Physicality and sports have been synonymous with each other ever since the beginning. All sports leagues of various skill levels must straddle the fine line between what is acceptable within the game and what is pushing the limits. This is especially true for full contact sports, such as; American football, boxing, and ice hockey. Deliberately or incidentally, the physicality of the sport is an integral part of the game. These unique sports are in the crosshairs of the rules, regulations, and policies of the given sport and are at the mercy of civil laws as well. This brings up tort law, in which someone unfairly causes someone else to suffer loss or harm resulting in legal liability for the person who commits the tortious act. Within this paper, I will cover past, present, and potential future issues regarding tort law in the professional sports industry. This information is valuable because many people believe that sport administrators are powerless when it comes to these sorts of problems, and that the judicial system needs to intervene. If it is not up to the sport administrators running and working for these leagues then who is responsible for finding solutions to problems? Or making the game a safe and fun activity for future generations to enjoy? Furthermore, recent lawsuits surrounding head injuries in the National Football League (NFL) and the National Hockey League (NHL) have stem from the alleged negligence of the individuals leagues. These issues can potentially change the way we see and play American football and ice hockey forevermore.
My particular research will examine the areas of law surrounding player v. player cases, specifically intentional tort law with criminal acts within professional sports. All too often I find tort law cases focussing on another aspect of tort law instead of the actual players. Overall, liability for player-to-player conduct (or Criminal Liability for On-the-Field Conduct) is something that has shown itself before in professional sports and with the recent changes and lawsuits within the NFL and NHL seems to be making a comeback.
Athletes consent to various amounts of physical contact when they play the sport they play. Whether it be American football or baseball; players should be made aware that there is a potential risk that comes with playing the given sport. Obviously, some sports have a greater risk attached to them. In all sports, the court finds that participants do not consent to contact that goes outside the bounds of the game. Criminal actions can be taken against athletes for their conduct during an athletic contest. This is where intentional tort law comes into play in regards to sports law.
A tort is a legal wrong against another. Torts are civil wrongs and thus are the grounds for a lawsuit. There are many ways to organize torts since there can be many different types some even overlapping a bit with each other. More or less there are three different categories within tort law: negligent...