This is a very typical (and sad) story of parkour being banned. See how many parallels you can draw between this and your own experiences.
The nearly three year old parkour FSU group was just prohibited from training by the university. Why? Because of INSURANCE, of course.
Strong and balanced is the core of parkour, but they’re not an official club because—according to Ehrlich—the university is “afraid” of liability.
“They don’t really understand what we’re doing, and they think that we’re going to jump from something really high and hurt ourselves or do something stupid that could cause injury and sue the school.”
The university claims it’s because parkour is dangerous.
Mary Coburn, vice president of student affairs at FSU, said the high level of risk is the main reason the university cannot endorse it.
“They go on rails, and things get loosened,” said Coburn. “The potential for injury is really high, so as a university, we’re not able to sanction that activity.”
Coburn said there really are no other reasons behind that ban.
“It’s really only because of [the danger of the activity],” Coburn said.
Uh, right. Then why do you allow — even promote — football on campus? Ten percent of college football players sustain brain injuries every year. There are an average of 20,718 (!!) injuries sustained during college football each year. High school football players get about 43,000 to 67,000 concussions each year.
Safety is not the issue with parkour, or any possibly-dangerous sport for that matter. It’s money.
College football was worth $1.1 billion in 2010. Compare that with parkour’s $0. I guess frequent concussions and permanent knee injuries are okay as long as they’re bring in the cash for the universities.
Oh, even more typical:
“It’s hard to define exactly what is and isn’t parkour, because parkour is just movement,” said Ehrlich. “If I jump over a table, is that parkour? I don’t know. The bottom line is if the police are called because people see people doing things that concerns them, they come out there and they deem whatever we’re doing is dangerous, they have the authority to tell us to stop.” [emphasis mine]
Why do people do this?!? I’ve had the cops called because someone saw me and some friends training wallruns. Why is it anyone’s business what I do on public property so long as it doesn’t hurt anyone?
The frustrating part is that some schools are okay with parkour — heck, here’s one right in Florida.
But sadly, some schools are not.
I’d really love to know what other schools have banned parkour, as well as those who embrace it. Virginia Tech has a big, university-approved parkour club. Anyone out there attend a school that is anti- or pro-parkour?