Does Bill S-209 Criminlize Amateur MMA / Martial Arts Bouts in BC?

Posted: May 15, 2012 in BC Combat Sports Law, Bill S-209, Federal MMA Law, Uncategorized
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I’ve recently written about the Federal Government’s effort to modernize the Criminal Code to permit MMA and other Striking Sports to become lawful.

While this amendment will allow the sport to be properly regulated on a Professional level, review of the legislation appears to create a potential gap on the amateur side. The reason being that “prize fights”, including MMA and other martial arts contests, will become illegal on the amateur side unless one of the following 3 exceptions apply:

(a) if the sport is on the programme of the International Olympic Committee (Note many martial arts, including MMA, are not)

(b) if the sport has been designated by the Province’s lieutenant governor in council or by any other person or body specified by him or her, or

(c) if the contest is held “in a province with the permission of the Province’s lieutenant governor in council or any other person or body specified by him or her.

Currently I am not aware of any BC legislation setting out a list of designated or permitted amateur contests.  Under the current Criminal Code language this is not needed as amateur contests are exempt from criminalization where “the contestants wear boxing gloves of not less than one hundred and forty grams each in mass”.  However, given the proposed re-wording it appears amateur bouts without a specific designation may unintentionally become outlawed.

The passage of the proposed federal legislation may unintentionally criminalize otherwise lawful amateur contests on a Province by Province basis.  The solution will be for the various Provinces to be aware of this and make appropriate designations on the Provincial level.

  1. […] Does Bill S-209 Criminlize Amateur MMA / Martial Arts Bouts in BC? […]

  2. […] Does Bill S-209 Criminlize Amateur MMA / Martial Arts Bouts in BC? Archives […]

  3. […] changes do not fix the concerns I previously raised about Bill S-209 potentially criminalizing various amateur contests.  Provinces will need to address this on a Province by Province basis.  I am advised that […]

  4. […] I previously discussed that the Federal Government’s attempt to legalize MMA Bouts will create… potentially criminalizing amateur contests.  I am pleased to report that after bringing this issue to the BC Government’s attention, BC’s Minister of Sport has responded advising the Government is aware of this and that a “change of policy” will be needed should Bill S-209 passes. […]

  5. […] A brief update for those of you who have been following my concerns regarding Bill S-209 potentially criminalizing currently lawful amateur martial arts c…. […]

  6. […] effort to amend the Criminal Code to legalize MMA in Canada, I have also spent time highlighting Provincial obligations to ensure amateur contests do not slip between the cracks, this leaves the last level of government – the Municipal.  Can municipalities outlaw […]

  7. […] previously discussed, this leaves a gap with many amateur Martial Arts contests such as Karate which is not presently an Olympic Sport and is not designated on the Provincial side of things. […]

  8. […] The BC Government has just published a press release setting a date for the Athletic Commissioner Act to come into force as of May 30, 2013.  The Regulations still appear to be a work in progress.  The gap for kickboxing referenced at the end of the press release is an unfortunate one and hopefully the act will be expanded to cover other combat sports not to mention the gap which will remain on the amateur side. […]

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