The author is an assistant professor of public and environmental affairs at Indiana University and a AAA labor arbitrator. She was formerly a partner in the Hartford, Conn., law firm Shipman and Goodwin.
Arbitration became the tool for resolution of amateur sports disputes in 1978 with the passage of the Amateur Sports Act. Since then, the ADR procedure has had to hurdle problems arising from conflicts between the various national and international organizations that administer amateur athletic competitions, including the Olympics. These logjams-jurisdictional disputes between amateur sports groups and questions concerning opportunities to participate in amateur sports-continue, presenting a special challenge to sports dispute arbitrators.