CHAPTER 4 - INSURANCE/LIABILITY
Insurance is a contract displacing the risk and burden of loss from many subscribers to
an insurer. For the payment of a premium, the insurer agrees to cover losses incurred
by the insured (subject to the limits and coverage specified in the policy).
The losses covered are of two general kinds. The first is loss caused by injury to the
insured (accident insurance). Accident insurance covering medical and health losses
can be arranged without much difficulty and at a moderate cost.
The second general kind of coverage is for losses resulting from the insured's legal
liability to others (liability insurance). Liability insurance is not as readily available, is
much more costly, and is often subject to exclusions limiting its applicability.
The manager should ensure that if the athletes have individual insurance and know the
limits of that coverage. It should be possible to arrange medical and health insurance
coverage without much difficulty.
In nearly all cases, your provincial Ringette association will have insurance that covers
both accident and liability losses. Check with your Ringette association and/or your
provincial Ringette association to confirm the types of coverage you have for your team.
The manager (and coach) must assume duties in three areas: facilities and
organization, instruction and supervision, and medical care.
The premises and equipment used must be as reasonably safe and suitable for the
purpose used as is accepted by modern knowledge and practice. The fitting of
equipment and its apparent efficiency must be verified.
The event must be safely organized. Steps must be taken to avoid accidents caused by
overcrowding or poor arrangements.
Reasonable care must be taken in the supervision of the activity. This includes the
anticipation of and warning against danger, and preventing participants from engaging
in unreasonably dangerous activities.
4.2.3 MEDICAL CARE
The manager should inquire about sickness or injury and prohibit participation where
necessary. In the event of accident or emergency, it is the manager's duty to ensure
that reasonable and necessary first aid is available and further medical assistance is
provided as soon as possible under the circumstances. The manager (and coach) may
be liable for unreasonable acts or omissions in medical treatment which worsen the
injured person’s condition.
Generally, the law does not impose a duty on persons to give medical assistance to
those whom they find injured. However, where a special relationship of care exists, such
as with a manager or coach, it is the responsibility of the person in charge to provide
reasonable and necessary first aid and to call additional medical assistance.
Those who volunteer first aid may be liable for any worsening caused by the treatment if
the first aid provided is below the required standard. An action such as moving an
athlete with a suspected neck injury falls below the standard of care. Where first aid is
given in an emergency, protection is given in some provinces (B.C., Alberta,
Saskatchewan, and Nova Scotia), so that a worsening of the condition is only actionable
in the event of gross negligence. This "Good Samaritan" protection applies only to
treatment given at the immediate scene of the accident outside of a hospital or other
medically equipped facility.
The time of injury can be a time of worry for the athlete, teammates, team staff, and
parents. It will be your responsibility to maintain composure and add a steady and
friendly hand. In most cases the initial trauma will subside in a short time and the athlete
will be able to leave the ice by themselves. Make sure that ample time is provided for
the athlete to overcome the initial trauma.
4.3 Excluding Liability
It is possible to notify the participants of the hazards of the sport and, as a condition of
participation, have each participant release or waive the organizers of the event from
any liability for losses suffered by the participant.
The wording of the waiver and release must be specific and must include a direct
reference to a release from negligent acts, or it will not be applicable to negligence.
In order to create an awareness of the issues concerning medical and liability
insurance, it is strongly advised that each athlete be required to complete a waiver form.
A sample form of release and waiver follows this section. Ideally, legal advice for the
appropriate wording should be obtained from a lawyer in your community, however you
may find that a waiver form based on the following sample will be adequate.
4.4 Sample Waiver and Release Form
4.5 Record Keeping
It will be important for you to keep accurate files for use in emergencies. There are
occasions where athletes may be unable to provide medical information and parents
may not be accessible. Obtaining the information early in a relaxed environment will
ensure the completeness and accuracy of the data.
This sensitive information must be kept strictly confidential. This cannot be
overstressed! Other than for conditions which could affect an athlete's
performance and/or emergency care i.e. (asthma, epilepsy, etc.); only the person
responsible for first aid should have access to the forms and information.
Two sample forms have been provided in 4.5.1 and 4.5.2, and may be used or adapted
for use. Form 4.5.1 should be reviewed; the pertinent information transferred to form
4.5.2, and then sealed in an individually labelled envelope and kept with the team. No
athlete, parent, nor team staff member should have access to this personal information.
Form 4.5.2 will serve as a handy reference for quick use. All of the information you
gather throughout the year (e.g. waivers, medical information, birth certificates, fee
payment, etc.) should all be kept in a handy reference file of your choosing and design.
You will find that this will prove invaluable time and time again.
All file information should be returned to the athlete following the final wrap up for the
season. The athletes must then re-submit all pertinent data the following year to their
new team staff.
4.5.1 MEDICAL HISTORY FORM
4.5.2 MEDICAL WAIVER FORM
4.5.3 MEDICAL INFORMATION SUMMARY FORM