It is my great pleasure to preview Sports a nd Antitrust Law from the
TSPA. Over the past few decades, both amateur and professional sports
have become a central part of our economy, our leisure time and, for the
lucky few, what they get to do for a living. And, as technology continues
to evolve in leaps and bounds, sports seems to be continuously in our
lives, especially as fans: giving us hopes, joy and, at times,
disappointmentbut always in the wonderfully suspended animation of
a reality that does not really count.
Antitrust took its time catching up to sports. It was not until the
NCAA decision in 1984 that the Supreme Court thoroughly addressed a
sports antitrust case, and until the 1990s most sports cases dealt either
with team relocations, collective bargaining disputes and the distinction
between amateur and professional sports. But as the sports and
entertainment industry evolvedand, again, especially with new
technologies and modes of distributionmore sports antitrust cases have
been litigated and many new fact patterns are being explored.
To be sure, there will be more. It was only in 2010 that the Court in
American Needle finally addressed the single-entity question in the
sports context, and its treatment of that doctrine certainly will not
diminish the number of cases involving sports leagues or other ventures.
Likewise, the seemingly never settled nature of the rule of reason,
coupled with steady industry growth and technological advancement,
will continue to present a myriad of fact patterns for courts to consider.
Finally, because sports often has economic and contractual relationships
that are somewhat unique among industries, there is little doubt that
sports law will continue to evolve as much as settle.
Sports and Antitrust Law attempts to take the reader mid-stream into
this fast-moving current. In this sense, the Handbook is neither a primer
on general antitrust principles nor a look backward at the history of
sports law. Both of these are treated lightly just to provide context.
Instead, the primary goal is to present the state of the law across a
number of topics and to offer a resource on the most current cases and
issues, both for the seasoned practitioner or the novice antitrust sports
To this end, Chapter I discusses exemptions, including the ever-
evolving labor exemption most relevant to the major sports leagues.
Chapter II addresses the threshold issue of what is not covered by the
Sherman Actnamely, non-commercial restraints and on-field rules
and discipline. Chapter III presents the basic analytical framework of the

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