These notes are based on a talk given to the committee by A.J. Smart of Redland Ladies HC. AJ is a Director of Smart Advice Health & Safety Ltd which is based in Long Ashton.
These notes are not intended to be exhaustive or to apportion responsibility to AJ.
They are the committee’s interpretation of what was said.
Umpires have a ‘duty of care’ to those taking part in a game. If someone is harmed, legal action may be taken if that person decides to make a claim.
Netball umpires, for example, are being asked to check that:
Certainly the last three of these could be applied to hockey.
This duty of care rests upon an individual or organisation to ensure that all reasonable steps are taken to ensure the safety of any person involved in an activity for which they are responsible. This may involve both players and spectators.
A claimant would have to show that a breach of duty of care had caused them personal injury, damage or loss of some kind
Umpires must show that the standard of care they have shown is the standard of a ‘reasonable person’.
There are several possible defences:
if the event could have happened anyway
How to avoid litigation
Demonstrate a good standard of care, by, for example, inspecting the pitch with the other umpire and stopping dangerous play immediately
Involve both captains if a decision is required on the safety of a pitch (e.g. frozen).
If a player expresses concern over the safety, then involve his or her captain in coming to a conclusion.
General enforcement of the rules.