In tort law, a duty of care is a legal obligation imposed on an individual requiring that they adhere to a standard of reasonable care while performing any acts that could foreseeably harm others. It is the first element that must be established to proceed with an action in negligence.(i)
An Association/League/Club has a duty of care to keep members safe and protect them from physical and emotional harm. In sporting activities, this duty is exercised through sensible risk management. In general netball activities, this duty is exercised through respectful, empathetic and friendly relationships with members. In the recruitment and selection of adult members, their personal standards, character and ability to develop this relationship is much more important than any technical skills or experience.
Duty of Care is a requirement that a person acts toward others and the public with watchfulness, attention, caution and judgement that a reasonable person in these circumstances would. If a person's actions do not meet this standard of care, then the acts are considered negligent, and any damages resulting may be claimed in a lawsuit for negligence.
Association/League/Club administrators should be aware of all the risk management fact sheets and resources provided on Netball Victoria and Netball Australia’s websites and take appropriate action for each scenario ensuring the duty of care is top priority.
(i) En.m.wikipedia.org. 2020, Tort, [online], https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tort [Accessed 1st June 2020].
To manage any injuries that may occur, it is important that Associations/Leagues/Clubs have a wellmaintained First Aid Kit. The First Aid Kit should be stored in a designated position and all appropriate personnel (court supervisors, umpires and coaches) should know where it is and have unobstructed access to it. A supply of ice should also be available, crushed in bags or gel ice packs – stored in an esky or refrigerator. Emergency phone numbers - Ambulance, Doctor, Physiotherapist, Health Clinic and Police and an Emergency Procedure Plan should be displayed by the phone and in the First Aid Kit.
The content of the First Aid Kit can and may vary depending on the length of the season, the budget of the Association/Club, the number of players/teams competing at the venue and level of competition. Click here to view a basic first aid checklist from Health Direct.
All prescription medications and products such as Ventolin, Panadol or aspirin, antifungal creams and powders, antibiotic creams and ointments, anti-inflammatory tablets and sunscreen should be supplied by the individual participant. A volunteer should be allocated to maintain the First Aid Kit supplies. An inventory should be completed on a weekly basis. Associations/Clubs have a duty of care to respond appropriately in the case of an injury/illness/ emergency to mitigate the risk of loss, damage or liability, however this does not imply Association/Club personnel need to be experts. All injuries should be referred to a medical expert for diagnosis and treatment.
First Aid Room
Associations/Clubs should have a designated room or area for the treatment of injuries. The treatment area should:
• Have easy access to toilets.
• Be located in a position that allows access for ambulance.
• Provide privacy for person being treated.
• Have access to hot & cold water.
• Provide a bed/couch/chairs, pillow and blankets for treatment of injured participant. The room or area should be kept clean and easily accessible at all times.
Sporting Associations, Leagues and clubs play a crucial role in the prevention of sports injuries and it is important that they provide participants with a safe environment. Sports injuries are not an inevitable part of participation and many injuries can be prevented or controlled by a variety of injury prevention strategies. Preventive efforts can reduce the incidence and severity of injuries, improve health and performance, and reduce health care costs to both individuals and society. It is important that Associations, Leagues and Clubs record any injury sustained during training or competition. Information should include:
• The name of the injured person
• The date and time of injury
• The date and time of treatment
• Name of the person giving treatment
• Brief summary of treatment
• Brief note on cause of injury
Click here for a sample Injury Reporting Form that can be altered to suit the needs of your Association/League/Club. An Injury Reporting Form allows for many factors to be recorded (including environmental, court conditions, etc) and will enable your Association/League/Club to adequately record and begin to identify possible causes of injuries.
Associations and Clubs will then be well equipped to develop and implement injury prevention strategies to decrease the number and severity of injuries occurring. Associations/Clubs have a duty of care to respond appropriately in the case of injury, illness or emergency to mitigate the risk of loss, damage or liability. This does not imply your personnel need to be experts. All injuries should be referred to a medical expert for diagnosis and treatment.
Please note that Injury Reporting Forms are for recording the incidence of injury. To make a claim in relation to an injury sustained whilst participating in an affiliated Association you need to submit a claim. Click here for more information.
A formal incident reporting system is a fundamental component of a successful member protection and risk management program. It is important that all members/visitors are aware the incident reporting procedure and forms are readily available. Any report must be kept confidential and stored in a secure place. An Incident Report
• Ensures all required information is documented so that the incident may be investigated.
• Provides all participants with a simple and effective method to report an incident or hazard.
• Facilitates corrective action being taken to address the causes of the incident/hazard.
Incidents should be promptly investigated by the Association/Club using the appropriate procedure:
• Inappropriate Conduct/Behaviour such as serious harassment and discrimination should be resolved as outlined in Netball Victoria’s Member Protection Regulation. Alleged breach of codes of behaviour should be resolved using the Association/Club Constitution.
• Competition related disputes and protests should be resolved as outlined in the Association/Club By-laws.
• Hazards or potential hazards should be assessed using Risk Management Infonet: RM13, then strategies developed to remove or reduce any risk.
To ensure that the incident can be investigated and resolved appropriately, it is important that as much accurate information is provided as part of the incident report. Details that may be included:
• Description of scene/incident - where it occurred.
• Weather Conditions - wind, wet or dry, light or dark, fog, ice or snow, etc.
• Measurements - including heights, lengths or widths of objects, obstructions, holes, etc.
• Description of damage - the type, nature and extent of the damage.
• Property involved - itemise all the property that has been damaged.
• Description of any injuries – type and severity
• Witness - if possible record name and address of any witnesses.
• Statements made by third parties - record any statements provided by a third party.
The Association should respond to all incident reports in writing. The party initiating the report should receive a letter acknowledging receipt of report. All parties involved must then be advised of any decision or action taken by the committee.
Full insurance information can be found here.
Insurance - Program Overview
The program includes insurance options which have been exclusively designed to provide protection for members involved in activities that are sanctioned by Netball Australia and all the state/territory Associations/Leagues (such as organised competitions, coaching clinics, official events, playing and training etc.).
Certificate of Currency
To obtain a Certificate of Currency (which is often required by your local council to prove that your Association/League/Club has liability insurance in place) please click here.
What measures can Associations/Leagues and Clubs take to minimise risk and reduce potential claims?
• Ensure that all participants (players, coaches and umpires) are registered members of Netball Victoria prior to taking the court.
• Actively encourage coaches and umpires to undertake accreditation courses.
• Keep an injury register/record of all injuries sustained in any netball related activity.
• Endorse Netball Victoria and Netball Australia risk management policies where applicable.
• Ensure that the netball courts and facilities are safe for play. If they are a Council or privately-owned facility, ensure that any facility maintenance and safety issues are formalised and the owner advised in writing.
• Maintain your Incorporation status by returning an annual statement after the Annual General Meeting.
• Ensure that the Rules of Incorporation and Competition Bylaws are current and up to date (including the provision of appropriate Discipline and Grievance clauses and procedures).
Management Liability insurance covers your Club/League/Association’s Directors and Officers for a range of financial risks they may encounter in the performance of their role. This includes costs associated with legal action if sued for negligence, libel, slander, defamation or discrimination, costs associated with employment related matters (unfair dismissal) and crime (losses sustained through dishonest or fraudulent acts or omissions).
Who is Insured?
Directors and Officers of Netball Australia and all affiliated State Associations and Territories, including all affiliated Clubs and Associations and any appointed sub-committees, subsidiary and/or related Corporations as defined under Australian Corporations Law and/or financiers and all parties for whom the Insured undertakes to insure for their respective rights, interests and liabilities.
Personal Accident Cover
This provides cover for players/members if they are injured.
Who is insured?
This policy covers Netball Australia and all its State/Territory Associations, all affiliated Clubs and Associations including all members, temporary/trialling members, officials, accredited coaches, umpires, executives and voluntary workers.
Photography and video footage should only be required at Netball Victoria (including affiliated Associations/Clubs) sanctioned events for three purposes:
- Player / Umpire training and development
- Association / Club promotion and publicity
- Participants and family personal use
Strategies may be put in place by Associations to manage photography and video issues.
Where a photographer / videographer has been contracted by the Association or Event to take footage for the purpose of selling images to participants or interested persons, prior consent from teams or individuals, including umpires must have been obtained. Any non-consent must be clearly articulated to the engaged contractor so that images of non-consenting teams or individuals are not obtained nor made available for purchase.
The majority of Netball Victoria affiliated Associations/Leagues venues are public open space. Neither Netball Victoria nor an Association/League can stop anyone taking photographs or video images in this instance. Someone unknown to the Association/League who arrives at the venue and starts filming can be asked for what purpose they are filming. If the answer is satisfactory they can be requested, but not forced, to register as per the recommended guidelines below. If the answer is not satisfactory and the person continues to behave in a ‘suspicious’ manner then the Police may be called.
Indoor venues such as sport centres may already have particular photography/video restrictions or guidelines in place which an Association, as a user of the centre, is required to follow.
NETBALL VICTORIA RECOMMENDED GUIDELINES
The simplest administrative method to manage the photography/videography issue is to include participants consent/non-consent as a condition of entry to the competition and means that the club or team sign on behalf of all team members. In this case the procedure is as follows:
1. Insert the paragraphs in Sample A into a competition entry form. A special exemption to this condition may be granted provided the team/individual states the reason(s) for which the exemption is sought. Competition Supervisors or a nominated individual should manage the registrations and be provided each week with a list of any teams/individuals refusing consent. The Supervisor should then monitor any photography / video requests, complaints and filming involving these teams accordingly.
2. As umpires may inadvertently be photographed/videoed, a consent clause should be included in the Association’s Umpire Agreement/Letter of Offer. If an Umpire does not provide consent, this must be managed as per 1) above.
3. All individuals seeking to acquire images at Association/Club venues/events should be required to register for permission at the venue. Permission will be granted for the date(s) specified only. this cannot be enforced at venues on public open space.
5. Individuals granted permission should be clearly identifiable to Association/Club officials and members (i.e. sticker, badge etc). Identification should be collected from and returned to the Association/Club venue on each photography/video occasion. Any team/individual who has not provided consent to film/video needs to be identified to the photographer at this stage - on EACH occasion of filming.
Ensure guidelines are clearly outlined in the Association handbook, distributed to all Clubs and clearly visible at all venues.
ACQUIRING AND DISPLAYING IMAGES
- Permission needs to be obtained from the participant or parent / guardian (if under 18) prior to taking their image. Ensure that they are aware of the way in which the image may be used.
- Request that professional photographers and/or spectators taking photographic / video images register at an event or facility.
- If the Association/Club appoints an official photographer, clearly outline to professional photographers that all images taken will remain the property of the sporting organisation, and can not be used or sold for any other purpose.
- Do not display personal information such as residential address, email address or telephone numbers without gaining consent from a parent/guardian first.
- Only use appropriate images of the athlete, relevant to the sport/activity, and suitably clothed.
- Reduce the ability for the direct copying of pictures from a website to another source
- Provide details of who to contact if a concern/complaint of inappropriate image use is raised.
Women are increasingly seeking to continue participation in sports, such as netball, throughout their pregnancy. Netball Victoria is committed to providing a safe and enjoyable environment for all its members, including pregnant participants.
There are many positive outcomes from continuing physical activity during and after pregnancy, however responses to exercise can vary with pregestational maternal fitness levels, co-existing medical conditions and/or pregnancy complications. All women are encouraged to seek individual medical advice before participating.
Further information on Pregnancy and Sport may be gained from Australian Sports Commission and Sports Medicine Australia.
Netball Victoria have compiled a suite of guidelines to reduce risk to our participants in extreme weather. Please click here to review.