7 Simple Steps to Reduce Serious Risks in Youth Tackle Football/Cheer

American Youth Football insurance

And 3 important reasons to prevent / reduce insurance claims

Purchasing high-limit, high-quality, insurance such as that offered through the endorsed American Youth Football / American Youth Cheer (AYF/AYC) insurance program is just a starting point in protecting your youth and volunteers against injuries and lawsuits. And almost any league can qualify for membership in AYF/AYC to gain access to the endorsed insurance program. Although insurance pays for losses, the goal is to prevent or reduce the injury to a spectator or player so that it never results in an insurance claim.

Here are three important reasons to prevent / reduce insurance claims:

  1. People suffer when they are injured and miss time away from playing the game, school, or work.
  2. In the event of a serious injury, your program can suffer negative media coverage, which can have an impact on the success of your program.
  3. The loss record of the AYF/AYC insurance program must be protected against serious losses which will result in future rate increases.

Below are the seven most important risk management programs that should be formally adopted, distributed to staff, and implemented in order to protect against the most serious types of injuries:

1.  Sample AYF/AYC Risk Management Plan

Implement this comprehensive risk management program or similar to reduce the litigation risk at your locations and in all areas of your operations, including facilities, equipment, supervision, instruction, rules, injury response, sex abuse & molestation, and use of autos. It includes best practices and contractual transfer of risk through participant registration forms such as waiver/release and emergency information/medical consent. Also included are the use of insurance requirements and hold harmless/indemnification provisions in agreements with vendors and visiting teams.

2.  Sample Football/Cheer Brain Injury/Concussion Awareness Risk Management Program

Implement this program or similar to reduce your risk of litigation. Includes coach, parent, and player training on concussion recognition, removal from play, medical treatment, and return to play protocol. Also includes training on removing the head from the tackle through Hawks Tackling resources and practice restrictions.

3. Sample Sex Abuse/Molestation Protection Program (short form)

Implement this program or similar to reduce your risk of an incident. This program has been updated to address the new requirements of the recently-passed federal Safe Sport Act, which requires mandatory reporting of suspected child abuse to law enforcement within 48 hours, specific training on preventing the sexual grooming process, use of the “buddy system,” and a no-retaliation policy for the reporting of a suspicion.

4.  Guide to Preventing Heat Stroke Death in Youth Tackle Football  

Heat stroke death in youth tackle football is preventable if risk management best Heat illnesspractices are followed. These include but are not limited to use of wet bulb globe temperature meter (WBGT) to assist with cancellation or postponement decisions and cold water immersion. WBGT meter prices are falling and a meter can be obtained for as little as $114. However, the Weather FX app can be purchased for as little as $2 and creates a mathematical approximation of WBGT. Heat index is no longer the recommended decision making standard for sports postponement or cancellation decisions as it is inferior to WBGT.

5.  Lightning Safety and 30/30 Rule

This is perhaps the most overlooked safety rule in all of youth sports. Staff must be ready to step up and make the unpopular postponement/cancellation decision when conditions warrant.

6.  Use of 12- and 15-Passenger Vans

The use of 15-passenger vans to transport youth remains a popular but deadly practice in youth sports. Youth sports organizations must follow the lead of schools that have banned this practice and must opt for safer alternatives.

7.  Parade Float Risk Management for Sports Organizations

It’s hard to believe, but two of the largest claims suffered by our youth tackle football and cheer clients have been falls off parade floats. If you must have a parade float, follow these risk management precautions.

Running a youth tackle football and cheer association involves addressing serious risk. Ask yourself if are you taking these important steps to protect your youth and volunteers. Tap into our risk management resources to gain access to our free tools.