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Violence in youth sports: hazing, brawling and foul play
 Authors Below
  1. S K Fields1,
  2. C L Collins2,
  3. R D Comstock2,3
 The Ohio State University, College of Education, School of Physical Activity and Educational Services, Columbus, Ohio, USA

  1. Center for Injury Research and Policy, The Research Institute at Nationwide Children’s Hospital, Columbus, Ohio, USA

  2. The Ohio State University, College of Medicine, Department of Pediatrics and College of Public Health, Division of Epidemiology, Ohio, USA
  1. Correspondence toDr R D Comstock, Center for Injury Research and Policy, The Research Institute at Nationwide Children’s Hospital, College of Medicine, Department of Pediatrics, The Ohio State University, 700 Children’s Drive, Columbus, OH 43205, USA;


By separating hazing, brawling, and foul play and failing to recognise 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 recognised 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.

By Hank Nuwer

Hank Nuwer is the Indiana-based author of Hazing: Destroying Young Lives; Broken Pledges: The Deadly Rite of Hazing, High School Hazing, Wrongs of Passage and The Hazing Reader. He has written articles or columns on hazing for the Sunday Times of India, Toronto Globe & Mail, Harper's Magazine, Orlando Sentinel, The Chronicle of Higher Education and the New York Times Sunday Magazine. His new book is Hazing: Destroying Young Lives from Indiana University Press.

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