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Canadian Rugby Grinding To A Halt ?

G

grabbers

Guest
Wow this will have a huge impact on the game very soon!

September 28, 2006

Insurance crisis for rugby in Canada

Rugby insurance in Canada could be cancelled by next week.

By Doug Crosse

The subject of insurance has been a hot topic in rugby administration circles and the nation's rugby change rooms as it appears a crisis of coverage is on the horizon in Canada.

In the first week of September Rugby Canada advised all its constituent unions across the country that Lloyd's insurance was discontinuing the 'Catastrophic Insurance' coverage, which is part and parcel of the current insurance policy provided to all registered rugby players and unions in the country. This provision allows for automatic payout (through No Fault Insurance) of up to $500,000 CDN for injuries resulting in long term disability.

While the 'Catastrophic Insurance' was removed as of September 8th, current regular coverage will continue until October 8th, at which time Rugby Canada and its unions must purchase a new insurance plan to enable coverage to continue.

Tragically a Hamilton rugby player, Sean Corner, suffered what can most certainly be considered a catastrophic injury, just two days after that particular rider had expired, leaving him no financial benefit that would assist he and his family as they deal with the challenges of paralysis, home and vehicle conversion and therapy.

There is still an avenue for Corner, or any other injured players wishing to seek resolution in such cases, but it involves assessing and laying blame on everyone involved with the game from coaches, to managers to referees and facility management groups, in what is often termed a 'shotgun' lawsuit. The aim is to get enough parties named in various suits trying to prove negligence, that some money will trickle out through everyone's desire to limit liability.

The Ontario Rugby Union revealed in an open letter on its website that Rugby Canada had provided one possible alternative insurance program, but it would have seen annual premiums for the ORU rise from $15,000 to $455,000, and would have required immediate payment, an unfeasible expense for such a small sports administration.

BC Rugby CEO Jeff Sauve has confirmed no alternatives have been reached for his union's requirements either, which could be a huge problem as the domestic season only began in September. Ontario is in the midst of the play-offs, with the third round of the McCormick Cup in possible peril as coverage expires on Sunday October 8th ( a day after Round Two).

According to a report presented by Insurance Committee chair for Rugby Canada Hans De Goede, a spate of claims has hurt the sport's relationship with major insurers over the past couple of years, including three spinal injuries that resulted "in one complete recovery, one death and one (sic) para." These claims, coupled with a lawsuit stemming from an assault at a rugby game and another rash of spinal injuries proved too much for the company BrokerLink - who was advised from its reinsurer Lloyd of London, that rugby's catastrophic coverage would no longer continue.

As the injury to Corner reveals, the risks are real, and players, coaches, referees and anyone else directly associated with the game need to take an in depth look at the exposure that is being created by the current insurance environment.

As ORU President Mike Williams reveals in his open letter to constituents: "Rugby Canada and we in Ontario are actively seeking out all options and possibilities for replacing the catastrophe portion without jeopardizing our liability coverage. Rugby Canada has engaged Insurance Brokers, Jones, Brown to seek options for replacement and we expect a status early in next week."

Meanwhile it appears the Hamilton Hornets, the team Corner played for when his injury occurred, are trying to deflect some of the blame for the lack of coverage in Corner's case by insisting the Hornets and other clubs were not notified properly of the insurance change, citing an email 'spam filter' as the reason why club officers were not aware of the situation.

"The union sent it out in a block to all the clubs," Gilks said in an interview with the Hamilton Spectator earlier this week.

"We did not see it," said Gilks. He went on to say that had they known about the lack of catastrophic insurance, the decision might have been made to scrub the games that day, or at the very least, advise players and let them draw their own risk conclusions.

The one thing that is almost a certainty is that premiums will go up and it will be players at all levels being asked to pay the increase, which cost $22 per senior player or coach for 2006. The potential to price the sport right out of contention as a leisure option is a very real possibility should a low cost insurance resolution not be found. Players could look at five to ten times increase in premiums, which would see most clubs in the country lose players through an inability to afford such expensive rates.[/b]
 
G

Gavin

Guest
How exactly can they do that? Surely rugby in Canada has been growing espically as the beat the USA not long ago..
 
G

grabbers

Guest
Its a funny pickle we have gotten into.

but it looks like a whole season and maybe more will be lost
 
F

Fester Front Rower

Guest
Would not be surprised that the union fell asleep in terms of being up to date on their insurers.

Blaming any problem on the national union in North American rugby will find you right most of the time.
 
O

O'Rothlain

Guest
Insurers are crap really. They **** me off...loop holes and all that horse crap. We pay out loads of money to them to be protected, yet they find ways to not protect us.
Injuries are a very real part of Rugby (and/or any other contact sport). Playing football (american) I ripped the tendons in my right shoulder, sprained my neck, and beat up my fingers and hands pretty badly. In rugby I suffered continuous ankle sprains. Some of these are minor nagging things, but what would I do if I couldn't get treated for them?? Let alone, what would I do if I couldn't be treated properly for something serious? Some risks aren't worth taking, and If I weren't being properly insured, I wouldn't step out on the pitch.
 
R

Rugby_Cymru

Guest
This is awful to hear.
What the hell are Canadian players going to do.
This is not helping the sport develop globally, that's for sure.
Has anything been resolved now? I'm reading this topic abut 3 weeks from when it started, any updates?

And i hope Sean Corner is doing well.
 
F

fcukernaut

Guest
This is awful to hear.
What the hell are Canadian players going to do.
This is not helping the sport develop globally, that's for sure.
Has anything been resolved now? I'm reading this topic abut 3 weeks from when it started, any updates?

And i hope Sean Corner is doing well.
[/b]

The scary thing is I almost played that day in a different part of the province. Huge sigh of relief for me. Well school rugby is covered under the school's insurance so the development of the sport through high school will continue. However I am confident that a new insurence company will come along. If football(american) can get it, surely rugby can.
 
R

Rugby_Cymru

Guest
<div class='quotemain'>
This is awful to hear.
What the hell are Canadian players going to do.
This is not helping the sport develop globally, that's for sure.
Has anything been resolved now? I'm reading this topic abut 3 weeks from when it started, any updates?

And i hope Sean Corner is doing well.
[/b]

The scary thing is I almost played that day in a different part of the province. Huge sigh of relief for me. Well school rugby is covered under the school's insurance so the development of the sport through high school will continue. However I am confident that a new insurence company will come along. If football(american) can get it, surely rugby can.
[/b][/quote]

:lol2tn: If the longest, most drawn out, stop-start contact sport can succeed with huge success, then rugby should flourish like bacteria in a compost heap!
I just hope things keep progressing in Canada (and the rest of the world).

That's one of the reasons i'm annoyed that New Zealand got one of the next World Cups. Why not give it a country that hasn't got rugby established as a formidable sport?
Creating a sense of awareness for the sport is surely the way to develop it globally, no?

With more quality teams in the world there will only be more quality matches.
 
F

fcukernaut

Guest
If the longest, most drawn out, stop-start contact sport can succeed with huge success, then rugby should flourish like bacteria in a compost heap! I just hope things keep progressing in Canada (and the rest of the world).[/b]

Well I completely agree with you when it comes to football that it is terrible to watch at times, it isn't that successful in Canada in comparison to the US. It just happens that the football season fits in right before the snow falls and hockey season starts(although there is a small overlap). As for rugby progressing in Canada, well it is doing so nicely. With the success of the Canadian professionals overseas, the relative success of the seven's team and with the further development of national youth teams such as Canada U17's it does have a nice future. Too bad Canada couldn't capitalize on the 1991 world cup and really turn into a major sport.

That's one of the reasons i'm annoyed that New Zealand got one of the next World Cups. Why not give it a country that hasn't got rugby established as a formidable sport? Creating a sense of awareness for the sport is surely the way to develop it globally, no[/b]

You have to realize that this is the IRB's major cash cow. With the money they make from this tournament they use to fund the smaller unions and host all of those international tournaments around the globe. Sure you could throw it in Japan, but we all know they have shorter attention spands than Americans, so will they still be interested in rugby in 2011? I just don't feel that those smaller rugby nations are ready to hold a world cup, and it would have been a huge gamble for the IRB. I guess the benefit would be if you could somehow raise awareness of the game in China you'd have a huge market that is about to explode and a market that doesn't really have a focus in terms of sport. That's a bloody long shot though.

With more quality teams in the world there will only be more quality matches[/b]

Well there is always going to be one or two nations that will dominate everyone and then the next four or five are almost equal. After the top eight or nine the quality drops but those teams (10-20) are usually competitive amoungst each other. It's just a matter of narrowing the gap between the top eight and the next ten. The nation everyone wants to be good is the US, simply because of their money. But it'll be another 50 years before they are competitive with the top nations, and even then there is no garuntee that they will be any different in 50 years than they are now. A lot will hinge on how well that project is going in the New York City ghetto's. If they somehow get rugby to be an option behind basketball, then the US national team will have a steady stream of talented athletes to call upon. If not USA rugby could be stuck right where they are.
 
C

Canadian_Rugby_Guy

Guest
No offense to USA fans, but f*** the USA to the extent that their development is not helping us Canucks. I'm tired of the BS that goes on in this country, Rugby Canada administration is full of donkeys with heads full of ****! yes that's right I'm a little bitter right now.
 
R

Rugby_Cymru

Guest
So can i ask, have the Canadians gotten themselves insurance yet?
Surely they're not gonna be travelling to Wales and playing without insurance.
What's the deal?
 
F

fcukernaut

Guest
So can i ask, have the Canadians gotten themselves insurance yet?
Surely they're not gonna be travelling to Wales and playing without insurance.
What's the deal?[/b]

That's a completely different deal. They'd have to get separate insurance anyway for going overseas on a tour. This big insurance deal is more for club rugby than it is national team.
 
R

Rugby_Cymru

Guest
That's a relief to head, but still it's a terrible conundrum for the clubs.
Are they still playing week in-week out?
Are players protesting at all?
 
F

fcukernaut

Guest
That's a relief to head, but still it's a terrible conundrum for the clubs.
Are they still playing week in-week out?
Are players protesting at all?
[/b]

Club season has been done since the end of August, though senior mens ended early September. Basically they pulled the plug on the catastrophe insurance at the end of the club season. So basically the Canadian Rugby Union has until May or June to get it sorted out. School rugby starts in March but that is under the schools insurance policy and not the Canadian rugby union.
 

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