Editor's Desk - January 2007
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Sowing New Seeds

“I'm not really a career person.
I'm a gardener, basically. ”

—George Harrison

Welcome to 2007! It's nice to meet you all here on the pages of Recreation Management.

I think it was author Tom Robbins who wrote that you can know a lot about a person by asking which of The Beatles was their favorite. And I couldn't resist this quote from my favorite Beatle, because I too am a gardener.

Of course, this time of year is difficult for us northern-climate gardeners. Unless you've got a greenhouse (I don't), your garden lies fallow under fall leaves and winter snows, and you dream over seed catalogs of springtime soil and summertime tomatoes.

But I've discovered some other seeds I can plant for the time being. And you get to help.

A magazine can be a lot like a garden. It requires patient planning, constant seeding, weeding and feeding, and eventually you reap the rewarding harvest of all your hard work.

This is where you come in. This is, after all, your garden, your forum, your source for information on managing your recreation, sports and fitness facilities.

What plants would you like to see here? What issues are critically important to you? What would you like to learn more about?

Drop me a line at emily@recmanagement.com, and tell me all about it.

Together, we can plant some new seeds. Eventually, I'm sure we'll reap a bountiful harvest.


Emily Tipping
Recreation Management

Feel free to drop us a line. Any feedback is great; establishing an industry forum for the open exchange of ideas is even better. So don't be shy with your thoughts, opinions and questions. Any topic is fair game, and no query is too big or too little.

Weighing in on Waivers

I read with interest and then concern the article, "The ABCs of Liability Waivers" in the November 2006 issue of Recreation Management. There are several errors in the article that should be pointed out to your readers before they rely, to their detriment, on the information contained in the article.

Wisconsin and Connecticut both have eliminated waivers as a valid pre-injury defense for recreational activities: Wisconsin in Atkins v. Swimwest Family Fitness Center, 2005 WI 4; 2005 Wisc. LEXIS 2 and Connecticut in Hanks v. Powder Ridge Restaurant Corporation et al. 276 Conn. 314, 2005 Conn. LEXIS 500. A recent Arizona Supreme Court decision places releases at issue in that state, Phelps v. Firebird Raceway Inc., 210 Ariz. 403, 111 P.3d 1003, 454 Ariz. Adv. Rep. 29, 2005 Ariz. LEXIS 53.

The issue surrounding the enforcement of parental waivers has some errors. Florida has not ruled releases signed by parents can be enforced against minors. The Florida Supreme Court has specifically avoided that issue in its latest decision. Connecticut in Hanks and Wisconsin in Swimwest eliminated releases altogether, let alone for a parent to sign away a minor's rights. Georgia and Indiana have no decisions on whether a parent can sign away a minor's right to sue.

No state allows a waiver signed by one spouse to apply to the other spouse for releases for recreational activities.

These errors are critical when attempting to understand waivers and how they are applied in any respective state.

James H. Moss, J.D.
Editor, Outdoor
Recreation Law Review

EDITOR'S NOTE: The legal world in general, and recreational legal issues in particular, represent a vast and confusing landscape to many in the industry. Your best plan is to find an attorney to assist you with these issues. As Doyice Cotton mentions in the article referenced, you should be sure to find an attorney who is familiar with waiver law, familiar with your type of business and is able to present references to that effect.