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Risk Management Legal Issues in Coaching. Introduction: Less than 20 years ago Judo coaches seldom gave a second thought to the possibility of becoming.

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Presentation on theme: "Risk Management Legal Issues in Coaching. Introduction: Less than 20 years ago Judo coaches seldom gave a second thought to the possibility of becoming."— Presentation transcript:

1 Risk Management Legal Issues in Coaching

2 Introduction: Less than 20 years ago Judo coaches seldom gave a second thought to the possibility of becoming involved in lawsuits related to their coaching and teaching efforts. However, the fear of becoming involved in Litigation is a common theme with coaches in other sports

3 The coaching profession, at all levels, is vulnerable in our present litigious society.

4 Legal Responsibilities One of the best ways to avoid lawsuits is for Coach to know their responsibilities and rights in their roles as a coach.

5 Litigation Coaches are increasingly becoming involved in litigation (lawsuits) every year Not necessarily because coaches are becoming more careless in their duties But because the court systems have been redefining what those duties include.

6 The Legal Responsibilities The Legal Responsibilities of the coach has been expanding in recent years The requirements for meeting those obligations have become quite complicated. The vast majority of litigation dealing with coaches involves negligence.

7 Negligence Ex. 1(fill-in) Is the failure to exercise a reasonable or ordinary amount of care in a situation that causes harm to someone or something. Further, negligence is any conduct which falls below the standard of care established by the courts and professional practices and standard for the protection of others against unreasonable risk of harm.

8 Is essential in negligence. In Judo, damage is almost always defined as physical injury. –Plaintiffs, (those who allege damage ‑‑ usually the parents of an injured athlete) –Must show that the damage was caused by the coach (defendant's) carelessness (negligence). Damage

9 The question is not whose act, but whose carelessness caused the damage. Secondly, the damage has to be linked to the defendant. –The predominate test used to determine negligence is FORESEEABILITY to damage. It is what a court, reviewing the event later, considers to have been foreseeable in order to do justice in the case before it.

10 Liability In negligence –4 elements and requires affirmative answers to four basic questions

11 Elements of Negligence Ex. 2 1) Does the law recognize liability in this kind of situation? –The law must recognize that a duty to conform to the requisite standard of care established by the court(s) and/or the Judo coaching profession exist to protect others (usually athletes) against the kind of harm in question before the bench.

12 In other words, did the coach have a recognized duty to protect the athlete? –Example ‑ A beginning Judoka is taught Kani- Basami and dislocates her partner’s knee cap. The coach believed the student should learn this type of technique to keep her interested in the Sport. Elements of Negligence con't

13 Elements of Negligence con't Ex. 2 2) Was the coach careless; i.e.. did his/her conduct fall short of the requisite standard of care and come within the scope determined by the court –Once the court has determined the coaches duty. It can then assess whether or not the coach breached his/her duty.

14 The breach can either be due to careless performance or careless absence of performance. –Example ‑ The Judoka in #1 above was regarded as an outstanding athlete. Her practice attempts at Kani-Basami that caused the injury were regarded as outstanding by the coaching staff. Elements of Negligence con't

15 Elements of Negligence con't Ex. 2 3) Did the coach carelessness in fact cause the damage or injury? –The court must recognize that the coach’s action or lack of action was the proximate cause of the injury. Example - A beginner Judoka attempt at Kani- Basami did not allow her to execute the throw correctly. However, the judoka was probably too inexperienced to know what was required for the specific throw.

16 4) To what extent is the coach at fault? –The court must determine whether or not there is a reasonable proximate causal link between the breach of duty (carelessness) and the actual harm or injury. Example ‑ In the situation just described, the Judoka begged the coach to allow her to learn some type of unique move. The coach fail to tell the student that the move was very dangerous and illegal in tournament competition. Elements of Negligence con't Ex. 2

17 The plaintiff must prove ALL elements of negligence in order to win a case against the defendant. –If one of the four elements is not proved. the plaintiff will lose the case. –Therefore, it is necessary for the defendant's attorney to prove that one or more of the elements of negligence is absent from the case before the bench. Elements of Negligence con't

18 Welfare of their Athletes –Include the teaching of skills, values, and knowledge that will allow young athletes to safely participate in practice and in tournaments. Legal Responsibilities

19 Accountability Coaches are also accountable for the supervision of their athletes during pre- tournament, intermission, and post ‑ tournament activities that are commonly associated with Judo competition.

20 The Responsibilities of the Coach Knowledge of a coach's legal responsibilities can serve two useful purposes. –The most important of these is that such information provides a potent stimulus to discharge one's duties in a diligent manner, ever mindful that carelessness provokes situations that could induce injuries. –The second purpose is that if coaches have used every possible precaution to prevent injuries, they are in a good position to defend themselves against litigation.

21 11 Categories of Coach Responsibility

22 Risk Management Ex.4: Checklist Adequate Supervision Adequate and Proper Equipment Appropriate Warning of Risk Safe Environment Proper Instruction Adequate Matching Proper Records Adequate and Proper Planning Adequate Evaluation for Injury or Incapacity Appropriate Emergency Procedures and First Aid Training

23 Adequate Supervision Ex. 3 Fill-in Definition: You are in charge Responsibilities: –Specific - Is instructional in nature and directed toward the actual teaching or coaching of the activity –General - Maintain visual and auditory contact with individuals and areas

24 Adequate and Proper Equipment Definition: You must provide individual with the best equipment for the greatest degree of safety. –Responsibilities: You must be diligent in the selection, distribution, use and repair of equipment. Example: Holes in Judo-gi or mats

25 Appropriate Warning of Risk Definition: A warning is any statement that informs one in advance of impending or possible harm or risk. –Responsibilities: You must do whatever can be done to assure that the athlete knows, understand and appreciate the activity in which they are involved. This information then permits them to know, understand, and appreciate the risks involved in participation. Example: Judo Waiver Form

26 Maintaining a Safe Environment Definition: Inspect and correct any problems with the facilities, apparatus or equipment used by your athletes. –Responsibilities: Correct any problems detected or notify the person having the authority to correct the situation. Example: The judo mats are not secured (taped) together. Inform the head sensei.

27 Proper Instruction Definition: Instruct the activity in a manner that will reduce the likelihood of injury. –Responsibility: The Coach provides instruction in mechanics of the activity and the proper progression in physical conditioning and teaching. Example: Negligence may be charged if the coach fails to teach the proper progression of skills and his inadequate instruction results in a player being injured.

28 Adequate Matching of Competitors Definition: To avoid injury, athletes should compete against opponents who possess similar characteristics and skills. Responsibilities: Matching should not be done arbitrarily ; coaches must consider skill, height, weight and maturity. Example: All children do not mature at the same age. Especially in judo, don’t match an early maturer who may have reached adult size with a smaller judoka who has not started his/her growth spurt.

29 Maintaining Proper Records Proof is often needed in court to defend against alleged negligence –It is essential for maintaining and retrieving data about injuries Records that should be kept –Injury Reports –Instructional Plans –Records of Facility Maintenance –Waiver Forms –Copies of All Certifications Held by Judo Coach

30 Adequate and Proper Planning Plans must be reasonable, well though out, and based on past experiences and readiness of the individual The plan should contain properly written performance objectives and document a logical sequence and progression.

31 Adequate Evaluation for Injuries and Incapacity Judo Coach should be aware of each individuals physical condition. No individual should be allowed to participate after a major injury until a doctor's release is obtained.

32 Responsibilities of Personnel Coaches and Assistant Coaches should be provided with current informational, instructional and illustrative materials dealing with physical conditioning and coaching.

33 Appropriate Emergency Procedures Judo Coach responsibility to provide or secure appropriate medical assistance for injured individual CPR and/or First Aid

34 Judo Coach should Possess Certification in Coach Education or Have Proof of Successful Completion of Professional Competencies Proper First Aid and Care Record All the Facts Surrounding the Injury Complete a Full Report of the Accident

35 Judo Coach should Make a Record of the Conditions in the Workout Area. Avoid Speculation About Why the Injury Occurred or Who Caused It. –Do not suggest fault or wrongdoing on the part of anyone. Judo coach should never assume duties beyond their level of competence.

36 Risk Management Necessary Forms –Agreement to Participate –Consent and Release (Waiver) –Written guidelines or policies: Provide written information regarding the potential injuries that can occur in the activity

37 End

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