Whether a virtual component was part of your plan from the beginning or you’ve had to pivot at the last minute, you’ll need a plan for liability waivers. It might be tempting to skip the waiver for a virtual event, but requiring participants to sign one will go a long way in protecting your organization. Ready to get started? Below are some tips for setting up a basic virtual race liability waiver.
Decide what information you need on your waiver form. The Road Runner’s Club of America (RRCA) has some guidelines on waiver language, but your event will likely have its own specific needs.
- At a minimum, you’ll want the waiver to state that participants recognize that it’s a potentially hazardous activity and they accept their own personal risk. They will be holding you harmless for any damage they do to themselves or others during the virtual event. A Pennsylvania-based race organization offers a very basic waiver template if you need language inspiration.
- You’ll also want participants to acknowledge that they should be in good physical health and properly trained before participating in the event.
- Clearly state that there will be no on-course support from your race organization or any other entity such as a municipality's or emergency medical services.
- If your event will have time constraints (e.g. 6 a.m. on July 4 through 10 p.m. on July 5), it’s important to include that in the waiver.
- If you’re charging for your virtual race, include language in the waiver about cancelation. Although the race won’t have an in-person component, it’s still possible that local conditions will deem outdoor running unsafe (this only applies if you have time constraints on your event). If you will not be offering refunds (most virtual races don’t) be sure to state it clearly.
- Include a section regarding your policy on photographs and personal information gathered from the event. If you plan on using images and results for promotional reasons, make sure your participants know about it in advance.
Once you’ve decided what you’d like to include in your waiver, it’s time to integrate it into your registration process. With ACTIVEWorks Endurance, you can do this easily. Acknowledgment of the waiver and a signature is automatically required before registration can be completed.
Collect and store signed waivers. ACTIVEWorks Endurance will handle this for you. If you have questions about the enforceability of your waiver, always consult with a legal professional.
Finally, the above information assumes that your participants are over 18. If you’re allowing minors to register for the event, be sure to ask for a parent or guardian’s signature as well.