Managing Coronavirus in the NBA: A Success Story

The NBA returned to action in July with teams currently in the process of competing in eight regular season matches before the playoffs commence.Basketball arena


The return to action has been full of drama on the court and has been, without a doubt, a success. In the most recent round of COVID testing, all 343 players tested inside the league bubble at Disney World tested negative for the third week in a row. Players who have tested positive are required to quarantine until they test negative. Similarly, players who leave the bubble or breach the bubble’s rules will have to quarantine for at least four days and be required to test negative before exiting quarantine. However, Lou Williams, of the Los Angeles Clippers, was required to quarantine for 10 days after attending a funeral (which was sanctioned by the league) but appeared to break the league’s rules by visiting a restaurant before returning to the bubble. This demonstrates the NBA’s careful and precautionary approach to matters in Orlando. Continue Reading

Prize promotions in sport

With the sporting world wrestling with the effects of COVID-19, stakeholders in the industry are considering various ways in which they may boost engagement with fans and increase their profile. Carlton Daniel and Ailin O’Flaherty recently wrote an article for Sports Business Daily looking at the benefits and challenges of running international prize draws for those operating in the sports sector as well as some key legal issues to consider. You can read the article here. If you are considering running a prize draw, please contact Carlton Daniel or Ailin O’Flaherty for further information on how Squire Patton Boggs can support you.

Women’s Sport in lockdown: Rugby’s next phase

Unlike the men’s competition, which is set to restart in August following a COVID-19 enforced suspension, the top tier of English women’s rugby, the Tyrells Premier 15s (“Premier 15s”), was declared null and void back in March.  Regulation 22.9 of the Rugby Football Union (“RFU”) Regulations brought the season to a premature end:

“The Tyrrells Premier 15s season shall be deemed concluded on 16 March 2020, there shall be no playoffs, and there shall be no winner of that competition.” Continue Reading

The postponement of Tokyo 2020: Sponsor perspectives

The global COVID-19 pandemic has affected many areas of the sporting world, resulting in cancellations and postponements across the globe. The Olympic and Paralympic Games (together, the “Games”) are just two of many high-profile events that have been affected by the pandemic. The Games were due to take place in Tokyo, Japan between July and September 2020. However, both events were postponed, with the Olympic Games now due to take place between 23 July and 8 August 2021 and the Paralympic Games due to take place between 24 August and 5 September 2021. This is a momentous decision; it is the first time since the Second World War that the Games have been postponed. Organisers took the decision following World Health Organisation advice. The 2021 Games will still take place in Tokyo and they will keep the ‘Tokyo 2020’ name. Continue Reading

FIFA announces changes to the transfer window

Sports Shorts previously commented on the FIFA guidelines that were recently published to address some of the practical issues that arose as a consequence of the COVID-19 crisis. FIFA has now published temporary amendments to its FIFA Regulations on the Status and Transfer of Players (“RSTP“), which are binding. FIFA also published recommendations in response to Frequently Asked Questions, which are non-binding.

The temporary amendments are as

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The suspension or the end of the 3pm blackout?

With less than one week to go until the Premier League resumes, English football fans are going to have the opportunity to watch every game for the first time ever. On 3 April 2020 UEFA announced that it had accepted a request from the Premier League to suspend the 3pm blackout rule which has prevented broadcasters from showing 3pm games on Saturdays since long before the Premier League era. With so many matches to be played in quick succession, only a handful will actually take place at 3pm on a Saturday, but this could be a significant step towards changing football broadcasting for good. Could this be the historical spark that changes the status quo?

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NBA answers a number of questions about season resumption

Since our last article about the challenges faced by the NBA as a result of COVID-19, the NBA’s Board of Governors voted to resume the season on 31 July at Disney World Orlando.

The Board of Governors is made up of the owners of each NBA team and voted 29-1 to resume the season. As predicted, the season’s resumption involves a modification of the usual season format. Continue Reading

Cheating in esports: Lessons to learn from the Formula E Racing at Home Challenge

As Sports Shorts reported last month, many ‘traditional’ sports have turned to esports during the COVID-19 pandemic in order to maintain engagement with fans while their own competitions have been cancelled or postponed. However, esports can be vulnerable to scandal in much the same way as regular sports. In this blog, we will look at a case that has brought into sharp focus the issue of cheating in esports and the importance of having competition rules that cover this behaviour. Continue Reading

Agreement Not To Poach Footballers Could Be In Breach Of Competition Rules

The Portuguese Competition Authority (“PCA”) last week ordered the Portuguese Professional Football League (“LPFP”) to suspend no-poach agreements implemented between clubs.  This follows the adoption by the LPFP of a resolution whereby football clubs agreed not to hire football players from other clubs “who unilaterally terminated their employment contract due to issues caused by the COVID-19 pandemic”.

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Leonard v Nike: Copyright in the Klaw

Kawhi Leonard has been in the headlines for all of the right reasons recently. He led the Toronto Raptors to the franchise’s first NBA championship and won the Finals MVP before leaving in free agency to play for the Los Angeles Clippers. Leonard became an internet sensation for his quiet and private demeanour with fans revealing certain nuances such as his motto “board man gets paid” and his hands that have been measured at 11.5 inches across.

Whilst at San Diego State University (between 2009 and 2011), Leonard designed a logo, which was a sketch of his hand, incorporating a “KL” and “2” within the sketch. Leonard entered the NBA Draft in 2011 and signed an endorsement contract with Nike. Leonard’s defensive prowess on the basketball court earnt him the nickname of the ‘Klaw’, which certainly fits in with the logo he originally designed.

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