What is Sports Law?
Although professional sports agencies may be the first thing that comes to mind, sports law is a term that encompasses many different types of laws that affect how people engage in sports for both professional and recreational purposes. For example, a professional athlete relies on contract law for their game agreements. Trademark law protects the teams they play for. If an athlete gets injured on or off the field, personal injury law comes into effect. Sports law goes beyond just athletes; it also reaches the youngest individuals engaging in sports, children. Coach training and safety equipment rules affect young athletes.
Contract Law in Sports Law
Perhaps the most well-known area of sports law is contract law. Contracts between professional athletes and the teams that contract them are of critical importance. A contract must carefully outline the performance terms. Sports lawyers often serve as legal negotiators as well as representatives. Sports law includes more than just athletes; coaches, managers, and athletic trainers also need sports contracts.
Personal Injury Law in Sports Law
Personal injuries can occur in sports. Personal injury law may be relevant to sports law. An athlete can make a legal claim after a personal injury. There may also be personal injury claims from millions of fans attending sports events. Any venue hosting sports events should take care to avoid negligent behavior that may lead to personal injury liability. If a fan gets injured during a game, negligence in maintaining the sports venue’s property can be a legal issue.
Trademark Law in Sports Law
Professional sports teams rely on their trademarks. Trademark infringement is a challenging area of sports law for lawyers who work to protect the trademarks of the teams they represent. Sports lawyers play a critical role in protecting the trademark rights of the teams they represent.
Criminal Law in Sports Law
Sports law is not exempt from criminal law. Athletes are not exempt from criminal prosecution due to their on-field behavior. Most on-field behavior is presumed to be with the implied consent. In other words, some physical contacts are part of the game. However, when the contact goes beyond what is expected and reasonable in a sports event, an athlete may face criminal charges for their actions. Whether a professional or amateur athlete, any athlete can face criminal charges for an attack that goes beyond the scope of the sports game.
Employment Law in Sports Law
Professional sports teams and sports venues are employers. From professional athletes to coaches, security personnel working at games, and franchise team members, both professional and college sports teams are employers. Labor and employment laws apply to sports teams. Working with a sports law attorney can help understand and implement labor and employment laws, including employee hiring practices, dismissal procedures, worker compensation, health insurance practices, taxes, and medical leave.