Calgary Commission Concludes Investigation on Couture Ref Koivisto
The Calgary Combative Sports Commission has concluded its investigation into the call made by the official, Len Koivisto, at the conclusion of the Kim Couture/Sheila Bird AX Combat fight. Here is the CCSC’s public statement, in its entirety, on the issue:
A combative sports event was held on Friday, July 8 at the Telus Convention Centre. The event and all fighters (both pro and amateur mixed martial arts fighters) were licensed pursuant to the Calgary Combative Sports Commission Bylaw 53M2006.
As standard practice, debriefing meetings are always held amongst commission members and officials following any supervised combative sports event held in Calgary. The committee discussed the call made by the official for the Couture vs. Bird bout. It was determined that a formal review would be conducted of the circumstances surrounding that call.
After an in-depth investigation, the Calgary Combative Sports Commission members rendered a decision to support the official, Mr. Len Koivisto. No further action or investigations into the officiating of Mr. Koivisto will be required by the Commission.
It is the Commission’s objective to move forward from this incident and to continue to focus its efforts on the safety, health and wellbeing of the participants involved in combative sports.
Mr. Koivisto has been involved in the combative sports industry for close to 40 years, the last 23 in various officiating capacities. He is a well respected boxing referee (nationally and internationally) and has officiated MMA (nationally) for several years in various jurisdictions in close to 400 matches without incident. He has always taken his ring official’s duties very seriously and conducts himself with a great deal of professionalism.
Mixed martial arts is the fastest moving combative sport regulated, with upwards of 30 fouls and over 130 technical components involved. The pace of the match requires a referee to be quick with both his mind and feet while assessing the numerous aspects of this sport. While making every effort not to affect the contest, the official is required to be in close enough proximity to observe the action but not so close as to inhibit the fast moving pace that can take a fight from a standing/striking battle to a ground and pound/submission hold in split seconds. The official is assessing both fighters the whole time the contest is engaged.
The Calgary Combative Sports Commission continuously communicates training opportunities to officials employed by the Commission relative to training programs in and around Canada and the US. We have an expectation that our officials will remain current in
the rules and regulations and are always seeking to improve their skills through courses and seminars. Recognized training programs are relatively new to the industry and are only recently being adopted by many Commissions. A list of approved trainers only came into fruition last year.
The Calgary Combative Sports Commission regulates, governs and controls professional combative sporting events and contestants within the city of Calgary to ensure the safety, health and wellbeing of the participants involved in combative sports. Appointed by resolution of Council, the Commission consists of seven (7) volunteer members who meet the eligibility criteria set out in Bylaw 53M2006. For more information visit calgary.ca/combativesportscommission.