Sport Law
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Sport Law

A Managerial Approach

Anita M. Moorman, Anita M. Moorman

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eBook - ePub

Sport Law

A Managerial Approach

Anita M. Moorman, Anita M. Moorman

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About This Book

Now in its fourth edition, this text is still the only sport law textbook to introduce sport legal studies from a management perspective and integrate legal strategies to gain a competitive advantage in business. Acknowledging that students understand legal concepts better when they are tied to real sport management practice, the book is organized around the core management functions.

It provides concise explanations of key concepts, as well as current industry examples and legal cases, and gives the student all the legal knowledge they need to become confident and effective professionals in sport management, recreation, or sport education. This new edition includes additional contributions from leading sport law educators and practitioners, and has expanded coverage of important contemporary issues including:

路 Sports injury and concussion litigation
路 Impact of Covid-19 on events and leagues
路 Gender discrimination, disability discrimination, sexual harassment, #metoo, and USWNT pay equity
路 Intellectual property, licensing agreements, publicity rights, social media influencers, and digital privacy
路 Student-athletes and marketing rights
路 Sport gambling and state regulation
路 Athlete activism, employee free speech, and collective bargaining
路 Olympic and Paralympic restructuring
路 NCAA Division 1 Coaches Contracts

The book contains useful features and ancillaries to help with teaching and learning, including managerial context tables, case opinions, focus cases, strategies for competitive advantage, discussion questions, and learning activities. It is an essential text for any course on sport law or recreation law, an invaluable supplement to any course on sport business and management, and an important reference for all sport management practitioners.

Online resources include a variety of exam questions for each chapter, featuring multiple choice, true or false, short answer exam questions and short essay questions, and a sample syllabus.

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Part I

Introductory Concepts

To understand the legal theory in this text and to gain maximum benefit from this textbook, you will need to know some fundamental principles. The first two chapters of this text are intended to give you an overview of these principles. In Chapter 1, you will become familiar with why the study of law is essential for sport managers and how you can use legal theory in a management context to attain a competitive advantage for your sport/recreation organization. You will also learn how to use a proactive law mentality instead of a reactive law mentality as part of your decision-making process for your organization across a spectrum of business problems and challenges. You will learn about the concept of preventive law and how you may develop and implement a preventive law plan for your sport/recreation enterprise.
Chapter 2 provides information regarding the legal system in the United States, the anatomy of a lawsuit, and the way courts decide a variety of legal disputes. You will also learn about primary and secondary legal resources and about the process of conducting legal research. All of this information is necessary for you to be able to appreciate fully the legal theory and cases presented throughout the book. In addition, you will learn how to employee analytical tools based in legal reasoning concepts to improve your writing skills and problem-solving skills.

1Introduction to Law and Management in Sport


Learning legal issues through a management lens adds significant value for a course in the legal aspects of sport and recreation management. As sport and recreation programs become more sophisticated and students strive for sought-after positions in the sport and recreation fields, we need to approach legal material from the viewpoint of how you, as a prospective sport or recreation manager, might best learn and utilize the material. Thus, the term manager, as used in this book, refers to anyone, regardless of job title, who performs any of the managerial functions discussed throughout this text.
As you watch ESPN, listen to sports radio, or browse your newsfeed on social media, you will realize that much of the commentary does not deal with what is happening on the field or court. Many of these stories deal with legal issues pertaining to sport figures, sport organizations, and sport/recreational facilities (see Exhibit 1.1 for examples). Whether you become a coach, an athletic director at a high school or college, an administrator in a collegiate athletic conference, a supervisor in a park district, a manager of a fitness club, a social media director for a sport organization, or the commissioner of the National Women鈥檚 Basketball Association (NWBA), you will find the content of this course, known conventionally as sport law, to be very useful to you. This is because managerial activities 鈥 such as hiring and overseeing personnel, supervising sport and recreation participants, providing sport and activity programming/instruction, administering sport and recreation facility operations, overseeing games or events, and implementing marketing initiatives 鈥 are functions routinely performed by a variety of persons working in sport, educational, and recreation organizations all of which carry with them significant legal implications.
Exhibit 1.1Sample of legal issues pertaining to sport and recreation.
Legal Theory
A university football coach leaves to coach at another university.
Contract law
A professional sports team has an issue with the 鈥渟alary cap鈥 in signing a player.
Collective bargaining and contract law
A prosecutor charges an athlete with sexual assault.
Criminal law
A female basketball coach at a college asserts that she should be paid the same as the men鈥檚 basketball coach.
Equal Pay Act and Title VII (federal statutes)
A youth sport organization is held liable for a coach who molested a team member.
Tort law 鈥 negligent hiring
A health club and equipment manufacturer are liable for injury when weight equipment malfunctions.
Tort law 鈥 negligence; products liability
Football players sue the NFL and the NCAA regarding the organizations鈥 policies and procedures pertaining to concussions.
Negligence, fraudulent concealment
A sport business names its sports apparel with a name very similar to another product name.
Trademark law
A public high school requires the delivery of a prayer over the public address system before all home football games.
Constitutional law 鈥 First Amendment
A company terminates an endorsement contract with an athlete who was accused of criminal conduct.
Contract law
A whitewater rafting company uses a waiver to avoid liability for its own negligence.
Tort and contract law
A university eliminates the women鈥檚 gymnastics team and the men鈥檚 baseball team.
Title IX (a federal statute)
NCAA student-athletes sue the NCAA and videogame manufacturers based on their use of athletes鈥 likenesses in games, and regulations prohibiting them from profiting from their name, image, or likeness.
Right of publicity & Anti-trust

The Need to Understand Legal Issues in Sport

One initial question arises as we begin to study legal issues in sport and recreation: What is sport law? Some commentators initially argued that there was no such legal theory as 鈥渟port law鈥 (Cozzillio & Levinstein, 1997) and sport law simply referred to areas of the substantive law that relate to the context of sport. These commentators asserted that the legal theories, For example, tort law, contracts, labor relations, administrative law, or constitutional law, are the same regardless of whether the application is in the realm of sport and physical activity or pertains to other businesses or aspects of daily life. Others staked out a middle ground and agreed sport law was mostly traditional substantive law applied in a sport context, but also argued that certain applications make sport sufficiently different that it may be appropriate to characterize a resultant body of knowledge as sport law. These commentators recognized a growing 鈥渟port only鈥 corpus of law in areas such as sport agents and Title IX (Gardiner, 1997; Shropshire, 1998). A more modern perspective has now evolved which acknowledges sport-related cases have resulted in the development of a body of sports law that is globally significant, particularly applicable in the sports context, and influential in the development of general legal principles (Lazaroff, 2001; Mitten, Davis, Duru, & Osborne, 2020; Mitten & Opie, 2010). Regardless of which theoretical position you believe is correct, the reality is that the law is inextricably woven into the fabric of sport and recreation organizations and it is imperative that we recognize the pervasiveness of law as it affects sport and recreation.
For example, assume you have just been hired as the administrator of a local youth baseball league. As you begin your first week on the job, you are overwhelmed by how many of your responsibilities have legal implications. Your job requires you to answer questions such as: what provisions should be included in your lease agreement with the city parks department? How do you ensure that your coaches are competent and fit to work with young athletes? Are you permitted to hire seasonal employees and pay them fixed wages instead of minimum wage and overtime pay? What emergency medical care is available for participants? Do you need to have automated external defibrillators (AEDs) on site? What concussion protocols do you need to implement to protect participants? What policies and procedures should you implement to make sure that the crowd does not pose a danger to game officials or to other fans or players? How do you maintain equipment and the playing fields? What provisions should be included in your contracts with the vendors who will provide food and beverages at the games and your game officials? What levels of insurance are necessary? All of these questions have both managerial and legal implications.
In addition to proactively using our legal knowledge to make better management decisions, we must also understand the legal system in our country sometimes invites abuse of the system because of our 鈥渙pen door鈥 philosophy of hearing disputes. Our legal system operates under the belief that we should allow citizens as much access to the formal legal adjudication of disputes as possible. This philosophy is fine when people use the system only to bring ...

Table of contents

Citation styles for Sport Law
APA 6 Citation
[author missing]. (2020). Sport Law (4th ed.). Taylor and Francis. Retrieved from (Original work published 2020)
Chicago Citation
[author missing]. (2020) 2020. Sport Law. 4th ed. Taylor and Francis.
Harvard Citation
[author missing] (2020) Sport Law. 4th edn. Taylor and Francis. Available at: (Accessed: 15 October 2022).
MLA 7 Citation
[author missing]. Sport Law. 4th ed. Taylor and Francis, 2020. Web. 15 Oct. 2022.