, claiming that the little girl was negligent for running her down while riding a bicycle with training wheels. The court actually is allowing the lawsuit to proceed, despite the young age of the defendant. I doubt that this court ruling will result in a rash of lawsuits against little kids. However, it does serve as a warning to parents and youth coaches that supervision of children playing sports is crucial.

October 4, 2010: No Texting While Supervising

While swimming my usual mile in a lifeguarded pool, I noticed something horrifying---at least to my safety trained eyes. The lifeguard had his cell phone in hand and appeared to be texting! He did this while small children and adults swam at their own peril. The scene was less dramatic than it might appear. Swim lessons were taking up half the lanes and there was an instructor in the pool for every few children. Parents filled the stands as well, some of them also focusing more on their cell phones than on their young charges. If texting while driving is dangerous, isn’t supervising children swimming or playing sport equally as hazardous?