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Parkour Banned at Florida State University

This is a very typical (and sad) story of parkour being banned. See how many parallels you can draw between this and your own experiences.


The nearly three year old parkour FSU group was just prohibited from training by the university. Why? Because of INSURANCE, of course.

Strong and balanced is the core of parkour, but they’re not an official club because—according to Ehrlich—the university is “afraid” of liability.

“They don’t really understand what we’re doing, and they think that we’re going to jump from something really high and hurt ourselves or do something stupid that could cause injury and sue the school.”

The university claims it’s because parkour is dangerous.

Mary Coburn, vice president of student affairs at FSU, said the high level of risk is the main reason the university cannot endorse it.

“They go on rails, and things get loosened,” said Coburn. “The potential for injury is really high, so as a university, we’re not able to sanction that activity.”

Coburn said there really are no other reasons behind that ban.

“It’s really only because of [the danger of the activity],” Coburn said.

Uh, right. Then why do you allow — even promote — football on campus? Ten percent of college football players sustain brain injuries every year. There are an average of 20,718 (!!) injuries sustained during college football each year. High school football players get about 43,000 to 67,000 concussions each year.

Safety is not the issue with parkour, or any possibly-dangerous sport for that matter. It’s money.

College football was worth $1.1 billion in 2010. Compare that with parkour’s $0. I guess frequent concussions and permanent knee injuries are okay as long as they’re bring in the cash for the universities.

Oh, even more typical:

“It’s hard to define exactly what is and isn’t parkour, because parkour is just movement,” said Ehrlich. “If I jump over a table, is that parkour? I don’t know. The bottom line is if the police are called because people see people doing things that concerns them, they come out there and they deem whatever we’re doing is dangerous, they have the authority to tell us to stop.” [emphasis mine]

Why do people do this?!? I’ve had the cops called because someone saw me and some friends training wallruns. Why is it anyone’s business what I do on public property so long as it doesn’t hurt anyone?


The frustrating part is that some schools are okay with parkour — heck, here’s one right in Florida.

 

But sadly, some schools are not.

 

I’d really love to know what other schools have banned parkour, as well as those who embrace it. Virginia Tech has a big, university-approved parkour club. Anyone out there attend a school that is anti- or pro-parkour?

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  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Lucas-Quintana/709186770 Lucas Quintana

    Parkour is a lot less dangerous than football, and a person’s body is built better, training for Parkour, than training for football. This is a disgrace. Shove it up your ass, FSU.

  • Lilj1st

    Sadly, the cops have been called on us at FIU yesterday. Because we do not have it in writing, the cops can tell us to stop and we must listen. We are going to get it in writing but it has been some time since MIAPK has spoken with them. It has a possibility of going down the same road as the Tapp brothers. :(

  • EM WAPK

    Eckerd College, in St. Petersburg has an active parkour club.
    Also, I know for a fact FSU also has a mens rugby team and despite not having the football-level statistics on head injuries, is often perceived as a more dangerous sport.

  • pedro “batman” guerrero

    my school used to accept parkour and for no apparent reason they stopped letting us and its not like we are destroying property or littering. on the contrary we try to follow the leave no trace act which basically leave a place the same way it was before you trained but now we have been really close to getting referrals and its not a happy environment for us because we are basically there 40h+ and we have to look for places to do it other than at school. also we have been kicked out of many public areas because they don’t understand what we are doing 

  • Chris Wachtman

    Universities are concerned about injuries and property damage. Show that the club is there to ensure parkour is practiced safely and with respect for property. Explain how the club can train while enforcing rules that ultimately protect the University from noobs that need guidance.

  • http://twitter.com/paulmederos Paul Leon Mederos

    It’s all about attitude. The VT club is so large because we were really relax with the local cops. I gave a presentation to them one day explaining what we were doing, how it was mere exercise, and how much safer parkour was than most other sports. Sometimes the cops are dicks, other times they are really cool. No matter what, RESPECT the authorities and move on to train elsewhere :)

    Oh, and we’re just a school organization, not an “official, sanctioned club.” Not sure what the difference is, but we don’t really care. We just want to train and have fun!

    • Anonymous

      The university gave you approval, permission to train without interference (right?) hosting space for your website, and they in general support you. To me, that makes you pretty well sanctioned, especially in light of how many other schools ban parkour. But since you’re the founder of said club, I will of course defer to your judgement.

  • Joel campos

    Banning parkour is stupid!