COVID-19 Release and Waiver of Liability Participant Waivers

Update: April 7, 2020


The COVID-19 Release and Waiver of Liability in both English and Spanish is written specifically for CFSA General Liability Risk Pool Members. If CFSA does not provide your fairgrounds’ General Liability Coverage, please contact your insurance carrier or legal counsel as you may deem appropriate, so that they can adapt the waiver to your coverage; please do not use this document without that review. We are sharing this document with everyone in the fair industry out of a spirit of cooperation and support of the entire Network of California Fairs because are all in this together.


For CFSA General Liability Risk Pool Members, those who must sign the waiver include, but are not limited to, the following individuals entering the grounds for fairground-related activities:
  • All volunteers, including fair board members
  • Horse boarders
  • Anyone working your junior livestock auction activity including any aspect of alternative auction activities (e.g., grading, health exams, transport)
  • All livestock exhibitors, parents, and leaders even if they do not leave their vehicles.
  • Any service members picking up or dropping off equipment
 Individuals that do not need to sign the waiver include:
  • Fairground employees
  • Anyone working for the agency contracted to provide COVID-19 emergency services on your fairgrounds.
 Please retain the signed waivers either in hard copy or scanned to a digital file for 36 months from the date of signature.
 If you have specific questions about the waivers, please contact the following CFSA staff members:
  • General Liability Claims Manager Mark Stone, (916) 263-6171 (not available on Fridays)
  • Risk Analyst Mario Castagnola, (916) 263-6145
  • Risk Department Manager Tom Amberson, (916) 263-6180

Why are waivers, in general, so important? 
CFSA’s Memorandum of Coverage for the General Liability Risk Sharing Program provides protection for participant liability as long as your fair makes a good faith effort to obtain participant liability release waiver forms from all participants in athletic team; equestrian, motorized, or rodeo events; as well as other hazardous participant activities taking place on your fairgrounds.

Make sure every participant signs a waiver form BEFORE being permitted to participate in the event or activity. By signing a participant waiver form, the participant is agreeing to assume any and all risks of bodily injury, including death, or property damage that may arise out of the hazardous nature of the event or activity in which they’re participating. We realize your fair might not have the staff to take on this task.  If a vendor is running a hazardous activity on your fairgrounds (such as a mechanical bull), make sure the vendor knows it is their responsibility to have participants sign a liability release waiver. You can even ask that the vendor turns in the signed waivers to the office at the end of each day.

You may use CFSA’s approved Release and Waiver of Liability Agreement form or the form required by the insurance company of the contractor/renter.

Please note: Signed waiver forms for fair sponsored events/activities must be kept on file at your fair for at least three years as they may be needed later in the event of a claim or lawsuit.

If you have any questions regarding participant liability or the use of either the COVID-19 or regular waiver forms, please contact Mario Castagnola, CFSA’s Risk Analyst, at (916) 263-6145 or