Potential Risks in College/High School Athletics.

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Potential Risks in College/High School Athletics. by Mind Map: Potential Risks in College/High School Athletics.

1. Risk #1: Improper maintenance of fields or courts

1.1. Is this a risk?

1.1.1. Yes- there is potential for injury; if there are any holes in turf/grass of a field, athletes running could twist an ankle. Athletes are not typically not looking for places in the field that they might trip or twist an ankle, they are typically more focused on the sport game at hand. This type of risk would fall under liability loss exposure (Kaiser & Cole, p.583)

1.1.2. Improper maintenance of fields could also include a failure to implement a proper draining or sewage system for after a heavy rain storm. If there isn't even an attempt to drain some of the water out of fields, they turn extremely muddy, slippery, and can cause an athlete running at full speed or handling a ball to injure themselves.

1.1.3. This risk could be classified as medium frequency and could range anywhere from low to major in severity. (Kaiser & Cole, p589)

1.1.3.1. Poor weather causing fields to be especially muddy or slippery should not be happening everyday. In some areas of the country I'm sure there are places that receive a lot more rain than others, however it should not be pouring to the point of drenching fields every day of the athletic year.

1.1.3.2. Depending on the severity of the storm that occurred, injuries could be anything from a twisted ankle to a slight fracture. To an athlete, incurring an injury means they have to waste part of the season sitting out, recovering, not allowing college or professional recruits watch them play.

1.2. Is this negligence?

1.2.1. Yes; coaches and administrators have a duty to provide safe playing conditions (Doleschal, p.307) This duty would be considered an unspoken contract between coaches or athletic administrators and student athletes/their families.

1.2.2. If there is an injury as a result of improper field conditions, there would be causation that if the fields were properly kept, the athlete would not have sustained the injury (causation and injury) (Cintron, Module 2 Lecture Video)

1.2.3. Coaches and administrators don't only have the duty to maintain safe playing conditions, but there is also a standard of care that is owed to the athletes. This standard includes that the fields and courts in which they are playing on will be maintained so there are no massive holes that they could trip or fall in during an athletic event.

2. Risk #2: Financial Loss

2.1. Is this a risk?

2.1.1. The risk of financial loss is something that worries almost everyone in society; there is a potential to lose federal or state funding, lose sponsorships, revenue from ticket sales, etc. This risk is classified as a financial loss exposure (Kaiser & Cole, p.584)

2.1.1.1. This is a risk that is especially true for smaller high schools and colleges.

2.1.2. Losing funding/revenue means there will be budget cuts within the athletic department. These cuts could mean that an athletic team has only 1 coach instead of the 2 it really needs. Or that instead of buying new helmets or equipment, student athletes continue to use old, out-dated, potentially dangerous equipment.

2.1.2.1. Improper coaching/staffing could lead to a number of instances where a player could be injured

2.1.2.1.1. Lack of supervision

2.1.2.1.2. Poor coaching/instructing

2.1.3. This risk would be low in frequency because athletic departments will make budget cuts so that they can afford the programs that are not cut. They should not be experiencing devastatingly huge financial loss on a regular basis. The severity could range from low to major. (Kaiser & Cole, p.589)

2.2. Is this negligence?

2.2.1. Administrators have the duty to properly select, train, and supervise coaches. Coaches also have the duty to supervise and to properly instruct, which means they are responsible for ensuring that athletes know what/how to execute skills and drills in a way that is safe.

2.2.2. The standard of care for athletes is understood that they would be taken care of to the extent that they could not injure themselves as a result of lack of supervision or improper instruction

2.2.3. If this results in an injury, it could be difficult to prove that the injury was directly caused by the financial loss or the lack of proper instruction/supervision. This part of negligence could better be seen as proximate cause rather than direct causation. (Sawyer, p.192)

3. Risk #3: Potential risk to spectators

3.1. Is this a risk?

3.1.1. There are instances in which spectators fall through or down bleachers as a result of them being wet from the rain/outdoor conditions.

3.1.2. Metal bleachers can be especially slick after or during an episode of rain, which can cause a spectator to potentially slip and fall.

3.1.3. Indoor bleachers for basketball or other indoor sports have less of a risk of injury because they are not exposed to the elements of nature, but also have the risk of having uneven places that could lead to a very low injury.

3.1.4. This risk would be another liability loss exposure (Kaiser & Cole, p.583)

3.1.5. This type of risk would be very low in frequency and low to minor in severity of injury. Spectators do not fall down bleachers every game, or even every athletic season-it's something that rarely happens, and if it does, the spectator or individual that fell would not sustain injuries that require more than first aid attention. (Kaiser & Cole, p.589)

3.2. Is this negligence?

3.2.1. There is not an obligation or duty for coaches or athletic administrators to assume the safety of spectators, unless it is in the instance of an emergency.

3.2.2. Spectators should assume liability if they decide to watch an athletic event in the rain or slicker weather conditions. They should be aware of the weather, especially if they are outside and facing the weather elements, and should then take precautions to make sure they are slower, more careful on the bleachers.

3.2.3. Injuries incurred from wet bleachers would not last long enough for the process of legal action to occur. "Injuries"such as scraping a knee, feeling sore from a fall is very difficult to prove came from a specific instance at an athletic event.