Baseball, Martial Arts and the Substantial Risk of Personal Injury Clause

substantial-risk-of-personal-injuryThe substantial risk of personal injury clause within your baseball contract is a big deal.

If you watched the recent MMA fight and are considering using martial arts as a training tool for your off-season, I am in favor of:

  • Any training that improves mental toughness and
  • Seeking written consent from your Club before you start.

Substantial Risk of Personal Injury Contract Clause

Every professional player will find the following clause in their baseball contract:

the Player agrees that he will not engage in professional boxing or wrestling; and that, except within the written consent of the Club, he will not engage in skiing, auto racing, motorcycle racing, sky diving, or in any game or exhibition of football, soccer, professional basketball, ice hockey or other sport involving a substantial risk of personal injury

As you can see, martial arts wasn’t mentioned.  Any reasonable minded player knows never to put their career in jeopardy.  But, I believe the standard contract clause referenced above supports Clubs with the option to void contracts when players include martial arts as part of their off season training process.

Even if you disagree, it is entirely way to easy to seek written consent.  Remember, the goal is to keep your salary, avoid paying silly fines, and earn even more money with your next contract.

Is Running or Weight Lifting considered a Sport?

Look, I dislike my distrust for Clubs as much as you.  I believe it is entirely possible for a Club to identify running and weight lifting as a sport that involves a substantial risk of personal injury.

But wait, you need to run and lift weights to improve your performance!  I agree with you.  On the other hand, what if your training breaches the instructional program you were given by your Club or you want to start running up and down mountains, entering yourself in a mud run, or some other extreme cross training activity?

Nearly any addendum to a Club organized training program requires written consent.  Again, asking for written consent is easy.  Explaining and defending an injury is hard.