In June of 2004, 17 players and two coaches of a local youth soccer team, Carmel Commotion, were involved in a car accident while attending a tournament in Colorado. The team was riding in a rented van, en route to a white water rafting excursion – a team-building activity – when they collided with another vehicle. The van flipped multiple times, before finally coming to rest upside-down.
Earlier this month, the Indiana Supreme Court ruled that the players injured in the crash could not recover under the Indiana Youth Soccer Association’s (“IYSA”) business auto-insurance policy, despite that the tournament trip was approved by the Association. The Court determined that the team was not using the van in the business of the IYSA, a condition of coverage under the relevant policy. The majority opinion identifies the IYSA’s three lines of business: promoting, regulating, and conducting soccer competition and related events. Because “the IYSA is not in the business of ‘competing,’” the Court determined that Carmel Commotion’s accident during a soccer tournament trip fell outside the coverage in question.
Justice Dickson dissented, contending that the policy language was ambiguous and should have been construed to provide coverage for the crash.