Is it a battery or an assault?Discuss the legal issues involved with a deliberate elbow to the face or a knee to the groin in basketball, the deliberate use of spikes by a runner in baseball, eye...

Is it a battery or an assault?

Discuss the legal issues involved with a deliberate elbow to the face or a knee to the groin in basketball, the deliberate use of spikes by a runner in baseball, eye gouging in football, or other violence that causes unnecessary injuries in the sports arena.

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dano7744 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

An assault is an attempt to commit a battery and a battery is a successful assault. A battery is an intentional, actual touching of another that is knowingly committed. In other words, a battery is on purpose and it is no accident.

People that play sports at any level assume some of the risk of sustaining an injury. They are aware of the inherent risk's and they choose to play and accept the risk. However, in your examples above, a deliberate, intentional action of touching or striking has taken place and is therefore battery.

Whether the touching occurred during the course of playing a sport or not is irrelevant for the rule. Professional athletes however, are probably less likely to file charges if they are subject to this type of action. Players must answer to league and association rules of conduct and may be disciplined if they do not.

pohnpei397 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Technically speaking, any of these actions that you describe could be prosecuted as assualts or batteries.  However, they typically are not.  The only prosecutions I can remember are a couple from hockey (stick swinging attacks) and none of those got nearly the kind of penalty you would get for such an attack outside a hockey context.

The reason for this is because of the idea of implied consent.  When you go play a sport, it is sort of implied that someone might use execessive physical force against you.  Therefore, the law infers that you consented to undergo that danger.  In that case, the other party is not typically prosecuted.

In addition, there is the idea that those kinds of incidents are just part of the game and should not be prosecuted.

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