Sports Laws in India – Protection, and Challenges

Sports Law

Sports Law is an amalgam of laws that apply to athletes and therefore the sports they play. Sports Law touches on a spread of matters including contract, tort, agency, antitrust Constitutional labour, trademark, Sex Discrimination, criminal and tax issues. Some laws depend on the status of the athletes, some laws differ according to the sport and some laws vary for other reasons.

 Many people perceive professional sports as beneficial for the local economy and essential to an area’s civic identity. Rajasthan and Himachal Pradesh are the only two states where there is a functional Sports Law at present. In India, the provincial sports bodies work under non-profit making organizations under the company law jurisdiction. Rules and regulations like statutory orders act only as secondary legislations supplementing laws. Due to the absence of concrete sports Laws exploitations of commodities via advertisement are done. Some are the principal reasons why sports cannot be only said as a pastime or just a source. The contemporary significance of sports is much more than being a pastime and recreational activity. They have been transformed into organized activities coupled with enormous professionalism and affecting almost every area of public life, may it be social, political or economic. Although the pace of this transformation was slow during the nineteenth and most part of the twentieth century, it has boosted enormously in the past few decades owing to the globalization of technology and commerce. Commenting on the importance which sports have assumed in contemporary times.

 Sports are very much part of the popular culture. Many people participate in it, either as amateurs or professionals, and many people observe it as spectators inside stadia or by listening to the radio or watching television. At any rate, sport is continuously visible everywhere in the world and has become a crucial component of contemporary society. Such immense significance has, among other things, encouraged the academic study of sports, making it the focus of several historical, scientific, philosophical and sociological inquiries. The importance of such studies is beyond question. But owing to the increased commercialization of sports, currently, the economic dimension of sports has assumed the utmost significance. Statistically, organized sports are a multi-billion dollar industry with a global worth ranging between €350 billion and €450 billion. A 2006 report estimated that the macroeconomic impact of sports in the European Union accounted for 3.7 percent of EU GDP, providing employment to 5.4 percent of the entire labour force. Such an all-round significance of sports in public life necessitates law to play a major role in order to regulate it in a better manner.

 Another reason why the role of the law becomes excessively important is that regulation of sports has largely been internal, that is, done through newly emerging sports governing bodies, at both international and national levels. These bodies, which generally possess institutional and legal structures and interests of personal associations, not only enjoy an excellent level of autonomy with reference to deciding the principles of the particular sports they govern but also are engaged in licensing of playing facilities, employment relationships, commercial transactions, regulation of corruption and cheating, and lots of more important functions. Several of these functions are those that are generally performed by the state or its agents and are crucial from the viewpoint of the Fundamental Rights of the individuals. Therefore the questions whether the state should intervene in the regulation of sports and should the courts have the power to review the decisions of such governing bodies become extremely relevant in view of the contemporary significance of sports.

 The Indian scenario of sports is quite similar to this. Sports regulatory bodies, such as the Indian Olympics Association, Hockey India and the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) are autonomous to a great extent. Nevertheless, it seems pertinent to mention at the outset that the autonomy of such sports bodies is not absolute. This is because sports are specifically included in the seventh schedule of the Constitution. Moreover, the sports bodies which are concerned with the management and regulation of different sporting activities in the country are generally registered as societies or associations in different states of India and therefore, fall under the jurisdiction of states. Therefore, sporting activities and bodies by which they are regulated fall within the jurisdiction of the States.

 In the case, Charline Van Snick v. Federation Internationale de judo. It highlights the bad doping decisions on her. WADA was created in 2004. In the book, Sports Law in India: Policy, regulations, and commercialization which have it are forward by Justice Mukul Mudgal, India has moved from a nascent phase to a developing phase. The other fallout of commodification of sports has been the growing intervention of law since quite expectedly. The unique features of sports vis-à-vis the free agency of sportspersons are a matter of dispute. The pertinent of property rights and profit-sharing in the symbiosis of broadcasting media and sports are important given. Also, the disputes in ambush marketing and image issues players are also highlighted. For dealing with the above disputes, and to be dealt with the proper application of the law through processes both within and outside the sports field.

IDR’s are also a major point of debate in sports. Doping also continues as a great Matter of concern and the solutions based on accepted legal principles of equality and framed as per ensuring sporting performance and superiority.

“The views of the authors are personal

Frequently Asked Questions

What you exactly mean by sports law?

Sports law ensures that players are given equal opportunities to participate in the particular field they choose. They ensure that players are not discriminated against due to their race, religion or size.

Which variety of matters are covered under sports law?

Sports law touches on a variety of matters, including contract, tort, agency, antitrust, constitutional, labour, trademark, Sex Discrimination, criminal, and tax issues.

How many and which states in India have functional sports law at present?

Entry 33 in the Seventh Schedule of our Constitution has provided a provision for the State as well as the Centre to make and enact laws on regulation, registration and recognition of associations involved in sports. Rajasthan and Himachal Pradesh are two states where there is a functional sports law at present.

Under which jurisdiction sports laws come?

Sports Law comes under Intra-federation jurisdiction .

Ameyprasad Atigre
Ameyprasad Atigre, currently pursuing 1st Year Law Course [B.A.LL.B (Hons.)] from Government Law College, Mumbai (Maharashtra). The areas of interest for him are Contract Law, Constitutional Law, Criminal Law, Labour Law, Human Rights Law, Intellectual Property Law, Cyber Law. He is looking forward to creating a breakthrough career in law, he takes acute care in developing his research skills as well as dealing with National and International Moot Court Competitions and International Law Committee. He has worked with Adv. Pandit Atigre in Dist. Court of Kolhapur. He has a keen interest in writing his own Blogs, Legislative Comments, Short Articles, Newsletter articles, Articles for Journals.