Legal Question in Entertainment Law in Iowa

An mma sparring match, on private p, not sanctioned by any athletic commission. Closely monitored by a single referee (who has no qualification beyond a vast knowledge of the sport), adhering to all the rules of a sanctioned event, even extra precautions. Both of the participants being between the ages of 14 and 17, who must orally agree to the following question before each of the three rounds begins, "You both understand that you are fighting of your own free will, and the match will stop at any moment that you signal that you would like it to end?". And who also have had the predetermined rules thoroughly explained to them before they are allowed to fight. Can anyone help me out with the legality of this situation?

Asked on 4/01/10, 2:22 pm

2 Answers from Attorneys

Robert Luedeman solo practitioner

If you're the promoter you should know that any waiver of liability by someone who is legally speaking a child-as anyone under 18 is-is not worth the paper it is printed on.

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Answered on 4/09/10, 12:51 pm
Edmund Burke Edmund B Burke, Attorney at Law

I don't really understand what your question is, but would observe:

A. You are dealing with minors.

B. You are relying on oral statements to them only.

Why not have a written waiver, and have it signed by the parents or guardians? That doesn't stop you from explaining the rules to the participants. I would have an extensive written document signed by everyone, and witnessed, with mammoth disclaimers.

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Answered on 4/12/10, 3:15 pm

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