New rules to support safety and evolution of combat sports

Released 17/10/2019

New rules and requirements are now in effect to support the safety and integrity of combat sports-such as boxing and mixed martial arts-as well as to reflect the evolution and diversity of combat sports in the ACT.

Combat sports bring many benefits to the ACT such as boosting tourism, supporting social inclusion and increasing physical fitness for Canberrans.

Equally, the government has an obligation to ensure safety and integrity across the sporting landscape.

New measures as part of the Controlled Sports Act 2019 supports the evolution of the Territory's combat sports industry and have been shaped through consultation with industry, participants, medical and sporting experts, and will apply predominantly to 'registrable events'.

Under the changes, registrable events (typically commercial, ticketed events) require:

  • specialised medical requirements, equipment and supervision of contestants
  • compliance with rules regarding suitably matched contestants, contestant weigh-ins and anti-weight cutting measures, and special measures to better manage head injuries and concussions
  • background checking of officials and contestants to ensure event integrity.

As part of the changes, the ACT will also bring fees into line with states like New South Wales and Victoria-the first review of fees since 2010.

This is a significant reform for the industry, replacing the Boxing Control Act from 1993 to better support the evolution of combat sports in the ACT.

The changes took effect on Friday 11 October. More information can be found on the Sport and Recreation website.

Quotes attributable to the ACT Controlled Sports Registrar (Access Canberra):

  • "Combat sports, by their very nature, have some risk including the potential harm to participants’ health and wellbeing."
  • "It is important that these risks are managed and controlled so participants can compete as safely as possible."
  • "The industry has changed over the past 25 years and the new legislation reflects some of the new styles of combat sports, but also the improvements in safety and risk identification and mitigation."
  • "The combat sport industry is an important one for the ACT and we'll be working closely with industry to ensure compliance against the new requirements both at the point of registration, the lead up to an event and during the event."

- Statement ends -

Section: Yvette Berry, MLA | Media Releases

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