Sharing Information Between Clubs – The Case of the Fired Gymnastics Coach

Written by PC News on . Posted in Coaches, Volunteer Management, Volunteer Screening

One of the great unaddressed issues in youth sports risk management is how we share information about “problem” volunteers and employees. This problem is perhaps highlighted by the recent arrest of an Oregon gymnastics coach.

According to the Mail-Tribune, a gymnastics coach, who doubled as a sports photographer, was arrested and charged with encouraging child sexual abuse and invasion of privacy after a search of his home turned up photographs of young gymnasts in various states of undress. According to the report, the suspect would videotape his photo shoot subjects in the changing room. He was discovered in conjunction with an investigation for downloading child pornography.

The article also reports that the suspect had worked at another gymnastics school and been terminated. The owner of the school refused to answer questions about the reason for his termination saying he was “was fired from SOGA on April 23, 2008 for reasons that were never disclosed… We cannot speak about the charges against [the suspect] and how they pertain to SOGA at this time, per the request of the lead detective.” The article indicates that he was hired with at least one more school, and continued his photography business after this time. He also had previously worked as a coach in southern California. While we don’t know the nature of the initial termination, the silence of the first employer raises questions. Was there information that would have led another school not to hire him? Could sharing information have prevented the crimes he is accused of?

State and national governing bodies should be looking to facilitate information sharing between their affiliate members. This is particularly important in an increasingly mobile society. A local club may terminate a problem volunteer, but without sufficient information sharing, that volunteer may become a problem, and a threat, to another nearby club. Ask Placek Consulting how we can help you achieve this goal.

Read the original story here. Mail

Goal Post Safety: Five Year Old Killed by Falling Soccer Goal

Written by PC News on . Posted in Field Safety

Most governing bodies now have goal post inspection procedures in place. As a local club, do you follow the minimum requirements, or do you go beyond the state mandated inspections. If your teams find their own practice locations, are you inspecting those goals?

Several months ago in Canada, another child was killed by a falling soccer goal. The girl was crawling in the grass in front of the goal, when another child pushed on the side support, sending the goal tipping over. The coroner’s report found that the goal “was intended for indoor use, was rusty and missing screws, and was not anchored to the ground.” As expected, litigation against the property owner has been announced.

Read the story online here: Nanaimo Daily News

Manage Contractor Risk: The Case of the Texting Umpire

Written by PC News on . Posted in Contractors, Molestation

Much of a board’s time on risk management may be spent focusing on its volunteer coaches, on weather procedures, and on other concerns internal to the organization.  However, most associations have external risks to manage as well.  Contractors, such as food vendors, photo providers and especially referees often have direct contact with an organization’s youth participants.  In Vero Beach, Florida, a 13 year old girl accused a 34 year old umpire of having sex with her.  They met at the little league fields where she was playing softball and he was working as an umpire.  She alleged that they began exchanging text messages and later developed a sexual relationship.

Although the umpire was acquitted of criminal charges, this does not preclude the possibility of civil litigation against the youth sports league.  Does your risk management plan account for exposures from contractors who might have contact with your youth players?

Read the article here:


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