November/December 2015

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Page 43 of 55

Risk management Protecting the rink and its patrons by CHARLES F. GFELLER 44 / NOVEMBER.DECEMBER.2015 RINKMAGAZINE.COM A dult Hockey leagues have proven to be fertile ground for personal injury liti- gation. Most adult leagues are "no-checking" leagues, but as anyone who has ever played or even watched hockey at any level knows, there is no such thing as "non-contact" hockey. Unfortunately, plaintiffs' lawyers often fail to understand the distinction between "no-checking" and "non-contact," and when a player gets injured in an adult league game, a lawsuit results in which the plaintiff claims that the league was sup- posed to be "no-checking," and so there should have been no physical contact what- soever. The theory continues that since there was physical contact, resulting in the injury to the plaintiff, the ice was not being properly supervised by the facility. PHOTOS: COURTESY OF BIGSTOCK, USA HOCKEY How physical contact in adult hockey leagues can lead to litigation No Fighting!

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