Orlando, FL (WorkersCompensation.com) – Last week the Orlando Sentinel reported that the Orlando Apollos would be practicing in Kingsland, Georgia due to restrictions in the Florida Workers Comp laws. According to coach Steve Spurrier, the team will be practicing for 36 days at a high school in Kingsland but back to Florida on March 16th for the game against Arizona. In order for the team to continue their practices in Georgia, they must spend at least 51 percent of their practice time in the state.
According to the Florida Workers Comp law, professional athletes are not considered employees in the State. In fact, the state workers comp rules single out football athletes in Chapter 440. 3. Professional athletes, such as professional boxers, wrestlers, baseball, football, basketball, hockey, polo, tennis, jai alai, and similar players, and motorsports teams competing in a motor racing event as defined in s. 549.08.
According to the interview with the Orlando Sentinel, Spurrier had attempted to get some assistance from the state saying, “We tried to call some big shots in Tallahassee to get it worked out, but I never could get through to the insurance commissioner [David Altmaier],” According to the Alliance of American Football (AFF), larger established professional leagues within the state are able to obtain their own policies. Because the league is a startup league and football is a high risk activity, the number of insurers willing to cover them is limited. David Cohen, Head of Player Operations states that they are still working on a resolution stating, “… We are continuing to aggressively pursue workers’ compensation coverage that allows our Orlando team to be Florida employees and practice in Florida the entire season.”