Tuesday, August 3, 2010

USA Swimming's Attempts to Ban Technologies

Tara Bhupathi, a rising 3L at the University of North Carolina School of Law and an Editor on the North Carolina Journal of Law and Technology, has posted on SSRN a copy of her article in the New York State Bar Association's Art, Entertainment and Sports Law Journal on USA Swimming's attempts to ban certain technologies and the antitrust implications of those attempts. USA Swimming is the national governing body of competitive swimming in the United States. Tara was a member of the women's crew team at Georgetown University, from where she graduated in 2006.

Here's an abstract of her article:
This article argues that the Ninth Circuit acknowledged the risk of financial interests influencing decisions to ban certain equipment because of the broad economic scope of the sports industry, governing bodies' unchecked authority over said market, and the sentiment that, in light of each governing body's heavy reliance on sponsorships, complete disregard of financial motives in governance is no longer appropriate.

Further, courts should continue to implement the Ninth Circuit's policy of increasing scrutiny of governing body financial interests in rule-making for two reasons. First, shedding light on the complex and competing financial interests among industry players, including fans, athletes, teams, leagues, communities, media, and sponsors, should enhance confidence in the purity of a governing body's decisions. Second, abandoning complete deference in governing bodies could ease manufacturers' fears of investing in technology only to be subsequently banned due to collusion between market competitors and the governing bodies. This in turn would mitigate the stifling effect the latter have had on technological developments in sports equipment.
This is a very informative and interesting article. I recommend checking it out.