Sports law roughly divides into the money matters and the misconduct matters Essay Example
Sports law roughly divides into the money matters and the misconduct matters Essay Example

Sports law roughly divides into the money matters and the misconduct matters Essay Example

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  • Pages: 6 (1554 words)
  • Published: May 13, 2017
  • Type: Essay
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The purpose of this paper is to discuss Gardiner et al.'s assertion that sports law can be divided into two areas: financial matters and misbehavior.

This article aims to investigate the claim that the Sports law categorizes claims or rights as either 'money matters' or 'misconduct matters.' The former refers to claims for damages resulting from violations of sports law rights, while the latter includes actions that entitle parties to seek enforcements of their rights. The main focus of this investigation will be to identify Australian Sports Law cases where one party received damages but without stopping the misconduct, cases where courts needed to stop unlawful conduct but awarded no financial compensation, and instances where the court awarded monetary compensation alongside injunctions to stop misconduct. Sports, unlike ordinary activities, involve players who consent to participate and may involve varyi


ng degrees of violence.

Liabilities in sports law cover criminal and civil liabilities, including actions taken during play. The issue is whether athletes can be held accountable for criminal acts committed while playing due to their agreement to follow the sport's rules. Carmichael (n.d.) introduces the defense of consent which argues that athletes agree to all contacts considered 'part and parcel' of their sport by participating in a sporting activity or contest.

Based on a practical guideline, the player who consents to physical contact that may cause harm is accountable for any ensuing injuries. This implies that if there is prior agreement, contact that might be deemed criminal cannot be penalized. Nonetheless, as Carmichael (n.d.) explained, when an athlete encounters assault outside the game's regulations, it constitutes a criminal offense. In these instances, the athlete did not give permission to

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participate in actions beyond the sport's rules or situations where players did not agree to engage in activities resulting in harm.

Boxing is a clear example of incomplete defense regarding the extent of consent that the court may investigate. This raises intriguing and demanding questions about whether athletes consent to all contact during a game or only to those permitted by the rules. It also considers whether contact outside the rules or customs is predictable during a game and if it is within the athlete's foreseen expectations. It is highly probable that players did not give their complete consent. (Carmichael, n.d.)

The extent of a player's consent in a sports contract must be respected. The notion is exemplified by the fact that players cannot agree to kill or die while participating in a game. The court ruling in Pallante v Stadiums Pty Ltd (No. 1) 1976 VR 331, confirmed that an athlete is seen to consent to all actions reasonably considered incidental to the sport in question. Therefore, a player's consent to join a match is dependent on the compliance of the rules of the game. The rules should be lawful and designed to safeguard players' lives from undue risks. The degree of athlete agreement is examined as affirmed by Re Jewell and Crimes Compensation Tribunal (1987) (1 Victorian Administrative Reports 370). The Tribunal scrutinized the likelihood of violating game regulations that would result in criminal acts. The assessment considered if the game rules are reasonable and acceptable while taking into account inherent risks that prevail in sanctioned games. (Carmichael, n.d.)

According to the case of Re Lenfield (1993) ATR 81-222, assault can occur if contact in

a game goes outside the rules and is deemed dangerous. Additionally, if a defendant intends to cause serious injury to the plaintiff or is reckless about the possibility of serious injury, this can also constitute assault, as seen in R v Bradshaw (1878) 14 Cox C C 83. In R v Billinghurst (1978) Criminal Law Reports 553, it was determined that rugby players do not have the authority to use force beyond what is deemed necessary in the context of the game, and consent may be considered crossed in certain cases. It is also possible for a player to be held liable for negligence in sports, as found in Rootes v Shelton (1967) 116 CLR 383, where Kitto J stated that the application of negligence law to sports and games is not unusual.

According to Kitto, sports participant relationships are not different from those in other activities. Therefore, any accusations of neglect should be measured against the same standards as any other activity, even if an individual is better at one sport than another. Rootes contends that courts must analyze whether a defendant had a responsibility to take care of the plaintiff and the extent of that responsibility. Additionally, they must evaluate the causal connection between breaking that duty and causing harm (Rootes 387). Neglect occurs when someone fails to follow appropriate care guidelines under specific circumstances which leads to an unreasonable danger or injury towards others - regardless of whether it's related to sports or not. Proving intent or recklessness is unnecessary for liability.According to Carmichael (n.d.), certain factors must be established for a plaintiff to win a negligence case. These include the duty of

care that a defendant owes to the plaintiff, which applies even in high-risk sports where participants may engage in activities that could cause harm. In boxing, it is crucial for one fighter to exercise caution towards their opponent and avoid using excessive force that may result in death. That is why boxers are required to compete within the same weight category.According to Fleming (1998,149), not taking precautions to avoid risky behavior that could harm others can have fatal consequences and is a legal obligation requiring individuals to act with reasonable care. The plaintiff must prove a breach of this duty by adhering to established standards of care, with evidence playing a crucial role in determining whether the duty was breached. Res ipsa loquitur allows actions to speak for themselves as an example of such a principle.

In order to establish a claim for negligence, three factors must be proven: confirmation of the defendant owing a duty of care to the plaintiff, proof that this duty was breached by the defendant, and evidence showing that as a result of this breach, the plaintiff suffered loss or damage which was reasonably foreseeable (Carmichael, n.d.). It is essential to demonstrate all these elements when building a case for negligence.

In the case of Miller v Jackson (1977) QB 966, the plaintiffs sought a legal verdict that the cricket club playing games had caused disturbance in their properties and was a nuisance. The plaintiffs achieved success in the lower court and obtained an injunction to halt the club's operations. However, on appeal, the higher court ruled against them based on the precedent established in the case of Sturges v. Bridgman (1879)

11 Ch.D, presided over by Geoffrey Lane L.J.

The court attributed the blame to the plaintiff in case 852 as it was their decision to reside within the sports club's premises, where no one had attempted before, and consequently found no reason to alter longstanding jurisprudence. Lord Denning M.R., however, dissented and argued that becoming a nuisance is not an abrupt action if a neighbor chooses to live in a location where occasional harm may occur, and producing the right to damages is not a negligent act.

Lord Denning M.R. and Cumming-Bruce L.J. agreed to exercise the court's equitable jurisdiction to deny the injunction granted at the lower court, since it would prevent cricket from being played for over seventy years. Therefore, the court ruled in favor of the greater public interest, despite the hardship imposed on individual householders who would be deprived of their enjoyment of their house and garden during cricket matches.

The injunction was lifted by the court and instead awarded damages of £400 for past and future inconvenience, according to Carmichael (n.d.). This decision was based on our interpretation of Gardiner et al.'s statement that "Sports law roughly divides into the money matters and the misconduct matters."

The classification of claims or rights under Sports law can involve both monetary and misconduct issues, as is typical in any human endeavor. While contracts may modify game rules and party rights, the law cannot be amended by such agreements. However, there are limits to the binding power of law in the case of unconscionable agreements, such as allowing one athlete to kill another during sports activities. Legalizing inherent illegality is not permissible.

Even though

boxing is known for its aggressive nature and players almost box their opponent to death, illegal punches to critical areas are not allowed. Although death is a risk in boxing, organizers cannot negligently allow death to occur. Sports law distinguishes compensable damage while ensuring players adhere to the rules of the game. Failure to comply may result in the law disregarding contractual benefits. The Miller case ruled in favor of public interest over individual disturbance rights during cricket and lifted the injunction while awarding damages for past and future inconvenience.

The distinction between financial issues and misbehavior in sports law may not be absolute. If a person is prevented from enjoying their rights while playing cricket, the injunction imposed by the lower court would not have been lifted. The responsibility for correctly applying sports law is primarily assigned to the courts, which may either allow or prohibit a sport, or grant or deny a claim for damages (money) based on the evidence presented in relation to the law.

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