Recreation, Parks and Tourism 365

RCPT 365: Legal Liability and Risk Management

Prerequisites: Major in RCPT

Credit Hours: (3)

Legal issues relating to park and recreation administration and programming, risk management planning and implementation in park and recreation settings.


Detailed Description of Content of Course

What is the law?

  • United States judicial structure
  • Judicial procedures
  • Contract law
  • Agency law
  • Definitions and types of torts
  • “Reasonable and prudent”


  • Degrees of negligence
  • Strict liability
  • Defenses against claims of negligence
  • Contributory and comparative negligence

Assumption of risk

  • Classes of visitors
  • Classes of hazards
  • Liability of facility owners and operators
  • Hazards
  • Liability of agencies and administrators
  • Liability of coaches, supervisors, and activity leaders
  • Liability of participants
  • Civil rights and liberties
  • Categorizing risks
  • Models of risk management planning


Detailed Description of Conduct of the Course

Course will be taught in a lecture/discussion format. Case studies, scenarios, and mock trials will be used to help illustrate the content. Mock trials consist of groups role-playing a trial based on an assigned case. Each group member will have a specific role, i.e. victim, prosecuting attorney, etc. Arguments will be well-written and rehearsed.


Goals and Objectives of the Course

At completion of the course, students will be able to:

  • Relate current risk management issues and trends in the profession to recreation, park resources, and leisure services ( 8.06:03).
  • Practice ethical principles and professionalism ( 8.07).
  • Understand the importance of maintaining professional competence and use available resources for professional development (8.08).
  • Evaluate facility operation and maintenance ( 8.25:05).
  • Understand how the following concepts relate to recreation, park resources, and leisure services:
    • 8.26:01 Legal foundations and the legislative process
    • 8.26:02 Contracts and tort law
    • 8.26:03 Regulatory agents and methods of compliance
  • Implement the principles and practices of safety, emergency, and risk management related to recreation, park resources, and leisure services (8.27).


Assessment Measures

Grades will be determined by research papers, case study and presentation, participation in mock trial, exams/quizzes, and presentations.


Other Course Information



Review and Approval

Revised 2013

November 2005 Reviewed Susan R. Van Patten, Curriculum Chair