BC Legalizes Amateur MMA and Other Non-IOC Combat Sports
The BC Athletic Commissioner’s powers have been expanded to regulate all pro and amateur MMA, kickboxing, pankration and Muay Thai events. In addition to this, amateur combat sports in the programme of the IOC along with karate, kung fu, wushu, grappling and jiu jitsu will not require government regulation and have been exempted by the BC Government from the Criminal Code’s ‘prizefighting‘ provisions.
The BC Athletic Commission has released the following update:
The British Columbia Athletic Commissioner is responsible to oversee amateur MMA, kickboxing, muay thai, and pankration contests.
Please note that, at this time, there are no fees associated with organizing, participating, or officiating an amateur MMA, kickboxing, Muay Thai, or pankration event in BC.
The Athletic Commissioner has released information for those wishing to participate in amateur events which can be found at the following links:
- Information for Combat Sport Applicants
- Information for Promoters
- Information for Coaches
- Information for Officials
Here is the text of the BC Government’s press release:
VICTORIA – The B.C. government has introduced new regulations that give clarity and confidence to the combat sport sector to allow amateur events to go forward, Minister of Community, Sport and Cultural Development Coralee Oakes announced today.
Regulation of amateur combat sport events was required due to recent changes to the Criminal Code of Canada that have had a number of effects:
- Requires provinces to designate amateur combat sport events as either needing or not needing regulation. The B.C. government now will be regulating mixed martial arts, kickboxing, pankration and Muay Thai events. These sports’ events now will need permission from the B.C. Athletic Commissioner (BCAC).
- Allows provincial governments to exempt amateur combat sports from regulation if they are on the International Olympic or Paralympic Committee lists. The B.C. government is exempting these sports (boxing, wrestling, tae kwon do and judo) at this time.
- Allows provincial governments to exempt non-Olympic and non-Paralympic combat sports from oversight. The B.C. government will not require event regulation for the sports of wushu, karate, kung fu, grappling and jiu jitsu.
While sanctioning processes are still being developed, the BCAC expects that no amateur event will be negatively affected by the changes to the Criminal Code.
Coralee Oakes, Minister of Community, Sport and Cultural Development –
“Judging from the volume of correspondence we received from the sector, I know how passionate organizations are about promoting amateur combat sport. I want to thank them for their patience while government took the time needed to make the right decision on regulations.”
Erik Magraken is a personal injury litigator and Partner with the British Columbia law-firm MacIsaac & Company. The article was re-printed with permission from his Canadian MMA Law Blog.