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

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This paper seeks to analyze and discuss what Gardiner, et.  al. said that “Sports law roughly divides into the money matters and the misconduct matters.

”  This paper takes the statement to mean that the Sports law classifies claims or rights under the Sports law to be either  just involving money, or those that would stopping the misconduct only.  This paper will try to find whether there is proof to this claim and hopes to either confirm or deny the said proposition.The terms ‘money matters’ could  further be equated to money claims for damages arising from violations of rights under the sports law, while ‘misconduct matters’ may refer to all kinds of behaviors or actions that would entitle the other party to either stop or do something for the enforcement of a right arising thereto.Pursuant to interpretations made, the remaining part of the paper would be looking for decided cases under Australian Sports law where one of the parties won the case and was awarded damages but the court may not stop the misconduct, cases where there are instances where the courts had to stop the misconduct being complained of under the sports law but the court ended not giving any financial reward and cases when the court both awarded damages and an injunction where the court has to stop misconduct under the Sports Law, if any.Sports consist of activities which have characteristics different from ordinary ones in the sense that sports may have the consent of players while they join the activities.  Under ordinary activities there may be no prior agreement or consent to undergo certain degree of violence.

  As there is a Sports law, there must be liabilities of parties in sports law.  Criminal and civil liabilities are therefore also realities of life under the sports law.  An interesting question would be whether there are liabilities to bet met in the course of a play.Since in sports normally submit to rules which they know to form part of their agreement, is it really possible is it really possible to have a player for be made liable a criminal act in the course of play?  In explaining the defense of consent Carmichael, (n.d.) posited about the observer practice as  generally accepted that by being part in a sporting activity or contest, the athlete assents to all those contacts which are inevitably ‘part and parcel’ of the sport.

 It is therefore a significantly practical rule  that a player who may suffer an injury by possibly  of physical contact to which there is prior consent will really have to bear the loss caused by the injury.  By analogy, encounter or contacts which might otherwise be injuriously criminal are rendered not subject to penalty because of the consent.  Carmichael (n.d.) however made clear that existence of the crime of assault in sport where actions are outside those rules of the game.   In said criminal assault, the athlete simply did not consent to by participating in the sport outside the rules or in other words, or there is no contract entered into whereby the players agreed that they wanted to die to kill each other.

This is particularly observable in boxing.There is incomplete defense on using the extent of consent to which the court may try to look into by posing interesting and challenging question of whether the athlete consent to ‘all’ contact during the course of the game or only those allowed by the rules of the game, or whether those contacts are foreseeable as occurring during a game even if outside the rules or customs.  There is the great possibility that the players did not give their full consent.  (Carmichael,n.d.

) To illustrate the same, the players could not have consented that they are going to kill the other player or that they are going to die by playing the game.        What therefore is the extent of player’s consent of representations in a contract of sport be respected?  The case Pallante v Stadiums Pty Ltd (No. 1) 1976 VR 331, the court held that an athlete consents to all those contacts which may be reasonably considered to be incidental to the sport at issue.It could therefore be argued that the consent of players joining any contest depends has direct connection to the rules of the game which must be legal and prescribe rules that will protect the life or unnecessary risks to life to the players.  This principle of accessing the degree of consent of the players is also affirmed in the case of Re Jewell and Crimes Compensation Tribunal (1987) (1 Victorian Administrative Reports 370), where the Tribunal considered the possibility of infringement of the rules that would amount to criminal act in relation to reasonableness of the rules of the game and the generally acceptability of risks that are inherent in a given kind of legally accepted games (Carmichael, n.d.

)There are other ways where an assault could be committed where the contact was outside the rules of the game and dangerous as decided in the case of Re Lenfield (1993) ATR 81-222).  Assault is also possible if contact shows intention to cause serious injury to the plaintiff, or if the defendant has knowledge of possible production of serious injury and there recklessness  (R v Bradshaw (1878) 14 Cox C C 83).  Still another case is the case of R v Billinghurst (1978) Criminal Law Reports 553  the jury was by instructed  by the higher cost that a rugby player lacks the license or authority to use force and that is requirement of cases crossing the line, of which a player may considered to have consented.. Outside any criminal liability, may a player be liable for negligence in sports?  In Rootes v Shelton (1967) 116 CLR 383 Kitto J found nothing mysterious or new about the application of the law of negligence to a sport or game.

  Kitto did acknowledge that in sports there may be may faster water skiing  than chariot racing but the it was sport was any other simply activity in which participants put  themselves in a special relation or succession of relations to other participants.  On the claim for negligence therefore the court will just have to find the elements of  negligence like any other human activity.  Rootes at 387  said that the court must do so however under judicial guidance as to what the law has to say upon the questions whether, in the situations in which the plaintiff’s injuries were caused, the defendant owed him a duty of care, what the extent of the duty was if a duty did exist, and what causal relation the plaintiff must prove between an act or omission by the defendant which was a breach of the duty and the plaintiff’s injuries (at 387).Whether in sports or not the elements of negligence are the same.  It is still the failure to required appropriate standards of care under given circumstances in protecting others unreasonable risk of injury or harm.  There is not need to prove defendant’s intention cause such harm or injury and that recklessness of defendant’s conduct be existing to incur liability.

  Carmichael, (n.d.) provided the plaintiff must merely have to prove the following elements to succeed in an action in negligence: The first is the duty of care which means that that the defendant owed the plaintiff a duty of care.  In sports however competitors may be fighting each to death but there is still the  duty of care by one over the other. If expressed in boxing, it would just saying, that the boxer could hit the other boxer as much as he like but the punch should not be too heavy to kill the other.  This is the reason why in boxing players who fight inside the ring should be within the same weight category.

Violating this could be fatal and the one causing any negligence such scenario would definitely be liable. Fleming (1998,149) has defined this  duty of care as ‘an obligation, recognized by law, to avoid conduct fraught with unreasonable risk of danger to others.”.The second element is that the breach of such duty of care must be established by the plaintiff with due regard however to that standard of care as stated in the first element.  This breach of duty would be really a question of evidence. One such rule is the principle of letting things to speak for itself.

  The third element is that the plaintiff must have suffered loss or damage caused by the defendant’s breach of duty of care that must have been reasonable foreseeable (Carmichael, n.d.).  One could note the obvious connection of these elements which are needed to be there before one could claim damages for negligence.

In Miller v Jackson (1977) QB 966, involving plaintiffs who asked the court that the defendant club playing cricket be declared nuisance as the same caused unnecessary interference in the enjoyment of the properties of the plaintiff.  The plaintiff won in the lower court and had even secured an injunction to stop the club but upon appeal in the upper court,  the latter court per Geoffrey Lane L.J, ruled using the case of n Sturges v. Bridgman (1879) 11Ch.D.

852 where it put the blame to the plaintiff since it was the latter who found the stone to knock to his own head in coming to live within the sports club’ s premises  where not any one may have attempted before him.  The court found no reason there to change a jurisprudence that has stood the test of time.  In the same case Lord Denning M.R. dissented and took the position that becoming a nuisance is not sudden because a neighbor opts to have his house in where occasional hit is possible and as also not a negligent act to produce right to damages.

But Lord Denning M.R. together with Cumming-Bruce L.J. had the court exercised its equitable jurisdiction to refused the injunction granted at the lower court as the because of the effect preventing what was played for more than seventy years . Thus, the court therefore ruled for the greater interest of the public over the hardship to the individual householders by depriving their enjoyment of their house and garden while cricket was being played.

  The court at therefore lifted the injunction and instead awarded damages of £400 to substitute for past and future inconvenience (Carmichael, n.d.).Based on the interpretation we applied to Gardiner, et.  al. statement that “Sports law roughly divides into the money matters and the misconduct matters.

” to mean that Sports law classifies claims or rights under the Sports law may either just involve those involve money only, those that would stopping the misconduct only may have basis in reality but we found out that there could be a combination of the two just like any ordinary human endeavor.  Sports may have modified the rules of the games as well as the rights of the parties because of the contracts entered into by the parties but contracts cannot amend the law.  If fact, there are limits where law could not bind unconscionable agreement of the parties like authorizing one athlete to kill another person by letting the person guiltless if one of the parties die in the sport.  Otherwise it would be making legal what was inherently legal from the beginning.

  Even boxing which is supposed to be an aggressive sport where the players almost box their opponent s to death could not just allow punching on critical areas using illegal means.  Although there is risk of death in boxing the organizers involved in the conduct of sport cannot negligently allow death to happen.Based on this Sports law may have made a distinction on what may be compensable for damage without making the other person unstoppable to certain degree as to conduct while the sport is ongoing but the rules of the game must be obeyed otherwise the majesty of the law will have to come in and disregard the benefits of entering into contract.  In the case of Miller the court ruled over public interest against the right of the individual to be disturbed during the playing of the cricket by lifting the injunction but awarded damages for past and future inconvenience.

The sports law therefore may not have completely divided money matters and misconduct matters.  If playing cricket while depriving an individual the enjoyment of a right is misconduct, the court would have not lifted the injunction by the lower court.  Sports law may create a division between money matters and misconduct matters but its better application is left to the courts which may prohibit or allow a sport or grant or deny claim for damages (money) depending on the evidence adduced in relation to the law. 

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