03 June 2019

Turf issues highlight growing risk for sports clubs

Recent issues in both the professional and amateur ranks surrounding playing surfaces highlight a growing risk for the sporting industry.

thubnail sport H1 2019 MOR2An increase in injuries and scrutiny related to turf conditions has gripped the professional ranks and represents a growing risk for the sporting community which needs mitigation activity, Gallagher specialists have said in an article in the most recent Gallagher Market Overview Report.

Writing in the latest Gallagher H1 Market Overview report, Steve Van Leeuwen, National Head of Sport, and Tim Roarty, Senior Account Executive – Sport, note that the recent spotlight on field conditions adds a layer of scrutiny from insurers too.

“From an insurance perspective, an increased rate and severity of injury could have a significant impact,” the report states.

“While teams and leagues will be protected from player injury as part of liability cover for the game itself, if games are forced to be abandoned, rescheduled or moved due to the quality of playing surface, who to hold liable may be difficult to determine.”

While the issue is making headlines in the professional ranks, the amateur sport also faces a similar challenge. Both traditional and artificial turf face their own issues which sports clubs and codes should be aware of.

Van Leeuwen and Roarty recommend that sporting clubs and codes, alongside their insurance broker, take a closer look at hire agreements and their approach to risk management in a bid to limit the chance of injury for players.

“The sports insurance market continues to change, which means insurers want more information about playing fields and surfaces and how you are protecting your players.”

Key trends

  • 91% of players believe their injury is linked to the surface they play on
  • Artificial turf adds risks of different injuries such as burns and grazes
  • Hire agreements are key to assigning liability should an injury occur
  • Clubs need guidelines and protocols to follow should they need to cancel a game

See Sarah Lyons, Chief Executive – Australia,  and Steve White, Head of Marketing & Communications, APAC, introduce the report here. 


How to access our first half-year 2019 Market Overview Report

Access the full report here. This digital version also has a full PDF version available for download and printing.

Read the latest Gallagher Market Overview Report