When going to work out in a gym, compete in a competition, or perform on the set of a production, you will likely be confronted with a release document to sign. While these release documents come in many shapes and sizes, the basic function of all of the releases is the same, which is to relieve the other party from liability.
In gyms, the predominant concern is that the gymnasium is providing a facility and equipment which you could potential injure yourself on. Gyms often require releases when signing up or when visiting to help shield themselves from liability.
When competing in a fitness or athletic competition, you are usually required to sign a waiver and a release form as well. With a competition, there is additional concerns beyond providing the facility and equipment in that you are also pushing your abilities to the limit and are at a greater risk of injuring yourself.
With regards to filming releases, regardless of the type of filming that you are involved with, there is undoubtedly going to be some kind of release or waiver which protects the production company from liability (and also allows them to use your image, amongst other things). This is even more so the case when dealing with productions that involve some kind of athletic or fitness performance. Again, the reason for the importance of these types of releases is due to the fact that you are being given access to facilities and are being instructed to perform activities where there is a high risk of death or serious bodily harm.
So, what’s in these agreements that act to protect these gyms, competitions, and productions from liability?