Can You Be Held Liable for Injuring Someone While Playing an Amateur Game of Football?

in Sport

Whether it’s at the professional, collegiate, or amateur level, injuries are a very common yet irritating occurrence in sports. In most occurrences, injuries are quite minor. Injuries such as ankle twists and scratches and bruises happen all the time. Most of these subtle injuries can be easily remedied from home. But when it comes to broken bones and head trauma, a doctor must be consulted for proper steps of healing. It’s important to know these injuries rules when looking to play football or any other sport.

Contact In Sports

Sports such as basketball, baseball, soccer, and other light contact sports all have a low chance of injury. However, a sport with constant contact, powerful tackles, and blocks such as football have a high risk of injuries. There are a lot more major injuries in football such as concussions and broken limbs based on the increased amount of contact. Even with the protective helmet padding, football still has the highest concussion rating in all of the sports.  After the injury occurs, the family’s will look into contacting a personal injury lawyer.

These are the injuries that can cut into someone’s wallet when consulting a doctor. If the family of a player is not financially stable or they don’t have insurance, they may look to hold the player who caused the injury liable, in hopes to save money or increase financial gain.

Can You Be Held Liable?

The general rule is no. The person injured can not hold another player liable for their own injury. This is when playing in amateur or recreational leagues; however, if playing unorganized football, it is possible to be held liable as there are no referees nearby, and no official league rulebook established.

Getting injured is a risk accepted when signing up to play football. If all play is deemed legal and an injury occurs, other players can not be held liable. However, when a dirty play occurs, this can lead to possible legal issues. A dirty play is an illegal play resulting in a penalty. This can lead to the player being held liable as it was a play made outside of the league rules that are not tolerated.

Who Is Held Liable?

In most cases, the person injured is held liable. If playing football in an actual league with a rulebook and set guidelines, there will be referees and coaches instructed with what to do when certain situations occur. If minor injuries happen like ankle sprains and pulled muscles, most of the time coaches and refs are required to sit the player out for the rest of the game.

When major injuries such as a broken leg or concussion happen, it’s important coaches, refs, or athletic trainers if present takes the right approach to ensure players’ safety. If the situation is handled wrong then the coaches, trainers, and refs can all be held liable.

Understanding these rules is crucial before participating in amateur football. Whether you’re a player, referee, coach or trainer, the knowledge of the rules and consequences if you violate them is very important to understand so you can have the best chance of keeping yourself, your teammates, and everyone else around you safe.


Image Credits: Sven Kucinic

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