New Peer-Reviewed Student Sports Law Journal: ‘Laws of the Game’

September 9, 2015


Today marks the launch of our new Peer-reviewed online student sports law journal entitled Laws of the Game. The journal is registered with the British Library (ISSN: 2058-7244) and will be freely available online as a resource. Although the journal is hosted via Staffordshire University’s website, it very much represents a multi-institution collaboration between our editors, reviewers, and indeed authors.

I’ve reproduced the editorial of the first edition below and would strongly encourage you to read the articles. If anybody would like to become involved with the journal, we are now looking for student submissions for edition 2 in January 2016, and academics and practitioners who would like to be involved with the peer-review of these articles….


It is with great pleasure that we are able to publish the first edition (volume 1, number 1) of the peer-reviewed online journal – The Laws of the Game ( Although the journal is intended as a platform for emerging sports law practitioners, we hope that the high-quality of the papers will make it a useful and interesting resource for academics, practitioners and sports industry professionals alike.

All of the papers have undergone detailed blind peer-review processes conducted by a number of academics from a variety of institutions. Indeed, it is to the high credit of the authors, that while this might represent their first publication (of hopefully many in the future), I hope you will agree that the papers are worthy editions to the international pantheon of sports law literature.

It is intended that the journal is not just written by students, but also managed by students – supported, where necessary by academic advisors. By allowing student editors to communicate directly with subject specialists and practitioners, the journal fulfils two important goals: allowing students to acquire valuable team-working and publication skills, but also perhaps more importantly, encouraging students to develop and extend their professional networks.

If you would like to become involved in the journal, whether as an author, editor or as an established academic / practitioner reviewing submissions, please let us know…

Volume 1, Issue 1 contains a wide selection of papers grouped into five broad topics:
Leigh Thompson discusses doping in the context of a case-study on Alberto Contador and his battles with contaminated meat. The article examines the Contador case in detail, focussing in particular on the difficulties arising from the interplay between the provisions of the then 2009 World Anti-Doping Code relating to burdens and standards of proof and sanctioning, and whether these have been addressed in the revised 2015 World Anti-Doping Code.

In the Commercial Regulation section, Reece Savage-West discusses the shifting regulatory models underpinning the Ultimate Fighting Championship and the mixed-martial arts sector, and analyses whether its modern corporate respectability might alienate its core market. In the longest of our papers, Emma Lilley presents the results of her very interesting primary research into anti-corruption. In particular, the paper analyses the recommendations posed by Rick Parry’s “Report of the Sports Betting Integrity Panel 2002” and considers whether any of the conclusions of the 2002 report have been taken on board by the relevant UK sporting bodies.

The third section looks at a variety of event management issues through a number of case-studies. With the forthcoming 2015 Rugby World Cup just around the corner, Di Nixon takes us back to New Zealand 2011 Rugby World Cup and reviews the identification of risks in the lead-up to their lavish opening ceremony. Leigh Thompson reviews the safety risks to participants and spectators in road cycling through the lens of the 2006 Tour of Britain race and highlights the difference between the identification of risks in advance of an event and their management in a ‘live’ environment. Finally, Nic Scott reviews the security risks involved in hosting mega-sporting events through a comparison of the 2002 (Manchester) & 2014 (Glasgow) Commonwealth Games, and the 2012 Olympic & Paralympic Games held in London.

In the Personal injury section, Sam Sherwin looks at the potential liabilities and issues from enforcing timed injury assessment and treatment breaks during competitions. Indeed, as the recent controversy over injuries at the Australian Open tennis shows, such a topic is particularly current in many other sports too. Jennifer Jolley examines in detail the recent Northern Ireland ice hockey case of Browning v. Odyssey. This case is particularly interesting given its analysis on the standard of care owed by stadium owners to children and the extent to which a risk can be so small that it is justifiable for the reasonable man to ignore it. Finally Olivia Goodrich explores the liability of equestrian event organisers towards the spectators at their ground. The paper will conclude by arguing that three areas in particular (the liabilities towards general spectators, media personnel and officials) merit further research and clarity.

The last section of this edition of the journal is devoted to what we call Polemics, or shorter (perhaps more controversial) discussions. Charlie Pritchard analyses the Greenpeace ambush of the 2013 Belgian Grand Prix and discusses the effectiveness of such an approach. Matt Howes discusses the implications of the recent craze of spectator “selfies” whilst road racing cyclists are competing on public roads. Lastly Charlie Howe explores whether a claim can be made for psychiatric injuries following a horse and/or jockey becoming injured during the race, and what implications this might have for events in the future.

We hope that you enjoy the first edition, and we are now welcoming submissions for the second edition later this year on any sports law topic….

Kris Lines, Jon Heshka, Dr Karolina Tetlak & Dr Jo Beswick

About Kris

Associate Professor in Sports Law, Staffordshire University; British Gymnastics Senior Coach

View all posts by Kris

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