July 17, 2011
Assistant Director, Intramural/Recreational Sports
University of Arkansas
Road and trail racing events have surged in number and participation in the last few decades, and their popularity is certainly understandable. Running and walking are easily accessible forms of exercise, and race events provide structured opportunities to test performance goals, interact with other enthusiasts, and celebrate physical accomplishment. Races are great components of campus recreation programs, either as stand-alone events or in coordination with other program efforts such as homecomings or campus health initiatives.
Despite the appropriateness of road racing within campus recreation programs, many program managers find the task of administering a race event to be daunting. Dramatic incidents and deaths in several high-profile race events have understandably contributed to misgivings regarding the safety of such events as well as reluctance in undertaking their administration. While race administration entails some specific risk management considerations, race directors can ensure that their race is as safe and well-managed as possible by utilizing some basic risk management principles.
April 08, 2011
Katharine M. Nohr, Esq.
Nohr Sports Risk Management LLC
Combine passionate fans, alcohol and football, the equation for spectator unruliness, and your university may have a crowd control problem to contend with. It is not unusual for stadium and event management to engage in a public relations campaign in an effort to prevent anticipated rowdy behavior or address safety concerns before a big game. As you can well imagine, underdog University of Hawaii Warriors football team elicited a tsunami of fan excitement leading up to its Sugar Bowl berth. After a home game against Fresno State, some visitors complained about fan conduct in Aloha Stadium. In response, and before its remaining games against Boise State and Washington leading to an undefeated season, Coach June Jones made television public service announcements and advertisements were placed in electronic and print media to curb potential fan violence. His ‘good sportsmanship’ message urged the fans to show their ‘aloha spirit’, and specifically asked “for the safety of players, please refrain from throwing paper or other objects on the field.” Security was significantly beefed up for subsequent games and there was no repeat of the problems reported at the Fresno State game.