Research - Centre for International Sports Law

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K Lines, ‘Social media - the risks and safety, a guide for schools parts 1&2’ (2010) Education Law Update (Oct)

Modern technology has spawned a variety of new media — but with benefits come serious dangers. Kris Lines explains duties to keep staff and pupils safe

K Lines & J Heshka, 'Bump in the Night' (PDF, file size: 749.41KB) (2011) 155(2) Solicitors Journal 8-9

This article analyses the recent case of Scout Association v Barnes [2010] EWCA Civ 1476 which concerned a 13-year-old scout who was injured while playing an indoor game during a meeting at their scout hall. This judgment has far wider implications than just the scout movement, indeed as the court themselves realised potentially all recreational activities stand to be reassessed by what is effectively a judicial value judgment of the utility of the risks being run. The inherent problem with this approach, however, is that, if strictly applied, many activities such as climbing or skiing may struggle to demonstrate a wider social utility in the conventional sense of the phrase, and the famous words of George Mallory to answer why he wanted to climb Mount Everest – “Because it’s there” – would no longer apply.

K Lines, ‘School trips: law, guidance and the new attitude to risk’ (2010) ELU

Whilst no one doubts the benefit of learning outside the classroom for pupils at all levels, educators have become reluctant to provide such activities for fear of legal liability. Recent law suggests that risks assessment should change in emphasis, reflecting leaders’ professional judgments on benefits to pupils as well as risks.

K Lines, Racial tension and bullying: the duty to aid integration’ (2010) Education Law Update (Sept)

A violent case of race-conflict has brought schools’ legal duties into the spotlight, writes Kris Lines. This article will look at the recent claim against the school in Webster v Ridgeway Foundation School (2010), where a white pupil was assaulted on school premises by a gang of Asian pupils and older men. We will then explain implications of the case for school safety and for the duty to aid integration in multi-cultural schools.

J Heshka & K Lines, ‘ Ambush Marketing: It’s All About Perspective (PDF, file size: 279.99KB) ’ (2010) Doing Away with Foul Play in Sports Marketing 31-32

How one sees ambush marketing depends upon the eyes of the beholder. Much like the famous perception test designed by Harvard psychologist Edwin Boring where some viewers see a young woman while others see an old woman, how ambush marketing is viewed depends upon what side of the fence you sit. Some marketers may view it as illegal and unethical, while others see it as a necessary and sufficient practice in an increasingly competitive marketplace.
How marketers and lawyers view ambush marketing is ultimately a matter of perspective. Marketers see opportunity and seek to exploit it, to get as close as possible to the line without crossing it. Lawyers, in turn, are on the lookout for marketing campaigns that get too close to the line. It is the duty of in-house lawyers to rein in their marketers when they get too close for comfort, and it is the corresponding responsibility of Crown counsel and lawyers for the competition to detect when the ambush marketer crosses the line and is in breach of the law.
Given the complex relationship between marketing and the law, as well as some companies’ preparedness to capitalize upon unauthorized associations with mega-events, it should come as no surprise that some of the world’s largest companies – including Puma, Kodak and Pepsi – have been both on the giving and receiving end of an ambush.

K Lines & J Heshka, ‘ Advertising: Ambush marketing: FIFA’s rights protection programme (PDF, file size: 286.65KB) (2010) 8 (8) World Sports Law Report 4-6

Assesses FIFA's rights protection regime at the 2010 FIFA football World Cup in South Africa and the ambush marketing tactics employed by two companies. Explains the use of ambush marketing and examines the ambush marketing by association pursued by Nike and the ambush marketing by intrusion in an incident instigated by Bavaria Beer. Comments on the options available to rights holders to combat ambush marketing suggesting that the ejection of 36 women wearing orange mini-skirts showing the Bavaria Beer logo from a football game appeared heavy handed.

Staffordshire University written submission to the DCMS Free-to-Air Events Consultation (PDF, file size: 1.35MB) , 2010

While we agree with the panel's recommendation to keep listing the Summer Olympic Games, we are unable to reconcile the application of the Major Event Test and Proposed Impact Assessment with the panel's conclusion that “the Winter Games should be de-listed altogether as it did not meet the proposed amended criteria.” [Davies 172] In the absence of any reasoning, it is difficult to see how the panel reached the conclusion they did. Indeed surely the simplification of the Major Event Test only makes its application to the Winter Olympics even easier? Similarly, given the Government’s recent declarations on disability sport and participation, it is difficult to reconcile these statements with the snub to disabled sport from effectively saying that the Paralympics are not culturally significant or pre-eminent enough to deserve listing, even though the event will be watched by billions worldwide and involve a national team funded by government and lottery money.

J Heshka, ‘Rules and Rogues – VANOC’s approach to ambush marketers may keep the lawyers happy but the strategy is backfiring’ (2010) Marketing Magazine 37

The Vancouver Organizing Committee has got its staid knickers in a knot over Lululemon’s new clothing line. The retailer’s “Cool Sporting Event That Takes Place in British Columbia Between 2009 and 2001” special edition clothing line has raised the ire of Olympic officials who accuse the yoga-wear company of rogue advertising and unsportsmanlike conduct, and have threatened a “name and shame” campaign to encourage compliance. Even though VANOC concedes no laws have been broken, it believes it has the right to remind the public that Lululemon is not a sponsor of the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympic Games.

K Lines & J Heshka, ‘Assessing the Competency of Sport to Regulate Technology’ (CG Publishing, 2010)

There were 66 swimming records set at the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games – a more than sixfold increase over the number set in Athens in 2004 – and 108 swimming world records set in 2008. The furore over the exotically designed and manufactured swimsuits worn gave rise to allegations that such gear was tantamount to ‘doping on a hangar’. Technology is ubiquitous in sport. Whilst the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) recognizes that technology is to be embraced, sports governing bodies struggle to derive a consistent approach from which to regulate technologies that modify performance. Whereas skating venues compete to see who has the fastest ice, swimming’s governing body seems uncertain what to do with technologies which too serve to make the athlete faster. This paper analyzes the concept of ‘spirit of sport’ as defined by WADA and the conceptual limitations in viewing technology as a performance enhancing method. The paper also evaluates the competency and coherence with which sports governing bodies such as swimming’s FINA (Federation Internationale de Natation), skating’s ISU (International Skating Union), and track’s IAAF (International Association of Athletics Federations) to effectively deal with the interface of technology with sport.

K Lines & J Heshka, ‘A good sport’ (PDF, file size: 469.96KB) (2010) 154/6 Solicitors Journal 13

Discusses the Queen's Bench Division ruling in Uren v Corporate Leisure (UK) Ltd on whether the defendants' failure to conduct a risk assessment in relation to a pool-based competitive game forming part of a workplace fun day amounted to a breach of the defendants' duty of care, where an employee entered the inflatable pool head-first and broke his neck, or whether the risks inherent in such a dive were obvious.

J Heshka & K Lines, ‘E-legacies: The Role of Technology in Olympic Athlete Performance’ (PDF, file size: 248.3KB) (2010) Olympic Games, Vancouver

Technology has played a key – if not understated – role in the evolution of the Olympics. Whereas sport was once thought to pit athletes against each other in a display of raw talent, dedication, toughness and tactics, today’s podium results also involve a legion of technological support. Have these innovations taken the soul out of the Games or are the Olympics now swifter, higher and stronger?

K Lines, “Girls should be allowed to play on Boys’ Teams” in Girls and Sports: Opposing Viewpoints (Greenhaven Press, Maine: 2010)

K Lines, Who says girls can’t play on the same team as boys?’ (2006) Education Law Update

Kris Lines takes the story of a girl who wanted to play mixed football after the age of 12, and explains its implications across the spectrum of school sport.

K Lines & J Heshka, “Sagen v. VANOC: Ski jumping through Olympic-sized hoops” (2009) ISLR

Examines the implications for the International Olympic Committee's selection procedures, and for sport in general, of the British Columbia Supreme Court decision in Sagen v Vancouver Organizing Committee for the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games on whether the lack of an equivalent for women to the three men's ski jumping events planned for the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver constituted gender discrimination contrary to Canada's Charter of Rights and Freedoms. Discusses how the choice of defendant affected the case's outcome.

J Heshka & K Lines, ‘Swimming – Credibility Crisis or Tempest in a Teapot? Assessing FINA’s competency to regulate high-tech swimsuits’ (2009) 16 (3) Sport and the Law Journal 15-25

While the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games witnessed 66 swimming records set in the Water Cube, the furore over the innovative swimsuits worn gave rise to allegations that such gear was tantamount to ‘doping on a hangar’. This paper evaluates the competency of FINA and the coherence of the WADA Code to effectively deal with the interface of technology with swimming in particular and sport in general.

K lines, ‘Lunchtime supervision: new guidance in the case of Palmer’ (2009) ELU

Schools will have to think carefully about using unqualified supervisors.
Kris Lines explains how to bring your supervision regime up to scratch (an analysis of Palmer v. Cornwall County Council[2009] EWCA Civ 456

K Lines, ‘You are allowed to hurt yourself, just not seriously!’ (2009) Education Law Update (ELU), June

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K Lines & J Heshka, ‘ Gridiron Spirit: Cheerleading Is a Contact Sport, Declares the Supreme Court of Wisconsin in Noffke v. Bakke, 2009 WI 10’ (PDF, file size: 1.26MB) (2009) 27 Entertainment & Sports Lawyer 1

Although it is almost axiomatic that recreational activities such as football, hockey, and soccer are contact sports, the courts have been vexed with defining “sport” in general and “contact sport” in particular. The Supreme Court of Wisconsin recently weighed in on this issue in Noffke v. Bakke, 2009 WI 10, 2008 WI App 38, 308 Wis. 2d 410, 748 N.W.2d 195 (Wis. App. 2008). The issue at stake in Noffke was whether a high school cheerleader could recover for head injuries suffered when a stunt went wrong during a practice session.

K Lines, ‘Child’s Play’ (PDF, file size: 483.3KB) (2009) 153/16 Solicitors Journal 12

Comments on the Court of Appeal ruling in Orchard v Lee on whether a 13-year-old school pupil could be held liable in damages for injuries sustained by a lunchtime assistant supervisor after he accidentally ran into her while playing a game of tag in the school playground. Assesses the implications for schools.

K Lines & P Wilding, Flushingout prosecutions’ (PDF, file size: 502.5KB) (2009) 153/9 Solicitors Journal 10

Comments on the implications for future prosecutions under the Hunting Act 2004 of the Divisional Court ruling in DPP v Wright, focusing on the definition of "hunting", the burden of proving that hunting was unlawful, and the available defences.

K Lines, ‘Is Parkour a suitable activity for schools?’ (2009) ELU, May

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K Lines, ‘How to ensure schools have safe cheerleading squads’ (2009) ELU, April

Cheerleading, says Kris Lines, is fast becoming one of the most popular activities in British schools — but it can also be a very dangerous one — and result in a costly negligence action against your school. Make sure instructors are qualified to teach this sport — not simply former cheerleaders themselves, and follow our suggested safety precautions, so that your students can benefit from this uplifting, inclusive activity.

K Lines, ‘Six degrees of sports participation: are the Olympics the common denominator for all sports?’ (2008) 4 ISLR 53

Calls on the International Olympic Committee to establish a central list of sporting activities. Reviews attempts to define what kind of activity can amount to a sport, qualify for public funding or tax privileges, or provide limited exemption from the criminal law against assault. Considers the European Commission White Paper on Sport and the UK Sports Councils' Recognition of Activities and Governing Bodies.

K Lines, Supervision Revisited’ (PDF, file size: 1.03MB) (2008) 152/34 Solicitors Journal 14

Contrasts the approach taken by the High Court and the Court of Appeal in Harris v Perry on the standard of care owed by an unqualified parent supervising the activities of children using a bouncy castle at a child's birthday party. Considers the "reasonably prudent parent" test, and the fact that the dangers associated with somersaulting in bouncy castles had been mentioned in industry guidance but not in the hire agreement signed by the parents. Speculates on the possible liability of the hire company in such a case.

K Lines & J Heshka, Falling in line with the law’ (PDF, file size: 390.03KB) (2008) 158(7330) New Law Journal 1026

Discusses the Court of Appeal ruling in Poppleton v Trustees of the Portsmouth Youth Activities Committee, in which a climber attempting a dangerous manoeuvre in an indoor climbing centre fell on his head causing tetraplegia, on whether the climbing centre was under a duty to supervise or train the users of the climbing equipment or whether the dangers of climbing would have been obvious enough to the average adult. Considers the extent to which adults should be protected from self-inflicted risks or whether they participate at their own risk. Compares the approach of the UK and US courts.

K Lines, ‘Can accidents really happen? What impact do recent negligence cases have on school liability? (parts 1 & 2)’ (2008) ELU

In the latter half of 2008, the courts dealt with a trilogy of cases on the liability of supervisors when a child in their care was injured. What is especially notable about these cases is that in each, a decision of the High Court was later overturned by the Court of the Appeal.
In this two-part feature, we will look at why these decisions were reversed and at their implications for teachers and school support staff. In this article, we explore the facts of the three cases; the effect of the Compensation Act 2006; inherent risk; and the nature of supervision.

K Lines, ‘Thinking Outside the Box(ing) Ring: The implications of Watson v British Boxing Board of Control’ (2007) International Sports Law Review

Examines the liabilities of sports governing bodies in negligence in light of the Court of Appeal decision in Watson v British Boxing Board of Control Ltd on whether the Board could be deemed negligent in failing to provide the necessary specialist medical treatment and, more broadly, in the drafting of its rules. Asks whether the broader and narrower interpretations can be reconciled via an analysis based on: (1) assumption of risk; (2) the activity's purpose; (3) inherent risk; and (4) the action's contribution to incremental development of the law.

K Lines, Sporting Chance’ ( (PDF, file size: 519.14KB) 2007) 151/14 Solicitors Journal, Supp (Personal Injury Focus), 12.

Reviews the Court of Appeal decision in Mountford v Newlands School on whether a school was vicariously liable for the failure of the master of a school rugby team to apply the English Rugby Football School's Union age rule in selecting a pupil who was well over 15 years old to play in an under-15 rugby game, and who unlawfully tackled a 14 year old pupil and broke his elbow. Discusses the factors that should be considered when making a claim in the area, including the type of sporting activity, whether the activity is a training session or competitive fixture, the ages of the pupils and the activity's supervision.

K Lines, ‘The dangers of using sports’ equipment in school PE’ (2006) Education Law Update

Setting out and packing away heavy equipment can be dangerous. Kris Lines sets out safety precautions that will minimise the risks to pupils and staff

K Lines, ‘When should pupils be physically supported? How and by whom?’ (2007) Education Law Update

Kris Lines surveys this highly litigated area — and suggests a step-by-step approach to safety within the law

K Lines, Why mismatching in school sport can be a negligence risk’ (2006) Education Law Update

Physical mismatching in school sport is something we have looked at previously (see this article from October 2006 ). Mismatching occurs when pupils are teamed with others who are physically inappropriate partners or opponents. Such inappropriate matching can result in injury — for which the school, if it has not followed legal guidelines, could be held negligent. This article revisits the issue in the light of an important new case.

K Lines, ‘Health & Safety in Schools’ (2005) Education Law Yearbook

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K Lines, ‘NegligentSchooltrips – why the planning stages are so important’ (2004) Education Law Update

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K Lines, ‘The implications of medical issues for school sports’ (2003) Education Law update

Accidents and injuries will always feature in PE – the key is to anticipate risk and take action to combat it, says Kris Lines. This article will draw together the various guidelines and legal principles and apply them in the context of a PE lesson, in particular looking at:

  • Injuries during the lesson
  • Whether pupils with injuries should continue to take part in an activity
  • Sickness notes

K Lines, ‘Minimising the risks of dangerous sports’ (2003) Education Law Update

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K Lines, ‘Should we continue to play High-risk or Dangerous Sports at school’ (2003) Education Law Update

From warm-up to cool-down, appropriate clothing to correct skill level – there’s a lot you can do to keep pupils safe, writes Kris Lines

K Lines, ‘In my view: Coaching and the Law’ (2003) Faster Higher Stronger

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J Heshka, The Criminality of Doping in Sport (2009) 8 (1-2) International Sports Law Review Pandektis 118-129

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J Heshka, ‘ Law of the LandRedefining Climbing Liability' (2008) 172 Rock and Ice Magazine 22

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J Heshka, ‘Assumption of Risk and Inherent Risk in Outdoor Education’ (2007) Law Review Quarterly 5-21

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J Heshka, S McLarty & G Statham ‘Perspectives on the Standard of Care for Custodial Groups in Outdoor Pursuits’ (2007) Proceedings of the 2007 Wilderness Risk Management Conference

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J Heshka, ‘How Tort Law Operates in Recreation, Sports & Field Trip Environments – Volenti in Higher Outdoor Education’ (2007) Proceedings of The 28th Annual National Conference on Law and Higher Education

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J Heshka, ‘Canada’s Legal Standard of Care for Outdoor Education’ (2006) Canadian Association for the Practical Study of Law in Education 2005 Conference Proceedings 221-242

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