Annals of Health Law
by advocates, states, and local communities. “Sport” was broadly defined to
capture those types of activities, in addition to recreational activities, that
have rules and are competitive in nature.56 The term was also defined to
capture those types of activities that resulted in physical activity and were
thus reflective of the legislative purpose of supporting active living.
The challenge in drafting definitions is to provide clear and succinct
language, yet still ensure that the purpose is being met. The AHA sample
language is not intended to change the duty of a school as it relates to staff
and students, such as an employee who may be injured while supervising
recess, or a student injured while participating in physical education class.
However, the sample language is intended to include coverage of school-sponsored recreational activities such as tennis, track, or football, and staff
and students who become members of the community during non-school
C. Liability Provisions and Liability Exceptions
The liability provisions are the heart of the sample legislation and provide
either restrictions or requirements.57 The provisions should identify the
parties to whom the provisions apply, clearly state which activities are being
promoted, controlled or restricted, and identify the responsibilities of the
affected parties. There are a variety of provisions that are often included in
a comprehensive statute.
56. See id.
57. Sample liability provision language includes: “Except as provided in this subdivision,
a school district [and school personnel] [is/are] not liable for any loss or injury arising from
the use of indoor or outdoor school property and facilities made available for public recreation
or sport during non-school hours.” Id. at 6.
58. Sample language includes: “1. [School districts/schools] are encouraged to allow the
public to use of indoor and outdoor school property during non-school hours for recreational
purposes or sport, provided the use does not interfere with a school function or purpose. 2.
School districts are encouraged to negotiate mutually acceptable, fiscally responsible, legally
binding shared use agreements with governmental and community agencies and organizations
to keep school or district-owned facilities open for use by students, staff, and community
members during non-school hours. ‘Shared Use Agreement’ means a legal agreement that
defines the rights and responsibilities of the school district and another organization or
government agency for use of the school facilities for recreation or other purpose of
importance to the community. Shared-use agreements should describe specific activities,
times, and eligible participants and address supervision of minors; injury liability protections,
funding sources, cost-sharing of utilities; and respective responsibilities for maintenance,
cleanup, and security. 3. [School districts/Schools] [should/shall] work with recreation
agencies and other community organizations to coordinate and enhance opportunities