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Susan C. Brown

The value of a liability waiver in a court of law is commonly questioned. This manuscript examines case law and how the courts have dealt with injury suits when a liability waiver or similar form is involved. This examination is followed by a brief summary of the findings that discusses the commonalities among valid waivers. Also included is a brief overview of ’ the terms waiver, disclaimer, release, exculpatory agreement, assumption of risk, and agreement to participate, which are often used interchangeably and sometimes incorrectly.

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Michael G. Dolan, Dan Connaughton and Milledge Murphey

Column-editor : Thomas W. Kaminski

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Lisa Gorman

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Kevin Young

A recent growth in victimological studies has examined violence done to workers in a number of professional and occupational settings. This paper begins by detailing the complex relationship of athletes to the culture of their workplace. This is an arena that requires routine violence done both by and to athletes, and ultimately guarantees injury, but is one that also paradoxically privileges only the healthy contributor. In addition to suggesting how athletic work may be linked to broader processes of gender ordering, and how meaning is derived by male participants, the paper examines how the various rewards of such work appear to coexist with subjugation and disablement. This occupationally experienced dialectic is discussed in terms of the legal notion of volenti, or voluntary assumption of risk, and of player attempts to correct workplace injustices.

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Brian Anderson and Ashley Par

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Trenton E. Gould and Richard G. Deivert

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C. Richard King

This essay offers a critical reading of whiteness studies and its implications for the study of sporting worlds. It argues that, as promising as the deconstruction of whiteness might be, a series of epistemological and political problems accompany such inquiry. After reviewing the emergence of whiteness studies and the recent integration of this field into sport studies, I enumerate the liabilities and blind spots associated with the way many scholars conceptualize whiteness and its proper study. The essay closes with a set of alternatives designed to enhance understandings of race, culture, and power in sporting worlds.

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Mary Chace and Heather Vilvens

Background:

Shared use agreements (SUA) that allow the use of public school facilities by the community are recommended as a key public health strategy for increasing physical activity (PA). The purpose of this study was to examine the current nature and extent of SUA in Ohio, as well as school administrators’ perceived benefits, barriers and needs.

Methods:

School administrators were recruited to respond to an e-mail survey through the predominant state-level professional membership organization’s listserv in September 2013.

Results:

Respondents (n = 96) were mostly superintendents who reported a lower prevalence of formal SUA (38.5%) than informal (65.6%), with a total of 9.3% reporting neither formal nor informal SUA. The most commonly perceived benefits included improved relationships with taxpayers and community organizations and increased PA options. Top barriers were costs and liability concerns.

Conclusions:

According to this sample of school administrators, their doors are open to some extent, but the majority SUA were informal agreements. Advocacy efforts for SUA should include the passage of a state-level law that provides reasonable immunity from liability. Outreach to the school community should include examples of written formal agreements, innovative cost management examples, and updated research on the connection of PA to learning and academic performance.

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Amy Eyler, Tina Lankford, Jamie Chriqui, Kelly R. Evenson, Judy Kruger, Nancy Tompkins, Carolyn Voorhees, Susan Zieff, Semra Aytur and Ross Brownson

Background:

Trails provide opportunities for recreation, transportation and activity. The purpose of this article is to describe state legislation related to community trails, to analyze legislation content, and to evaluate legislation on inclusion of evidence-informed elements.

Methods:

State trail legislation from 2001 to 2008 was identified using online legislative databases. An analysis of evidence-informed elements included in the legislation was conducted. These elements included: funding, liability, accessibility, connectivity, and maintenance.

Results:

Of the total 991 trail bills, 516 (52.0%) were appropriations bills, of which 167 (32.2%) were enacted. We analyzed 475 (48%) nonappropriation trail bills of which 139 (29.3%) were enacted. The percentage of enactment of appropriations bills decreased over time while enactment of nonappropriations trail bills increased. Over half of the nonappropriations trail bills included at least 1 evidence-informed element, most commonly funding. Few bills contained liability, connectivity, accessibility, or maintenance.

Conclusions:

There is opportunity for providing evidence-informed information to policy-makers to potentially influence bill content. The number of bills with a funding element demonstrates that fiscal support for trails is an important policy lever that state legislatures may use to support trails. Lastly, trails should be considered in over-all state-level physical activity legislation to provide opportunities for communities to be active.