Violence in Sports: It Matters To Your Children


Four Different Levels of Violence in Sports

Violence in sports consists of overly aggressive physical acts that occur in all types of contact sports and go beyond normal play, placing the welfare and safety of players at risk. High levels of testosterone in athletes and the animal behavior to establish territory could also lead to violent behavior.

These violent acts may range from a simple elbow jab to a brutal attack on another player, but as the level of aggression grows, the danger to the players grows, as well. This video by uhcagent on YouTube shows all aspects of violence in sports. It’s graphic and shows bad sportsmanship for the players and fans.

Some experts have identified four different levels of violence in sports, each of which increases in intensity of aggression and violence toward other players.

1.  Body Contact

The first type of sports violence is body contact, which is often accepted as a normal part of many contact sports, such as tackles in football and body checks in hockey. Players know that body contact is a part of these sports, and everyone expects that this type of body contact will occur. Even though body contact sometimes leads to injuries and can be quite brutal, athletes are expected to initiate body contact in these sports in order to successfully play the game.

2.  Borderline Violence

The next type of sports violence is borderline violence. These acts are not normal parts of a contact sport; rather, they are illegal tactics that players often use to play “dirty” or get back at an opponent for a perceived slight. Borderline violence might include the outbreak of a fistfight in hockey or a sharp elbow throw while playing soccer.

These moves are not technically allowed, but players often utilize them in order to intimidate their opponents. These actions have become an expected part of contact sports. The concerns of this type of violence are the impact it may have on children watching the sport and observing the violence played over and over by the ‘Media.’ The Children may copy this activity, or imitate it, or just become non-sensitive to violence.

3.  Quasi-Criminal Violence

The third type of sports violence is quasi-criminal violence, which include actions that violate the formal rules of the game. These violations can lead to game penalties, such as suspensions and even expulsions. Cheap shots and flagrant fouls can potentially hurt other athletes, and so game officials will punish players who take such actions.

4.  Criminal Violent Behavior

The final level of sports violence involves criminal violent behavior, which clearly not only violates the rules of a game, but also violates the law. No athlete should sanction such behavior, and it is clearly outside the norm of even the roughest contact sport. An example of a criminal act might be a premeditated assault on a player using a hockey stick as a weapon.

Fueled by Fans

Sports violence is often heightened not only by the players themselves, but also by the crowd. Depending on various characteristics of the crowd, the intensity of sports violence can increase quickly. Larger crowds at serious or important sporting events, particularly where the spectators tend to consume alcohol, can fuel the level of sports violence that occurs during a particular sporting event.

While some fans and commentators seem to see sport violence as inevitable, the opposite contingent claims that aggressive sports play need not always lead to gratuitous violence that crosses the line between the permissible and impermissible. The difficulty can be in balancing the athlete’s passion for success and the fan’s drive for a competitive, exciting game, with the need to protect our athletes from potentially serious harm.

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