Injury breaks in fencing: where does the liability lie?

Sam Sherwin

Abstract


Sports at any level, but particularly the higher levels with professional athletes, often have problems with injuries interrupting gameplay. In team sports, the player can usually either be substituted for a replacement or the teams can carry on with fewer players. Individual sports such as fencing however present a different problem. Do you let players continue on toward glory and simply push past the potential injury at the potential risk to their health, or should players be forced to retire from the field and lose their place in the competition? Whose fault would it be if a player became badly injured after being allowed to carry on?

Fencing is a highly competitive and unique sport that remains an individualistic competition even when performed as a team sport. While it has all the injury problems that plague sporting competition, the available solutions are often not as clear-cut as they could (or should) be. This paper investigates the potential liability arising from this lack of clarity.

Keywords: Negligence, Regulation, Medical, Injuries, Retirement, Rule-making, Governing Bodies


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