Corporal punishment

Corporal punishment is defined by the use of physical force from a person in a position of authority whose intention is to inflict a certain level of pain or discomfort on the young person with the intention of punishing him or her or correcting his or her behaviour. [5; 9]

The use of corporal punishment has greatly diminished during the last years because, in particular, of changing attitudes toward this practice. It still remains, however, too trivialized even though it has been proven that it contributes to a rise in physical aggressiveness and behavioural problems and that it has negative consequences on a child’s development. [8; 9; 37]

An adult in a position of authority (e.g. a coach or a sports professional) must comply with the rules of article 43 of the Criminal Code with regard to corporal punishment, which forbids the use of corporal punishment toward a child it oversees in the context of sport. [A; J; K]


 Examples of corporal punishment in a sports environment
    • To punish by hitting the athlete with objects (like pieces of sports equipment)
    • To hit the athlete in the face, in the head or any other body part
    • To compel the athlete to undergo punitive training (additional training leading to exhaustion or makes the athlete sick), e.g. force athletes to do 200 push-ups to punish them