Posts Tagged ‘Softball insurance’

Applying Title IX to Municipal Field Usage

Do girls have equal rights to field usage?

A client in Oregon contacted me about a problem the local softball league is having as regards access to fields. I doubt this problem is unique, and perhaps other organizations can benefit  from this information.

The local rec baseball and softball teams share a municipal ballpark, which includes multiple practice fields. Apparently, the girls are not given equitable field time except in the fall, when the boys don’t play.The softball teams have offered to help maintain and build fields to pull their weight, to no avail.

The coach asks if Title IX or another statute applies in this case since the fields are part of a public facility.

According to our research, Title IX does not apply to municipalities unless the public facilities were being used for school-based programs. However, the equal protection clause provides an avenue to request injunctive relief if that becomes necessary. However, that can certainly be avoided if the municipality would simply allot field space based on the percentage of boys teams vs. girls teams. For example, if there are 75 boys teams and 25 girls teams, the girls teams should have access to 25% of the prime practice opportunities.

Understanding how the law works can help girls gain access to fields and can help the municipality stay out of trouble.

If you have a question or concern about your sports organization, don’t hesitate to contact me.

Congratulations, J. Sandy Jones!

Dixie Boys Commissions Inducted into Alabama Amateur Softball Association Hall of Fame

Congratulations to our client, J. Sandy Jones, the commissioner of Dixie Boys Baseball, Inc., on his induction into the Alabama Amateur Softball Association Hall of Fame. Induction ceremonies will be held January 19, 2013 in Tuscaloosa, Alabama.

AASA Sandy Photo 1 Jones played competitive softball for 28 years. During that time he participated in 12 national tournaments, was named to two all-American teams, and was a team member with many of the best teams in the state of Alabama. Teams that Jones participated with won seven state championships. Two of the teams that Sandy participated with during his career were ranked as one of top-20 teams in the nation.

Sandy ended his slow-pitch softball career in 1999 with his team ASA State Championswinning the Class B ASA National Championship. Jones was named to an all-American team for the second time. The championship team was sponsored by Caraway Steel and based out of Auburn, Alabama. The 1999 year had Jones batting in the lead-off position for most of the year and posting a .709 season average.

“You meet many great people through playing softball, including the players, umpires and those that manage the tournaments and program on behalf of ASA. During my playing career, I wanted to be a good ambassador for the game by displaying a spirit of good sportsmanship at all times, a real desire for fair play and a real respect for the game including my opponents, the umpires and tournament officials.” – Sandy Jones, Commissioner/CEO (1995 – present)

S.C. Supreme Court Tosses Softball Suit

Rules softball is a contact sport with inherent risks

In March 2004, Jeff Wagner joined a father-son pickup softball game at a Boy Scout camping trip.  During the game Wagner and another father, David Cole collided, resulting in a broken rib for Wagner.  Cole suffered a head wound, went into convulsions, and then spent a few days in intensive care.  Personal distress and injuries led Cole and his son to sue the Boy Scouts and Wagner.

The South Carolina Supreme Court wrote in its opinion that despite Cole playing in a casual game in which teams weren’t even keeping score, he was still playing softball, which is considered a contact sport. In tossing out the claim, the court stated, “Where a person chooses to participate in a contact sport, whatever the level of play, he assumes the risks inherent in that sport.”

Source: Insurance Journal, 2011

8-Year Old Sues Over Hard Softball

The eight-year-old claimant had joined a softball team for girls of her age group. While playing the infield, she was struck in the face by a ball thrown by a teammate, resulting in a fractured nose. The claimant’s parents filed suit against the softball league, the coach and the child who threw the ball. The main allegation in the suit was that the plaintiff and her parents were deceived by the defendants because the softball wasn’t soft and actually was quite hard.

Source: Liable to Laugh, Copyright 2004 American Specialty Companies, Inc.