Avoiding Injury During March Madness

March Madness. Seems like relatively harmless alliteration, a catchy phrase to mark the end of the NCAA men’s basketball season. The term can be traced back to 1939, when it was first used by an official with the Illinois High School Association (IHSA). In fact, it referred only to Illinois high-school basketball until 1982 when it was used by Brent Musburger during NCAA tournament coverage. Several years and multiple rounds of litigation later, the two organizations agreed to form a joint holding company called the March Madness Athletic Association through which the IHSA controls the name on the high-school level and the NCAA has a perpetual license to use the phrase in connection with its collegiate tournament. Sorting out the legal rights and responsibilities over the use of the term is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to possible March Madness litigation. Whether you cheer on the Cats at Rupp, head to the Yum Center for the South Regional matchup, or travel to another arena, keep in mind that the facility is responsible for taking certain adequate precautions and may be held liable for:

  • Accidents that result from serving alcohol to visibly intoxicated patrons
  • Defective or improperly constructed ramps
  • Food poisoning
  • Slips and falls on wet/soiled surfaces, particularly in bathrooms or on stairs
  • Inadequate lighting
  • Lack of crowd control
  • Inadequate security
  • Falls from balconies or upper decks
  • No guardrails
  • Improperly maintained railings
  • Parking lot injuries (tailgating, traffic congestion)
  • Escalator/elevator accidents
  • Pedestrian accidents.
For those who take their allegiance beyond the armchair to the court, be aware that playing basketball can be hazardous to your health. It’s a fast-moving sport that commonly results in ankle sprains, jammed fingers, knee injuries/”Jumper’s Knee,” deep thigh bruising/”Charley Horse,” foot fractures, traumatic brain injuries, and eye injuries. If you choose to play, help yourself by:
  • Warming up properly
  • Checking the court for any debris
  • Wearing proper shoes
  • Staying hydrated
  • Stretching
  • Listening to your body and avoiding overuse injuries if pain or discomfort develop.
Children especially must be careful when participating in organized sports. More than 2.6 million children ages 19 and under are seen in emergency departments for injuries related to sports and recreation each year. When you’re out supporting your team or shooting a few hoops yourself, you don’t think about getting hurt or whether you would be able to file a successful personal injury claim if something goes wrong. That’s why we’re here. If you have any questions about this topic, you can find out more by discussing it with one of the attorneys at the Pikeville, KY-based Johnson Law Firm. While we hope that the Madness passes without incident and the Wildcats score their ninth championship, we are here if you need us. Contact us by calling 606-437-4488 or filling out our online form.

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