Crowd Behaviour at Sporting events

Crowd behaviour at sporting events  (Click Video)

Crowd behaviour has been one of the challenging issues in sporting events. Although every event in this recent time attract people of various works of life, background and ethnicity who converge to support the sporting event of their choice. However, it was reported by Georgina Stubbs of the Daily mirror on the 26 February, 2017, that 13 football fans were arrested due to a violent crowd behaviour in a local derby match between Wolverhampton and Birmingham football clash at the Molineux stadium.

The West Midlands Police criticised the behaviour of a small number of spectators who “behaved dreadfully” bad during the championship game. It was also reported that eight of the arrested fans were from the Blues, while the rest five were supporters of the Wolverhampton football club. The West Midlands Police Inspector Nick Rowe expressed that majority of the supporters “behaved impeccably”, but trouble erupted after the Birmingham Football team scored their second goal and bottles, coins and seats were thrown from the Steve Bull and South stands by the opposing team.  (Click here)

Crowd behaviour…. is it a cultural dimension?

The violent behaviour of football supporters in the semi-final of the African Nations Cup  football match clash between Ghana and Equatorial Guinea in which Ghana won by 3-0 on the 5th of February 2015.  It was reported by Nick Ames of the Guardian news that the kick off was delayed up to 40 minutes due to crowd disturbances which led to police evacuating part of the stadium with smoke and a helicopter. It was gathered that the home supporters were throwing bottles and stones at the Ghanaian players and the visiting supporters were forced to leave and re-enter the pitch under the protection of the riot police. (Click here)

However, it was reported by the The Ghanaian Football Association spokesman described the incident as barbaric, while the game was described by the BBC sports news as a “War Zone” won 3-0 by Ghana football team. (Click Video)

According to the mail online it was gathered that the Equatorial Guinea was fined $100,000 (One hundred thousand dollars) because of the violent behaviour of the home crowd. The Confederation of African Football also asked them to pay for the treatment costs of those injured as a result of the ugly incident on that faithful day at the Malabo stadium. (Click here)



Drugs and Alcohol use at sporting events…..

Intoxication of sports fans are considered to be a situational architect of a crowd’s social significance on crowd participants’ behaviour and it is also highly substantial over the levels of disruptive behaviour within a crowd. For instance, increased levels of intoxication from drugs and alcohol have been known to be related with amplified levels of aggression and violence.

Crowd behaviour has been observed because of the emergent of the norm theory which focuses on how social interaction among supporters influence how they behave in an unusual circumstance or situation. In other words, most sports supporters encourage or influence the behaviours of others.  (Levy, 1989) In May 1985 incident in Heysel stadium in Brussels, Liverpool Football supporters were excluded from the European cup final because of the crowd disorder among Liverpool supporters which caused the death of thirty-nine Italian fans.

The critical decision by UEFA and the Belgian authorities to hold the 1985 final in the Heysel Stadium had been excessively disputed by Liverpool Football Club  officials. The stadium was aged and was, by mutual accord, in a shameful condition by which its concrete terraces were cracked by grass, flimsy wire fencing divided opposing fans, and its terraces and crush barriers were rotting and unsafe. (Williams, 2011). (Click video)


It was observed that cultural diversity does not necessarily impact the behaviour of sporting crowd because the examination of incidents in various parts of the continent have shown that crowd are likely to behave in similar nature at any spotting event.  However, it is the responsibility of the sporting event organizers, stakeholders, the police and the Governing bodies such as the FA and FIFA to impose sanctions, fines and possibly ban to inappropriate behaviours of sporting fans to enable trouble free games which is enjoyed by many.


  Health and Safety in Events  

Health and safety in events industry have been an issue of concern when hosting an event. It is the responsibility of the event organizers, managers and stakeholders to ensure appropriate safety measures are in place before and after an event. The duties of the event managers are:

  • To ensure that appropriate health and safety arrangements in place to control risks.
  • To provide the event security with relevant safety and risk information
  • Ensure event attendees compliance to safety guide
  • Ensuring co-operation and proper work activity coordination during and after hosting events.
  • Monitoring health and safety compliance.
  • Reviewing the health and safety arrangements.


What to do……

It is necessary to focus attention from the planning stages once the attendees of the event start arriving at the event venue, make sure all relevant paperwork are completed, then switch to monitoring  work in progress.

Responsibility for Safety ….. 

It is the ultimate responsibility of the event organizers to ensure the health and safety of the public attending the events.  It is also important that larger events appoint a safety officer or steward whose responsibility is to ensure public safety and compliance with safety procedures in accordance with the Health and Safety Executive (HSE’s) guidelines.

Appropriate management systems should be in place to assist crowd monitoring and safeguard of events attendees’ movements are properly controlled. It is important that adequate number of safety officers are allocated to various sections and exits of the event venue during the event and after the event closure to avoid a risk of injuries. In the case of an emergency, appropriate safety precautions should be observed by  trained event security officers who are there to guide the event crowd. (Click here)

Safety is the responsibility of all parties associated with an event, of which is an important factor in successful event which must be included at the start of the event planning process which is reliant on good event design. (Bladen et al, 2012)

The risk of event injuries and possible loss of lives may occur if proper precautions are not taken and risk of hazards not identified or observed before hosting an event. The event manager who ignores advice on risk prevention will be seeking a disastrous career in the events industry. According to the Health and safety Executive (HSE, 1999, p.7) risk may be defined as ‘the likelihood that harm from a hazard is realized and the extent of it’. (Bowdin et al, 2011)

The British Standards Institution (BSI, 2002a.p.7) defines risk management as a process of implementing the policies and practices of identifying, analyzing, evaluating, monitoring and communicating risk in an appropriate manner as required by law. The HSE (2006) has since developed risk management procedures for exhibitions and various types of events with strict guidance. (Bowdin et al, 2011)



 Enforcement Management Model (EMM)

The Enforcement Management Model (EMM) is a reasonable scheme that helps the inspectors to carry out enforcement decisions in line with the Health and Safety Executive’s (HSE’s) if event organizers do not comply with the safety policies as required. the enforcement policy statement (EPS) which sets out the principles inspectors should apply when determining what enforcement action to take in response to breaches of health and safety legislation. Fundamental to this is the principle that enforcement action should be proportional to the health and safety risks and the gravity of the breach.

Emergency procedure

The event organizers or managers need to provide fire risk assessment and a procedure for dealing with a fire at the event, including details of firefighting equipment and the locations. The safety officers and stewards are required to direct the event crowd to a safety meeting point by allowing all exits free from congestion through crowd movement or equipment standing at the exit doors. (click here)

First aid…

The event management plan should include details of medical provisions at the event, details of all first aiders, procedures, including how to deal with a first aid related incidents and accident reporting arrangements. It is necessary to have the presence of the medics and ambulance crew  to assist in case of emergency.

Waste and litter management

Adequate arrangements are made to dispose of waste generated at the event. It is the responsibility of the organizers to liaise with those responsible for disposal of any waste.  Trade waste disposal companies contacted for any assistance  will charge for their services. The event managers should arrange with the stewards to litter pick and dispose of the wastes at the end of the event.(Click here)

Generation Y

Who are they?

Generation Y are the younger generation otherwise known as the ‘Millennials’ who are born between 1980 and 1994, aged 20 to 35 years old. They are next to the generation X which are those born between 1065 and 1979. The generation X and the baby boomers are the likely parents of the most recent generation y. In the United Kingdom, they are estimated to be about 13.8 million young adults which are classified as the young generation or the generation y.  According to the Guardian news, this new generation is known to have the generous appetite for technology in which they use as a tool to manage personal well-being, development of information, communication, trends, fashion, education, the creation of wealth and much more….

What do others think of them…….

The generation y characteristics and way of life are far different from those of the X generation because they are accused of  being “Lazy”, “Idiots” and “unhappy” by the older generation because it is believed that majority of the modern generation cannot function without their smartphones, they live  perpetual adolescent lifestyle and incapable of commitment.  However, they are keen on modern technology learning and communication to explore the modern knowledge bank and the cyber world of which they have gained expertise in recent time. (The Guardian, 2016)

Events and Generation Y

The Gen Y have been predicted in the next few years to become the largest generation in the events workforce controlling the largest customer spend in the events industry. In other words, events marketing in the modern world have gained significant rise due to the generation y digital marketing expertise in social media events marketing and promotion.   In fact, 98.6% of UK Millennials possesses a mobile of which 87.7% have a smartphone. It is evident that mobile phone usage is not just limited to making phone calls but also in use to access the internet and other social media such as twists, Instagram, Facebook, snap chat and much more.

According to the IDG  global survey, it was noted that 89% of the younger generation watch videos on their mobile phones of which this include films, music, TV shows and video clips. This trend represents opportunities for marketing trends and promotion of events through live streaming on videos which will gain significant responses on event brand marketing, design and creativity awareness in the industry. In other words, the generation Y have all it takes to sustain and maintain events marketing through various channels of social media marketing, creative styles, and networking which supports the profitability of the ever growing world of events. (Click here)

Marketing events to the Millennials

The modern generation (Generation Y) are known to be confident, self-motivated and quick learners in all aspects of their active daily lives. It is important to examine some aspects of event marketing to the younger generation and what they are likely to enjoy in the kind of event they are interested.

According to researchers, it is observed that these are core events marketing secrets to the millennials:

  • The young generation is more likely to participate or spend their money on experiences rather than ordinary things.
  • They pursue events they may likely enjoy with their friends or families.
  • The millennials create event impacts through the use of social media of which they share experiences and network promotion of key events and things that interest them.
  • The millennials enjoy the style of the modern event of which festivals, gigs, house music and warehouse parties are in vogue. However, the generation y complement their type of events with a kind of dressing habit reflecting their age in the society, of which are often criticized as unacceptable by the older generations. (Click here)

Achievement goals of the Generation Y

The millennials are optimistic about their futures in the sense that they aspire to be the modern leadership which will the world. They always want work done quickly and ready to pace tasks as they come their way. The relationship involved between the baby boomers and the young generation at workplace environment are seen by the older generation as impatient and uncoordinated.

The millennials believe that thinking of long-term, planning and evaluating risks are  signs of weak life skills. It is reckoned that by the modern generation with high self-esteem that critical thinking and problem-solving skills are often required to conquer the lack of confidence and failure at the workplace. Similarly, the generation y are exposed to life challenging issues from childhood in which they are fine-tuned to the use of technology, social media to stimulate their daily lives in the society and in the world of creativity today. (Banes, 2009)

Reflective Report:

 Challenges in crowd control at sporting events Workshop

 As part of our course on contemporary issues in events, leading towards the ending of the first term, all students were asked to sign up into a groups to deliver a workshop on any of the chosen topics. I chose to deliver this topic on challenges in crowd control at sporting events. This topic was chosen because it will engage and interest many students who enjoy attending various types of events and this will assist them to understand how attendees of various sporting events may behave hence they are people from various works of life, background and location which are influenced by the sporting event team they support. Our workshop was chosen to be delivered on the 27th of January after the University had resumed on the 16th of January.

The Brain storming stage

The group members are myself, Raymond, Elvina, Merissa, Neil and Kate. The group meeting scheduled for Monday 16th January 2017 took place on Tuesday 17th due to some of the group members’ late arrival and so many other activities at the University. The group resumed activities but  we had less than fourteen days to our workshop. On the first day of our meeting  we welcoming ideas which  will assist a better and well-structured workshop delivery . Merissa initiated the group chat on WhatsApp and I attended all other group meetings, contributing ideas, sent notices notice of meetings to both our mentor and the group members. We shared the parts of work to be done and I was allocated a research work on a segment of the workshop, while everyone had their parts to contribute.  Elvina was in charge of collection of all finished work which was put into the slide for our presentation.

The workshop delivery and team work  

“A Team Role is a tendency to behave, contribute and interrelate with others in a particular way”…….Belbin

The group went through the forming stage which was interesting because we had an understanding which allows everyone to air their views and confidently choose the areas of delivery at their comfort zone. According to the Belbin team role which specify that a successful team is the one that have the mix of individuals with various characteristics and attributes contributing to the team success.  that Some team members had difficulty attending some of our meetings which slowed down our work. We had some times disagreed on few occasions regarding work done by team members which were not added into the slide or not  regarded as suitable.   The group was always engaged with various aspects of the workshop delivery materials which involved many research work and fact findings which paid off at the end of workshop.

However, it should be mentioned that our team roles are just like every other ones in which each team member did not contribute equally but make contribution to the team success. Similarly my role in the team was creative and implementer, of which was valuable to the team. Despite incidents that made some team members disagree on few issues, we continued to work together believing that our team success was paramount and important.

It is important to mention that all team members have worked in previous year’s event delivery as team members to various groups but we have not worked as a team.  It may be recalled that some of us have met at lectures or tutorials in the past but never imagined working as a team.  I embrace other team member’s skills and shared their common understanding of team work and roles which created friendly atmosphere throughout the grueling two week period of research and knowledge contribution which was highly in demand to assist our workshop delivery.

Workshop feedback and conclusion

The group received a feedback from our workshop delivery which earned the group 7/10 percent (70%) overall grade. The Peer commented that the group was initially nervous and the presentation was a bit shaky but later relaxed and gave a well-deserved workshop delivery. It was also commented that our slide had so many information which was difficult to read, our work book was very  good but  did not allow the audience more time to share their opinion on what they have learnt. based on these mentioned issues from the feedback, it is important to allow more time to  practice more, check the content of work materials to be included on the slide are not more than required and improve on any future work to be done.

I believe that the reflection on our group work will assist me in future preparation of  my work  and encourage a different approach in future development of team work. In conclusion, group work has impacted my ability to work as a team in my student life positively,  and this will assist in my future working career or business in the events industry.


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