NEW – Best Practices Risk Assessment Tool

October 18, 2015

Ian McGregor, Ph.D.
President, SportRisk

Interested in finding out how your risk management practices measure up relative to industry-wide ‘Best Practices’ across North America?

What’s the problem?
Many campus recreation departments across North America don’t know what the current Best Practices are in Campus Recreation, and how their school’s practices compare with those at other schools. Are you one of them?

This leads to…
Operating in a vacuum – when you’re not sure if you are falling behind, and hence are unknowingly increasing your liability exposure.

What’s the solution?
Investing in a Best Practices approach to risk assessment and planning puts you in control! Read more

Best Practices Risk Assessment Tool

October 18, 2015

What’s it all about?

Ian McGregor, Ph.D.
President, SportRisk

The following provides a brief description and overview of the Campus Recreation ‘Best Practices Risk Assessment Tool’. For more information on how the tool was developed, tested and piloted, visit the SportRisk website at

• Best Practices surveys were developed by a group of experts in their field (in the US and Canada) then vetted by staff at various schools across North America. Surveys were piloted at 8 schools (4 in the U.S. ; 4 in Canada) before final implementation. Read more

Balancing the Liability of Club Sport Coaches

October 18, 2015

Lexi Chaput
Assistant Director – Club Sports
University of Michigan

As a Club Sports program shapes policies and procedures, the role of coaches in the program is often one that comes with a great deal of concerns and question marks.

Will the University recognize them in any capacity, and are they covered under the University’s liability insurance? Do we want to associate the University and our department with someone who has such a loose affiliation? What are we going to require of the coach to make sure our students are safe? What are we going to require of the coach to keep ourselves covered? Who is going to “supervise” the coach?

Many departments tend to think of Club Sports coaches as a source of risk, or a liability for the department and their program. But handled correctly, the relationship with a non-University employed coach can be a great asset to the program and to the teams with which they work. Read more

Active Shooter

October 18, 2015

Kate Dorrity
Assistant Director – Risk and Facilities Management
Purdue University, Division of Recreational Sports

Active Shooter: two of the most terrifying words to appear on a campus alert notification. In the blink of an eye, all the components that make campus recreation special and exciting become liabilities to personal safety: the large number of guests participating in many different activities, the transient nature of student staff, and the variety of indoor and outdoor locations with open access to all. Paired with the randomness, confusion, and fear that shootings instill in everyone, the ability to maintain safety for staff and participants is a great challenge. Preparing staff is challenging, but we can give them the skills to protect themselves by identifying ways of collecting details about the situations, focusing on a flexible plan and pairing it with experiential training. Read more

Communication with Parents before Camps Start

October 18, 2015

Getting Off on the Right Foot

Shannon Vaccaro
Assistant Director of Sport Clubs & Youth Activities
University of Nebraska-Lincoln

Creating a solid foundation for parent communication is a priority task that should be accomplished prior to your program starting date. Relationships built with parents can set the tone for your entire summer camp experience, making any advance work done in this area well worth the time.

The first communication aimed at parents is the initial marketing piece designed to attract participants (in reality – parents!) to your program. Examples of those first messages might be an ad in the local paper, a poster or flyer at a local business, an ad placed in a school newspaper, any type of publication your program distributes such as a brochure, or your website with your camp information (to be found after a quick Google search). This initial piece of information is what will grab the parents’ attention and a decision will be made on your program in a matter of a few seconds. It is therefore important to have all the basic information included in this media including: dates, times, location, cost and how to sign up. A brief description is also a must so that parents get to know the overall theme of your program. Read more

Operating multi-site Camps

October 18, 2015

The need for consistency

Jeff C. Heiser
Senior Assistant Director, Recreation
UC Davis

Operating youth camps on campus comes with a number of risk management concerns. There are numerous considerations to address prior to bringing youth on campus including staff recruitment and training, emergency response procedures, facility management, and program quality and routines. These issues are multiplied if you are considering running youth camps at multiple sites across campus or at off-campus sites. While this would allow you to diversify your program offerings and serve more participants, you have the additional responsibility of ensuring that all program sites are up to the same standard of operation. To ensure that the quality of your program is of the highest level, conduct some initial research and assessment, regardless of the location of your program. Read more

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