Eligibility rules, performance enhancing drugs, selection criteria, commercial complexities and contractual difficulties are among the bewildering array of disputes faced by Irish sportsmen and women and the various organizations and governing bodies.
- Resources are scarce for all Irish sports bodies. Contesting, even being represented at, a formal court hearing is an expensive drain on those resources.
- Most sports operate on a seasonal basis. Pending litigation can seriously disrupt the nature of a season and the outcome of competitions.
- Most of Ireland’s sports communities small, personalised and largely informal in operation. The adversarial and public nature of the ordinary courts system often aggravates situations hugely leading to demoralized players and officials – often for years if not generations
- The recent increase in sports litigation is worrying in that it possibly reflects a fundamental lack of trust by participants in the ability of their governing organisations to deal with appeals in a fair, transparent and efficient manner.
All of these difficulties can be addressed at an early stage in Sports Mediation where matters can be aired and resolved in an open transparent way through the impartiality and assistance of the Mediator in assisting the parties to come to outcomes acceptable to all sides.