Understanding Legal Duties: Are High School Athletic Directors Properly Prepared?
Keywords:interscholastic sport, athletic directors, legal duties, survey methods, regression analysis, high school
The legal duties of high school athletic directors are an under-researched area of sport law. Millions of dollars are paid out annually due to the negligence of high school athletic program administrators, justifying a deep dive into further understanding high school athletic director legal awareness. Utilizing research related to an established 14 legal duties for high school athletics, the authors created a survey to contribute to the limited existing research related to high school athletic director legal awareness.
The survey went to a geographically balanced sample of states and the athletic directors within these states. A total of 349 responses were captured. A Rasch analysis identified the most challenging duties for high school athletic directors to manage were areas such as keeping practice plans on file and advising students of warning labels on equipment. Areas that high school athletic directors were better equipped to manage were transportation of students to practice and competition, and ensuring equipment meets industry standards.
Multiple regression analysis revealed that smaller schools are most challenged in legal duty awareness due to limited resources (e.g., financial and personnel). Research should continue to build in this area by evaluating other variables that may impact the ability to comply and explanations for the level of awareness of directors.