Managing Risk in Sport and Recreation: The Essential Guide for Loss Prevention

July 14, 2011

Katharine M. Nohr, Esq.
Nohr Sports Risk Management, LLC

On March 8, 2003, I was training for the cycling segment of a half Ironman triathlon. I had traveled to Maui with a sport club and we were biking from Kahului to Hana, a treacherous 56 mile ride in the rain. Fatigue, wet brakes and lack of experience navigating switch backs down steep mountain terrain caused my bike to lose control, hit a guard rail and launch me into the air down a 280 foot cliff. The force had caused my bike to break in half, landing high in a tree. My fall was miraculously broken by a ledge where I landed on my knee and wrist, suffering relatively minor injuries (only 3 fractured wrist bones) rather than the more likely outcome of death. The rescue was made by firefighters rappelling down the mountain, rather than an impossibly dangerous helicopter mission.
Soon after this near death experience, I decided to combine my experience as an athlete, Judge and Insurance defense attorney in an effort to make sports and recreation safer and attempt to prevent lawsuits. My efforts in doing this led me to write the book “Managing Risk in Sport and Recreation: The Essential Guide for Loss Prevention”, which was published in August of 2009 by Human Kinetics. In writing this book, I attempted to do several things:

  1. Describe in great detail and in plain language the basic principles of law and risk management
  2. Summarize all recent court decisions regarding sport and recreation and organize them by sport
  3. Develop risk management check lists and forms, which are included in a CD-ROM with the book.

The NIRSA Education & Publication Center, where the book is available for purchase, (, describes the books features as follows:

  •  An examination of the three elements of risk management–risk assessment, control, and financing–with a summary of the key issues involved in each element to provide you with the basis for your risk management plan
  • An eight-step strategy that simplifies the process of creating a risk management plan and can be used in creating a comprehensive plan for your organization or individual plans for specific sports, activities, or events
  • Summaries of published appellate court cases for 14 popular sports and activities to help you better understand sport and recreation law and apply it to your risk management plan
  • An overview of legal principles, including contracts, statutes, negligence, and liability, which will help you better prepare to comply with laws and prevent litigation
  • Coverage of the insurance claims and litigation processes, which gives you an understanding of each process and detailed information to guide you through each step of the processes

Hopefully, use of my book will prevent accidents and injuries like the one I experienced as described above and can be used as a resource to strengthen your risk management program.

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