Risk Management for Parks, Recreation Tourism & Sport


Risk Management

PRT 508: Risk Management for Parks, Recreation Tourism & Sport– Michael Kanters, PhD

Course Description:
Risk Management for parks, recreation, tourism, and sport organizations with an emphasis on ethical managerial strategies. Students will learn how legal concepts relate to specific managerial functions and how a knowledge of law and its impact on functions of recreation environments can help build a more efficient and successful operation that better serves the needs of its constituents and protects its ability to provide products and services. Students will also learn how effective strategies for risk management in parks, recreation, tourism and sport organizations can facilitate active-healthy lifestyles and sustainable communities.

Learning Objectives:

  1. Summarize principals of risk management within the context of basic management functions such as governance, human resource management, and organizational operations. Identify and describe policies and practices for managing program and service risks. Emphasis on employee selection & qualifications, supervision issues, training considerations, safety and security issues, appropriate documentation.
  2. Advanced analysis of policies and practices for managing recreation facility, built environments, trails & open space risks such as maintenance/inspection issues, OSHA guidelines and compliance, and contract negotiation and management.
  3. Identify and describe policies for managing human resource risks (e.g., constitutional law issues, EEO, OSHA, discrimination, fair labor standards, working conditions)
  4. Discussion how effective strategies for risk management in parks, recreation, tourism and sport organizations can facilitate active-healthy lifestyles and sustainable communities.
  5. Critically evaluate the risks inherent in a selected parks, recreation, sport or tourism operations and discuss strategies for managing risks.

Reflections and Summary of my work toward developing these competencies:

PRT 508 offered a well rounded view of all aspects of risk management from both a legal and management perspective. Each week we were assigned readings from the textbook (Collten, D. J., & Wolohan, J. T. (2010). Law for Recreation and Sport Manager (5th ed). Dubuque, IA: Kendall Hunt.) which covered different elements of risk management including  risk management theory, standards of practice, crisis management, crowd management, and evacuation planning. In addition to the readings we had the opportunity to watch interviews with Larry Perkins vice president and assistant general manager of PNC Arena, and Michael Kirschman  Deputy Director for Mecklenburg County Park and Recreation Department who talk about issues related to risk management including human resources,safety and security issues, and strategies for managing risk. Each week we were given a quiz to test our knowledge of the assigned readings.

Discussion forums and case studies allowed for analysis,discussion, and application of ways to implement policies and practices in PRTM organizations. “Danger in the Air”, and “You be the Judge” were two assignments that required critical thinking and the ability to evaluate risk associated with PRTM organizations. The “Danger in the Air”article  presented issues related to the dangers of pollution at ice rinks around the country. In the Danger in the Air discussion forum, legal, ethical, safety, and environmental issues were examined and discussed among the cohort. In answering the forum question we were asked to “identify what you believe to be the major issues facing arena managers regarding this problem. What would you do if you were the manager of an ice arena? How would you respond to inquiries about the air quality/safety in your arena? How would you respond to the proposed legislation? What if you were the President of the local youth hockey association – what would be your position on the proposed legislation?”  In answering these questions I had to identify and describe legal issues pertinent to ice rinks, and address safety and security issues. In addition I addressed professional standards, operational policies, statutory laws, and the implications for myself and organization. The “You be the Judge” exercise required me to exam sexual discrimination and its relationship to fair labor standards, discrimination, and EEOC regulations. The agency risk management final paper helped me to synthesize the different elements of Risk Management  and create and implement a strategic action plan for managing  Parks and Recreation organizations. riskmanagement1