Waivers and participation agreements

It is not uncommon for sporting associations to require members to sign a waiver that indemnifies the association and its officials from any liability.  Waivers have limited value and in the case of children, parents may not sign away children's rights to safety and protection against negligent acts.  Parental consent is essential for allowing children to engage in organised sports and recreational activities.  

Parental consent forms can be extended to serve as a 'participant agreement.'  It requires parents to give permission for participation and clearly states that they and their children are aware of the dangers or risks of the activity, that they will abide by the rules of the activity and that they understand the safety requirements.  A participant agreement can also set out parents' responsibilities in terms of medical costs and insurance.