THE GAIN GAME: SPORT-BY-SPORT GUIDE TO THE REWARDS AVAILABLE TO BRITONS AT PLAY

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Angling

Has a relaxed view on the subject of amateurism. Anglers in competitions tend to be fishing for prize- money and the underlying philosophy is: "If you can earn cash from angling, then good luck."

Athletics

Following years as an amateur sport, athletes can now receive money direct. The International Amateur Athletic Federation rules changed two years ago; previously money had to be paid into trust funds. Athletes can apply for a direct payment card which will authorise them to receive funds directly. The granting of cards is conditional upon full and complete compliance by the athlete and his representative with IAAF rules and regulations. The top athletes can earn pounds 10,000-pounds 50,000 per meet.

Badminton

There is no real differentiation, with professionals competing routinely alongside amateurs.

Basketball

Basketball is an entirely open game, although in Britain there is a salary cap to maintain competitiveness. The majority of British club sides consist of a mixture of professionals, students and amateurs. The annual team salary limit is pounds 100,000. The policy has been successful, maintaining healthy crowd attendances and preventing domination by one club, as happened with Crystal Palace in the 1970s and Kingston in the 80s. Individual earnings range from expenses for part-timers to about pounds 20,000 for top pros.

Boxing

A boxer loses his amateur status when he signs to a professional manager, which usually happens when the boxer has been head-hunted. Once the British Board of Boxing Control clears the application for the two to team up, the boxer is deemed professional. New pros can expect as little as pounds 250 per fight. The sky is the limit for the heavyweight champion of the world.

Canoeing

The International Canoeing Federation scrapped the sport's amateur status at their annual congress last year. Any sponsorship must be registered with the governing body.

Cycling

By the end of 1996 amateurism in cycling will be entirely dead. The track side of the sport is already open and in next year's Olympics there will be an open road race featuring the world's top professional cyclists as well as amateurs. Lesser-known pros earn around pounds 10,000 a year, but the sport's biggest names can earn pounds 2m-pounds 3m during their careers

Golf

A clear distinction remains between amateur and professional. For a golfer to retain his amateur status he must not be compensated for teaching or playing, must not play for prize- money and must not directly or indirectly promote products or appear in advertisements. Celebrity pro-am tournaments are a grey area because celebrities, in being paid to appear, are effectively playing as professionals while retaining amateur status. Similarly hole- in-one competitions at amateur clubs, where the prize is money or a car, effectively make the winner a professional if they accept the prize.

Gymnastics

Gymnastics remains an entirely amateur sport. Any promotional payments to gymnasts must be cleared with the British Amateur Gymnastics Association first and then passed straight to the association. The cash is then put into a trust fund. No advertising is allowed to be displayed on clothing or equipment unless it is the approved trademark of the manufacturer. The rules are currently being revised for 1996.

Hockey

Hockey also remains an amateur sport, defining an amateur as a person who plays, umpires etc "by choice or as a diversion or for his physical or moral well-being and who does not directly or indirectly derive any profit or financial benefit therefrom." Payments for other activities may be made but they must go into a special fund. If a player is found to have breached amateur status then suspension is the usual result. Players cannot appear in sponsorship deals unless the association is bound into a specific contract with the manufacturer, and must not contract sponsorship for himself.

Judo

Top fighters are full-time professionals, others maintain jobs. The top fighters, training full-time, are funded by sponsorship.The very best are on grants of about pounds 18,000 pa. Lesser-known fighters compete for grants amounting to about pounds 250 a quarter.

Rowing

Rowing is another sport proud to retain its amateur traditions. An amateur may not receive any contributions towards his expenses either in training or in competition except from the funds of the Amateur Rowing Association, or funds administered by the Association or the club which he represents. A rower may, however, accept free travel and accommodation provided that the club to which he belongs informs the Association, and he satisifies himself that acceptance will not be made the subject of an advertisement. Cash prizes go to the Association and the money is either used for expenses or held until retirement.

Show Jumping

The sport will be entirely open from January 1996. There has always been a distinction between amateur "competitors" and professional "riders" but from next year all riders will simply be competitors. Professionals will be able to take part in the Olympics when previously they have been excluded. The only restrictions placed on riders are that they are all required to hold a competition licence and they have to notify the British Equestrian Federation of any commercial sponsors they may have secured.

Skiing

Skiing in Britain remains an amateur sport with sponsorship money going through the Ski Federation. Expenses can be reclaimed through the competitor's fund in a similar way to gymnastics.

Squash

Squash has been an entirely open game since 1979. The top 50 players tend to be full-time pros with the rest combining jobs and playing. The top three players in Britain can earn up to pounds 30,000 a year.

Swimming

The word amateur has been dropped from the sport. Swimmers can receive prize-money but it must go through a swimming fund administered by the Amateur Swimming Association. Accounts are held for each swimmer who can claim expenses once a month. The sport's biggest names can choose to create trust funds and invest some of their earnings. Although the world governing body, Fina, decided about 18 months ago that swimmers can be paid money direct, the ASA has chosen not to change its rules. The leading swimmers in the country can earn pounds 15,000-pounds 20,000 in a year.

Tennis

The decision to make the 1968 Wimbledon tournament an open event is seen as the crucial move towards widespread professional tennis. Tennis has always had professional coaches but prior to the 1968 decision the majority of professionals were found in the pro circus that was played mainly in the United States. The first professional tournament here was launched in Bournemouth in 1968. The only place where amateurs remain in any number in tennis today is in the US college system, and the majority of them progress quickly to become fully fledged professionals. The earnings can be spectacular. In 1994, 13 professionals earned over $1m (pounds 650,000) each from prize money, Pete Sampras topping the list with $3.6m. All of the top 160 earned more $100,000 in prize-money last year.

Volleyball

Volleyball in Britain remains a totally amateur sport, but on the Continent, where the game has a much higher profile, players are routinely given jobs with the major companies who sponsor, and run, the individual volleyball clubs. Within the game there is no objection or opposition to professionalism.

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