Sports Law • Risk Management

Risk Management

How to Avoid Making a Racket Over Racquets: Using Equipment Only For Its Intended Use

I’ll bet that on occasion employees of your organization have had to warn a child or adult not to use sports equipment for things other than their intended use. Perhaps you’ve seen someone using a baseball bat to dislodge a basketball from a net; a weight bench to stand on in order to reach something; small weights to prop a door open; or a tennis racquet to kill a bug. Most of the time, using equipment for something other than what it was designed for does not cause any harm.

Providing Reasonable Accessibility to Medical Care at Events

Does your organization provide reasonable accessibility to medical care during recreational activities? A recent Federal Court case addressed this issue, with the Court denying the Defendant’s motion to dismiss the case and so the matter will proceed to trial unless the parties are able to enter into a settlement agreement. See: Estate of Newton v. Grandstaff, 2011 WL 2678933 (July 8, 2011)

Skydivers Survive Because of Brave Risk Management of Hot Air Balloon Pilot

Earlier in the week, a 63 year old hot air balloon pilot heroically saved 5 skydivers’ lives by calmly telling them that they needed to jump immediately after he had maneuvered the balloon above a 15 acre field. Pilot Edward Ristaino must have been aware of the grave danger of the storm that had hit and exercised risk management decision making when he took action to save the skydivers and risk his own life.

Triathlon Risk Management: The USAT Advantage

USA Triathlon, like many national governing bodies of sport provide multi-sports race directors the opportunity to sanction their events for a fee in return for insurance, use of USAT branding, liability waiver form, risk management expertise, inclusion of their race in the athlete ranking system, use of USAT Competitive Rules and enforcement by certified officials, access to educational opportunities and race director certification, and more. What puzzles me is why any race director of a multi-sport race would choose to go it alone without this sanction.

Hockey Dad Accused of Shining Laser at Goalie: The Risks of Lasers in Sport

A hockey Dad allegedly pointed a laser beam into the eyes of the goalie of the opposing hockey team playing his daughter’s high school team in an important game this week. Once his dangerous behavior was observed by the school’s assistant superintendent, she ordered that the man leave the rink. The outcome of the game was not changed even though there was an appeal. The man was charged with disturbing the peace and will have to appear in court to face such charges. On the morning news, I heard that he was or might be charged with assault and battery. This is yet another case in which a parent interferes with his child’s game.

Risk Management Practices in Poor Economic Times

If your organization chooses to skimp on safety and risk management practices, you likely will see an increased incidence of injuries and worker’s compensation claims. Even if you continue to maintain a comprehensive risk management program and utilize safe practices, insurance fraud may increase in a bad economy as economic motivation leads people with mounting credit card debt and unemployment to be motivated to pad insurance claims or to develop insurance fraud schemes.