Championship Thinking in Sports

Jim Meier

Championship Thinking in Sports – How Safe is Your Baseball/Softball Culture from Legal Liability?

Today, more and more baseball and softball programs find themselves in lawsuits or expensive out of court settlement for lack of teaching, supervising and enforcing best safety practices. True, in sports injuries happen. However, if an major injury is litigated and it is ruled that a coach and/or the school or program administrator was negligent, abusive or reckless, the costs can easily be in 7 figures. And the bigger cost: a coach has to live with the haunting truth that a player’s catastrophic injury that happened to a player under his/her watch.  On this is a growing issue, I’ve asked John Pinkman, Legal Consultant specializing in catastrophic baseball injuries, to be my guest on a three part series designed to increase the odds of prevent player injuries. As a Legal Consultant, John teaches the language and nuances of baseball and softball to lawyers including unsafe issues/practices that (can) occur in practices and games. John also writes for and speaks to schools, little league associations and at academies about how to build and sustain a culture of safe practices so coaches can coach, programs can thrive and player injuries are fewer and not catastrophic. This is the first of three shows to help you examine how safe your baseball or softball culture is from legal liability. Core topics are: 1) The misguided bravado of risk in sports, 2) Why ignorance and laziness are poor defenses, 3) The implication that an increasing body of sports science knowledge has a judgments, and 4) Examples of cases John has worked and his ongoing study of baseball and softball sports injuries. Shows two and three will drill down into the steps in prevention and what to do when an injury occurs.