Do Entry Form Waivers Properly Inform Triathlon Participants of the Dangers of the Sport?

  • Gina Pauline Syracuse University
  • Barbara Osborne University of North Carolina
  • John J. Miller Troy University

Abstract

A growing number of triathlete fatalities and serious injuries over the past ten years have raised concerns regarding the safety of participation as well as the event’s responsibility in properly informing the participant of the risks involved in the sport. The purpose of this research was to determine whether participants were properly informed of the risk of competing in triathlon events. Specific research questions include 1) What clauses were included in triathlon waivers? 2) Who is protected from liability? 3) Are risks of participation properly communicated to establish informed consent? Content analysis of the participation waivers of 84 competitive triathlons in the United States was used to identify the various clauses present. The findings show that the majority of the waivers did not use well-crafted waivers that clearly described the myriad of risks posed by triathlon participation. Additional findings and implications relevant to the aforementioned research questions will be discussed.
Published
2016-01-31
Section
Original Research