Waiver

The Scariest Four Letter Word in Campus Recreation: Part II

July 19, 2011

Matt Campbell, J.D.
Assistant Director, Campus Recreation
Marshall University

In Part I of this article, we discussed the risk assessment tool developed by Peter Sandman dubbed the “Outrage Model.” In the Outrage Model, Sandman defines risk as hazard plus outrage. Applying this model to risk in campus recreation, we can assign hazard as the objective factor, such as the safety of a playing surface or wear and tear to equipment, and outrage as the subjective factor, such as the criticism and emotional reaction to these hazards. These criticisms and emotional reactions have lead to an increase in litigation and a paradigm change regarding assumption of risk. In Part I, a table showing which jurisdictions are likely to uphold a waiver or assumption of risk clause and which are not was produced. In this article we will outline how to move away from legal jargon and develop an effective, dynamic waiver document.

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Current Legal Practices in Collegiate Club Sport Programs

May 12, 2011

Steve Kampf
Recreational Sports
Bowling Green State University

Scott Haines
Recreational Services
The College at Brockport, SUNY

Robert C. Schneider
The Department of Physical Education and Sport
The College at Brockport, SUNY

William F. Stier Jr.
The Department of Physical Education and Sport
The College at Brockport, SUNY

Brady Gaskins
Office of Residential Life
Bowling Green State University
Introduction
Legal liability practices within a college recreation program have long been an apprehension for the personnel who oversee programming. In particular, club sport activities have been a concern as to what the true legal liability benchmarks were in the field of college recreational sports. A review of current literature revealed a lack of benchmarking information relating to legal liability practices in collegiate club sport programs. Specifically, the information gained from this study provides programmatic direction in reviewing and proposing changes to policies and procedures relating to club sport safety.

A comprehensive research study was recently completed on the subject of legal liability that relates to club sports. Areas that were studied included the use of waivers, travel, coaching, first aid/CPR, and supervision. The following information serves as a reference point for those who oversee college club sport programs and could help in developing or reviewing policies and procedures.

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RISK MANAGEMENT IN INTRAMURAL SPORTS

May 12, 2011

RISK MANAGEMENT IN INTRAMURAL SPORTS

Matt Campbell
J.D. Candidate ‘08
DePaul University College of Law

‘No school ID, no play.’ ‘No jewelry.’ ‘Sign the waiver.’
‘Fill out an incident report for any injuries or altercations.’

Every campus recreation professional recites these intramural mantras at student staff training, but is there an understanding as to why these rules are in place?

This article seeks to help intramural professionals provide their student staff with answers as to why recreational programs must maintain rigorous policies. It will also identify risk management concerns in intramural sports in order to eliminate unnecessary risks and mitigate those which are unavoidable.

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A Risk Manager’s Thoughts on Waivers

April 09, 2011

Joe Risser CPCU, ARM-P
Director, Risk Management
Cal Poly San Luis Obispo

Waivers or Release of Liability Agreements may result in a college or university developing an unwarranted sense of protection from liability. These intended legal contracts designed to (a) transfer responsibility for participation in an activity and (b) transfer responsibility for financing of a loss due to the activity may rest on enforcement by one or more courts. Details in wording, presentation, administration and even record keeping can be critical.

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Why not use Informed Consent Forms instead of Waivers?

April 09, 2011

Ian McGregor, Ph.D.
President, McGregor & Associates

There are some good arguments for using ‘Informed Consent’ forms instead of Waivers — but this is ultimately an institutional decision. Either way, it is important to understand what Informed Consent is — and isn’t.

If you study a well written waiver, it is split essentially into two distinct sections: an ‘Assumption of Risk’ section and a ‘Release’ section. The main purpose of the ‘Assumption of Risk’ section is to inform the participant of the inherent risks in a particular activity. The best waivers will include an Assumption of Risk statement that is very specific to the activity (e.g. rock climbing), and will detail the inherent risks specific to that activity. (But this means that you need a waiver for every activity — a potential logistical nightmare.)

If you decide to stop there — i.e. omit the ‘Release’ section in the document, you have in fact created an Informed Consent form.

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Waivers: Quick Facts

April 09, 2011

Ian McGregor, Ph.D.
President, McGregor & Associates

The following is a very brief overview of some key facts about Waivers. For a comprehensive treatment of waivers, consult the manual written by Cotten and Cotten (‘Waivers & Releases of Liability’, published by Sport Risk Consulting. See Cotten article).

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