Complaint by Golfer against another Golfer who Struck him in the Eye with a Golf Ball Causing Injury to Eye
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A voluntary participant in a game, sport, or contest, assumes all risks incidental to the particular game, sport, or contest which are obvious and foreseeable. However, he or she does not assume an extraordinary risk which is not normally incident to the game or sport. Even where the assumption of the risk doctrine applies, defendants have a duty to use due care not to increase the risks to a participant over and above those inherent in the sport. While under the doctrine of assumption of risk, a defendant has no legal duty to eliminate or protect a plaintiff from the risks inherent in a sport, but the defendant owes a duty not to increase the inherent risks. To determine whether the primary assumption of risk doctrine applies to a sports participant, the court must decide whether the injury suffered arises from a risk inherent in the sport, and whether imposing a duty might fundamentally alter the nature of the sport. Participants in team sports, where physical contact among participants is inherent and virtually inevitable, assume greater risks of injury than nonparticipants or participants in noncontact sports.
A voluntary participant in a lawful game or contest assumes the risks ordinarily incident to the game or contest and thus is precluded from recovering from his or her opponent or other participant for injury or death resulting from the game or contest. Of course, if an intentional act that causes injury goes beyond what is ordinarily permissible in a lawful sport of the kind being participated in, recovery may be had, and a player will be held liable for injury if his or her conduct is such that it is either deliberate, willful, or reckless in his or her disregard for the safety of the other player so as to cause injury to that player.
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