The Hard Wall Ahead

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Q: At our middle school, I was a member of the soccer team.  One day, it was raining outside, and so soccer practice was held indoors.  Among other activities, our coach paired us up to run sprints against each other in a long school hallway.  (The losers would have to run laps up and down stairs.)  The finish line was an unmarked point just past a narrow area between a pair of open double doors.  Several feet beyond those doors, directly ahead of our path, was a very hard wall.

We had never held practice in the hallway before.  I had never raced down it before.  My partner and I were the first to sprint.  I sprinted down the hallway at full speed, tried to slow down at the double doors, and even put my arms up to brace myself.  But I was unable to stop, and my face struck that very hard wall.

A: The school district is likely to argue that you consented to those commonly appreciated risks which are inherent in, and arise out of, the nature of soccer practice generally and flow from participation in it.  Your attorney will respond that the school district negligently created a unique dangerous condition over and above the usual dangers that are inherent in practicing for soccer.

The hallway was not a designated athletic venue, and running into that wall was not included among the commonly appreciated risks of soccer practice.  A school district must exercise ordinary reasonable care to protect student athletes voluntarily involved in extracurricular sports from unassumed, concealed or unreasonably increased risks.  Taking into account your age, your skill and your inexperience sprinting in this hallway, the coach unreasonably increased the inherent risks of soccer practice by setting the finish line too close to the hard wall ahead.

By: Scott Baron,
Attorney at Law Advertorial

The law responds to changed conditions; exceptions and variations abound. Here, the information is general; always seek out competent counsel. This article shall not be construed as legal advice.

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