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    September 2011

    Waiver and Authorization Forms for the Intercollegiate Athlete

    Intercollegiate sports cause numerous injuries—ranging from minor to catastrophic—to student athletes every year. While colleges and universities must exercise reasonable care in operating these programs, they should also include appropriate waiver and authorization forms in their risk management programs.

    Assumption of Risk and Informed Consent

    "Assumption of risk" and "informed consent" forms require student athletes to acknowledge the risks of their sport and agree to participate. The title of such documents may vary depending upon applicable laws, customs, and the advice of legal counsel. The forms require a parent or guardian’s signature if the student is under 18.

    Generally, these forms should describe the particular sport’s risks and provide relevant examples. They should also emphasize the potential for serious and life-threatening injuries, and possible impairment of the student’s future capacities. Included should be a description of the scope of activities—such as tryouts, practice, games, and tournaments—as well as participation requirements such as safe play and health insurance obligations.

    In addition, these forms can require the student to acknowledge the risks of participating despite a pre-existing health condition. Institution policies should address the procedure for obtaining medical evaluations of students with potentially serious or life-threatening conditions. Advice of legal counsel is strongly recommended to determine any playing restrictions or preclusion of athletes with a disability.

    These forms typically require that students agree to:

    • Participate in a safe manner and follow the rules of the game
    • Follow the instructions of the athletic staff on proper technique, training, and equipment use
    • Report any medical problems or symptoms promptly
    • Provide proof of health insurance coverage, seek specialized treatment when necessary, and update any change in health insurance information, as applicable

    Medical Authorization

    Medical authorization forms address treatment issues and the release of student health information. They typically require students to authorize:

    • Treatment by the institution’s medical and sports medicine staff
    • Evaluation by an outside physician or hospitalization, as deemed appropriate by institution staff
    • Release of health information to or from non-university health care providers
    • Filing of an insurance claim on the student’s behalf

    UE Resources:

    Screening Student Athletes for the Sickle Cell Trait
    Checklist for Creating an Athletics Concussion Management Plan  
    Getting One Consent at a Time

    Sample Forms:

    The University of Texas System: University of Texas at El Paso
    Assumption of Risk
    Drug Policy Release Form
    Consent for Medical Treatment

    University of Alabama at Birmingham
    Assumption of Risk Waiver; Medical Release
    Medical Consent
    Insurance Information

    Suffolk University 
    Waiver and Release of Liability


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