Sport Law Connect Program increases access to dispute resolution services in sport
Provincial Sport Organizations (PSOs) in B.C. will have access to a free resource that connects them with individuals who are trained in alternative dispute resolution practices, are free from conflict of interest and can lead a professional and timely process.
Created by the Sport Dispute Resolution Centre of Canada (SDRCC), the Sport Law Connect Program is the first of its kind in Canada. This program is being piloted in partnership with viaSport BC, the Alternative Dispute Resolution Institute of B.C. (ADRBC), and law students from the University of British Columbia and the University of Victoria.
Law students from participating universities as well as members of ADRBC assist amateur sport organizations with disputes by informally facilitating the resolution of such disputes or by acting as members on disciplinary or internal appeal panels. Additionally, they are offered training by the SDRCC to complement their education, allowing them to handle a wide variety of sport-related cases, including disciplinary issues, team selection, resource allocation, governance, policy application and field-of-play protests.
A sport dispute can occur when a sport organization takes an action that an individual disagrees with, after which they ask for the action to be reviewed. Many amateur sport organizations have limited resources, may lack the capacity to handle internal appeals, or cannot afford to outsource dispute resolution processes. viaSport is designated as the provincial administrator for this pilot program and will serve as the clearinghouse for all requests in B.C. The SDRCC hopes to eventually deploy the program in other Canadian provinces and territories.