In March and April 2020 the Association of Ringside Physicians took increasingly strong views on the safety of live combat sports events during the Covid-19 pandemic and ultimately recommended “all” events be postponed. With the slow march to reopening the economy and Florida declaring pro sports with a national audience an ‘essential service’ the ARP has now softened this stance.
Although the organization did not explain which standards should be in force they noted, in a revised statement released today, that while ‘all risk’ associated with Covid-19 cannot be eliminated risks can be reduced. The ARP invited organizations looking to host events to work with them to develop guidelines for harm reduction.
The ARP’s full statement reads as follows:
The Association of Ringside Physicians recognizes that the circumstances regarding the COVID-19 pandemic are continually changing and evolving. As stay-at-home orders are relaxed, athletic commissions and combat sports governing bodies are looking to restart operations.
Although it is impossible to eliminate all risk associated with COVID-19, precautions can be made to reduce the risk of viral transmission. Many athletic commissions, organizations and promotors are developing new guidelines to limit exposure to all involved at events, including athletes, their teams, commission personnel and support staff.
Combat sports event procedures regarding COVID-19 precautions should be actively developed, regularly reviewed and modified based on the evolving knowledge and scientific evidence put forth by public health authorities. These guidelines should also involve local and regional public health officials as well as infectious disease experts and epidemiologists.
Our thoughts continue to be with those who have been and will be affected by this disease. We remain steadfast in our mission to serve, protect and educate all involved in combat sports. If any combat sports organization would like help in developing its guidelines, the Association of Ringside Physicians can provide assistance and guidance.