The following table includes descriptions of 48 actions that either your coaches or you (for your program) should complete to minimize risk. When these actions are not completed, general risks are created or exacerbated.

Use the table to identify your program’s general risks:

  1. Review each action. The first 17 describe actions your coaches complete. The next 31 describe actions you (for your program) complete.
  2. For each action, indicate if it is completed by clicking in the Yes or No column. Statements marked "No" indicate a general risk.
  3. Click Submit to proceed to the second step in the risk-management process.
Our General Risks
Actions Yes No
Coaches . . .
1. provide a safe environment for practice and contests.
2. teach skills in developmentally appropriate progressions.
3. provide appropriate supervision for activities.
4. warn players of inherent risks in the activity.
5. enforce the rules and regulations of the sport and your organization.
6. match and equate players fairly for practice and contests.
7. provide proper first aid when injuries occur.
8. keep records of injuries and other losses.
9. ensure the civil rights of all participants.
10. understand the difference between ordinary negligence and gross negligence.
11. know the signs and symptoms of possible child abuse.
12. know that by law they must report to the appropriate authorities any reason they have to believe a child or vulnerable adult is being abused or neglected.
13. know whether the immunity laws in your state protect them against ordinary negligence.
14. know if they are covered under your organization’s insurance program.
15. have a plan for obtaining medical assistance quickly.
16. submit reports on all injuries and accidents.
17. transport youngsters using their personal vehicles.
You . . .
1. follow a formal procedure for selecting qualified staff, officials, and coaches to conduct the program.
2. ensure that your staff, officials, and coaches are appropriately educated to perform their duties.
3. monitor all aspects of the program appropriately, especially the competitive events and the facilities in which they occur.
4. keep up-to-date job descriptions that define the coaches’ duties.
5. supervise, evaluate, and provide feedback to your coaches about how to perform their duties.
6. honor equal employment opportunity guidelines when hiring or terminating a coach.
7. follow ADA mandates that policies, procedures, and practices that discriminate against the disabled population be eliminated.
8. keep your risk-management plan up-to-date.
9. ensure that you and your staff are knowledgeable about certain standards regarding sports facilities and equipment purchasing and maintenance.
10. keep up-to-date with health, physical education, and medical organizations that offer recommendations on safe practices in sport, recommend ages for participation, conditions that disqualify participants from participation, preparticipation physical examinations, strength and conditioning guidelines, and drug use.
11. receive periodicals that provide coverage of risk-management issues.
12. educate your staff and coaches.
13. supervise all aspects of your program or assign others to provide general supervision.
14. assign others to supervise a playing facility or special event only after making sure they are competent to plan for the activity.
15. ensure that your staff members follow guidelines and a checklist for supervising sports facilities.
16. keep up-to-date supervision guidelines for all your programs.
17. ensure that all staff members follow guidelines and a checklist for supervising the use of sports equipment.
18. maintain a careful system of recordkeeping that could serve as legal documentation in case of a lawsuit.
19. ensure that the parents of the participants in your program assume risk by signing waivers/releases and consent forms.
20. ensure that your organization purchases all the types of insurance it needs for staff and volunteer coaches.
21. keep an up-to-date emergency medical response plan that you developed in consultation with a local physician, preferably a sports medicine specialist.
22. require all participants to provide you with a medical history.
23. require all participants to have a preparticipation physical examination to identify potential medical problems.
24. ensure your awareness of the conditions that may disqualify a child from playing as recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics.
25. ensure that all participants fill out an emergency information card.
26. train your coaches and supervisors about what to do and what not to do when players are injured.
27. ensure that all athletes in your programs are transported by licensed commercial carriers.
28. ensure that athletes who are not transported by licensed commercial vehicles are transported instead by vehicles of your agency.
29. ensure that all drivers of your agency’s vehicles are qualified.
30. ensure that the vehicles are in good repair and properly insured.
31. keep up-to-date policies to ensure that all personnel and athletes in your program are afforded due process.

Click Next after reviewing the document.

Directing Youth Sports Programs  online course by ASEP, 2006, Champaign, IL: Human Kinetics.
Organizations and agencies may not photocopy any material for professional or organizational use or distribution.