7 Tips For Dealing With A Complaint In Sport And Recreation

Wrongdoing in sports and recreational fields is quite rampant. Every other day there are reports in the newspaper about some person who is facing issues like bullying or biasedness by his team members or coach. And if you are a professional sportsperson, chances are that you will be facing such cases more than once in your career. Hence it is crucial to know about sport and recreation complaints resolution mechanisms.

Common Complaints Of Sports Persons

A sports person may face issues like bullying or harassment by fellow team members, the coach, the federation, or the public. There are many instances of social media bullying of sports stars if they do not perform well. Many athletes also face physical abuse within the premises of the sporting arena. At times some players are wrongly accused of consuming drugs. So there can be many reasons why a player might need the help of some external agency to resolve their issues.

What Should A Sportsman Do If Something Is Bothering Him

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1. Try Talking To The Coach Or The Captain Of The Team

If you face harassment or abuse by your team members, then the first person to talk to is your coach. If you play a team sport, you can also speak to the captain of your team. However, it is crucial to be gentle while talking to the coach or captain. You should try to calmly explain your concern and seek their help in resolving the issues.

If it is a small issue like a case of verbal abuse, chances are that the coach will be able to solve it. But there are cases where you might be harassed by the coach or the captain himself; if that is the case, then you might have to look for other options.

2. You Can Lodge An Official Complaint With The Sports Federation

The sports federation takes care of the funding for players, the affiliation of players, the hiring of coaches, etc. If you are facing extreme bullying, then you can lodge an official complaint with the sports federation in your country.

However, this step should only be taken in severe cases. The sports federation will not encourage trivial matters. Moreover, any action by the sports federation, like banning a player or dismissal of a coach, will permanently hamper their career.

Also, you should never lodge a complaint with the intention of seeking revenge because chances are there that you yourself might be penalized for raising a non-trivial issue.

3. It Is Always A Good Idea To Go For Sports And Recreation Mediation

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A sports and recreation mediator is a person who resolves problems between two players, two clubs, etc. If you have any complaints, be it getting damages for a defamation suit, any case of verbal or physical abuse, or any case of favoritism, you can seek help from a mediator. A mediator will listen to the arguments of both parties, and he will try to give a solution that is acceptable to both parties.

Going to a mediator might be a better option than going to the court because cases can drag on for years in a court. Moreover, since the mediator is acceptable to both parties, chances are that any decision given by a mediator will be implemented more easily than a court order.

4. Do Not Go The Press In A Hurry

Many people make the mistake of rushing to the press whenever they are in the middle of a crisis. However, you should never rush to the media, as it can be counterproductive. The press might sensationalize the issue, and this might delay your quest for justice.

Moreover, if you do not have solid evidence of wrongdoing, you should never go to the press or else the other party might charge you with defamation.

5. Handling Social Media Bullying

Social media is a great way for the public to interact with each other and their favorite stars, but it is also vicious for bullying and harassment. If you are being harassed on social media, the most prudent thing to do is block the abusive person.

Apart from this, you can also write an official complaint to the headquarters of the social media company reporting the handle that harassed you. Most social media companies take harassment complaints quite seriously, and chances are that an abuser’s account might be blocked or banned for quite a while.

6. Dealing With Wrongdoings At A Gym Or A Recreational Center

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If a gym or a recreational center is charging too much money or if they deny any facilities to you, then you can write to the higher management of the gym or recreational center. But even in this case, the first step should be to openly discuss the issue and try to resolve it by having a healthy discussion.

7. Try To Introspect

Whenever you face an issue at work or in your personal life, your first step should be to introspect. People are sometimes blind to their faults and might be unable to see things from another person’s point of view. For instance, a coach might be strict, but that does not mean that he is a bully. So if you are facing a problem with someone, try to take a step back and reanalyze the situation. If you realize your mistake, things might get sorted without making it nasty.


Sportspersons are bound to have issues in their career, but most of the issues can be dealt with in a harmonious way. Many sports persons have realized the importance of mediation in resolving conflicts smoothly hence most of them choose mediation to resolve their issues.

However, the most crucial thing in resolving any conflict is the willingness to see from the other person’s point of view. If you are willing to discuss, negotiate and compromise, chances are that you will have no long-standing issues, and most of the problems will get sorted in an amicable manner.