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NSW Australian Law on Different Rules Being Applied to Different Clubs?

Discussion in 'Other/General Law Forum' started by ibeme, 25 June 2016.

  1. ibeme

    ibeme Member

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    Hello,

    Is there an Australian law that prevents different rules from being applied to different clubs within a sporting body? We have a sports club in a small town. Being a small town, we don't have enough quality players to form a team for the top grade. As a result, we've entered a team in the second grade, and we have in place a 'portability' agreement with another club who does have a first grade. Such an agreement is required for clubs such as ours to be allowed into the competition. The portability agreement basically aligns the two clubs and allows players to play for one club in the top grade and the other club in the second grade. It allows two clubs to join forces while maintaining their identity, and as mentioned, is a requirement for inclusion into the competition for clubs without a top grade side.

    The issue is that we have a player registered with our side who has been ruled by the head sporting executive to be too good to play in the second grade (this ruling in itself is questionable). This player has NOT been selected in the top grade, and only wants to play with his friends in the second grade. He has played as a substitute player in the top grade and continues to be available in that capacity if called upon. The difference is that clubs who have both grades are free to play top grade players in their second grade if they see fit to do so. They have the freedom to select their own teams, and the top sides have many top grade quality players playing in the second grade because they have a lot of top grade players available.

    Our club and the other club in the competition without a top grade have both banned from playing one of our registered players in second grade. Despite the ruling, our club played the player. That player has now been banned from the second grade for 12 months. Our club has been fined $500, and threatened with a $5000 fine if he plays again. This is despite being cleared to play reserve grade earlier in the season. He was graded out of playing for our club in a match that we lost and based on a poor individual performance. Basically, the grading appeared to be predetermined. It wasn't based on his performance at all.

    The issue is, other clubs have played better players than the player in question in their second grade and are allowed to do so. We're restricted from doing so. The rules only seems to apply to the two sides without a top grade. For the record, the win/loss record with this player in the side is two losses and one win, so he's hardly a game-changer. It's a rule that was introduced because other clubs feared that sides could 'stack' their second-grade sides, but the reality is that both clubs without the top grade are running mid pack and don't have the same quality as some other second grade sides in the completion.

    Is such a rule that only applies to some second-grade sides but not others legal? If not, how would we go about challenging the validity of the rule in the first place?
     
  2. Rod

    Rod Well-Known Member

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    Assuming your club belongs to a country association/league, check out your appeal rights to the parent association/league. I suspect you have legal rights on your side but go through your sporting code's appeal process in the first instance.
     
  3. ibeme

    ibeme Member

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    Thanks for your help, Rod. Unfortunately, when the club approached the parent league, it basically said that it wasn't interested in getting involved, and would rather leave it up to our child league to sort it out. That kind of killed the motivation to officially appeal the situation.

    My hope is that if we could somehow prove that the rule itself is invalid, then any findings stemming from that rule would also be deemed invalid.
     
  4. Rod

    Rod Well-Known Member

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    Understand your frustration.

    What sport is this?

    Did you approach the parent league in a formal way ie writing? Was the approach made to the right area?

    You can go to court for an injunction asking to have the player play until a trial can be heard. But you need a lawyer to help you. You could also try using mediation as an alternative to court. Google NSW ADR mediators
     

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