“If you’re football, hockey or soccer, the insurance business doesn’t want you.”

Not just football in its various forms with its known concussion dangers, but other games too face an insurance drought, especially as regards youth participation: “Overall, I think that there is a real threat to the viability of contact sports.” [Steve Fainaru and Mark Fainaru-Wada, ESPN]


  • Soccer would be much safer if they ban heading the ball (penalize it like touching the ball).

    I see two ways the government might save youth contact sports:

    (1) Universal health insurance plus tort reform (the Canadian model), or

    (2) Automatic government insurancce for youth sports

    • (3) get rid of torts

  • First, they came for the swing sets . . .

    This could get serious. Without the testing ground of youth sports, how will NCAA football continue its excellence?

    CBS Sports
    By Chip Patterson Jan 24, 2018 • 1 min read

    Alabama football continues to be the main financial driver of the school’s athletics department, responsible for approximately 62 percent of the total revenue in 2017.

    AL.com’s Michael Casagrande has the latest financial numbers, obtained via the budget documents filed annually with the NCAA through an open records request. The athletics department reported $174.3 million in revenue in 2017 and $15.6 million in profit, with the football department accounting for $108.2 million in revenue and $45.9 million in profit. “

    • “This could get serious. Without the testing ground of youth sports, how will NCAA football continue its excellence?”

      NCAA football might not be able to continue at all, and not just for lack of experienced youth athletes. If the insurance for University contact sports becomes too expensive or dries up to the point that universities are forced to self insure, their football programs might cease to be profit centers, which could spell the end for all college level sports.

  • Maybe the professional leagues would like to step forward and help coordinate amateur level risk pools (and safety efforts) before their athlete pipeline dies off. Not likely, but would be really smart.

  • This sounds like the free market saying “The costs of this outweigh the benefits, so just drop it.” Society is starting to view violent contact sports the way that we now view Roman Gladiatorial fights. Maybe the injury toll just isn’t worth it.

    • Not the free market—given the jackpot justice of those things called courts of law.

  • The challenge for insurance is the long tail coverage, sometimes drug out to be indefinite coverage, for things like effects of head trauma with claims made decades later (NFL football as prime example.)

    Insurers can wrap their heads, and rates, around definite events, because these can be measured largely in real time, and priced accordingly. It is the threat of open ended head bonk claims that is unmeasurable.
    Insurance regarding youths further is complicated by the statute of limitations clock not beginning to run until they reach age 18, or even later. So the tail for youth sport coverage is far longer than for other things that they could alternatively insure with the same investment. Insurers will move their policy underwriting to safer areas.