Archive for January, 2013

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All contact sports come with concussion risks.  However, as I have previously highlighted, combat sports do not come with a disproportionate risk of injury or concussion when compared to other contact sports.

Adding to the scientific data behind this, the American Medical Society for Sports Medicine has recently published an article in the British Journal of Sports Medicine finding “the majority of concussions occurring in organised sports in the USA are sustained in football, wrestling, girls’ soccer, boys’soccer and girls’ basketball.”  

You can find the article here which is worth reviewing to help gain informed views when addressing the issue of mixed martial arts regulation particularly when the analysis shifts to injury risk.

Today Dana White, the president of the UFC, is reported as stating that MMA “is the safest sport in the world”.

Unsurprisingly a lot of negative feedback came from this easily refutable statement.   While this comment should be criticized as being factually incorrect, what should not be lost in the debate is the fact that striking sports have a track record of having an overall risk of injury that is lower than football, hockey, wrestling and soccer.

When compared to other martial arts and combat sports, MMA produces similar injury rates according to peer reviewed studies which you access here and here.

Scientific literature based on real world case studies should be the bedrock of any debate addressing MMA and combat sport safety.  For anyone looking for further scientific data about injury rates, specifically concussive injury rates, in MMA and other sports I suggest visiting the Sport Concussion Library for access to hundreds of peer reviewed studies.

Last month I discussed concussions in contact sports and highlighted some Canadian legislative efforts addressing this issue including Federal Bill C319.  I addressed the Bill’s slow progress speculating that it may not become law.

This week the Bill’s author, Member of Parliament Bill Thibeault, was kind enough to contact me giving me insight into the Bill’s progress.  In short the Bill will not pass into law any time soon if at all. Below are Mr. Thibeault’s comments:

As it stands, Bill C319 will not come up for second reading until sometime in 2014, as my spot on the order of precedence for private member`s business in the House of Commons is quite far down the roster. From there it would need to pass a vote at second reading, which would send the bill to committee, before coming back for a final vote in Parliament. Typically the process to get from second reading to royal assent would be around 3-4 months.

 Although I remain optimistic that this legislation will receive enough bipartisan support to pass, the recent tact of the Conservatives on other important and non-partisan opposition sponsored legislation like the NDP`s anti-bully strategy does not leave it outside the realm of possibility that the bill will no pass for partisan reasons.

 As always, if you would like to discuss this matter in further detail, please do not hesitate to contact me at your convenience.