Sports Law in India – Part 1


Law is not just a career option, it’s a responsibility. Sports industry is a very large industry with a great potential and money in it. Sports law is very useful for any sport related personals as it not only give the person justice for any wrong, it maintains the sports industry a pure society with equal chance to all. Many federations have been set up to support this cause and most of them are independent in their perspective fields free from government interference but have to be in the line that doesn’t affect any law or other public rules.

India being a cricket loving country has faced many legal problems in cricket industry itself either it being a fixing case or case regarding cricket board itself. But cricket isn’t the only game all other federations have been facing legal problems but of different type like hockey federation fraud or boxing player suspension for voicing for wrong done to her. It’s important for people to learn about sports law as well. In India, sports world has seen the growth of the sports law with strictness in every board and by the punishment for violation of the rules. Judicial system has given equal priority to sports law by passing important judgments related to sports base cases.

As cricket is undisputedly most loved sports in our nation, its shorter format i.e. T20 has been a change for good for sports. With success of  IPL as a world’s best league, it traverse the way of success for the development of other leagues too which are ISL(football), PKL(kabaddi), HIL(hockey), PBL(badminton) and more sports. Along with this, there was growing exposure of global sports clubs and events. The rising passion of sports fans brought in the concept of fantasy sports that is where fans make their own virtual team of players and are points are granted on the basis of real game played. This has caused in the increase of viewership of sports in back few times reportedly. “Sports viewership has grown by 90% in last few years.”  As mentioned in the report of BARC on sports.

Sports law is one of those fields of law that is applied law in the field of sports, physical education and its related field. It is a pure law as opposed to theoretical law and is concerned with how law in general interacts with the activity known as sports”.

The growing interaction between sports and law has created a new need for a greater understanding of how the law relates to the sporting world. The center based at LNIPE Gwalior is the first of its kind started in 1996 to offer expertise law consultations to the need of sports in the legal regulation of sport in a modern reality and as an amalgam of such diverse legal disciplines as sports law and policy, contract, tort, taxation, labor, competition, TV rights, match fixing and related criminal laws”.  This is how sports law is explained by ‘Sports Law and Welfare Association of India’. 

Sports law wasn’t given much importance in previous times. As the sports grew in in our country, the significance of sports law also grew respectively.  Sports law still hasn’t been given the importance in law it deserves. In other words, we can say sports law isn’t given attention it should be provided by the law aspirants as well as the sports lovers.

Need for Sports Law

Scams and Scandals

Requirement of sports law became necessary with rising scandals and scams in the sports industry.  Scandals have been a great cause of tension among the players, committee members, investors and sports fan too. There were scandals in both national and international sports world. There were numerous frauds at international level. Such as Black Sox Scandal, Nelson Piquet Jr. Crash, Harding attacks Kerrigan, 2000 Paralympics Spanish Basketball Team, SMU faces Death Penalty, Salt Lake City Buys 2002 Olympics and Tiger Wood’s 12 Mistresses.

Similarly Indian sports world also faced number of scams and scandals of its own. Such as Hockey Federation Scandal, IPL spot fixing, Match fixing scandal of Mohammad Azharuddin, Brawl between Leander Paes and Mahesh, Vijendrasingh doping scandal and Boxer Sarita Devi suspended by AIBA.

Contract Issues

Both the players and the owners of the team share a contract regarding their salaries, working hours, No. of series or matches to be played, additional money or gifts on any special prize, further contracts with the any brands. Sports law ensures protection of the terms and conditions of the contract signed. Lawyers of the members of contract protect them from any type of specification of the contract signed between them. Sports law saves player and the owners of the team from any type of the flaw that exploits any of them.

Drug usage

Performance pressure on a player can make him/her do number of law breaking things. Doping is one of them. Many players lose their ability to perform after some games or start losing their stamina which makes them take stupid steps of taking performance boosting drugs. These drugs make presence of sports law important to avoid any type of unequal decision making.

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