5 Key Things You Need to Know About Extreme Sports Insurance

MOST TRAVEL INSURANCE PLANS DO NOT COVER EXTREME SPORTS LEAVING YOU UNPROTECTED!

Many of us enjoy doing sports and the best time to try out something new and exciting or spend time enjoying a favourite sport is during vacation! Travel providers attract with exciting promises: Bungee jumping, rock climbing, scuba diving, sky diving, perfect alpine ski slopes – that all is tons of fun! And potentially a source of future problems. In many of those cases you are not protected through your insurance at all! Let’s dig deeper today into extreme sport insurance!

1. UNDERSTAND HOW RISKY YOUR FAVOURITE SPORT IS

The variety of sports people engage in today is vast: everything from chess to base jumping is considered “sports”. For many insurers, sports fall into four general risk levels (s. list below). Already, sports from Level 2 are often considered as extreme sports. So if you are a passionate skier in Colorado, British Columbia or the Swiss Alps, an amateur rock climber, or adrenalin junkie enjoying skydiving at least once a month – you should consider looking deeper into extreme sport protection.

Insurance classification of sport risks:

Level 1 – Low risk sports: Aerobics, skating, volleyball, water polo, football, cricket, golf, baseball, basketball, tennis, badminton, archery

Level 2 – Sports involving more mobility and therefore more risks: Adventure racing, paintball, alpine skiing, canoeing, swimming, rugby, scuba diving, gymnastics, kayaking

Level 3 – Sports with elements of violence and action: Wrestling, boxing, hockey, martial arts, motor sports, bungee jumping, rock climbing, horseback riding, mountain biking, mountaineering, water rafting, water skiing

Level 4 – Most risky sports: Hang gliding, parachuting, paramotoring, skydiving

2. READ THE FINE PRINT 8 TIMES IF YOU RELY ON STANDARD TRAVEL INSURANCE

Sports-related injuries during vacations can be sometimes covered under Travel Medical insurance policy but more often they are not. So if you want to rely solely on your existing policy, be sure that you read carefully all the conditions or consult the insurance hotline. Often insurance companies offer additional protection for accidents associated with extreme sports. Remember consequences of sport injuries can add up to dozens of thousands dollars while you are treated abroad.

3. BE CLEAR ON HOW “PROFESSIONAL” IS YOUR SPORT ENGAGEMENT

There are also different ways you can engage in sports. And though your insurance might be still covering leisure skiing in Mont-Tremblant, Quebec, it will very likely not pay for any medical expenses associated with injuries from Thai boxing fights in Thailand or professional rock climbing competitions in the Rockies. Here the basic rule should be: if you do anything, not for leisure only, but it has any hint of professional activity / competition, get a separate extreme sport protection.

4. ARE YOU AN “EXCLUSION” CASE? BE CAREFUL!

Even if you think you will be fine after getting an extreme sport insurance, have a more detailed look at conditions – typical exclusions in extreme sports insurance policies are: Those above a certain age are NOT covered (age limit varies) Pre-existing medical conditions Injury resulting from drug abuse during sporting activity Performing sports in unauthorized areas for particular activity Think about that while enjoying your extreme sport – ski race competition outside of the authorized slope might result in unpaid bills rejected by your insurer…

5. DEDICATED EXTREME SPORT INSURANCE EXISTS!

There is proper protection for all extreme sport enthusiasts out there! Often you can get an additional piece of protection, so-called rider on your policy that covers your “dangerous” hobby sports. Such insurance can cost you less than $100 for a month but save a lot of headaches in future. Anyway, the objective of this article is not to force you to stay at home but make clear to you what protection you might need to enjoy your favourite sports while covering all your bases!

Sports Memorabilia – Tips to Consider When Collecting Sporting Memorabilia

If you have a favorite player or favorite team, chances are you have some sort of merchandise of that player or team. Whether it’s a jersey, a banner, a blanket, a helmet, or even just a baseball cap. You may want to expand your horizons and invest in some memorabilia which would perhaps be investments for your future financial gain. There are some elements to consider when becoming a collector. First, you must educate yourself about the sports memorabilia industry. Second, you must determine what you want to buy. Third, you must determine how much you want to spend. And fourth, you need to do your homework before you get started.

(1) What is sports memorabilia?

– Sports memorabilia refers to anything that can be directly related to a sports event or a sports personality. Items from professional sports such as a baseball, football, basketball, a jersey, a boxing glove, a baseball card, and even an old bleacher seat from the famed Yankee Stadium which was recently dismantled in order to make way for the new Yankee Stadium. What makes these sports artifacts become valuable due to fans or ‘collectors’ if you will, find value in the rarity time value of these collectibles. Vintage sports memorabilia typically refers to sports items ‘representing the best of a pastime’.

(2) Sports memorabilia cards

– Collecting cards is a fun, exciting, and educational hobby that can last a lifetime. Almost all of us have had a pack of baseball or football cards at one time or another when we were kids. Many people have been saving all of their trading card since their childhood. These people may be sitting on a gold mine because some of these cards have a very high value in the memorabilia market -especially if they are in good condition.

When one thinks of sports cards, the first thing that comes to everyone’s mind is of course baseball cards. However, collector cards are popular in sports such as football, basketball, and hockey.

(3) Beginning as a collector

-With as little as a few dollars, you can start a collection of your own. First, you need to decide how much money you can afford to spend on your collection and what type of memorabilia you want to acquire. Then survey the varying types of memorabilia out there in the marketplace. This will give you a general idea of how much you may want to spend and what it is you may want to collect.

Second, you will probably want to join a memorabilia forum or message board. A good one to join is sportscardforum.com. At sportscardforum.com, you can keep up with the latest news in the sports memorabilia industry. Also, this is a great way to meet other collectible enthusiasts and perhaps some sports memorabilia dealers in your local area.

Purchase a price guide. You will need this as a point of reference to determine how much each piece of sports memorabilia you are interested in approximately worth in the marketplace. The best price guides can be found at Beckett.com. When purchasing a price guide, be sure you purchase the type of price guide that corresponds to the type of memorabilia you are interested in buying.

Begin your collection by starting out with inexpensive items at the start.

(4) Where to buy sports collectibles and artifacts

– The most efficient and easiest way to find sports memorabilia is on the internet. Many online auction sites such as eBay rate vendors and provide buyer and seller guides. Many people scour newspaper ads for estate sales and auctions looking for vintage memorabilia that may be available and are hidden gems. Some collectors even deal with sports memorabilia brokers and attend collectible trade shows. As a beginner with any collection, most collects start out by visiting sports memorabilia shops.

By visiting and patronizing sports memorabilia shops or stores, you can see the items in person. You are dealing directly with the shop owner, and you have a comfort level that surpasses any online shopping site. The problem with the online industry is that you are prone to counterfeit items. Don’t get me wrong, you are always prone to counterfeit items in the sporting memorabilia world.

(5) Autographed sports memorabilia

There are a few more factors in which sports memorabilia autographs can enhance the value of a piece of memorabilia.

– The death of a popular or respected athlete can prove to bring a sudden increase in demand for autographed items by that player. The simple logic is that the player will not be able to sign any more autographs-limiting the supply of his signed memorabilia in the marketplace. As a result, collectors will want these items even more and that in turn will increase its value even further.

-Sports memorabilia collectors value their favorite athlete’s autograph. For instance, signed NFL full sized helmets will surely cost a lot more in the future if it were signed by a football great such as Joe Montana or John Elway.

-Sports memorabilia autographs can increase in demand if a particular athlete has a very lengthy career and a good reputation as an athlete (i.e. Derek Jeter). Furthermore, players who have retired with well respected careers will also have prized memorabilia in their name.

-If an item in which the signature of the player is inducted into the Hall of Fame, the value of the collectible goes up due to the permanent elevated status of that athlete among his or her peers.

Modern Trends in Sports Administration and Management

One of the major factors militating against the development of sports in Nigeria today is lack of effective management. A lot of solutions are being proffered by concerned and patriotic Nigerians daily to bail us out the quagmire. One of such solutions is this text entitled “Modern Trends in Sports Administration and Management”. It is written by Dr. Joseph Awoyinfa, a lecturer in the Department of Human Kinetics and Health Education, Faculty of Education, University of Lagos, Nigeria; a researcher and educational consultant. I was the person invited by the author and the university to review the book when it was presented to the public on December 4, 2008 in Nigeria.

According to Awoyinfa, it is a truism all over the world that sport is now a reference issue which can no longer be ignored at various sectors of the economy and spheres of life. The author adds that this text thus takes a critical look at topical issues in sports administration and management, dwelling on theories and principles of modern trends in sports administration and management such as leadership, organisation, planning, motivation, etc.

The text contains 16 chapters. Chapter one is christened “the concept of sports management”. Here, Awoyinfa says management is a concept that implies different things to different people at different times, thus leading to its multiplicity of definitions. He explains that management has been variously described as an art, a science, a person or people, a discipline and a process.

This author expatiates that as an art, sports management is all about carrying out sports organisational functions and tasks through people; while as a science, sports management is about establishing sports philosophy, laws, theories, principles, processes and practices. As an organisation, according to him, sports management is defined as a means of creating formal structures and an establishment based on a mission, objectives, targets, functions and tasks.

Awoyinfa says as a person or group of people, sports management may refer to the head alone or to all the senior staff, committee, etc.; while as a discipline, management is a field of study with various subjects and topics. The author illuminates that sports management as a process is about a systematic way of doing things. Awoyinfa highlights management functions in sports administration as planning, organising, staffing, directing/leading, controlling, coordination, budgeting and evaluation. On whom a sports manager is, this author educates that a sports manager is anyone at any level of sport organisation who directs
the efforts of other people towards the achievement of organisational goals sport-wise.

Chapter two is based on the subject matter of evolution and trends of sports management thought. Here, Awoyinfa discloses that the development of thoughts on sports management dates back to the days when people first attempted to accomplish goals by working together in a group. In his words, “There was serious thinking and theorising about managing many years before the dawn of the twentieth (20th) century, which marked the beginning of modern sports management thought. Major efforts to develop theories and principles of sports management began from the early twentieth (20th) century with the work of Frederick Taylor and Henri Fayol. The industrial revolution of the nineteenth (19th) century probably provided the climate for this very serious theorising.”

Awoyinfa adds that since the turn of the 20th century, writers on sports management and business theory have been propounding different theories about how to manage work and personnel more efficiently and effectively. This author educates that the three main schools of management thought are: the classical; the human-behavioural; and the integrative. Awoyinfa also highlights early sports management theorists; principles and characteristics of scientific management; appraisal of the scientific management theory, etc., in this chapter.

Chapter three is thematically labelled “principles of sports management”. In this chapter, the educational consultant explains that sports principles are the basic laws on which the practice of sports management is built. He adds that management principles must therefore be based on general terms for them to be applicable within sport organisations of varying sizes and character. “Modern sports managers and administrators are expected to be able to identify and use appropriate principles that are relevant to particular situations. This is because no single principle can suit all administrative situations,” submits Awoyinfa.

He says the fundamental principles of sports are those applicable to all sports organisations and as a result of their general acceptability, they are sometimes referred to as “universal principles of sports management”. This author expatiates that some of these principles are: responsibility; delegation of authority and communication. As regards humanitarian principles of sports management, Awoyinfa identifies these as democracy, justice, human relations, sympathy, empathy, consideration and humility.

In chapter four based on the concept of behavioural and motivational theories in sports organisation, the author says human beings are unique creatures as they behave differently under different conditions and are mostly difficult to predict. Awoyinfa stresses that since human beings constitute the most important element in sports organisation, sports managers need some understanding of why people behave in one way or the other, so that they (sports managers) can influence people to perform exactly the way sports organisations find desirable.

One potent instrument this author suggests that can be used to elicit performance in athletes is motivation. In his words, “Motivation is something needed in sports organisations to make employees perform.
However, it has been an important and a puzzling subject for sports managers.” Awoyinfa further discusses development of motivational concepts in sports organisation; application of motivational theories to sports management; methods of behaviour modification, etc., in this chapter.

In chapters five to ten, the author beams his analytical searchlight on subject matters such as management techniques in sports organisation; the concept of sports organisation; setting design in sports organisation; the concept of planning in sports administration; making sports organisations more effective in Nigeria and staffing in sports organisations.

Chapter 11 is based on communication strategies in sports organisation. According to Awoyinfa here, communication is a crucial factor in any organisational effectiveness because organisations cannot function effectively when communication skills are lacking among members. “Since communication is the moving spirit in an organisation, its absence may make organisations standstill,” asserts this author.
In chapters 12 to 16, Awoyinfa X-rays concepts such as organisational changes and development in sports administration; leadership in sports administration and management; administration and management of soccer as a coach; teaching human kinetics and health education in schools and colleges; and organisation and administration of schools at various levels of education.

As regards mode of presentation, this text scores a pass mark. For instance, the language is comprehensible and the ideas are brilliantly articulated. The simplicity of the language is expected, given the author’s dual professional background as a lecturer and pastor. To ensure easy study of the text on readers’ part, Awoyinfa highlights the objectives of each chapter at the beginning and ends with review/revision questions.

What’s more, he creatively embroiders the text with graphics (pages 50, 97, 317, 330, 338, 395, etc.) to enhance readers’ understanding through visual communication. Awoyinfa includes references at the end of each chapter to fulfil academic obligation of source disclosure and offer readers opportunities to read more. Inclusion of many references also confirms the depth of his research. His use of visual distinction for the phrase “Modern Trends” in the title is emphatically creative.

If there are chapters that really make this text qualified as a compendium of modern solutions to the administrative and management problems plaguing our sports development in Nigeria, they are chapters four, eight, 11 and 13. This is because they discuss motivation, planning, communication and leadership respectively.

Meanwhile, the thematically greatest chapter of all is chapter four. The fact that it is consciously or unconsciously taken to be the greatest chapter finds practical expression in the deeper communication and cohesion between its subject matter on the one hand and the outer front cover’s allegorical visuals or metaphorical images such as goal post, cyclists racing, a lawn tennis player poised for action with her bat, sprinters competing and footballers struggling for ball possession, on the other hand. These are images used for illustration in motivational discourse.

However, some errors are noticed in this text. The errors are “Acknowledgement” (page iii), instead of “Acknowledgements”; non-paragraphing of the natural first few paragraphs of “Preface”; “Loosing” (pages 396 and 404), instead of “Losing”, etc. These errors need to be corrected in the next edition.

On a note of analytical finality, this text is a compendium of irresistible sports management tips. It is a must-read for all stakeholders in the sports sector, especially managers and administrators. It is simply fascinating.