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Sports-Related Violence: Hazing, Brawling, and Foul Play
  1. Sarah K Fields1,
  2. Christy L Collins2,
  3. R. Dawn Comstock3,*
  1. 1 The Ohio State University, College of Education, School of Physical Activity and Educational Service, United States;
  2. 2 Center for Injury Research and Policy, The Research Institute at Nationwide Children’s Hospital, United States;
  3. 3 The Ohio State University, Nationwide Children's Hospital, United States
  1. Correspondence to: R. Dawn Comstock, Center for Injury Research and Policy, The Ohio State University, Children's Research Institute, Children's Hospital Center for Injury Research and Policy, 700 Children's Drive, Columbus, Ohio, 43205, United States; comstocd{at}


By separating hazing, brawling, and foul play and failing to recognize that their connection to sport binds them together into a cohesive subset of sport injury and youth violence, past research has failed to show how sports-related violence is a broad example of interpersonal violence. The acceptance of violence within the sporting culture may, in part, explain why sports-related violence has not yet been widely recognized as a public health concern.

This review shows that sports-related violence, including hazing, brawling, and foul play, occurs among youth athletes of all ages and in a variety of different sports. The few studies to address this issue have all acknowledged the dangers of sports-related violence; however, no incident tracking method has been developed. Future research must provide accurate national estimates of the incidence of sports-related violence among youth, identify associated risk factors, evaluate preventive interventions, and identify effective methods of distributing and implementing evidence-based interventions. Monitoring the magnitude and distribution of the burden of sports-related violence and building the scientific infrastructure necessary to support the development and widespread application of effective sports-related prevention interventions are essential first steps toward a reduction in the incidence of sports-related violence.

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