B.C. government seeks to establish athletic commissioner for MMA
The B.C. government has introduced legislation to establish a single provincial body to oversee combat sports including mixed martial arts, boxing, and kick-boxing.
Bill 50 would see the creation of an athletic commissioner responsible for regulating and supervising professional fighting events held in the province. The bill was introduced by sport and culture minister Ida Chong in Victoria today (May 7).
"The benefit of having a provincial athletic commissioner would be that every professional contest would be subject to the same rules and regulations, whether it was being held in Vancouver, Nanaimo or Vernon," minister Chong said in a news release.
"Since sports such as kick-boxing and mixed martial arts are very popular and are taking place without a consistent regulatory framework, it makes sense to be proactive about creating this position to increase the safety of athletes and officials, as well as to provide certainty for communities and the industry," Chong said.
A priority for the commissioner would be the safety of fighters and officials, according to the government. The commissioner would have powers to suspend or cancel licences and event permits, and to levy administrative penalties.
If the proposed legislation is passed, the legal authority of municipalities to have local athletic commissions would be rescinded. City councils would still be able to ban combat events in their communities by passing a bylaw. The legislation would not apply to amateur fighting events.