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Am I responsible by arranging an event? Answered


I've put this question on a law site as well but I am always interested in Instructables' answers.

If I arrange an event as informally as I can such as putting a posting on a site saying,

" Is anyone interested in a game of croquet at 3pm at the local park? ; Just turn up if you want to ; at your own risk."

Can I as an ' organiser ' be held responsible for any injuries?

If so, is there a way that everyone can be responsible for themselves?

Thank you. 



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Best Answer 9 years ago

As long as you have taken "all reasonable precautions", you're fine.

Do basic risk assessment, and consider who would be to blame in the event of injury, embarrassment or financial loss.

For instance, if a player gets carried away and cracks somebody in the head with the back-swing, would the victim sue you, or the player (if they sued anybody)?

Answer: for the initial injury, the player would be culpable. If delays in treatment worsened the damage, then you *might* be culpable.

Solution: provide basic first aid facilities. That may be as basic as buying a first kit and reading the instructions, through making sure that one of the players has first-aid training through work (as I do), all the way up to booking the presence of St Johns Ambulance staff.

The degree of culpability depends on the degree of organisation.

If you phone a few friends, or post an invitation on a social site (as you describe), then you, as "person with idea" will be culpable for nothing.

If you actually organise things - arrange teams, book a venue etc, then your responsibility increases as well.

The good news is that, in the UK, the person ultimately responsible for an individual's health & safety is that individual. If the invitees are happy, then you should be fine.

Personally, in a casual situation like this, all I would feel an obligation to do is make sure that I bring my mobile, and that it at least has emergency service signal (even if you are outside your usual provider's signal, all mobile providers are obliged by law to connect emergency calls).


9 years ago

As with all sports, there is sports insurance that can be taken out (if you need to know which companies, contact details, etc, get in touch with your local amateur footy/rugby club). You will then be able to talk to the insurance rep who may be able to inform you further (be careful what info lines his pockets even more).

I'm not sure about the 'verbal' argument stated earlier when you advertise it on a poster that is in writing. There appears to be no conditions attached to attending/participating in the event. What if the ball hits a spectator/car window/ etc?

If it was me, if I cared enough about the event, I'd write a disclaimer on the advert and to hell with the consequences. However, sports is not my thing, and so I would encourage someone else to do the 'organising'...(!)

Whichever way it goes, good luck and have a fun day ;-)


9 years ago

You are not responsible for the place, so there is some shared risk - are there any "no ball-games" signs in the park?
You're also not responsible for other person's actions (unless they're legally in your care)
Remember this: law likes paperwork, purely verbal-arrangements are weaker in legal arguments.



9 years ago

An area like a public park belongs to the community and is in theory available for anyone's use. There may be restrictions imposed on it such as things like no overnight camping. An organized gathering may be required to get a permit for the use. Say if you are having a wedding reception and wanted to do it there, you may need to get a permit and reserve the area. Another similar thing would be a ball park. You might need to reserve a time slot for your game if you have a group that wants to play. However if a bunch of people just showed up and the field was not already being used then they would normally be free to play as long as its not reserved by someone else.
If you reserve a time slot for something that doesn't make you liable for what individuals might do. As long as the activity is one permitted by the rules of the park or field then the people there are the ones responsible for their own conduct. Trying to sue a city because some idiot runs into a tree and gets hurt probably will not have any success. Most public areas like that are thought of as use at your own risk things. The only exceptions would be in cases of negligence such as if they were putting in a pool and left a giant hole in the ground with no warning signs or barriers.
I am not a lawyer but I believe there are limits as to what people can try and sue for on public property. There comes a point where people are supposed to be responsible for their own actions.