Risk Management

Risk management is the course of action clubs take to reduce the likelihood of injury, damage or loss to person or property and to reduce potential legal liability.   Risk management aims to be proactive rather than reactive by taking steps to identify, measure and control risks before something occurs.

Risk Management is an ongoing process that should be applied to all of a club’s activities, operations, policies, procedures, practices, events, training and game days.

Club Risk Management

The Club Committee is ultimately responsible for the club’s risk management and is one of the most important responsibilities of running a club.

Club Committees need to be satisfied that there is a good understanding of the importance of risk management amongst its club officials, members and volunteers, and that there are procedures in place for identifying and minimising risk which are effective in keeping people and property safe and managing the club’s risk exposure.

Risk Management forms an integral part of Workplace Health & Safety and providing a safe work and sport environment.

Benefits of Risk Management

  • Improved safety for participants, officials, volunteers and spectators.
  • Better sporting outcomes.
  • Effective management of assets, events, activities and club programs.
  • Improved compliance with legal requirements and regulations. I.e. WWCC, Safeguarding, Workplace health & safety.
  • Enhanced reputation and image of the club.

Risk Management is the practice of identifying, understanding and managing risks.  There are a wide range of risks in the sport environment and the list is not exhaustive.  The term risk should be seen as including far more than health and safety issues including, but not limited to:

Risks of Injury

  • Injury to – players, coaches, referees, club officials, workers, volunteers, spectators.
  • Injury to – visitors, members of the public, other venue users, pets, wildlife.

Risk of Property Damage

  • Damage to club property, grounds, personal property, private property.
  • Damage to vehicles, club buildings, neighbouring buildings, public buildings, fences.

Risks of Reputation

  • Loss of an organisation or individual’s good name i.e. acquires a negative image.
  • Community outrage over club incidents, poor behaviour, cheating, drugs or alcohol in sport.

Risks of Financial Loss

  • Loss of assets due to theft, fraud, fire, flood or vandalism.
  • Financial losses on events, activities, programs.
  • Loss of future income i.e. loss of sponsor.
  • Financial losses arising from legal proceedings.

Risks of Losing Facilities

  • Loss of facilities due to environmental damage.
  • Loss of facilities due to bio-hazards.
  • Loss of facilities due to Acts of Nature i.e. fire, flood, storm.

Legal & Regulatory Risks 

  • Not incorporated
  • Not complaint with NSW Working with Children Check.
  • Not complaint with NSW Workplace Health and Safety Regulations.
  • Not compliant with NSW Child Safe Standards
  • Incidents relating to drugs and doping.
  • Incidents relating to offences against minors, grooming of minors.
  • Acts of violence. i.e. physical assault, spectator behaviour.
  • Incidents relating to flares, weapons.
  • Fraud and dishonesty offences

Having a risk management plan allows the club to be proactive rather than reactive, which  creates a safer and more responsible club and environment for all participants.

The NSW Office of Sport has developed a new resource to assist sport clubs with risk management, as well as a s step-by-step approach to working through issues and appropriate responses to risks.

Workplace Health & Safety

Workplace health & safety plays a significate role in risk management.

Further WHS information visit the  FNSW Workplace Health & Safety webpage

Risk Related Policies


The Football NSW Extreme Heat Policy (Policy) aims to assist Competition and Tournament Managers and others responsible for the wellbeing of participants in
football and futsal during hot weather, including those individuals that need to manage heat related risk during planned training and club activities.

Add the SMA Extreme Heat Policy Tool as an APP on your Phone

  • iPhone – In Safari search for SMA Extreme Heat Policy Tool, then select the  icon at the bottom, scroll down & select Add to Home Screen, change the name at the top to Heat Risk, then select Add.  The weblink will then become a shortcut APP in your iPhone called Heat Risk.
  • Andriod – follow appropriate steps to add weblink to the phone’s homescreen.

Portable Goalpost Safety

The safety of everyone involved and playing football both indoors and outdoors, remains paramount. In conjunction with ‘Australian Standard 4866.1-2007 Playing Field Equipment – Soccer Goals’ regarding the manufacture, use and safe storage of goalposts, we remind all Clubs and Associations of the requirements to abide by these applicable safety aspects regarding the use and storage of goalposts.

Remember that when purchasing moveable goals, if a portable goal weighs 28kg or more they must be manufactured and tested in accordance with the Australian Safety Standard.

Purchasing Moveable Goals

FNSW Club Supply Shop – Goals


Every Club, Association (and their affiliated clubs), Regional Branches and Referee Branches  affiliated to Football NSW are provided with a range of insurances under the Football NSW Insurance Scheme, which provides cover for:

  • Personal Accident Insurance – covers participant and volunteer injury. Benefits include non-Medicare medical expenses, Physiotherapy, Ambulance, loss of income benefit (max. $250 week), Student tutoring benefit.  Note some exclusions apply, benefits are subject to policy terms.
  • Public and Product liability insurance
  • Professional Indemnity insurance
  • Club Management Liability Insurance, including Directors and Officers insurance

Football NSW also provides:

  • NSW Sporting Injuries Insurance (Capital Benefits) for Football NSW registered:
    • Players and Coaches participating in Football NSW Men’s & Women’s National Premier Leagues, State Leagues and Youth League.
    • Registered Referees and Assistant Referees officiating in Football NSW sanctioned competitions, tournaments and events.
  • Optional Top Up cover for increased loss of income benefit (on application, fee applies)

Additional Insurances

Other insurances not provided by Football NSW, but which your club may need to consider:

  • Worker’s compensation – if your club employs paid staff,
  • Comprehensive vehicle and Third Party insurance – if your club owns any vehicles
  • Property Insurance –
    • clubhouses, storage containers, equipment sheds, grandstands
    • goals, training equipment and sporting apparel
    • stock & inventory including canteen supplies, playing strips etc.
    • Electronic Equipment & defibrillators
  • Travel Insurance

For further information visit the Football NSW Insurance website