To read this content please select one of the options below:

Complexities in Canadian Legal Approaches to Sports Injury

The Suffering Body in Sport

ISBN: 978-1-78756-069-7, eISBN: 978-1-78756-068-0

Publication date: 24 July 2019



It is unclear from Canadian case law what the appropriate legal standards of care and regulation should be in athlete injury cases. This chapter provides an overview of existing legal standards and explores the question of participant liability in sport, especially ice hockey. It reviews the applicability of tort law, including both intentional torts and unintentional torts, and considers the applicability and impact of the notion of ‘volenti non fit injuria’ (or voluntary assumption of risk).


The chapter is based on a review of Canadian case law.


Canadian courts have adopted varying standards whereby it is seemingly easier to prove negligence in certain provinces than others. We discuss the implications of these conflicting jurisdictional standards and the need for clearer and more consistent legal guidelines. Further, we show why appropriate legal standards should extend beyond purely objective and legalistic interpretations to more subjective and sociological factors that place sports violence and sports injury in social context.



Dennie, M. and Young, K. (2019), "Complexities in Canadian Legal Approaches to Sports Injury", The Suffering Body in Sport (Research in the Sociology of Sport, Vol. 12), Emerald Publishing Limited, Leeds, pp. 141-161.



Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2019 Emerald Publishing Limited