parkour move

Is Parkour Illegal? The Legal Situation in the U.S.

Among the many interesting questions that a lot of beginning traceurs are asking about parkour is this simple one: is parkour illegal? This question is critical to understand because it can change your whole approach to the sport. Many people who consider the issue of is parkour illegal or not are looking at skateboarding and the many laws that dictate where and when this sport can be practiced. That’s why it is worth taking an in-depth look at the legality of this sport.

The good news is that parkour is still a small enough sport that most areas haven’t heard of it yet. However, it is rapidly expanding and is catching the attention of a lot of law officials.

Basic Parkour: Basic Parkour and Freerunning Handbook (Survival...
  • Fury, Sam (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 38 Pages - 06/18/2014 (Publication Date) - CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (Publisher)
Essential Parkour Training: Basic Parkour Strength and Movement...
  • Fury, Mr Sam (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 146 Pages - 06/11/2017 (Publication Date) - CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (Publisher)
Parkour: The Complete Guide To Parkour and Freerunning For Beginners
  • Jones, Jason (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 44 Pages - 04/26/2015 (Publication Date) - CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (Publisher)
Parkour Strength Training: Overcome Obstacles for Fun and Fitness
  • Ford, Ryan (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 272 Pages - 01/01/2016 (Publication Date) - CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (Publisher)
Parkour: A Beginner's Guide to Training and Excelling in the Art of...
  • Rucker, Zach (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 72 Pages - 07/14/2016 (Publication Date) - CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (Publisher)

Nationally, Parkour Is Not Illegal

Currently, there are no national laws that outlaw the practice and performance of parkour. Such laws aren’t likely to occur because the federal government rarely takes a stance on such issues. For example, there are no national laws that outlaw the use of skateboarding. Instead, they leave this decision to smaller communities to handle.

The only way parkour would become illegal nationally is if there was a rash of crimes or poor behavior by traceurs that caught the attention of politicians attempting to get some easy votes. Instead of carefully researching the situation and figuring out that only a handful of traceurs behave poorly, they could try to throw the whole sport under the bus. In this situation, they would find a way to make parkour illegal. Thankfully, that is very unlikely.

Some Smaller Communities May Make it Illegal

man doing parkour

As mentioned before, smaller communities (such as towns, cities, or even states) may take a negative stance against performing parkour. Before trying any parkour in your area, it is essential to ask “is parkour illegal?” and to investigate local laws. The low-key nature of the sport means that it is doubtful that this sport has caught the attention of most people.

However, in larger cities where parkour is more commonly practiced, there could be several complaints against pushy or even aggressive traceurs. While a vast majority of parkour fans are very respectful of the community, some might act in unfriendly ways. These bad eggs are painting a bad picture of traceurs and could cause people to think that everyone who practices parkour behaves in this way. In this type of situation, it would be very easy to imagine a town banning parkour.

Some Legal Issues Could Occur if Damage Occurs

When asking “is parkour illegal?” in your neighborhood, it is important to know why people might consider banning it. One of the most common reasons that local areas ban parkour (and it has happened) is the destruction of public property. While jumping off of railings and clinging to walls might not seem destructive, unsafe traceurs can cause damage to these areas.

When this happens (and if parkour enthusiasts are fingered as the suspects), a town may start to view the sport as a public menace. It doesn’t matter if only two or three traceurs caused any damage. And it doesn’t even matter if the damage was as minor as a scuff on a building that was easy to clean. Damage to public property enrages most communities and may lead to parkour being criminalized. This fact might not seem fair, but situations like this are always why fun and good things get outlawed.

Other Issues Could Happen if Violence Is an Issue

Parkour is not a violent sport. In fact, true traceurs often consider it an art form. That’s because they take it very seriously and enjoy performing difficult tasks with relative ease. However, not all traceurs have a relaxed and friendly attitude about their sport. Some may get aggressive with others performing in their space. They may even get angry with the public if they believe they are getting in their way of or ruining their performance.

True traceurs can’t stand people like this because they give the sport a bad name. Parkour is all about enhancing a community, exploring its many facets, and expanding your appreciation of an area. While performing impressive stunts is part of the fun, it isn’t all about showing off your skills. These angry, and potentially violent, traceurs may cause enough of a fuss in a community to get this otherwise positive sport banned.

Pay Attention to Your Local Laws

While you should always pay attention to your local laws before getting into parkour, these laws change all the time. In fact, you may find yourself asking “is parkour illegal?” one week only to find out that a law recently restricted where you could perform this sport. Restrictions like this typically set an area where you can perform parkour, such as in a park or a specific area of the city. However, total bans of parkour have also happened, and they are a major problem when they do.

While some traceurs will try to do parkour anyway, getting caught can cost you a hefty fine. Instead of breaking the law, talk to the lawmakers in your area and discuss the many benefits of parkour. Discuss how the sport can enhance a community and make it a better place to live. Showcase facts and statistics, when possible, and be polite and positive. You might not make a difference, but at least you tried. And there is a chance that you could change their minds.

Final Thoughts

Thankfully, the answer to “is parkour illegal?” is mostly negative. Thousands of traceurs are enjoying this sport across the nation and the world and are bringing its unique form of fun to a broader range of people. However, a few bad eggs could stir up some trouble and force legislatures to consider the question of “is parkour illegal?” and find ways to make it a crime.

So if you are interested in this sport and want to keep it legal, make sure you perform it in a safe and friendly way. Never break any piece of public architecture or aggravate people in public. You should also avoid behaving in inappropriate ways. Creating a culture of positive action can help save parkour from becoming a crime.

Basic Parkour: Basic Parkour and Freerunning Handbook (Survival...
  • Fury, Sam (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 38 Pages - 06/18/2014 (Publication Date) - CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (Publisher)
Essential Parkour Training: Basic Parkour Strength and Movement...
  • Fury, Mr Sam (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 146 Pages - 06/11/2017 (Publication Date) - CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (Publisher)
Parkour: The Complete Guide To Parkour and Freerunning For Beginners
  • Jones, Jason (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 44 Pages - 04/26/2015 (Publication Date) - CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (Publisher)
Parkour Strength Training: Overcome Obstacles for Fun and Fitness
  • Ford, Ryan (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 272 Pages - 01/01/2016 (Publication Date) - CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (Publisher)
Parkour: A Beginner's Guide to Training and Excelling in the Art of...
  • Rucker, Zach (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 72 Pages - 07/14/2016 (Publication Date) - CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (Publisher)

Image Source: 1, 2

Click Here to Leave a Comment Below

Leave a Reply: