Frequently Asked Questions



Q. What is the International Basketball Players Association (IBPA)?

A. The IBPA is an organization dedicated to help international basketball players and agents enforce their contracts against the teams that hire the players and fail to pay either the player or agent according to the contract. The IBPA employs experts in international arbitration to arbitrate claims with the Basketball Arbitral Tribunal (BAT) in Switzerland.

 

back to top

 

Q. How did the IBPA start?

A. Charles Bennett started the IBPA in 2012 while attending law school at SMU in Dallas, Texas. Mr. Bennett played professionally in Europe for eight seasons (from 2001 to 2008) and lost or witnessed teammates and friends lose thousands of dollars to unscrupulous professional teams in and around Europe. As a result, Mr. Bennett teamed up with the law firm of Blume, Faulkner, Skeen & Northam (BFSN Law) in Richardson, Texas to help players arbitrate claims through the BAT. After successfully arbitrating claims for players, Mr. Bennett and BFSN Law decided to expand their operations by founding the IBPA to help as many players as possible.

 

back to top

 

Q. Why should I sign up with the IBPA?

A. Save money and get expert legal services. With an IBPA membership of $300.00/year the cost of arbitrating with the BAT is only $2,000.00 total––no additional costs or attorney’s fees. Without an IBPA membership the costs and attorney’s fees associated with arbitrating with the BAT can exceed $12,000.00.

 

The IBPA employs the legal services of BFSN Law’s arbitration experts get better results for less cost.

 

back to top

 

Q. Who can sign up for a membership?

A. The IBPA assists players and agents in all BAT arbitrations. Any international basketball player or agent can sign up for an IBPA membership to receive the discount, expert services of the lawyers employed by the IBPA. The BAT arbitrates claims by players and agents against international basketball clubs. The BAT also arbitrates claims between players and agents for money owed or services rendered.

 

back to top

 

Q. Where do I sign up?

A. Players and agents can sign up for an IBPA membership by clicking here. The cost is $300/year to receive the IBPA’s services for only $2,000.00 per arbitration––no additional costs or attorney’s fees. Payment is made through PayPal.

 

back to top

 

Q. What if I have a claim now but I’m not a member?

A. If you are not currently a member of the IBPA but believe you have a claim pending against a team that can be arbitrated, you can still benefit from the IBPA’s expert arbitrators. You will have to pay in full for arbitration costs and attorney’s fees, however, if your claim is successful, you will be reimbursed by the BAT awardin full for all costs and attorney’s fees.

 

back to top

 

Q. What is Arbitration?

A. Arbitration is a form of alternative dispute resolution (ADR) that parties use in lieu of litigating in courts. Arbitrating parties refer their dispute to one or more persons (typically called arbitrators or the arbitral tribunal) to render a decision called an award. Arbitration awards are typically binding on the parties and can usually be enforced through the courts of any countries in which the losing party has property––such as bank accounts. Arbitration is uniquely useful to disputes between parties of different countries because of the inherent difficulties with conflicting laws, languages, and cultures.

 

back to top

 

Q. What is the BAT?

A. The BAT was established by FIBA in 2006 under the name “FIBA Arbitral Tribunal (FAT)”. In accordance with the 2010 FIBA General Statutes, the tribunal was renamed into “Basketball Arbitral Tribunal (BAT)” and is an organization officially recognized by FIBA.

 

The Basketball Arbitral Tribunal provides services for the resolution of disputes between players, agents, and clubs through arbitration. The main features of the BAT include:

  • True Arbitration under Swiss Law (seat of each arbitration is Geneva);
  • Single Arbitrator appointed by the BAT President;
  • Simple procedure;
  • English language only;
  • Hearing and hearing of witnesses upon application only;
  • Provisional and conservatory measures available;
  • Arbitrator decides ex-aequo et bono, i.e., on the basis of general considerations of justice and fairness without reference to any particular national or international law;
  • Decision within six weeks of end of proceedings.

Failure to honor a BAT Award may entail sanctions by FIBA such as, as the case may be, a monetary fine, the withdrawal of a FIBA Agent’s License, a ban on international transfers of players, or a ban on registration of new players as provided in the FIBA Internal Regulations. Source: http://www.fiba.com/pages/eng/fc/expe/fat/p/openNodeIDs/16807/selNodeID/16807/pres.html

 

back to top

 

Q. What are the advantages of Arbitrating with the BAT?

A. Cost and Speed. Arbitration offers a relatively cheap and quick way for parties to resolve their disputes. A typical case arbitrated with the BAT can cost a player approximately $12,000 in costs and attorney’s fees, and an award is typically rendered within three (3) months. By comparison, a dispute litigated in court between a player and a club can cost roughly $100,000.00 in court costs and attorney’s fees, and may take two (2) to three (3) years for a judgment to be rendered.

 

Also, failure by a club to pay an award rendered by the BAT can result in FIBA banning the team from signing international players or competing in international competition. No such sanctions exist for a team’s failure to comply with a court judgment. Click the following link to see a list of BAT sanctions