Sports Law includes many areas of law, such as the following:
- Tort Law;
- Criminal Law;
- Employment Law;
- Labor Law;
- International Property Rights;
- Intellectual Property Rights;
- Title IX of the Civil Rights Act;
- Drugs and Testing; and
- International Regulation
Athletic activities are often organized and managed by individual groups that establish rules for eligibility and competition, and courts usually uphold the actions of these groups as long as their rules are reasonably applied. Perhaps the most important of these organizations is the National Collegiate Athletic Association (“NCAA”). The NCAA is the governing body for intercollegiate sports and has over 1000 member colleges and universities.
Colleges and universities which receive federal aid are subject to Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 (“Title IX”) and must not discriminate on the basis of sex in their athletic programs. In professional sports, the contractual relationship between the individual player and the team owner is governed by basic contract principles. Most sports leagues now have a Standard Player’s Contract which serves as a model employment contract between players and owners. The relationship between players and the agents who represent them is governed by a Standard Representation Contract which defines the duties and compensation of the agent. Many state legislatures now require agents to register with some type of administrative agency.
The two major international sports competitions are the Olympics, sponsored by the International Olympic Committee, and the World Cup, sponsored by FIFA. The United States Olympic Committee (“USOC”) governs US teams sent to participate in the Olympics and other related competitions.