Sport and the Law Learning objectives To Sport and the Law Learning objectives To understand the impact of sports law and performers. To explain the relationship between the law and match officials and coaches. To evaluate the impact of legalisation and spectators. Sport and the law Watch me

What areas of law does sport overlap into? Sport and the law Sport and the law have traditionally been considered as separate areas but in recent years more lawsuits have appeared in competitive sport due to the increase in deviant acts. Increases in the commercialisation and professionalism of sport has led to a strict standard and the feeling of accountability has risen.

Sports legislation and performers Lots of injuries occur to performers during the course of a game most of the time as part of a competitive encounter. In some cases criminal lawsuits have been brought for dangerous tackles and violent acts resulting in career-ending injuries. Such cases claim for a loss of

earnings and are made against the person who committed the tackle. Sports legislation and performers Issues relating to violent acts are mostly dealt with by the club or the National Governing Body but violent conduct may be prosecuted. Duncan Ferguson (1995) was the first professional soccer player to be imprisoned

for an on-the-field assault (head butting a Raith Rovers player while at Rangers) More recently, in 2007, Joey Barton - at the time a player for Manchester City - received a suspended sentence for a training ground assault. Sports legislation and performers Performers are employees and as such can be said to have the

same employment rights as other workers and often the law is need to sort out contractual issues. The Bosman Ruling was an influential case in granting the right for any player to move freely to another employer (club) at the end of a contract without a transfer fee.

Sports legislation and performers Players within the EU have the right to work anywhere in the European Union without restriction. Sports legislation and performers Contract issues with sponsors and branding can also result in cases that have to be settled in a court of law. Legal action against supporters are increasingly common for

unacceptable behaviour such as running onto a pitch and attacking players. Sports legislation and officials Referees/officials have been prosecuted for allowing situations to occur that have caused permanent damage to a performer. The implications for referees, many of whom are voluntary and amateur, are considerable. Officials have a duty of care to protect participants in a

contest in a safe environment. Negligence cases are being brought against referees from the professional and amateur game. Sports legislation and coaches Sports coaches also have a duty of care to provide a safe training and working environment where players do not get unnecessarily

hurt. Coaches can be sued for negligence if equipment or playing surfaces are not safe. i.e. wet sports hall floor Coaches should therefore always make health and safety checks, report all forms of abuse and adhere to legal and moral duties of

care. Sports legislation and spectators Sports legalisation has improve the safety of spectators at sports events. Spectators must act within the law when at a game and are not permitted to enter the field of play or use racist/homophobic chants. Failure to act properly will result in

prosecution under the Public Order Acts. Sports legislation and spectators Clubs and sport governing bodies have employed a number strategies to combat the problem of spectator safety and hooliganism. Strategies: Ban/control alcohol sales Early kick offs

CCTV around stadiums Tougher deterrents (bans, fines, prison) Promotion of football as family entertainment Education/campaigns Better policing and fans segregation Sports legislation and spectators Family enclosures as a way of encouraging parents to attend matches with their children in safety.

The all seating that has replaced the traditional fencing and terracing has contributed to the safer and less violent venues. Apply it! What has stuck with you? Practice it! Exam questions 1. How does the law and sports legislation help to ensure that

performers are protected during sporting contests? [3] Practice it! Marks Scheme: 1. A. Protect against violent play B. Employment contracts with clubs/Sponsorship/commercial contracts/avoid burnout C. Ensure duty of care from officials/negligence of poor

referees D. Safe playing environment/stadiums are suitable for purpose E. Protection from violent spectators/hooligans/terrorist threats F. Ensure opponents using doping methods are banned G. Equality legislation/racism act/sexism act/disability acts/age or weight categories/gender

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