I have previously highlighted legislative gaps when it comes to the legality of amateur MMA in parts of Canada. The town of Penhold, Alberta, has recently revised their Combative Sports Bylaw to sensibly address this concern.
The town previously created, pursuant to Bylaw 669-11, an athletic commission which was tasked with overseeing “Regulated Combative Sports Events“, the definition of which expressly excluded amateur events. On July 15, 2013 the town passed Bylaw No. 699/13 which over-rode this provision and adopted a new definition of regulated combative sports events which includes:
“both amateur and professional events, where designated by the commission includes boxing, mixed martial arts, professional wrestling, full contact karate, muay thai, kick boxing, and other sports that hold contests between opponents involving striking with hands, feet, knees or elbows, grappling, submissions and take downs.”
The Bylaw goes on to give the commission the ability set out the rules for “the holding of bouts and contests“. Provided the Provincial Government does not play their trump card with respect to combat sports regulation in Alberta, the town of Penhold has now given its commission a proper legal framework to regulate amateur MMA if they choose to do so. I am happy to share the wording of the full bylaw to anyone who contacts me and requests a copy,