Recent Japanese courts tend to recognize the civil liability of the stakeholders in the sport sector wider than ever. This paper studies a series of Japanese legal cases relating to the severe damages of the spectators caused by a foul ball in the Nippon Professional Baseball (NPB) games. At the US court, the responsibility of the Major Baseball League team had been exempted in most of the cases by applying so-called of “the ballpark rules”, which is printed on the back of the ballpark ticket as the condition of attending the games as a spectator. Meanwhile in Japan, there was no specific legislation or the sporting rules to define the safety standard regarding as the height of the fence which separates the spectator seating from the field of play. Then, defect in event hosting and the venue management had been mostly denied by widely applying the principle so-called of “the spectators’ assumption of risk in the stadium” until the case of 2015 in Sapporo. The Sapporo High Court asks the NPB clubs to consider the level of safety management for the spectators case-by-case, while admitting the certain level of attention by the spectators themselves to avoid the sports-related risks at the stadium should be taken as well. The ruling has significance when the sports sector is seeking the good balance of the safety management of fans on-site and the exciting way of live sports presentation.
Hatanaka, H. (2015). Case Recognizing Civil Liability Regarding the Damages of Injury Caused by a Foul ball. Sin-Hanrei Watch, 99.
Hatanaka, H. (2016). Spectators’ Injury Caused by a Foul Ball, the Defect Liability of the Stadium and the duty of care of the baseball team. Sin-Hanrei Watch, 121.
Ishii, N. (2013). Civil Liability for Accidents during Sports Activities: A Study Focusing on Sports Organizations in France. Japan J. of Phys. Educ., Hlth & sport sci., 58, 637-662. doi.org/10.5432/jjpehss.120834
Juliano J. and Healey, A. C. (2009). Update: Ballpark Liability and the Baseball Rule. Legally Speaking (Winter). Retrieved from http://www.legallyspeakingonline.com/archive_winter09-10_update.html.
Natsui, T. (2015). Civil Liabilities for Blindness of a Spectator Caused by a Foul Ball during the Professional Baseball Game. Case Study for Local Governance, 393, 90.
Sport Safety Association. The Civil Liability Insurance for the Sport and Cultural Organization. Retrieved from http://www.sportsanzen.org/hojin/.
How to cite this paper
Risk Management during Sport Activities: Analysis of the Recent Legal Case in Japan Regarding Foul Ball Damages on a Spectator in a Ballpark
How to cite this paper: Nobuki Ishii, Hiromi Nakamura. (2021). Risk Management during Sport Activities: Analysis of the Recent Legal Case in Japan Regarding Foul Ball Damages on a Spectator in a Ballpark. The Educational Review, USA, 5(4), 91-97.