The Basketball Court of Arbitration’s Key Principles on Player Contracts (Part 1 – Training)

Friday April 08th, 2022 By Antanas Paulauskas

Unlike FIFA, with its Regulations on the Status and Transfer of Players, the International Basketball Federation (FIBA) has been reluctant to directly regulate the employment relationship between players and clubs. Book 3 of the FIBA ​​Internal Regulations simply suggested the main points to be covered in the employment contract[1]. Historically, some basketball clubs have taken advantage of the unregulated environment and violated players’ rights by not respecting the terms of the contract.

To address these issues and preserve contract enforcement and contractual stability in basketball, FIBA ​​established the FIBA ​​Arbitral Tribunal – later renamed the Basketball Arbitral Tribunal (BAT) – in 2007. Although the jurisdiction of BAT is based on a voluntary agreement between the parties (i.e. the employment contract must refer to it), BAT has become so popular that many agents acting at the name players now insist that an arbitration clause in favor of BAT be included in the contract[2].

This series of three articles analyzes BAT’s case law on the formation and execution of basketball employment contracts. It will aim to isolate the main legal principles of BAT, then to propose a model to guide practitioners when drafting contracts or resolving disputes. Part 1 (below) focuses on the formation of contracts, looking in particular at:

  • Formal requirements to consider a contract formed and binding;
  • Requirements relating to the content of contracts; and
  • Pre-contractual rights and obligations.

Copies of the cases mentioned throughout can be downloaded here.[3]

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Hits 210 Posted in Basketball | Sports | Contract | Dispute Resolution | Employment | items | Regulation & Governance

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Written by

Antanas Paulauskas

Antanas Paulauskas

Antanas Paulauskas is Associate Partner of the law firm ADLEX, based in Vilnius (Lithuania). Antanas is a sports lawyer, who regularly consults professional athletes, sports clubs, sports federations and other organizations and represents them in disputes before national courts and arbitrations.

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