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Fourteen Legal Duties of Athletic Administrators

Please look forward to receiving information reminders concerning Legal Duties of Athletic Personnel in your school.There are Fourteen Points of Emphasis that we will incrementally forward (two at a time) to you by email over the next couple of weeks.Our purpose is to heighten our awareness of important steps to continue to take as we move through the 2019 spring season and cover all of bases as our school’s leader in sports and activities.We hope this review will be helpful to you!

Topic: Fourteen Legal Duties of Athletic Administrators

I. Duty to Plan
II. Duty to Supervise
III. Duty to Access An Athletes Readiness for Practice and Game
IV. Duty to Maintain Safe Playing Conditions
V. Duty to Provide Safe Equipment
VI. Duty to Instruct Properly
VII. Duty to Match Athletes During Practice
VIII. Duty to Provide and Supervise Proper Physical Conditioning

IX. Duty to Warn

A. Informed Consent … coaches should provide education to all parents, athletes and staff, information should include possibility of injury, paralysis or death, examples of safe practices should be discussed and examples shown, education for general types of unsafe behaviors should be provided, education for sport specific types of unsafe behaviors should be provided

B. Modeling Appropriate Behavior … coaches shall not tolerate acts that violate safety standards, players shall be admonished for acts that violate safety standards, all violations on the part of coaches, staff or athletes shall be documented, athletes with repeated unsafe actions may be banned from participation, coaches who tolerate unsafe actions may be terminated for cause

C. Education … coaches shall show “informed consent” videos to players, parents and staff, athletes must not be allowed to
participate before viewing such videos, parents must give consent to participate after viewing such videos, written guidelines
for sports specific standards shall be given to all participants, written guidelines for sports specific standards shall be posted in all facilities, safety standards shall be included in all coaching and student-athlete handbooks, ongoing in-service safety education for coaches, players and staff shall be conducted

D. Documentation … coaches shall provide written forms for parents and staff,written approval for participation must be signed
by parents and athletes, general “informed consent” forms shall be signed and kept on file, sports specific “informed consent”
forms shall be signed and kept on file, documentation of posting of safety guidelines in all facilities shall be kept on file,
documentation of ongoing in-service activities for staff and players shall be on file

X. Duty to Ensure Athletes Are Covered Buy Insurance

A. Historical Past Practices … some state associations do not mandate individual insurance coverage, some state associations
provide or manage catastrophic insurance coverage, some districts provide some level of coverage for athletes, some districts
provide catastrophic insurance coverage, many districts provide no insurance coverage at all

B. The Case for Mandated Coverage … some degree of coverage will lessen liability exposure for local districts, some degree of
coverage will lessen liability exposure for coaches and staff, some degree of coverage will benefit athletes in the event of injury, any degree of coverage shows sign of good faith on the part of the school or school district

C. Some Best Practices … put systems in place to require coverage prior to participation, some schools provide individual coverage through third part groups, athletic departments should provide social services options for families with low income, some civic groups assist with schools to provide for indigent families, work with school insurance companies to provide limited coverage athletic insurance, work with school insurance companies to provide some level of catastrophic insurance

D. Documentation … document all coverage for all participants through the athletic department, document all injuries that require
treatment and payment, document any additional funding to provide for families with limited income, document all injuries and
payments that could lead to catastrophic coverage

Best Practices – Fourteen Legal Duties of Athletic Personnel, edited by Bob Stinchcomb, CAA and John Evers, CMAA reviewed in Fall 2016 issue of Interscholastic Athletic Administration.

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