Safety in sport

People should engage in sport safely. There should be clear rules and a minimum risk of injury. Violence, discrimination and threatening behaviour have no place in sport. The government funds various activities to increase safety in sport.

Sportsmanship and respect

The government wants everyone to be able to enjoy sport without being harassed, intimidated or assaulted. The Action Plan for Sportsmanship and Respect aims to enhance safety in sport by, for instance:

  • laying down and enforcing the game rules and rules on sportsmanship in order to prevent and tackle undesirable behaviour;
  • ensuring that sports clubs, the police and the courts adopt a tougher line on undesirable or violent behaviour, for instance by imposing heavier penalties for assaulting a referee;
  • supporting volunteers and increasing their awareness of what constitutes sportsmanlike and unsportsmanlike behaviour;
  • giving parents tips and examples of good practice, in order to promote their children’s sportsmanship and enjoyment in sport.

The Action Plan will be implemented by NOC*NSF and the sports federations. They represent about 18,000 sports clubs (73% of the national total), which together have some 4.4 million members (91% of the national total). Central government is providing €7 million per year to implement the Action Plan.

Combat sports

Central government, NOC*NSF and the federations for combat sports and martial arts want combat sports to be safer and better organised. They are introducing stricter rules, especially for gala events. In addition, improvements will be made in technical aspects of the sport, training, coaching and medical assistance.