Risk Management Is Answer to Football’s Insurance Problem, Says Top Sports Broker

By | February 1, 2019

  • February 1, 2019 at 12:08 pm
    Craig Cornell says:
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    How much did this brokerage firm pay the Insurance Journal for the puff piece of advertising? What a joke.

    The broker keeps talking about bringing “risk management” to football’s exposure to head injuries. There is nothing that can guarantee safety from head injuries, according to experts in the field, because you can’t test for CTE until after death. The only true way to avoid CTE is to avoid ALL blows to the head, period.

    Do better helmets work? Who knows? Someday a test for CTE will be developed to tell us whether better helmets work by testing for CTE in living players. But not until then. Do better concussion protocols work? Well, experts believe small sub-concussive hits may be the most damaging, those that can’t be detected.

    This broker knows nothing special about risk management for sports-related head injuries and he doesn’t even offer any ideas.

    Another proud moment for the Insurance Journal.

    • February 11, 2019 at 7:38 pm
      Michael Bonilla says:
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      Enterprise Risk Management principles can be easily implemented into any industry, activity and or sport. For instance, there is a basic principle called, Issue to Incident to loss. Or a team can engender RCA or the PDCA to find ways to reduce risk. Eliminating injuries in sports would have a nil chance at succeeding, but smart risk management practices and frameworks can be implemented to help reduce losses.

      If you want to look at the most basic example in sports. Teams did not used to stretch before practice and minor injuries were a common occurrence. Now before every game of nearly every sport there is a considerable amount of practice. That’s just Risk Management or basic RCA (Root Cause Analysis).

      if you want to look at very specific examples of what is being done.

      Example 1: For instance, having the team practice without helmets at ‘reduced intensities/effort’, much like in Rug-bee, which leads to far less head on head contact and requires better tackling mechanics. This has already been implemented to some extent in many training camps. Think of it like old school football where they just had leather helmets. Or think of it like Airbags, if your car didn’t have airbags you would probably drive a bit slower and or more cautiously/attentive. This would be a simple risk management technique that could implemented by the team and recommended by a risk manager. This would probably be considered a risk reduction technique.

      Example 2: For instance, players in the 2010’s where passing out and in some cases dying of heat stroke in lower level/tier sports due to drinking too many energy drinks and then working out for hours on end. A risk manager could have the team nutritionist lecture on water intake vs sodium to caffeine levels in energy drinks and or catalog diets of players, etc.

      This is a brief article and doesn’t touch upon a lot of the potential causes of loss other than CTE or other than TBI in which sports team are exposed to. This really isn’t much different other hard to insure businesses that need to go to Surplus lines markets or E&S markets. Overall it is probably somewhat of a puff piece, but it’s not a insurance study/white paper, it’s a magazine.

  • February 2, 2019 at 10:07 am
    retired risk manager says:
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    Today is the second day of the 6 Nations Rugby Tournament. While there are injuries in rugby, cuts, blood, a few broken bones ….. there are VERY few head injuries. Why? Because without a helmet, you don’t lead with your head. Also, without the pads that make a player look like a medieval knight, you pay attention to technique when make a tackle. I know very few American football players that would even dare to step onto the pitch for 80 minutes. 40 minute half’s, 10 minute half time, rare time outs … brutal. I know, I played for the USAF rugby team in West Berlin. Get back to basics and the game would be safer and more fun to watch. Go England !!!!!!

    • February 11, 2019 at 9:06 am
      retired risk manager says:
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      England 44 …. France 8 !!!!!!!!!!!!

  • February 9, 2019 at 11:17 am
    Michael Bonilla says:
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    To address Craig’s comment above. There are ways to tackle that do in fact reduce the chance of CTE and helmet on helmet contact. For instance, having the team practice without helmets at ‘reduced intensities/effort’, much like in Rug-bee, which leads to far less head on head contact and requires better tackling mechanics. This has already been implemented to some extent in many training camps. Think of it like old school football where they just had leather helmets. Or think of it like Airbags, if your car didn’t have airbags you would probably drive a bit slower and or more cautiously/attentive. This would be a simple risk management technique that could implemented by the team and recommended by a risk manager. This would probably be considered a risk reduction technique. Also, you could look more holistically at issues that become incidents that lead to loss. For instance, players in the 2010’s where passing out and in some cases dying of heat stroke in lower level/tier sports due to drinking too many energy drinks and then working out for hours on end. A risk manager could have the team nutritionist lecture on water intake vs sodium to caffeine levels in energy drinks and or catalog diets of players, etc. I think the article doesn’t get into actual specifics, because why give away your trade practices?

    • February 9, 2019 at 4:40 pm
      Craig Cornell says:
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      Energy drinks and head injuries? Not sure I make the connection.

      And your “better tackling mechanics” approach involves trying to avoid using the head in tackling, but is not at all fool proof. Players can still end up with head collisions often in a game as fast as football.

      What’s a better way to do that? Don’t tackle at all. That’s called risk avoidance in the trade.

      And “why give away your trade practices”? Hello? There aren’t any. And either way, what is the point of an article on “risk management being the answer” if you don’t have any specifics. You may as well be offering a simple solution to Climate Change (but don’t want to reveal your, wink wink, secrets.)

      You have proven my point exactly.

      • February 10, 2019 at 8:41 am
        retired risk manager says:
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        “Fast as Football”. Are you serious ? When is the last time you watched a rugby game? There are no breaks in the action. Football, a break every 45 seconds. Got to huddle up, line up, call play, etc. The stroll back to the huddle. And don’t forget the commercial breaks. No commercials in rugby. Good one Craig.

        • February 11, 2019 at 2:39 pm
          Craig Cornell says:
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          Have you watched the NFL lately? It is a comedy of officiating with nearly every pass play becoming controversial for either a bad call on using the helmet to tackle or a bad non-call about using the helmet to tackle.

          The players KNOW they can’t use the head any longer but still do so all the time. You think that is intentional? Or unavoidable due to the speed of the game?

      • February 13, 2019 at 11:11 am
        Michael Bonilla says:
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        Football players in college/high school were passing out due to heat stroke/exhaustion during practice and even dying in some cases. They found that the root cause of the deaths/passing out were the players consuming too many energy drinks prior to practicing and not drinking water. Energy drinks are high in both caffeine and sodium.

        I’m talking about two separate causes of loss effecting football/sports teams. They are not related. The point is that the article brings up a hot button issue CTE/TBI but there are many other hazards a sports team faces. The head injuries were caused and are caused mostly due to bad tackling mechanics or lack of proper basics and even bad rule sets.



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