Risk management is a method for identifying risks and developing and implementing programs to protect the organization and prevent loss. An effective risk management program consists of four basic steps that are part of a continuing process. As you engage in new activities and plan different events, continue to use these four steps to help protect against the new exposures that arise:
Coaches have the ultimate responsibility to reduce the risks of participation for athletes involved in the sport that they are coaching.
The field of play should be checked before and after all practices and events for any obstacles. An indoor court should be clear of any obstacles or obstructions surrounding the out-of-bounds areas. The actual playing surface should be clear, safe and dry. All lines should be clearly visible. Any indoor facility must have proper ventilation, especially in warm climates.
Outdoor facilities should be checked for uneven playing surfaces, including holes, uneven grade, or moisture. The playing area should be also checked for additional obstacles. Out-of-bounds areas should be clear of obstructions. All boundaries should be clearly marked.
Other areas being used by players, such as locker rooms and showers, should be reviewed for safety and accessibility. Floors should be properly drained and have non-slip surfaces.
Areas utilized by spectators, families and other nonparticipating players should be assessed for safety and accessibility.
(Also see Equipment Requirements - Section H)
Athletes need to have the proper equipment for each sport, and if equipment must be worn, it should fit properly. The following areas should be addressed:
The coaching staff is responsible for all their athletes when traveling to play and compete. The coach should review any special instructions for each player with the parents or guardian. Written instructions for any medications should be reviewed and taken on the trip.
Transportation should be adequate for all players. The mode of transportation should be safe, as should any drivers. Weather conditions should be reviewed before leaving for any competition. The coach should contact the opposing team’s coach to review arrangements for supplies, such as water, emergency management plans and locker room space. Important telephone numbers should be recorded and available.
If the trip involves overnight lodging, safe and accessible accommodations should be secured. Contact information should be given to all parents. Special dietary concerns should be clarified with parents and arrangements made to address them.
Parents/guardians need to be advised when and where to pick up their athlete upon return. A plan for a “telephone tree” should be developed in case of an alteration of plans.
The coach needs to provide appropriate supervision for all practices and events. Any other personnel or volunteers should be properly trained and supervised in their work with the athletes. Suitable credentials are recommended for those who are involved, such as Special Olympics Texas and National Governing Body (NGB) coaching credentials, and CPR and First Aid certification.
We recommend that practices and games are covered by medical personnel, including physicians, athletic trainers, physical therapists, and emergency personnel.
Many factors contribute to the prevention of injury or the reduction of risk for injury.
(also reference Crisis Plan - Section U)
Special Olympics Texas has adopted a crisis communication plan that is to be followed at all times. During local and regional trainings and competitions, the following are recommendations:
Certain immediate care skills are necessary for triage and containment of injury.
All other injuries or illnesses should be evaluated by an appropriate health care professional for management and advice. The coach should communicate with the health care personnel for information and instructions regarding future care and return to sport.
Special Olympics Texas has insurance through the Special Olympics Corporate Insurance Program (SOCIP). SOCIP is a customized Special Olympics insurance program that provides certain common coverages for all U.S. Programs and Special Olympics, Inc. in accordance with Special Olympics Official General Rules. The SOCIP brochure is outlined below for your information and review. If you have any questions or need additional information, please contact your area/program director or development director.
The SOCIP brochure provides a summary of the Special Olympics Corporate Insurance Program (SOCIP). SOCIP is the customized Special Olympics insurance program that provides certain common coverages for all U.S. Programs and SOI in accordance with Special Olympics Official General Rules Section 9.09. Detailed terms and conditions of coverage are contained in each respective policy, which can be obtained through American Specialty Insurance & Risk Services, Inc. (“American Specialty”).
For the purposes of this brochure, “Registered Volunteer” and “Registered Class A Volunteer” are both defined as a volunteer who is registered in accordance with the Special Olympics General Rules or other Special Olympics policies in effect during the policy period.
The general liability coverage protects insured Special Olympics organizations, athletes, and registered volunteers from third-party claims of bodily injury, property damage, and personal and advertising injury due to alleged negligence arising from the conduct by Special Olympics during a Special Olympics activity. Under the policy, the insurer has a “duty to defend” until such time as legal liability has been established, and therefore, defense costs associated with the aforementioned general liability claims are paid regardless of legal liability.
In addition, the general liability policy has been endorsed to provide coverage for losses resulting from damage to property in the care, custody, or control of Special Olympics, excluding watercraft, aircraft, autos, and Special Olympics owned property. The loss must occur during a Special Olympics conducted/sponsored event and Special Olympics must be found legally liable for the loss. The limit of liability is $100,000, subject to a $2,500 deductible per claim, for such property losses.
Entities with an insurable interest will be named as an Additional Insured, but only with respect to liability resulting from the negligent acts or omissions of Special Olympics, as requested and approved by American Specialty on behalf of Philadelphia Indemnity Insurance Company.
Only American Specialty may issue certificates of insurance on behalf of Philadelphia Indemnity Insurance Company - no authority is granted to any other entity.
|General Aggregate (other than products and completed operations)||$5,000,000|
|Sexual Abuse and Molestation per-occurrence (included in policy limits, but subject to a $100,000 self-insured retention) $2,000,000 agg.||$1,000,000|
|Participant Legal Liability||Included|
|Personal and Advertising Injury||$1,000,000|
|Damage to Premises Rented to You||$1,000,000|
If alcohol is being served/sold at your event, please contact your area/program director or development director (regardless of whether or not a Program is selling alcohol). If it is determined that liquor liability coverage is needed, an application must be completed by the U.S. Program and approved by American Specialty and Philadelphia Indemnity Insurance Company. The minimum premium is $200.
The following fundraising activities are EXCLUDED from the SOCIP General Liability policy and may only be deemed eligible for coverage if certain underwriting requirements are met and the activity is approved by the Insurer prior to the event. Please contact area/program director or development director immediately if you are aware of a fundraising activity involving any of the following activities:
The following exclusions and requirements apply with respect to all Special Olympics events, fundraising or otherwise. Please contact your area/program director or development director if any of your activities involve the following:
This policy provides protection to Special Olympics for liability claims arising as a direct result of the use of a non-owned or hired automobile. For coverage to be effective, the vehicle must be used for Special Olympics’ business with the permission of Special Olympics and driven by an employee or a registered volunteer of Special Olympics.
Non-owned and hired auto liability coverage applies excess of any other valid and collectible insurance.
Excess coverage is provided to Registered Class A Volunteers of Special Olympics who are using their personal vehicles on behalf of and with the permission of Special Olympics, and have a valid driver’s license and proof of insurance with at least the state minimum requirements.
Additionally, employees of Special Olympics are insured while using their own vehicles for Special Olympics business.
|Any One Accident||$1,000,000|
No coverage is provided for losses caused by an uninsured/underinsured motorist to non-owned vehicles; however, uninsured/underinsured motorists’ coverage is afforded for vehicles that are commercially rented by an insured. The uninsured/underinsured motorist limit is $55,000 (combined single limit) or increased to meet the statutory limits required by a particular state.
Coverage is provided for physical damage claims arising as a direct result of the use of a “commercially rented” vehicle by a Special Olympics’ employee, or registered volunteer for Special Olympics’ business with Special Olympics’ permission.
A vehicle is considered “commercially rented” if it is:
The policy is subject to the limit and deductible shown below.
|Hired Auto Physical Damage (per vehicle)||$55,000|
|Deductible (per accident) collision||$1,000|
|Deductible (per accident) other than collision||$100|
These policies provide insurance coverage in excess of scheduled underlying SOCIP policies for all Special Olympics Accredited U.S. Programs and Special Olympics, Inc. Contact American Specialty to determine if your policies (other than certain SOCIP policies) qualify to be scheduled for coverage under the excess policies.
|Sexual Abuse and Molestation||Included|
|Sexual Abuse and Molestation||Included|
This policy responds when injuries resulting from an accident occur during a Covered Event or during Covered Travel. This is an accident medical policy, not a sickness or illness medical policy. For example, it may cover the medical expenses caused by a broken leg, but not those caused by appendicitis. An accident must occur in order for coverage to apply.
The accident medical insurance policy is excess of any other valid and collectible insurance or medical plan applicable to the injured participant.
Injuries are defined as accidental bodily injuries received while insured under this coverage and resulting independently of sickness and all other causes. A covered loss, for purposes of this insurance, will include: a) the repair or replacement of existing prosthetic devices such as artificial limbs, glass eyes, and artificial dental work; and b) bodily injuries arising as a result of a seizure (including epileptic seizures). To be covered, the Injury must occur while:
Covered Event is defined as any scheduled activity authorized, organized, and supervised by Special Olympics. With respect to competition activities, this includes pre-competition activities and practice sessions.
Covered Event also includes activities authorized by Special Olympics that are Directly Supervised by Registered Class A Volunteers, but only when participation is part of the Special Olympics athlete’s overall sports training for Special Olympics, or for the purposes of qualifying for Special Olympics competition.
Directly Supervised is defined as supervised in person by a Registered Class A Volunteer. Registered Class A Volunteer is defined as an individual currently registered in accordance with the Special Olympics Official General Rules (July 1997 edition, and as amended from time to time) or other Special Olympics policies in effect during the policy period.
Covered Travel is defined as travel that is traveling to, during, or after such activities as a member of a group in transportation furnished or arranged by Special Olympics.
Insured Persons are defined as U.S. Special Olympics athletes (including Young Athletes), Unified partners, managers, coaches, officials, chaperones, supervisors, fundraising participants, and other volunteers, whose names are on file with Special Olympics, while participating in a Covered Event.
|Excess Accident Medical/Dental Limit*||$10,000|
|Accidental Death Limit||$5,000|
|Both hands or feet||$5,000|
|Speech and hearing (both ears)||$5,000|
|One hand or one foot or speech or hearing||$2,500|
|Thumb and indez finger of the same hand||$1,250|
Only one of the amounts above (the largest applicable) will be paid.
* Dental includes sound and natural teeth and repair and replacement of existing artificial dental work.
Please see the policy wording for a listing of all coverage exclusions.
This policy provides insurance coverage for medical malpractice claims for medical services rendered at Special Olympics events by state-registered medical/ health professionals who are registered Special Olympics volunteers, other than doctors, acting in the capacity of a Special Olympics Registered Volunteer. Coverage is not provided for doctors. Commercial medical service firms volunteering the services of their paid employees are not covered. However, should any of these employees volunteer their services on a personal basis, separate from their employment status, coverage would be extended, provided such person is not a doctor and is a Special Olympics Registered Volunteer in accordance with the Special Olympics Official General Rules or other Special Olympics policies in effect during the policy period.
|Deductible - each claim||$2,500|
Medical Malpractice coverage for Healthy Athletes physicians is provided under a separate policy, which is paid for by Special Olympics, Inc. Please contact area/program director or development director for further information.
This policy provides insurance coverage to Special Olympics Accredited U.S. Programs against fraudulent, dishonest, or criminal acts committed by a Special Olympics’ employee, volunteer, or board member acting alone, or in collaboration with others, and causing Special Olympics to suffer a loss of money, securities, or property.
This policy provides world-wide coverage.
This policy also includes coverage for losses sustained by an ERISA plan.
|Employee Dishonesty policy limit||$500,000|
|Retention (per occurrence)||$100,000|
Each U.S. Program and Special Olympics, Inc. has bound D&O coverage through Philadelphia Indemnity Insurance Company. The D&O policy provides protection against liability caused by the wrongful acts of directors, officers, trustees, employees, and volunteers of Special Olympics, including employment-related practices. The policy does not cover bodily injury losses or breach of contract. Directors, officers, trustees, employees, volunteers, or the entity itself must be named in a lawsuit in order for coverage to respond. The limits, retention, and premium that apply to each U.S. Program will vary, depending on whether or not the U.S. Program has sustained losses in the past or its desired limit of liability. The minimum limit is $1,000,000 per claim/annual aggregate.
We want to stress that there are fundraising activities that are EXCLUDED from the SOCIP Commercial General Liability (GL) policy and may only be deemed eligible for coverage if certain underwriting requirements are met and the activity is approved by your area/program director, development director or the Vice President of Shared Services prior to the event. Those fundraising activities are:
The following exclusions and requirements apply with respect to all Special Olympics Texas events, fundraising or otherwise. Please contact your area/program director or development director or the Vice President of Shared Services if any of your activities involve the following:
As a leader within the Special Olympics Texas organization, you must take the steps necessary to protect yourself and the program. Your goals would include the following:
Each coach needs to create a supervisory plan that includes assignments for assistant coaches and chaperones. The head coach should review each plan and provide clarification of responsibilities as needed. Some of the responsibilities of a coach include the following:
Using the four basic risk management steps, you would:
Many tools are available to you. Use checklists provided at the end of this section, to determine the suitability of the FOP. Draw upon the experience of veteran Special Olympics personnel. Identify potential risks by inspecting the area well before the competition starts.
Many options may exist - choose the method that will maximize the safety of athletes, volunteers and spectators. Work with your local Special Olympics Texas area director to determine which choices might be better than others. Additional resources are the Sport Specific Competition Guides, which contain sport specific information.
No way! It is a continuous process. Keep monitoring the FOP and make necessary revisions to minimize exposures.
To protect against the risks associated with driving while you are volunteering as a Special Olympics Texas coach, the following topics are discussed:
Some of the most devastating losses for non-profit organizations involve motor vehicle accidents. This is a result of the high-risk nature of driving, and the large number of employees and volunteers who drive on behalf of these organizations. Damages associated with auto accidents can be extensive, from physical damage to the car to the liability for injuries that may result. Special Olympics Texas faces many transportation-related risks arising from the use of:
The primary goal of Special Olympics Texas’ transportation safety program is to protect the safety of individuals driving or riding in any vehicle being used to further the mission of Special Olympics Texas and to encourage individuals to drive responsibly to ensure the safety of others on the road.
Driving duties are classified by the extent of driving required and the level of risk involved. The following classifications are used:
Special Olympics Texas has adopted general driver safety rules:
If the criminal background check or motor vehicle record check discloses convictions for three or more moving violations within the three years immediately preceding the record check, the volunteer applicant shall automatically be disqualified from driving on behalf of SOTX and will receive a certified letter as notification of this restriction.
The prompt reporting of any accidents or incidents is critical. Please report all accidents or incidents to the Vice President of Shared Services at 512.491.2933. Never admit liability or imply that Special Olympics Texas will “take care of everything” to either the driver’s passenger or anyone else. Do not discuss liability or responsibility as this will be handled by the insurer.
Special Olympics Texas volunteers may borrow a bus or van from a church or another non-profit organization. There are risks to Special Olympics Texas with respect to borrowed vehicles, and therefore each should be diligent in its borrowing practices.
If the vehicle is borrowed from a school district or municipality, confirm that the county or municipality’s insurance covers the vehicle while being used by Special Olympics Texas. Also, make sure the vehicle is properly maintained and safe. If questionable, ask to see the vehicle maintenance and inspection records. If the donor provides a driver, ask about driver training, qualifications, and driving record. If a special license is required, confirm that the driver possesses a valid license. Finally, request a Certificate of Insurance showing the terms and limits of the donor’s current policy.
Rented vehicles present unique insurance issues. Most rental agreements provide very limited liability limits for the rental company and make the driver responsible for any losses in excess of the rental agency’s coverage. The rental agreement usually makes the driver responsible for any physical damage to the rental car including loss of use (the loss of rental income because the agency cannot rent a damaged car).
Renting a car or other vehicle can place both Special Olympics Texas and the driver’s assets at risk. Therefore, whenever a volunteer or employee is renting a vehicle on behalf of Special Olympics Texas, that person should sign the rental agreement with their name and “for Special Olympics Texas”. This helps the driver avoid personal liability for incidents that may occur, and strengthens the position that Special Olympics Texas' hired auto insurance coverage, rather than the driver's policy, should respond to a liability claim. Please note that when using this phrase, the use of the rental vehicle must be exclusively for Special Olympics Texas business.
Each person should review his or her personal auto policy for coverage for rented vehicles including liability and physical damage. Some credit card companies offer insurance for physical damage for rental cars but make sure the driver understands the scope and limitations of this coverage, as it is often inadequate. The Special Olympics Corporate Insurance Program (SOCIP) policy provides hired auto insurance coverage for physical damage coverage for commercially rented vehicles, but if the value of the vehicle is worth more than the policy limit the renter should purchase the collision damage waiver coverage through the rental company. It is advisable to rent only from reputable rental agencies.
The selection of a transportation service is extremely important since Special Olympics Texas can be deemed negligent if due diligence is not conducted in selecting a company and an accident occurs. It is important to investigate prospective companies thoroughly, including verification of the company’s operating authority and history of compliance (or lack thereof) with the state department of motor vehicles or federal regulators. This includes asking about the company’s driver training and qualifications, drivers’ motor vehicle reports, vehicle inspection procedures, and insurance information. It might also include checking references from the company’s existing and former clients and/or checking with the local Better Business Bureau. The selection process for choosing a particular company should be documented.
Insurance provides an essential protection against transportation-related risks. Despite Special Olympics Texas’ best efforts in carrying out the objectives outlined above, there is always the chance that an accident will occur. Insurance provides financial protection to certain parties who may be affected by an auto accident.
There are three general classifications for the vehicles that may be used on behalf of Special Olympics Texas. These classifications are non-owned, hired, and owned vehicles and are defined on the next page. SOCIP provides coverage with respect to non-owned and hired vehicles, but does not provide coverage for vehicles owned by Special Olympics Texas. The following presents information on coverage for the three vehicle classifications.
Hired Automobile Physical Damage provides physical damage coverage for those vehicles which are commonly rented by Special Olympics. This coverage is limited to $50,000 per vehicle and is subject to a $1,000 deductible for each loss. If a vehicle is hired by a SOTX delegation, the delegation is responsible for the deductible. An auto is considered commercially rented if it is: a) obtained from an entity whose commercial purpose is the renting of vehicles for profit; b) a specific rental charge is made; and c) a rental contract is executed between the rental establishment and Special Olympics Texas with respect to the particular vehicle. For example, when Special Olympics Texas rents a van to transport athletes to a Special Olympics Texas event.
Please note that SOCIP coverage is for non-owned and hired automobiles only. Liability coverage for hired autos is provided on a primary basis. Liability coverage for non-owned autos is provided on an excess basis of any valid and collectible insurance (e.g., your personal auto coverage).
An individual’s personal automobile insurance policy’s coverage responds first to a liability claim if that person is driving:
Personal insurance is primary in these cases because these autos are considered “non-owned autos” for Special Olympics Texas, and coverage is excess with respect to “non-owned autos.” The SOCIP Non-owned Automobile Liability Coverage is excess for Special Olympics [excess of any valid and collectible insurance, (e.g., your personal auto coverage)]; the limit is $1,000,000 combined single limit. The owner of the vehicle is responsible for his or her own automobile insurance (e.g., liability, physical damage, uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage).
Any vehicle that is owned, titled, and registered to Special Olympics Texas must be insured by Special Olympics Texas through a Business Automobile Insurance Policy with owned automobile insurance coverage. The SOCIP Business Automobile Insurance Policy does not provide insurance coverage for any owned automobile, only those automobiles that are not hired or owned by Special Olympics. If you have questions or need additional information, please contact Special Olympics Texas’ Vice President of Shared Services.
The below examples illustrate the application of some of the risk management techniques outlined above.
When Special Olympics Texas employees, registered volunteers, or athletes are using their own vehicles to drive athletes to and/or from a Special Olympics Texas sponsored event, it is required that:
A local bus company wants to donate, or has been hired by Special Olympics Texas to provide the use of its buses and drivers to transport athletes to the Special Olympics State Games.
It is required that the bus company:
An employee, athlete, or registered volunteer (with approval from Special Olympics Texas) rents a vehicle from a vehicle rental agency for Special Olympics Texas business.
It is required that:
Special Olympics Texas programs are prohibited from using 15-passenger vans to transport athletes or other individuals to and from Special Olympics Texas (SOTX) events, and Special Olympics Texas strongly discourages other organizations from using 15-passenger vans to transport people to or from Special Olympics events. Organizations that use SOTX’s name to solicit funds or use SOTX’s federal tax identification number are considered a SOTX program.
SOTX recognizes that it is up to each non-SOTX organization to determine whether or not it will use 15-passenger vans. By using 15-passenger vans, a non-SOTX organization certifies that the organization does NOT use SOTX’s name to solicit funds or use SOTX’s federal tax identification number, and they also understand and certify that:
SOTX must have on file an executed 15-Passenger Van Transportation Certification Form, from each non-SOTX organization, before they will be considered a non-SOTX organization. To coordinate obtaining a 15-Passenger Van Transportation Certification, please contact the Vice President of Shared Services at 512.491.2933.
In accordance with the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s Consumer Advisory, Special Olympics Inc.’s mandate, and SOTX’s policy and sincere concern for the athlete’s safety, effective January 1, 2005, any SOTX athlete who is transported in a 15-passenger van by a SOTX program will not be allowed to participate in SOTX event(s).
Preventing injuries to participants and spectators is a primary risk management objective. The participants and spectators at a Special Olympics Texas event expect that the activity will be conducted in a reasonable and prudent manner. Although injuries are inherent in the nature of amateur sports and no one can prevent all injuries, it is incumbent upon individuals conducting amateur sports events to use reasonable care in providing an appropriate environment for the athletes, officials, volunteers, and spectators who take part.
This section provides guidelines to assist you in developing programs and techniques to reduce the risk of injury to athletes. The following are the general areas of responsibility that apply with respect to loss control for practices and competitions. These areas are covered in greater detail throughout this section.
The venue refers to the physical environment within which the athletes train, develop skills, and compete. A venue also includes the surrounding area such as parking lots, grounds, cafeteria, buildings, lockers, shower rooms, and any other areas utilized.
The venue should be assessed to uphold the two priorities for SOTX leaders, officials, coaches, athletes, parents, and care providers: 1) provide a safe environment conducive to accomplishing Special Olympics Texas objectives, and 2) allow for appropriate response to an emergency.
The venues must be evaluated to identify any condition that does not comply with the aforementioned priorities. Once a condition has been identified, immediate corrective action should be taken to reduce or eliminate the risk. The following questions will assist you in assessing the adequacy of the physical environment:
Once you have selected an acceptable venue, it is important to develop a plan for inspecting the facilities prior to games and practices to identify hazards. The following guidelines should be used to help identify potentially hazardous areas. In addition, at the end of this section, you will find checklists to assist you in the inspection process. These checklists are not intended to be exhaustive nor can they identify every possible source of an incident. Use them as the foundation to develop a customized inspection of the facility.
Pre-use inspections should be done after reading, but before signing, the owner’s proposed use agreement. All agreements and contracts must be reviewed and approved by the Vice President of Shared Services. Please fax all agreements/contracts, prior to signing, to 512.835.7756. Some use agreements will contain language that makes you responsible for all injuries occurring while you occupy the premises. If you are not able to get the language modified, it is important to note in writing to the property owner, any defects you have noticed before you sign the agreement. Request that the defects be repaired by the owner prior to the time you use the facility.
In addition to a pre-use inspection, playing areas and spectator areas should be inspected immediately prior to an event. This discussion assumes the facility will be inspected when it is not occupied. When inspecting, picture in your mind the facility both with the average number of players and spectators you expect as well as the maximum number that might be present. Stands and walkways that are adequate at normal levels of occupancy might be dangerously inadequate for overflow crowds. Will there still be adequate separation for spectators and athletes? Will there be an avenue open for emergency medical providers to get to an injured person (including ambulance access)? For games and practices, an inspection of playing areas and spectator areas (if spectators will be present) should be made prior to the activity. The particulars of the inspection and items to be considered will vary depending on the type of activity and facility.
Documentation of equipment and facility inspections can be a key to a successful defense in the event of litigation. Inspection reports may provide evidence to a judge and jury that the equipment or facilities were not defective and were not the cause of a participant’s injury. Special Olympics Texas coaches and volunteers who conduct pre-event inspections should document the results in a checklist that is kept on file.
There are basic procedures that should be followed when inspecting facilities and equipment which are intended to be representative of the risk management approach to be used rather than an exhaustive list of procedures (see "How do I assess field of play?" ).
The certificate of insurance is a one-page document which provides evidence that insurance coverage exists. It identifies the insured person or organization. The certificate outlines the extent and limits of coverage but does not modify or extend any coverage. It merely reports what exists.
The Special Olympics certificate outlines the coverages and limits of insurance provided to the Special Olympics organization, the insurer providing the coverages, and the effective and expiration dates of the policy. In addition, the certificate specifies the covered event and the dates of coverage for that event.
The certificate holder is the person or organization named in the certificate, known as the “holder” of that certificate. That person or organization has no more or less coverage as a result of being a certificate holder than otherwise. It does, however, provide the proof required that insurance does exist which is the comfort level desired by most interested parties.
If you have entered into any agreement, contract or permit containing an insurance clause, assumption of liability, indemnification or hold harmless language, please forward a copy of the agreement with your Special Olympics Request for Certificate of Insurance Form to the Vice President of Shared Services. All such agreements must be reviewed by the Vice President of Shared Services at 512.835.9873, ext. 2933 and also by the SOTX insurance provider (currently, American Speciality Insurance).
You’ll need a certificate of insurance when a person, organization, facility or venue (etc.) requests verification of Special Olympics insurance coverage. It is common practice for the person or organization to define minimum coverage and limit requirements.
A certificate shows the coverage and limits requested, the insurance carrier and policy effective dates. It may also specify relevant information (e.g., date, place, additional insured) regarding an event. It will also show:
This “status” will be requested by the prospective certificate holder. You must indicate this request on the Request for Certificate of Insurance Form. You must also explain the role the prospective “additional insured” will play in your event. Contact your area office for an application to request a certificate of insurance.
In most cases, no. If the event you are holding has some very unusual circumstances, your insurance company may require additional premiums.
Always have your contracts and/or agreements reviewed by the Vice President of Shared Services before signing. Contracts and agreements often include wording which transfers liability.
A certificate should only be requested when it is required by a facility or organization. To request a certificate, please complete the Special Olympics Request for Certificate of Insurance Form (contact your area office for a copy of this form). This request form provides for the identification of necessary information to issue the appropriate certificate, including the following:
Special Olympics Chapter/Area Data
Some instances for which you’ll need a special event policy are when:
Yes, an additional premium will be charged in accordance with the risk.
If you know your event meets any of the above criteria, contact your program/area director to receive a special event application, liquor liability application or special event parade application.
Training Schools – Refer to Section F.
Responsibilities of the Coach – Refer to Section E.
Each athlete and parent/care provider must have a complete medical form on file for verification that the athlete has given the proper medical clearance to participate in a Special Olympics Texas sports program pursuant to the Special Olympics General Rules. In the event of sudden illness or accident, the on-site medical personnel will have this form available to facilitate and expedite treatment.
Each athlete and parent or care provider is responsible for the athlete:
The parent/care provider is responsible for dispensing medication. If the parent/care provider is unable to do so, that individual must sign a release and provide approval and instruction for the coach and/or program leader to dispense the medication.
Each venue is managed by a sport-specific Games Management Team (GMT). The GMT is responsible for conducting a safe event. This includes:
Prior to the beginning of any competition, the GMT should conduct an orientation for all volunteers involved. This orientation should include a review of:
(Also see Equipment)
There are two categories of equipment:
Clothing includes attire appropriate to the sport. In gymnastics for example, it is recommended that athletes not wear pants with belts or zippers because this type of apparel can be caught in the apparatus. Footwear should be appropriate for the sport. For example, running shoes are not appropriate for tennis, basketball, or volleyball. Court shoes are appropriate for these sports because shoes designed for the court provide more stability and lateral support. Protective equipment includes, but is not limited to, kneepads, shin guards, helmets, mouth guards, and glass guards. Each sport has its own sport-specific equipment requirements.
Sport-specific requirements are identified in the Official Special Olympics Sports Rules for each sport or the National Governing Body (NGB) Rules.
Avoid “making due” or improvising with whatever equipment can be found (e.g., using floor hockey helmets for cycling). All sports have sport-specific equipment designed to either assist or protect the athlete. All equipment should meet the demands of the sport. Questionable equipment should not be used.
Many sports prohibit wearing certain types of jewelry because it may cause injury to the athlete wearing it or other athletes.
After the end of each event, the GMT is to complete a Competition/Games Evaluation Form for documentation purposes. The following areas of risk management are to be evaluated:
The following is a brief synopsis of medical procedures to follow. It is not a substitute for competent, trained, and licensed medical professionals.
Information to provide to the operator:
Please visit emergency procedures and preparedness (Section I) for more information
Official Special Olympics Sports Rules, Section P, contains information concerning medical and related requirements.
SOTX is interested in identifying the causes of injuries and accidents so that preventative actions may be taken to reduce or eliminate potential dangers. Part of this process is the reporting of all injuries or potential injuries on the incident report form. An incident report form (Special Olympics First Report of Accident/Incident) must be completed in its entirety for each occurrence of a physical accident or incident that may result in injury to an athlete, coach, volunteer, spectator or physical property damage. The First Report Accident/Incident form is available from the area director or responsible SOTX staff person at all Special Olympics functions, competitions or training activities.
Special Olympics provides secondary insurance coverage in the event of accidental injury which necessitates medical attention during a Special Olympics event. Those insured under the policy are all members of Special Olympics, Inc. and Special Olympics programs, collectively and independently, including participants, officials, coaches, chaperones, supervisors and other volunteers whose names are on file with the policy holder. Special Olympics coverage is secondary, meaning that claims are only considered after payment is made by any other insurance coverage.
The athlete, coach, volunteer, spectator or damaged property owner must first submit all medical bills to their own accident insurance company. If unpaid balances remain after processing by the primary insurance company, a claim may be submitted through Special Olympics insurance. If the injured party does not have any other insurance coverage, the claim initially may be submitted to Special Olympics insurance.
If injuries are suffered while participating in a Special Olympics event and within 60 days from the date of the accident, the insured shall require medical or surgical treatment, including hospitalization and the services of registered nurses or licensed nurses, but excluding dental care, the insurance company will pay the actual costs thereof in excess of the deductible amount (if any), but not more than the stated maximum medical indemnity of $10,000, incurred within one year from the date of the first such treatment.
Coverage is provided for fainting, heat stroke and exhaustion, and any accident where epilepsy or a seizure may be a contributing factor. Coverage is also provided for ambulance service. No medical indemnity shall be payable on account of expenses incurred for eyeglasses, including prescriptions thereof. With respect to dental care, the insurance company will pay the actual cost in excess of the deductible amount (if any), but not more than $10,000, incurred within one year from the date of accident for dental care required on account of injury to or loss of natural teeth resulting from such injuries, including replacement of such teeth, but excluding dental x-rays, provided the aggregate payment of medical surgical and dental treatment required on account of all injuries resulting from one accident shall not exceed the maximum medical indemnity of $10,000.
To submit a claim to Special Olympics insurance:
During area, regional and chapter events, the medical information for each athlete will be available at the site of competition. This information, attached to all entry forms, will facilitate the process of completing the incident report and will assist emergency personnel in providing the proper treatment. It is the coach's responsibility to obtain this information from the event or meet director in case of an emergency.
To the fullest extent permitted by law, Special Olympics Texas prohibits concealed handguns and open carry of handguns, and all weapons (other types of guns, knives, etc.) at all Special Olympics Texas practices, competitions, offices, events and functions.
Out of safety concerns for athletes, coaches, volunteers and spectators at Special Olympics Texas practices, events and competitions, Special Olympics Texas prohibits the operation or use of drones, unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) or unmanned aerial systems (UASs) for photography or other use during our practices, events and competitions.