Richard Hammar, noted attorney and largely considered the expert in church…
An Outreach or a Hazard?
It’s not unusual for church parking lots to double as a makeshift basketball court. Throw up a quick stationary goal or drag out a portable basketball goal and game on!
Much like a playground, basketball goals are an “attractive nuisance”. The legal doctrine of attractive nuisances involve cases in which children enter someone’s property without invitation or permission to check something out that, in their eyes, appears irresistible.
For churches that have these potential kid magnets on their property highlights the need for due diligence by the church. An attractive nuisance can threaten the safety and well-being of different people in various ways, so you’re not just protecting yourself from a lawsuit. You’re also helping protect children against mishaps that could result from their own inquisitive nature.
Tips for Reducing the Risk Factors:
- Portable basketball goals should not be weighted down with cinder blocks, rocks or other materials. In the event of a fall, those present an instant probability of injury. Instead, follow the manufacture’s recommendations for properly securing them and/or use secondary methods to prevent them from falling (for example see www.hoopanchor.com for a possible solution) or on You Tube, search for “securing a portable basketball hoop”).
- Test portable basketball hoops or even stationary ones where the height can be raised or lowered. Have a qualified adult pull on the net to check the security of the baseball goal. If it tips easily or can be pulled down with reasonable force, you need to secure it to keep it from doing so.
- Avoid chain nets. Sure they will last forever, but fingers that might get caught in them will often lead to an injury, sometimes a serious one.
- Inspect them often. Look for nets that need to be replaced, any areas of rough metal edges, rusting, etc. Immediately repair any hazards found or remove the basketball goal until you can.
Let us know if you have any questions! We here to help. In case you missed our recent post on inflatable Bounce Houses, you can read that here!