Sporting Injuries while Serving

12 Sep 2022

AFCS or Civil Claim

Service Personnel have the option of applying for compensation under the Armed Forces Compensation Scheme.  But, the question of whether sporting injuries are covered under the scheme is always a grey area and can lead to confusion. 

A civil personal injury claim may be an option.  Here we look at each option with regards to injuries sustained during sport. 


The basic test for AFCS under Article 8(1) of AFCS 2011 states: “…benefit is payable to or in respect of a member or former member by reason of an injury which is caused (wholly or partly) by service…”

However, unless a claimant is taking part in ‘an approved sporting activity’ (defined in articles 11(6) and (7)), art. 11(4) excludes entitlement to benefit if injury is caused wholly or partly by participation in sporting activity as:

  • a.  a player;
  • b. a referee;
  • c. an organiser or representative of a particular sporting organisation.

Before making an application for a sporting injury, it is worth considering whether you have sufficient evidence that the sport was ‘approved’.  Approved sporting activities are set out in JSP 660, Ministry of Defence, Sport in the UK Armed Forces. 

Evidence that the sport took place could include but is not limited to, Daily or Weekly Orders, Standing Orders, and emails detailing attendance. 

Personal Injury Claim

The basic test for a civil personal injury claim:

  • was a duty of care owed;
  • was the duty of care breached;
  • was there an injury;
  • did the breach of duty of care cause the injury?

Determining whether duty of care was breached is not always straight forward and will always turn on the facts of the individual matter.  Things to consider would be whether a risk assessment was conducted and followed; was there sufficient supervision; was the brief regarding the sporting activity clear and given to all those participating.  

This information article was prepared by Natasha Mason at Wolferstans Solicitors. 

If you would like advice on a legal matter, whether connected to your service or not, you can email Forces Law on  Click here for our leaflet.

You can download our leaflet here.

If you would like advice on a legal matter, whether connected to your service or not, you can email Forces Law on

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