Toronto, October 7, 2019 - The Ontario Recreation Facilities Association Inc. (ORFA) recommends that members review current operating policies related to the supply and use of ice arena net anchoring systems. Specifically, arena owners should no longer supply “rooted net pegs” without having a clearly written contractual relationship and waiver between the facility and the user group(s) wishing to firmly anchor ice nets in place on an ice surface as part of their sport.
Pegging of nets has significantly evolved over the years from a simple self-installed “pressure-point pin peg” design, which is considered low risk for all ages and levels of play, to “rooted net pegs” that are less likely to release from their anchor during play, and are potentially more likely to cause personal injury to players.
Pressure-Point Pin Peg Option Rooted in Play Peg Option
Litigation surrounding the pegging of ice sport goal nets is real and facility owners are often called upon to defend their operations and the selection of net anchoring systems . The ORFA reminds members that net pegs are not necessarily a required service to be provided as part of an ice rental agreement. It is generally accepted within the risk and insurance profession that securing any sport equipment elevates the risk of injury. It is also noted that increased skill levels, along with speed and size of players continues to evolve. Facility staff should not be required to track these changes of many different facility users in order to determine which net peg option meets the needs, age, size, caliber of play, etc. of users.
User groups are most in tune with their participants and the sport, therefore it should be reasonable to expect that they would take a greater responsibility in the selection of the type of net anchoring system they wish to use and be prepared to accept full legal responsibility and accountability for their selection and engineered specifications and use. Consequently, the need for a clearly written contractual relationship and waiver between the facility and the user group(s) wishing to firmly anchor ice nets in place on the ice surface.
ORFA members are further reminded of the potential risks and hazards associated with working on ice. It is essential that all workers or volunteers expected to perform this task are properly trained and outfitted with appropriate personal protective equipment.
Facility management is encouraged to work with user groups, insurance provider and/or legal counsel to design ice rental contracts and/or waivers that are most appropriate for their specific environment.
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