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Sports Law: A Career Opportunity in the Sports Industry

sports law

Sports law is a term which describes the legal issues related to sports. It is based on how the law interacts with the sports activity. To become a sports lawyer one should have a keen interest in the administration and management of sporting activity. Sports law is the collection of many different types of law that impacts the sports Industry. Sports law involve issues related to contract, media, administrative, public competition, personal injury, trademark, criminal, athletic administration, drafting and negotiation. The sports law study involves public order, drugs, safety, disciplinary measures, conduct and wider issues relating to restraint of trade, match fixing and the exploitation of sports. Issues like defamation and privacy rights are also an integral aspect of sports law. The study of the legislations controlling sporting activities and its structure of management in India would prepare one to take up sports law as a career in India.


Aspiring sports lawyers take many legal courses but must also take business courses like finance, marketing, associated ethical concerns, legal procedures and sports law. Sports law students should possess good writing skills because this will be an important part of their job as a sports lawyer. They will also need to take courses in contract law, sports management, negotiations, entertainment law, copyright laws and infringement.

The Curriculum

The sports law courses mainly consist the topics like Introduction to Sports Law, Sports and its Governance, taxation of sports organisations, player and management liability, sponsorship agreements, disciplinary codes, dispute resolution bodies, suspensions and appeals, sports governing bodies and their judicial scrutiny, the sanctions for antidoping rule violations, the treatment of gambling laws in various jurisdictions, player contracts and rights protection.

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 employ them are of critical importance. For star sports persons, contracts can involve millions of rupees. A contract must carefully spell out terms of performance. Sports lawyers often serve as agents as well as legal negotiators. Lawyers who practice sports law are often both the contract drafters and the negotiators when millions of rupees are on the line.

Personal Injury Law in Sports Law

Personal injuries happen in sports. A personal injury can occur during the game, and it can occur outside of the field of play. Personal injury law may be relevant to sports law. While an sportsperson may bring a legal claim after a personal injury, the millions of fans that attend sporting events may have personal injury claims too. Any venue that hosts sporting events must take care to avoid negligent behaviours that may lead to personal injury liability. If a fan gets injured at a game, it may become a legal issue if the sports venue is negligent in their maintenance of the property.

Trademark Law in Sports Law

Professional sports teams depend on their trademarks. Trademark infringement is a challenging area of sports law for the attorneys who work to enforce trademarks on behalf of college and professional sports teams. Merchandising is often as critical to the income of a college or professional team as ticket sales. Sports lawyers perform a critical function enforcing the trademark rights of the teams they represent.

Criminal Law in Sports Law

Sports law isn’t immune from criminal law. Many face charges for providing athletes with banned steroids. Sports persons are not immune from criminal prosecution for on-field behavior. Most behavior in sports falls under presumed consent. In other words, some physical contact is part of the game. However, when contact goes above and beyond what’s expected and reasonable in a sporting event, a sport person may face criminal prosecution for their actions. Whether an sport person is a professional, collegiate or amateur, he may face criminal charges for an assault and battery offense that goes beyond the scope of play. Professional sports persons are subject to the laws of society. When they face criminal charges, it’s often high profile. Their professional reputation or participation in their league may be on the line. Criminal charges for athletes in professional sports and for collegiate athletes may be high-stakes. Sports lawyers must work to protect their athletes’ record as well as their professional reputation.

Labour and Employment Law in Sports law

Professional sports teams and sports venues are employers. From the professional athletes to coaches to the security guards and concessions team members that work at games, a professional or college sports team is an employer. Labor and employment laws apply to sports teams. Practicing sports law might mean helping the client understand and implement labour and employment laws including hiring practices, termination procedures, workers compensation, health insurance mandates, taxes and medical leave.

Personal Property Law in Sports Law

Sports law may include personal property law. Sports memorabilia may be an issue in sports law. Sports law may determine who owns an item of sports memorabilia when ownership is in dispute. Alternatively, when a divorce involves sports memorabilia, sports law may involve family law.

Diploma in Sports Law

The diploma in Sports Law, India’s first has been launched by Gujarat National Law University. It is a one of its kind in India. The diploma covers practical issues of Sports Law and it covers topics that are both domestically and internationally relevant. Modules covered in this diploma include Governance of Sports, the relationship of sports with business. Special focus is given to Sports regulating authorities including the International Olympic association, the World Anti Doping Agency, the Indian – Anti Doping Agency and others. A specific chapter on the IP and Media related issues concerning Sports Law are also included. With the advent of Information Technology, a special section on Data Protection also forms a part of this unique online programme.

Potential benefits to students/professionals and faculty

  • Enhance knowledge in Sports law
  • Understanding vital rules and regulations of the sporting authorities of India and the world
  • Understand the practical aspects of the sporting world vis a vis Law

The duration of the Diploma Course is One Year


  • Any student who is pursuing or has finished an undergraduate degree in any discipline including law, business management etc
  • Any professional is also eligible for applying to this course
  • Documents required: 10th Class pass-certificate,12th Class mark-sheet, Undergraduate certificate [if applicable], Post graduate certificate [if applicable]


Masters in Sports Law

An LLM, or Master of Laws, is an advanced law degree that has credibility in countries around the world. This course of study is typically pursued by those who have an undergraduate degree and wish to gain global legal credentials or a deeper understanding of law. LLMs can be offered in many different focus areas.

What is an LLM in Sports Law? This degree is meant to provide students with a greater understanding of athletics laws and legal issues around the world. Typically this course of study provides a focus on international and global sports law, covering topics such as international business law, worldwide sport organizations and competitions, sports in society, contract law, and arbitration. It may also discuss problems facing international sports organizations such as illegal gambling, corruption, drug and steroid abuse, and game manipulation. Students may have the opportunity to complete an internship as part of their chosen program.

One of the greatest benefits to earning an LLM degree is that it provides credentials that are accepted in many different countries around the world. This is an invaluable advantage in today’s competitive global job market. In addition, this degree provides a greater understanding of the intricacies and complexities of international sports law, and can improve communication and critical thinking skills.

The cost of earning an LLM depends on factors such as the country where the degree is earned, the structure of an individual program, and the student’s previous course credit. It is important to research for financial compatibility before enrolling.

An LLM in Sports Law is invaluable for students who wish to enter careers in international sport law. Students may find themselves well-suited to become contract attorneys, counsels for sport organizations, lawyers for athletes, or legal advisors. In addition, students may be able to find work as sports law consultants. Teaching opportunities may also be available for graduates who wish to educate future generations of sports lawyers.

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