Sports Law • Risk Management

Risk Management

June 3, 2011: Is There Really a Need for Sports and Recreation Risk Management?

About a month ago, the ten o’clock news just reported that a hiker fell 150 feet to his death, a 3 year old drowned, and an elderly lady was killed in a traffic accident. Film footage was then shown of the March 11, 2011 Japan tsunami. These stories are just an example of a typical day of news anywhere one might be in the world. Such stories also illustrate the importance that every sport and recreation organization must put on risk management. To do otherwise will necessarily increase accidents, injuries, and reduce the chance that an organization will effectively respond to a disaster.

May 9, 2011: Bike Riding in the Sand

Have you ever taken your two-wheeled bicycle to the beach and ridden your bike on the sand? This recently was a first for me and it was an experience that was exhilarating yet challenging. My adventure, though, was made more complex because I expended a lot of energy dodging people, waves and debris. Despite the joy of the activity, I could not help but reflect on ways to minimize the risks associated with my ride, and ultimately making the activity more enjoyable.

March 2, 2011: What Do the Best Sports and Recreation Facilities Do to Provide Safe Facilities?

Sports and Recreation Facilities benefit by maintaining safe facilities. By doing so, there are less injuries, insurance claims and lawsuits. Athletes and participants that use safe facilities enjoy fewer injuries and are able to play and compete season after season. Those who use safe facilities grow to trust that management/directors are taking steps to ensure the safety of all patrons. This increases membership, attendees, clients, participants and clientele. It also boosts reputation and lowers insurance premiums.

January 12, 2011: Risk Management Phobia

I’m not sure if there is such a thing as risk management phobia—it is probably not a recognized psychiatric diagnosis. However, I think that there is a tendency for sport and recreation organizers, owners, directors and coaches to feel uncomfortable—and possibly afraid-- of the process. It may be that it seems overwhelming to develop a risk management program or the discomfort may stem from the fear of being sued if something goes terribly wrong. Fear of the unknown, lack of time to develop a program and procrastination are some of the reasons for this phobia.

January 1, 2011: Sledding Risk Management 101

As a kid, I opted to go sledding when my parents took us to the ski slopes. It’s easier than skiing, doesn’t require much in the way of specialized equipment and can be done anywhere that there is a slope and snow. When I was a kid, I never saw anyone wear a helmet for any sport (except football) as those were the days when parents sent their kids out the door in the morning to play and they didn’t come in the house until the sun set. With time and constant reports by the media about the dangers of virtually everything, kids are more strictly supervised, and everyone should be wearing helmets.

December 3, 2010: Risk Management Step 4: Monitor Risks

Step four in the risk management process is to monitor what goes on in your business. Since originally implementing your risk management plan changes have likely occurred and subsequently your risk management methods might need tweaking. During the monitoring phase, staff should be consulted to determine the success of risk management strategies. Also, during this phase records should be updated and reviewed for compliance and success in controlling risk.