Charles Widger School of Law Sports Law Negotiation Team Wins International Baseball Arbitration Competition

Charles Widger School of Law Sports Law Negotiation Team Wins International Baseball Arbitration Competition

Three members of the Villanova University Charles Widger School of Law Sports Law Negotiation Team, were awarded first place at Tulane University’s 17th Annual International Baseball Arbitration Competition, held in January at Tulane’s campus in New Orleans. Third-year Law students Alex Schaff and David Brake and second-year Law student Alyssa Rodarte defeated 40 teams of law students from across the country to win the prestigious contest for the first time. Schaff also earned the competition’s Oral Advocacy Award for her outstanding arguments.

The International Baseball Arbitration Competition is a simulated baseball salary arbitration argument, which closely follows how such a proceeding would occur in Major League Baseball (MLB). It is judged by a panel of industry professionals and insiders, including front office executives, player agents and media. Participating teams prepare arguments for both the player and team sides as they proceed through the tournament, using real arbitration-eligible major league players as simulation cases. Participating institutions had several days to prepare for the first day of competition, during which each team had three matchups against competing schools. Teams that advanced forward to the second day of competition were given only 30 minutes to prepare arguments for the quarterfinals and subsequent rounds. During those rounds, they could be assigned to either the player or team arguments.

Villanova submitted two trios into the competition – the aforementioned team of Schaff, Rodarte and Brake, and another consisting of second-year Law Students Carl Capizzi, Zach Cioffi and George Pla. The latter group also advanced to the semifinals, where they were pitted against their Villanova peers. This year marked the fourth time in five years Villanova has had a team advance to the semifinals or better.

Following their victory, the winning team was interviewed for a segment on MLB Network’s “Hot Stove” and later featured in The Philadelphia Inquirer.

The Sports Law Negotiation Team is a credited program within the Charles Widger School of Law and currently sponsors arbitration/negotiation teams in baseball, basketball, football, soccer and hockey. Tryouts are completed prior to the start of the fall semester and selected teams compete in various competitions throughout the country and world. The program is advised by Andrew Brandt, Executive Director of the Jeffrey S. Moorad Center for the Study of Sports Law and Professor of Practice.