Incorporated sporting clubs and associations have distinct obligations to fulfil as a legal entity. Committee members, directors, coaches and volunteers each have a role to play in the team and it is vital that all involved understand the different policies that are applicable to the club and its members. Here are just two policy considerations for ensuring “good play” in your local sporting organisation.

Health and Safety
Sporting clubs have a duty to provide a safe environment for players, parents, officials, volunteers and spectators alike. A Sport Safety Plan should be established to help identify and manage risks at your club. It is also vital that the Plan is made known to members so that everyone understands the correct procedure to follow in the event of a serious injury or emergency. 

Consider whether your club has policies or procedures in place for the following:

  • player medical history;
  • monitoring and recording of injuries;
  • safe storage and use of equipment; 
  • emergency contact details, procedure and chain of command;
  • standards for ground inspection and maintaining a safe playing environment; 
  • alcohol, drugs and smoking;
  • asthma management; and
  • insurance.

Resources are available on various websites, such as Smart Play and the Australian Sports Commission, that can assist you with the creation of such policies and procedures that will ensure you have complied with your duty of care.

Privacy
State and national law applies to certain information handled by a sporting club as it goes about its day-to-day activities. Relevant legislation includes the Information Privacy Act 2000 (Vic), the Health Records Act 2001 (Vic) and the Privacy Act 1988 (Cth).  

Sporting clubs should have a privacy policy in place that is provided to members upon collection of their personal information. Personal information is any material that can be used to clearly identify an individual, such as their address, full name or telephone number. The policy should assist members in understanding exactly how this information is going to be used. Consent to the policy must be obtained - either from the member themselves or from their parents or guardians if appropriate. 

If you would like more information or if you would like us to assist you in reviewing your club’s procedures, please contact:

Ashleigh Wall
Special Counsel
T  03 5226 8559
E  awall@harwoodandrews.com.au

or

Jesse Drever
Lawyer
T  03 5225 5226
E  jdrever@harwoodandrews.com.au

This article has been prepared with the assistance of Stephen Kirby