Code of Virginia

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Code of Virginia
Title 8.01. Civil Remedies and Procedure
Chapter 3. Actions

§ 8.01-227.11. Definitions.

As used in this article, unless the context requires a different meaning:

"ANSI Ski Lift Code" means the American National Standard (B77.1-2006): Passenger Ropeways -- Aerial Tramways, Aerial Lifts, Surface Lifts, Tows and Conveyors -- Safety Requirements, as published by the American National Standards Institute, including any supplements thereto or revisions thereof.

"Competition" means any contest or event operated by a winter sports area operator or any other party authorized by the operator at a winter sports area involving comparison of skills, including, but not limited to, a ski race, mogul contest, jumping event, freestyle event, snowcross contest, or other similar contest or event. "Competition" includes training sessions or practice for a contest or event.

"Competition terrain" means any part of a winter sports area in which an operator has authorized a competition to take place.

"Competitor" means a winter sports participant who actually is engaged in a competition in any portion of a winter sports area made available by the winter sports area operator.

"Designated trail" means a winter sports area trail on which a participant is permitted by the operator to participate in a winter sport.

"Freestyle terrain" and "freestyle terrain park" means any portion of a winter sports area that has been designated as such by the operator for freestyle skiing, freestyle snowboarding, or similar freestyle winter sports and includes, but is not limited to, the terrain park itself and features such as rails, boxes, jumps, hits, jibs, tabletops, spines, ramps, banks, pipes, half-pipes, quarter-pipes, tables, logs, or other man-made features such as buses and other vehicles, propane tanks, and tractor tires; snowcross terrain and features; and other constructed or natural features, but does not include moguls, bumps, or rollers or jumps not built by the operator, unless they are within a designated freestyle terrain park.

"Freestyler" means a winter sports participant utilizing freestyle terrain or a freestyle terrain park.

"Helmet" means a type of molded headgear equipped with a neck or chin strap specifically designed by the manufacturer to be used while engaged in the winter sport of alpine skiing or snowboarding.

"Inherent risks of winter sports" or "inherent risks of the winter sport" include:

1. Existing and changing weather conditions and visibility;

2. Hazards associated with varying surface or subsurface conditions on a single trail or from one trail to another, including but not limited to hazards such as participant use, snow in any condition and changing snow conditions, man-made snow, synthetic snow, ice, synthetic ice, snow or ice falling from a tree or natural or man-made structure, crust, slush, soft spots, ridges, rollers, knobs, holes, grooves, tracks from winter sports area vehicles, bare spots, rocks, boulders, stumps, logs, and brush or other forest growth or debris, or piles thereof;

3. Variations in difficulty of terrain, whether natural or as a result of slope use, slope design, or both;

4. Trails that have, or fall away or drop off toward, natural or man-made obstacles or hazards, including but not limited to sharp corners, ridges, jumps, bumps, rollers, moguls, valleys, dips, compressions, cliffs, ravines, drop-offs, streams, rivers, ponds, lakes, stream beds, open water or water with thin ice, holes, steep, flat, and uphill sections, and all variants and combinations thereof;

5. The potential for collision with other participants or other individuals, including with winter sports area personnel, whether or not those personnel are on duty or off duty; with wild or domestic animals; or with equipment or objects such as winter sports area infrastructure, snowmaking equipment, buildings and posts, and stationary and moving lit or flagged winter sports area vehicles;

6. The potential for a participant to act in a negligent or reckless manner that may cause or contribute to the injury or death of the participant or other individuals or damage to property;

7. The location, construction, design, layout, configuration, and condition of trails, freestyle terrain, and competition terrain;

8. The fact that use of trails, freestyle terrain, and competition terrain and participation in or being near races or other competitions or events, including but not limited to as a participant, employee at a winter sports area, spectator, or observer, involves the risk of serious injury or death or damage to property;

9. The fact that a helmet may not afford protection in all instances and that failure to wear a helmet that is properly sized, fitted, and secured may increase the risk of injury or death or the risk of more severe injury; and

10. The fact that the use of passenger tramways may be hazardous to passengers, including but not limited to risks resulting from loading or unloading a tramway and the potential for a passenger to fall from a tramway.

"Operator" or "winter sports area operator" means any person who has responsibility for the operations of a winter sports area, including its officers, directors, and employees and agents acting within the scope of their employment.

"Participant" or "winter sports participant" means an individual of any age or physical or mental ability who is an amateur or professional invitee of the operator or a trespasser and who participates in a winter sport at the winter sports area, whether or not consideration is paid to participate in the winter sport and whether or not the participant holds a valid admission ticket for all or a portion of the winter sports area, and any employee of the operator who participates in a winter sport either as part of his employment duties or as recreation.

"Participates in a winter sport" or "participating in a winter sport" means:

1. Using a trail or other terrain at a winter sports area to engage in a winter sport;

2. Participating in training or lessons for a winter sport as either an instructor or a student;

3. Being a spectator, observer, bystander, or pedestrian of or to any activity on a trail or other terrain at or near a winter sports area; or

4. Being a passenger on a passenger tramway.

"Passenger" means any individual, including a winter sports participant, while being transported or conveyed by a passenger tramway, while waiting in the immediate vicinity for such transportation or conveyance, while moving away from the disembarkation or unloading point of a passenger tramway to clear the way for the following passengers, or while boarding or embarking upon or unloading or disembarking from a passenger tramway.

"Passenger tramway" means any ski lift, chairlift, gondola, tramway, cable car, or other aerial lift and any rope tow, conveyor, t-bar, j-bar, handle tow, or other surface lift used by an operator to transport participants, spectators, observers, or pedestrians at a winter sports area, and any associated components including, but not limited to, lift towers, concrete tower foundations, tower bolts, tower ladders, lift terminals, chairs, gondolas, t-bars, j-bars, conveyors, and other structures relating to passenger tramways.

"Person" means any individual, corporation, partnership, association, cooperative, limited liability company, trust, joint venture, government, political subdivision, or any other legal or commercial entity and any successor, representative, agent, agency, or instrumentality thereof.

"Snowmaking equipment" means any machine used to make snow, including but not limited to snow guns and any associated towers, components, pipe, hydrant, hose, or other structures or equipment, including electrical equipment.

"Trail" or "winter sports area trail" means any slope, trail, run, freestyle terrain, or competition terrain located in a winter sports area. "Trail" includes edges and transition areas to other terrain, but does not include a tubing park.

"Tubing" means sliding on inflatable tubes, minibobs, sleds, toboggans, or any other comparable devices down a prepared course or lanes at a winter sports area.

"Tubing park" means an area designated by an operator for tubing.

"Winter sport" means a recreational or sporting activity, including sliding, jumping, walking, or traveling on a winter sports area trail for alpine skiing; Nordic skiing; telemark skiing; freestyle skiing; snowboarding; freestyle snowboarding; snowshoeing; tobogganing; sledding; or use of a snowmobile, minibob, snowbike, or comparable device; or any similar activity or use of a device that takes place at any time of the year on natural snow, man-made snow, ice, synthetic snow, synthetic ice, or any other synthetic surface, including a competition or the use of any device by a disabled or adaptive participant for a winter sport. "Winter sport" does not include ice skating or tubing.

"Winter sports area" means all the real and personal property under control of the operator or on the premises of such property that is being occupied by the operator by fee simple, lease, license, easement, permission, or otherwise, including but not limited to any and all trails, freestyle terrain, competition terrain, passenger tramways, or other areas of real property. "Winter sports area" does not include a tubing park except for any passenger tramway serving a tubing park and the immediate vicinity of such a passenger tramway in which individuals embark upon or disembark from the passenger tramway.

"Winter sports area infrastructure" means:

1. Passenger tramways;

2. Snowmaking equipment;

3. Towers, buildings, shacks, fixtures, furniture, and other structures, including utility infrastructure, located on the winter sports area property; and

4. Signs, fences, ropes, flags, posts, poles, and any other materials or structures used for posting signs or to manage or direct winter sports participants, spectators, observers, or pedestrians or any combination thereof.

"Winter sports area vehicle" means a vehicle used on a winter sports area trail in the operation and maintenance of winter sports areas and competitions and includes, but is not limited to, snowmobiles, all-terrain vehicles, and any other similarly sized vehicles as well as larger maintenance vehicles such as snow grooming equipment.

2012, c. 713.

The chapters of the acts of assembly referenced in the historical citation at the end of this section may not constitute a comprehensive list of such chapters and may exclude chapters whose provisions have expired.