Company sports

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As a company sports is called organized sports activities of company employees in entrepreneurial business to sports clubs or free communities, sports groups called.


The practice of company sport has its roots in the social commitment of the workers' movements at the end of the 19th century. In order to create a counterbalance to the red workers' sport, the employers, especially the chemical and coal and steel industries, founded their own company sports groups (later clubs). These yellow sports groups were seen by the union-affiliated workers' sports clubs as bigger opponents than the bourgeois gymnastics and sports clubs. During the National Socialist era, all sports and sports related to the company were combined in the strength-through-joy movement. Company sport is now organized both on the private initiative of company employees and as an offer from the works council or management . The German Company Sports Association is open to members.

The background is always the maintenance of social contacts to improve the working atmosphere and the promotion of physical activity in order to compensate for any impairments in everyday working life.

"The sporting activity must be suitable to compensate for the physical, mental or nervous stress caused by the operational activity."

- Explanation of the law


The individual sports offers and objectives are as complex as the organization or participating companies and range from leisure activities such as skat and hiking , yoga , tai chi to competitive sports (including professional footballers from Bayer 04 Leverkusen ). In some sports, especially bowling , golf , volleyball and soccer , or indoor soccer , the German company sports association and its state company sports associations (LBSV) organize their own German and state championships. In many cases company sport, its organization, promotion and the possibility of participation are the subject of corresponding internal agreements.

There are around 400,000 active company athletes in Germany. Company athletes and company sports fans can either join as individual members of a district, district or state association or one of the company sports associations / company sports clubs / sports associations. They are in one of the state company sports associations under the German company sports association e. V. organized as an umbrella organization. The latter, a member of the German Olympic Sports Confederation (DOSB) , represents the interests of company sports vis-à-vis specialist organizations, the state and local authorities . The state company sports associations provide organizational advice as well as the training and further education of exercise instructors.


Since the employers' liability insurance associations are often not liable for accidents during company sports, the LBSV offer insurance specifically tailored to the needs of company sports. Otherwise the BGs are liable under certain conditions.

  1. The sport must have an equalizing and not a competitive character.
  2. It must take place regularly.
  3. The group of participants must essentially be limited to members of the company or companies that have formed a company sports association.
  4. Exercise time and duration must be related to the operational activity in accordance with the compensation purpose.
  5. There must be a clear organizational reference to the company.

If these points all apply, then a company sport is to be affirmed and in the case of an injury a "work accident" occurs.

In the opinion of the Detmold Social Court (Az .: S 14 U 152/08), participation in general university sports is also protected as a company sport in the context of sporting activities at universities . Only courses listed in the course catalog are included. According to the court, a traditional football tournament held annually, which is carried out and organized at a university of applied sciences, does not constitute an event within the framework of general university sports. In the opinion of the court, individual competitions against teams from other company sports associations essentially serve the participants' own interests. If one of the participants were injured, the accident insurance could therefore not be used for services - such as the granting of injury benefits.

Company sport in the GDR

In the GDR , company sports replaced sports that had previously been organized locally in 1950. Almost all sports communities were connected to a sponsoring company until the fall of the Berlin Wall and the peaceful revolution , which took over the financing of its company sports community . The membership of a company sports association was not tied to an activity in the respective sponsoring company, but could be chosen freely according to the sports offered.

See also

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Arnd Krüger : The German way of worker sports, in: Arnd Krüger & James Riordan (eds.): The Story of Worker Sport . Champaign, Ill .: Human Kinetics 1996, pp. 1-25.
  2. Andreas Luh: Company sport between employer interests and employee needs: a historical analysis from the empire to the present. Aachen: Meyer & Meyer 1998.
  3. Sebastian Fasbender: Between Workers' Sport and Work Sport: Works Sport on the Rhine and Ruhr 1921–1938. Göttingen: Cuvillier 1997
  4. Social Court Detmold (Ref .: S 14 U 152/08) ( Memento of 13 December 2013, Internet Archive )