California Adopts C3 Neurological Testing For Combat Sports Athletes

Update December 14, 2016 – Today I spoke with Andy Foster, Executive Director of the CSAC, who advised that the CSAC is not requiring C3 testing as part of the formal licencing application, however they will be conducting a number of tests over the next year and studying the data.

He confirms that the CSAC will bear the expense of these tests.

The legal basis to compel licence holders to undergo C3 testing lies in s. 18710 of California’s Business and Professions Code which reads as follows

In its discretion, the commission may order a special medical examination to be undertaken by any licensee, the report of which shall be made to the commission. The cost of the examination shall be shared equally by the commission and the licensee.

and arguably s. 18711(iii) which states “The commission may require an athlete or contestant licensed under this chapter to undergo additional neurological tests where, based on the totality of the athlete’s or contestant’s records, it appears the athlete or contestant may be at risk of cognitive impairment.


Earlier this year the Nevada State Athletic Commission adopted the Cleveland Clinic’s C3 test as part of the fighter licensing and re-licencing application.

As explained by the NAC in a statement earlier provided to me “The C-3 Test is a neurological function assessment designed to gather information about a fighter’s balance, reaction times, hand-eye coordination and dynamic visual acuity.  The total time to take the C-3 Test is between 15-30 minutes.  Each applicant must present themselves to the Cleveland Clinic for testing prior to submitting their application for a license.  This test will be implemented officially in the upcoming months.”

This past week the California State Athletic Commission’s agenda notes the commission was discussing the C-3 test and, as reported at, the CSAC has apparently agreed to also adopt the C-3 test.

I have reached out to the CSAC for a copy of any specific rule change adopting this requirement and for comment about their views of why adopting this change was a step in the right direction.  I will update this post once they reply.

The below brief video is a useful quick introduction to the benefits of C-3 testing


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