Posts Tagged ‘football team insurance’

2015 American Youth Football & Cheer Insurance Program Released

The gold standard that is the envy of the competition

The American Youth Football and American Youth Cheer endorsed insurance provider, Sadler Sports Insurance, has released the new 2015 insurance program for teams /associations /conferences.  Detailed 2015 coverage and rate information  is now available on our website Our online enrollment became operational on May 16, 2015.

The 2015 offering is, once again, the gold standard in youth football and cheer insurance with an unbeatable combination of low rates, broad custom coverages, and best-in-industry automation that allows instant online enrollment and issuance of proof of coverage documents and certificates for field owners. But that’s not all: the program also provides best-in-industry risk management resources to prevent injuries before they become claims and groundbreaking studies on safety in youth football and cheer.

Apply, pay, and print proof of coverage documents and certificates in as little as 10 minutes

Our advanced automation is so simple and fast that you can complete the entire insurance purchase transaction and print all your documents in as little as 10 minutes. Many competitors require the completion of forms and days of waiting just to get a quote. Then, once the quote is bound, it can take several days to get the proof of coverage document sand certificates for field owners. Or, they could charge $100 extra for next day rush delivery.

After the purchase, we provide our clients access to our website so that they can self-issue certificates for new field owners 24/7. It’s so easy and our clients love this benefit.

Beware of competing programs that seem too good to be true

We often hear stories about a competitor offering cut-rate policies with a per team rate that is too low to be believable. Whenever this happens, something ends up being defective with the offering, which illustrates that if something is too good to be true, it usually is. We’ve seen cases where the quoted price did not include the cost of both the Accident and General Liability policies, where the organization never reported the transaction to the insurance carrier and no insurance was in force, and where a big corporation was going to foot the bill for the insurance (dream on), etc. After a little bit of digging, these schemes fall apart.

What is being done to combat the risk of concussion/brain injury and related litigation?

Sadler Sports Insurance has released a new Football/Cheer Concussion Awareness Risk Management Program (short form) that is strongly recommended for all teams/associations/conferences. This free program can be downloaded from our risk management page. This program consolidates accepted risk management practices into a three-page document for easy board adoption and implementation. We recommend coaches complete the AYF coaching education program. Certification is required of head football and cheer coaches participating in AYF national championships. We also encourage coaches, volunteers and players view the Seattle Seahawks’ tackle video, which demonstrates their tackling methods. It is important for all teams/association/conferences to thicken their shields by adopting and fully implementing a comprehensive concussion/brain injury risk management program. The future of our sports depends on this action and it’s the right thing to do to protect the kids.

What is being done to combat sex abuse/molestation post Sandusky?

We introduced a simple one-page Child Abuse/Molestation Protection Program – Administrators (short form) that, if adopted by your board and fully implemented, will greatly lessen the chances of an incident occurring within your program. The free program can be downloaded from from our risk management page.

Best-in-industry risk management resources (free)

We have an incredible line up of free risk management resources including articles, legal forms, risk management program templates for your easy adoption and customization, and training videos for administrators and staff. This includes the newly created document entitled Sample AYF/AYC Advanced Plan, which is a comprehensive risk management program customized for AYF/AYC organizations. Please visit our risk management page to access these materials.

Be a part of groundbreaking injury studies

If you purchase your insurance through the endorsed insurance program, all Accident claims automatically become part of the database where our custom software analyzes the information to produce meaningful injury reports. This has led to groundbreaking studies on  the comparison of injuries in age only vs age/weight categories and the incidence of concussions within AYF/AYC.

Is a League Liable for Faulty Sports Equipment?

Concerns regarding older equipment

We received a phone call from a youth lacrosse club coach who was Lacrosse equipmentconcerned about the use of 20-year-old helmets that haven’t been reconditioned or re-certified. He wanted to know if he could be liable in the event of a head injury to a player since it his responsibility to verify to the referee prior to the game that all equipment is in safe operating condition. He also wanted to know if his General Liability policy would cover any potential lawsuit.

 The short answer is that league administrators and coaches are responsible for the following aspects of equipment safety:
  • Long-range planning for the repair, refurbishment, and replacement of helmets. These decisions need to be made far in advance as they can take time to budget and complete.
  • Confirming helmets meet current National Operating Committee on Standards for Athletic Equipment (NOCSAE) requirements, as well as the requirements of the sports governing body.
  • Helmets should be inspected for defects in post season, pre season, weekly, and prior to any game or practice.
  • Maintaining repairing, and conditioning equipment on a regular basis.
  • Reconditioning to “like new” basis of safety equipment such as helmets should be performed by a reputable reconditioning business as opposed to an on staff trainer. NOCSAE may require re-certification.
  • Replacing helmets on a periodic basis per manufacturers recommendations.
  • Record keeping for documentation purposes on all of the above.
There is no doubt that many of the above outlined principles may have been violated and the coach is justified in his concerns about liability.
 
General Liability generally don’t have an exclusion for lawsuits arising from of injuries due to failure to follow proper equipment safety protocol as outlined above. Therefore, coverage is likely to exist under most policies. However, a minority of policies may have a punitive damages exclusion. Willful disregard of known safety protocol could result in punitive damages. In addition, any litigation, even if covered by General Liability insurance, results in a black eye for the program and pretrial discovery and litigation is an emotional drain on league administrators and coaches.
 
For a more detailed resource on Equipment Safety, see our Risk Management Program For Sports Organizations

Review: TackleSure Coach Training Program Endorsed by AYF

Why is a change in tackling techniques necessary now?

Heightened awareness on the dangers of concussions and long term brain injury from sub concussive impacts has brought to the forefront the need to change the culture of youth tackle football to protect the future of the sport by addressing injury, liability, and insurance concerns. Traditional risk management techniques of concussion education, recognition, removal, treatment, and return-to-play protocols don’t address the risk of an accumulation of sub concussive impacts over multiple seasons. Therefore, programs like TaTackle SureckleSure have emerged to remove the head from tackling and to introduce tackling drills that don’t require pads and can be executed with limited contact. I strongly recommend the TackleSure program as a part of a comprehensive concussion/brain injury risk management program for youth tackle football.

 Description of TackleSure online training course

TackleSure, an official licensed partner of NFL Players, is an online course that consists of 11 class segments which are followed by an online multiple choice test. After registering and paying the reduced $5.00 course fee for AYF members, registrants view videos with instruction by Thurmond Moore (college and NFL defensive coach) and Jared Allen (All-Pro defensive end) where they define the problem, introduce the correct tackling technique and terminology, introduce drills to reinforce each aspect of the technique, and demonstrate the step-by-step coaching process in the field on inexperienced youth players. In addition, segments include concussion education and introduce the new Reebok Check Light Skull Cap product. Most will not complete the course in a single sitting, but it’is easy to log back in and start the next segment. The course includes a 100-page PDF document that is a great reference tool for coaches as it explains and illustrates all drills.

 Why I reviewed the course

 As a leader in sports insurance and risk management for youth tackle football, I decided to take the TackleSure course to gain a

Tackle Sure test results

Screenshot of my final test score.

better education and to experience what my clients would experience. After all, how could I recommend a course without having experienced it myself? I do need to add the disclaimer that I never played organized football and have never coached it.

TackleSure Certificate

Screenshot of my TackleSure certificate of completion.

My son did play as a 7th grader, so I have observed a number of youth practices and games. Therefore, my observations on TackleSure are from the perspective of a neophyte but that may not be too far off as many coaches are dads who have unexpectedly found themselves in a coaching position.

 What is wrong with the traditional tackling technique?

The traditional tackling technique of putting the head to side and wrapping up the ball carrier with the arms tends to result in reaching, a bending forward at the waist, and all too often leading with the head.  The hammer metaphor of being a hammer (knees bent – power angle – back straight) as opposed to being a nail (bend at the waist) has also been used to describe the correct tackling technique. Unfortunately, the traditional tackling technique is usually taught and practiced at full contact, which results in a greater probability of head contact, more sub concussive impacts, and a greater chance of concussions.

 Safety at the sacrifice of effectiveness?

 The main objective of TackleSure is to get the head out of the tackle. Does this mean that the safer tackling technique is less effective? Not according to the experts. The TackleSure technique actually brings more force to the tackle due to the explosion of the hips, the throwing of the uppercuts, and the double-time leg drive. The traditional tackling technique of leaning forward from the waist and wrapping up does not have the same explosiveness because the lower body and core are not engaged and the wrapping of the arms to the side results in a misdirection of potential upper body force away from the ball carrier.

 The major components of the TackleSure technique

 TackleSure can be introduced to a team in three days and fully implemented in two weeks. In addition, the drills are designed for no pads and lessened contact so that they can be repeatedly practiced and reinforced to build muscle memory. The techniques are taught from simple to complex, from the end of the tackle forward, from teaching pace to full speed pace, and from left foot forward and right foot forward.

  • Clamp progression eliminates the head as a weapon and teaches the basics of tackling technique from finish stance (lower body positioning and engagement of hips forward), one legged take off, belly button/hips through, chest pop, clamp and claw (upper body engagement of getting head out of tackle by looking up at high hands and tying up ball carrier between elbows with hands grabbing cloth on back of ball carrier’s jersey), and machine gunning legs to provide power to finish off tackle.
  • Chest pop progression adds refinements to promote power in tackle with continued emphasis on removing the head. Starts with flat back stance and elbows back with guns in holsters, one legged take off, explode hips into ball carrier, shoot strong double upper cuts, make contact with chest, lift and tie up ball carrier, kick opposite leg high and wide, and double time high and wide with legs.
  • Shimmy progression adds open field positioning and footwork transitioning toward ball carrier includes sprinting, shimmy stance, break step, and fit position.
  • Nearfoot progression adds the element of aiming near foot at ball carrier.
  • Specialty tackles: – lawnmower, tomahawk, and gator.

 What you need to know before you take the course

The course is thorough, but it needs to be in order to explain, reinforce, and illustrate the techniques and drills to the coaches. The last two course segments are repeats of earlier segments, but they are critical to see what is likely to happen when these concepts are introduced to inexperienced youth players and the corrections that need to be made in the field. All 11 segments take approximately 4.5 hours. to complete. However, not all segments are necessary viewing to pass the test. Also, remember that TackleSure does not require on-field instruction because the videos are so thorough and well-illustrated.

The major competing tackle course takes about 20 minutes online plus an on-the-field training clinic. The online portion doesn’t come close to approaching the thoroughness and effectiveness of the TackleSure program in terms of either safety or improved tackling. In addition, the on-field training clinic comes with the related hassles of travel, scheduling, and make ups.

Be sure to take notes as you watch the TackleSure videos so you can reference them during the exam. The exam is not a cakewalk.

TackleSure is just a part of a comprehensive concussion/brain injury risk management program. In addition, a basic concussion course should be required such as the CDC’s Heads Up or NAYS Concussion Awareness and all organizations should have written policies and procedures to address recognition, removal, treatment, and return-to-play protocol.

Conclusion

Overall, I give the TackleSure training a very high rating and believe that I would be able to teach the correct technique if I were to become a youth football coach. It’s important for the instruction be geared to first-time coaches. I also applaud their decision to offer the entire training program online as opposed to in-person coach clinics. We all know that with volunteer organizations, it is virtually impossible to coordinate live training for all coaches at the same time due to scheduling conflicts and the addition of new coaches later in the season.

Click here to access the TackleSure program.

For more information on a comprehensive football/cheer brain injury risk management program, visit the concussion section of our Risk Management page.

Click here for more information on AYF/AYC Insurance.

 

2014 AYF/AYC Insurance Program Released

The gold standard that is the envy of the competition

AYF LogoThe American Youth Football and American Youth Cheer endorsed insurance provider, Sadler Sports Insurance, has released the new 2014 insurance program for teams /associations /conferences.  Detailed 2014 coverage and rate information  is now available on our website Our online enrollment will become operational on May 15, 2014.

The 2014 offering is, once again, the gold standard in youth football and cheer insurance with an unbeatable combination of low rates, broad custom coverages, and best-in-industry automation that allows instant online enrollment and issuance of proof of coverage documents and certificates for field owners. But that’s not all: the program also provides best-in-industry risk management resources to prevent injuries before they become claims and groundbreaking studies on safety in youth football and cheer.

Apply, pay, and print proof of coverage documents and certificates in as little as 10 minutes

Our advanced automation is so simple and fast that you can complete the entire insurance purchase transaction and print all your documents in as little as 10 minutes. Many competitors require the completion of forms and days of waiting just to get a quote. Then, once the quote is bound, it can take several days to get the proof of coverage document sand certificates for field owners. Or, they could charge $100 extra for next day rush delivery.

After the purchase, we provide our clients access to our website so that they can self-issue certificates for new field owners 24/7. It’s so easy and our clients love this benefit.

Beware of competing programs that seem too good to be true

We often hear stories about a competitor offering cut-rate policies with a per team rate that is too low to be believable. Whenever this happens, something ends up being defective with the offering, which illustrates that if something is too good to be true, it usually is. We’ve seen cases where the quoted price did not include the cost of both the Accident and General Liability policies, where the organization never reported the transaction to the insurance carrier and no insurance was in force, and where a big corporation was going to foot the bill for the insurance (dream on), etc. After a little bit of digging, these schemes fall apart.

What is being done to combat the risk of concussion/brain injury and related litigation?

Sadler Sports Insurance has released a new Football/Cheer Concussion Awareness Risk Management Program (short form) that is strongly recommended for all teams/associations/conferences. This free program can be downloaded from our risk management page. This program consolidates accepted risk management practices into a three-page document for easy board adoption and implementation. An important element of this program is the new Tackle Sure coach training program, which is endorsed by AYF. The cost is $5 per coach and covers effective and safe tackling techniques on a step -by-step basis. It is important for all teams/association/conferences to thicken their shields by adopting and fully implementing a comprehensive concussion/brain injury risk management program. The future of our sports depends on this action and it’s the right thing to do to protect the kids.

What is being done to combat sex abuse/molestation post Sandusky?

We introduced a simple one-page Child Abuse/Molestation Protection Program – Administrators (short form) that, if adopted by your board and fully implemented, will greatly lessen the chances of an incident occurring within your program. The free program can be downloaded from from our risk management page.

Best-in-industry risk management resources (free)

We have an incredible line up of free risk management resources including articles, legal forms, risk management program templates in  Microsoft WORD format for your easy adoption and customization, and training videos for administrators and staff. This includes the newly created document entitled Sample AYF/AYC Advanced Plan, which is a comprehensive risk management program customized for AYF/AYC organizations and is available exclusively to our current clients in the password protected section of our risk management page.

Be a part of groundbreaking injury studies

If you purchase your insurance through the endorsed insurance program, all Accident claims automatically become part of the database where our custom software analyzes the information to produce meaningful injury reports. This has led to groundbreaking studies on  the comparison of injuries in age only vs age/weight categories and the incidence of concussions within AYF/AYC.

 

Football Governing Bodies Adopt Rule Changes

Concussion risks prompt regulation amendments

Football governing and sanctioning bodies have adopted rule changes to protect players against concussions and repeated sub-concussive impacts (CTE) as a result of recent concerns.

Below are the National Federation Of High Schools 2012 rule changes:

  • If the helmet comes off during a live play, high school players must sit out for the following play.
  • Concussions policy for all high school sports:
    Any athlete who exhibits signs, symptoms or behaviors consistent with a concussion (such as loss of consciousness, headache, dizziness, confusion, or balance problems) shall be immediately removed from the contest and shall not return to play until cleared by an appropriate health care professional.
  • Once a player has been concussed, the suggested concussion management policy is as follows:
    1.  No athlete should return to play or practice the same day of a concussion.
    2.  Any athlete suspected of having a concussion should be evaluated by an appropriate healthcare professional that day.
    3.  Any athlete with a concussion should be medically cleared by an appropriate health care professional prior to resuYouth tackle footballming participation in any practice or competition

Individual state rule changes:

  • The Texas High School Coaches Association requires coaches to successfully complete two hours of concussion training prior to September 1, 2012. A refresher course is required every two years.

Pop Warner 2012 rule changes:

Two new rules were designed to limit contact and the way players hit each other:

1.  No full-speed, head-on blocking or tackling drills in which players line up more than three yards apart. Intentional head-to-head contact is prohibited.

2.  Coaches must limit contact at each practice to a maximum of one-third of practice time. “Contact” means any drill or scrimmage where players go full speed with contact.

In my opinion:

The Pop Warner rule will have a limited impact since only 28% of concussions occur during practice, according to the injury data that my insurance agency has developed on youth football injuries.

John Sadler

Source: The Safety Rulebook; American Football Monthly; Volume 18; August/September 2012

Deadly Concussion Risks

The dangers of returning to play too early

The National Alliance for Youth Sports posted an article citing football as the deadliest sport for youth athletes. The information was gleaned from a study conducted by Barry Maron of the Minneapolis Heart Institute Foundation using information from the National Registry of Sudden Death in Young Athletes.

The study revealed that football accounted for 57 percent of sports deaths among young athletes. Many of those deaths could have been prevented if the athletes with head injuries had been kept off the playing field, according to the research team that scrutinized 30 years of data.

Of the 138 football deaths caused by head or neck injuries, 12 percent were players who returned to the playing field following a concussion. Their deaths were caused by what is called ‘second-impact syndrome.’ Some of these athletes were cleared for play despite displaying symptoms from a previous head injury.

The position of running back was the single most deadly position in football, according to the research, with 33 deaths in 30 years. There were 69 deaths that occurred among various defensive player positions.

Source: “Football Is Deadliest Sport for Young Athletes, Study Finds,” Sporting Kid, Fall 2011, National Alliance For Youth Sports

Youth Football Weight Limit Debate

Posted | Filed under Football

An ongoing argument

Even after our original blog was posted addressing the weight limit debate in youth football, we are still seeing heavy traffic and commentary on this subject. Read the blog here. What are your thoughts?