Rugby 7s Risks

Finally, Hong Kong Rugby Sevens is back after two long years! An event the city desperately needs to brighten up and bring back that old event party vibe. It is sometimes a bit confusing if the event is actually a rugby tournament or a three-day party. Either way, the hype has been growing for the past three months since the government gave the event the green light. People have been planning their costumes and predicting the winners.

Rugby 7s is organised by the Hong Kong Rugby Union (HKRU). This year is from the 4th of November to the 6th. The event invites rugby teams and fans worldwide to join the tournament and enjoy the celebration. Like always, it will be at the huge Hong Kong stadium, where attendees can watch, eat (?), and drink throughout the competition.

If you know anything about the event, you may have heard about the crazy characters you can find in the stadium (especially at the south stand). As attendees, it’s all fun and games, but as an organiser, several Rugby 7s risks can result in a large amount of financial loss, lawsuits and even ruin future events.

The article will discuss the various Rugby 7s risks and how event insurance is the best solution for the organisers. Even if you are not the Rugby 7s organiser, these risks could happen at any sports event, small or big- so keep reading on.

What Are Rugby 7s Risks?

As a sports event, there are always risks that can have a minor or major impact on the event for individuals or groups. Rugby 7s risks are any factors that can negatively affect the organiser, attendees, players and even the sponsors. 

Some of the Hong Kong Rugby 7s risks can include weather disasters, injuries to players, public injuries, equipment damage, vandalism of the venue and lawsuits against organisers. Unfortunately, these are just a few risks that can occur, and not all risks may be covered by event insurance.

An organiser must understand what is covered and excluded by event insurance to organise the best event with the least loss and damage.

What Rugby 7s Risks Will Event Insurance Cover?

Cancellations & Postponements

Thankfully November does not fall under typhoon season, but Hong Kong weather can be unpredictable. There could be sudden rain or surprising temperature spikes; any of these can affect the game and possibly force cancellations. Even though rugby is an intense sport, the game is not as fun on a soaked field. There are other reasons an organiser may cancel a sports event. The reasons can include national moaning, finances, staff shortages or issues with the venue.

Rugby 7s Risks- Cancellation

Cancellations and postponing will always be significant Rugby 7s risks. In case of cancellation, the organisers must refund all tickets, payback sponsors and still pay staff (depending on contracts). 

For example, in 2019, for the Japan Rugby World Cup, organisers had to cancel two huge games-Blacks vs Italy and England vs France. They were cancelled and postponed due to a dangerous Typhoon Hagibis that hit the country.

Event insurance will cover the Rugby 7s risk by paying for all the lost fees related to the cancellations. The insurance will reimburse the organisers’ financial loss due to the sudden cancellation or postponement. However, there are some exclusions, such as pandemic cancellations and more, depending on the exact policy. 

Audience & Public Liability 

The Hong Kong stadium has around 40,000 seats, and for every Rugby Sevens, the stadium is full of fans. The event attracts people from all over the city and typically brings in tourists too. However, the full stadium brings a large number of liability risks to the Rugby 7s organiser. There is always a risk of public injuries due to the event activities, the venue, and other attendees. Injuries can range from a slip & falls to getting a broken glass deep cut.

Public Liability Rugby

The third party can sue the organising business for damages if the injury is due to the event or the organiser’s negligence. For example, a helicopter took a rugby fan to hospital after a horrible injury at the London Sevens tournament at Twickenham stadium. The man fell from a height onto the concrete steps below. The reasons were the excess crowd and lack of supervision.

Hence, there is always a Rugby 7s risk that injured attendees may sue the organising business for medical expenses and compensation. Event insurance includes public liability insurance that will help reimburse costs related to third-party injuries or property damage, including legal fees. 

However, attendees/spectators at the Rugby Sevens CANNOT sue the HKRU (organisers) if the injury or personal property damage was due to alcohol. Also, event insurance will not cover any liquor injuries or property damage claims.

Stadium & Equipment Damage

As mentioned, the more people attending the event, the higher the risks. One of the main Rugby 7s risks is venue and equipment damage. No matter how many cameras or security the event has: there will always be chances of vandalism, accidental damage, fires, or any sudden disasters.

Hong Kong Stadium

Stadium and equipment can be extremely costly to repair or replace. The organising business will be liable for most damages during the Rugby 7s, even to the venue or equipment. Especially after a two-year break, things may get out of hand with the wild party. It may be near impossible to finish the 3-day event with zero damages.

Fortunately, event insurance will reimburse the cost of repair and replacement if a business asset is damaged. The insurance will offer the costs of replacement or repair at market price. However, the assets should be discussed with the insurance company beforehand, as the insurance may not cover all. Event insurance helps the organiser stay calm when faced with such issues.

Volunteers & Employees Liability

As the Rugby Sevens happens only once a year, they have to hire temporary employees and volunteers to help run the event. These volunteers include front guards, media crew, security, ushers and many more. Unfortunately, each one of these employees/volunteers is at risk of injuries when working at the sports event.

volunteers injury

The injuries could be anything, such as injuries from the raging public or accidentally tripping over a wire. For example, a security guard suffered an injury when an intoxicated fan punched him at a Rugby League World Cup match at Waikato Stadium. In such work injury cases, the hosting business will be liable for financing medical care and providing compensation.

Hosts can add the personal accident insurance extension to event insurance to handle this Rugby 7s risk. Personal accident insurance will provide cover against surprising accidents causing bodily injury or disability. The organising business can purchase the insurance extension for all volunteers by giving the insurance company a list of employees/volunteers (including roles).

How Can Event Insurance Make a Difference For Rugby 7s Risks?

Unfortunately, things can go wrong at the upcoming Hong Kong sevens, and these Rugby 7s risks will be covered by event insurance. Event insurance is a must when planning and executing events, regardless of size. These risks can affect any event, and event insurance understands that. The insurance will provide the insured business with financial cover when things go wrong.

 Insurers can modify the insurance for all events – concerts, weddings, or sports tournaments like Ruby 7s. So, the organiser will be allowed to breathe, knowing that their risks are covered when they do happen. Additionally, they will save a large amount with insurance, ranging from thousands to millions.

Therefore, as a hosting business, you just need to focus on selling out and executing the best sports event in Hong Kong.


To learn more about sports events insurance and cover any sports events in Hong Kong & Asia, contact Red Asia Insurance.