Connecticut Seal

General Assembly

 

Committee Bill No. 5269

January Session, 2011

 

LCO No. 2594

 

*02594HB05269PS_*

Referred to Committee on Public Safety and Security

 

Introduced by:

 

(PS)

 

AN ACT REGULATING MIXED MARTIAL ARTS MATCHES.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Assembly convened:

Section 1. Section 29-143j of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective October 1, 2011):

(a) As used in this chapter, "commissioner" means the Commissioner of Public Safety and "mixed martial arts" means unarmed combat involving the use of a combination of techniques from different disciplines of the martial arts and includes grappling, kicking, jujitsu and striking.

(b) The commissioner shall have sole control of and jurisdiction over all amateur and professional boxing and sparring and all professional mixed martial arts matches held, conducted or given within the state by any person or persons, club, corporation or association, except amateur boxing and sparring matches held under the supervision of any school, college or university having an academic course of study or of the recognized athletic association connected with such school, college or university or amateur boxing and sparring matches held under the auspices of any amateur athletic association that has been determined by the commissioner to be capable of ensuring the health and safety of the participants; provided the commissioner may at any time assume jurisdiction over any amateur boxing or sparring match if the commissioner determines that the health and safety of the participants is not being sufficiently safeguarded. The commissioner may appoint inspectors who shall, on the order of the commissioner, represent the commissioner at all boxing or mixed martial arts matches. The commissioner may appoint a secretary who shall prepare for service such notices and papers as may be required and perform such other duties as the commissioner directs.

(c) The commissioner or the commissioner's authorized representative may cause a full investigation to be made of the location of, and paraphernalia and equipment to be used in any boxing, [or] sparring or mixed martial arts match and all other matters and shall determine whether or not such match will be reasonably safe for the participants and for public attendance and may make reasonable orders concerning alterations or betterments to the equipment and paraphernalia, and concerning the character and arrangement of the seating, means of egress, lighting, firefighting appliances, fire and police protection and such other provisions as shall make the match reasonably safe against both fire and casualty hazards.

(d) When any serious physical injury, as defined in subdivision (4) of section 53a-3, or death occurs in connection with a boxing, [or] sparring or mixed martial arts match, the owner of the location of the match shall, not later than four hours after such occurrence, report the injury or death to the commissioner or the commissioner's designee. Not later than four hours after receipt of such report, the commissioner or the commissioner's designee shall cause an investigation of the occurrence to determine the cause of such serious physical injury or death. The commissioner or the commissioner's designee may enter into any place or upon any premises so registered or licensed in furtherance of such investigation and inspection.

(e) The commissioner, in consultation with the Connecticut Boxing Commission, shall adopt such regulations in accordance with chapter 54 as the commissioner deems necessary and desirable for the conduct, supervision and safety of boxing matches, including the licensing of the sponsors and the participants of such boxing matches, and for the development and promotion of the sport of boxing in this state, including, but not limited to, regulations to improve the competitiveness of the sport of boxing in this state relative to other states. Such regulations shall require fees for the issuance of licenses to such sponsors and participants as follows: (1) For referees, a fee of not less than one hundred twenty-six dollars; (2) for matchmakers and assistant matchmakers, a fee of not less than one hundred twenty-six dollars; (3) for timekeepers, a fee of not less than twenty-six dollars; (4) for professional boxers, a fee of not less than twenty-six dollars; (5) for amateur boxers, a fee of not less than fifteen dollars; (6) for managers, a fee of not less than one hundred twenty-six dollars; (7) for trainers, a fee of not less than twenty-six dollars; (8) for seconds, a fee of not less than twenty-six dollars; (9) for announcers, a fee of not less than twenty-six dollars; and (10) for promoters, a fee of not less than three hundred fifteen dollars.

(f) No organization, gymnasium or independent club shall host a sparring or mixed martial arts match unless such organization, gymnasium or independent club registers with the Department of Public Safety in accordance with this subsection. The commissioner shall register any organization, gymnasium or independent club that the commissioner deems qualified to host such matches. Application for such registration shall be made on forms provided by the department and accompanied by a fee of one hundred dollars. For the purpose of enforcing the provisions of this chapter, the commissioner or an authorized representative may inspect the facility of any such organization, gymnasium or independent club. The Attorney General, at the request of the Commissioner of Public Safety, may apply in the name of the state of Connecticut to the Superior Court for an order temporarily or permanently restraining any organization, gymnasium or independent club from operating in violation of any provision of this chapter or the regulations adopted pursuant to this subsection. The commissioner, in consultation with the Connecticut Boxing Commission, shall adopt such regulations, in accordance with chapter 54, as the commissioner deems necessary for the conduct, supervision and safety of sparring matches.

(g) The commissioner shall adopt regulations, in accordance with the provisions of chapter 54, to regulate the conduct, supervision and safety of mixed martial arts matches, including the licensing of sponsors and participants of such matches, and to set a reasonable fee for the issuance of licenses to sponsors, combatants and participants in mixed martial arts matches.

[(g)] (h) The state, acting by and in the discretion of the commissioner, may enter into a contract with any person for the services of such person acting as an inspector appointed in accordance with the provisions of this section.

Sec. 2. Section 29-143l of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective October 1, 2011):

(a) The commissioner may, in the commissioner's discretion, issue a license to conduct, hold or give any boxing or mixed martial arts match to any person, persons, club, corporation or association. Before any such license is granted, the applicant shall execute and file with the commissioner a bond in such amount and form and with such surety as is determined by the commissioner, which bond shall be conditioned for the payment of the tax imposed by section 29-143m, as amended by this act. Upon the filing and approval of such bond, the commissioner shall issue to such applicant a certificate of such filing and approval. No license shall be issued under this section until such bond is filed.

(b) The commissioner may, in the commissioner's discretion, revoke any license to conduct, hold or give any boxing or mixed martial arts match issued under this section for cause as provided in this chapter or in any regulation adopted under this chapter in accordance with chapter 54.

Sec. 3. Section 29-143m of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective October 1, 2011):

Any person or combination of persons who, and any club, corporation or association which, holds or promotes any boxing or mixed martial arts match or wrestling exhibition or exercises any of the privileges conferred by this chapter or the regulations adopted under this chapter shall, within twenty-four hours after the determination of each boxing or mixed martial arts match or wrestling exhibition: (1) Furnish to the commissioner a written report verified by such person or combination of persons or by the treasurer and secretary of such club, corporation or association, which report shall include a statement of the number of tickets sold for such match or exhibition, the amount of gross receipts for such match or exhibition and such other information as the commissioner prescribes; and (2) pay to the commissioner a tax of five per cent of the total receipts after federal taxes have been deducted from the paid admissions to such boxing or mixed martial arts match or wrestling exhibition, which tax shall be paid into the State Treasury.

Sec. 4. Section 29-143n of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective October 1, 2011):

If any person or combination of persons, club, corporation or association fails to make a report of any [contest] match or exhibition as required by section 29-143m, as amended by this act, within the time prescribed by section 29-143m, as amended by this act, or if any such report fails to include sufficient information, the commissioner may examine, or cause to be examined, the books and records of any such person or combination of persons, club, corporation or association and subpoena and examine under oath such person or officers of such club, corporation or association and other persons for the purpose of determining the total amount of such gross receipts and the amount of tax due pursuant to the provisions of section 29-143m, as amended by this act, which tax [he] the commissioner may thereupon fix and determine. In case of default in the payment of any tax ascertained by the commissioner to be due and the expenses incurred in making such examination, for a period of twenty days after notice to such delinquent person or combination of persons, club, corporation or association, such delinquent shall forfeit the license issued under section 29-143l, as amended by this act, and shall be disqualified from receiving any new license under section 29-143l, as amended by this act. Such delinquent shall also forfeit to the state the sum of five hundred dollars.

Sec. 5. Section 29-143o of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective October 1, 2011):

Any person who, and the officers of any club, corporation or association which, sells or causes to be sold any ticket of admission for any boxing or mixed martial arts match or wrestling exhibition in excess of the seating capacity of the room, hall, place, building or structure used for such boxing or mixed martial arts match or wrestling exhibition, shall, for the first offense, be fined not more than two hundred dollars, which shall be paid to the state. For a subsequent offense, the club, corporation, association or person or persons shall forfeit its, his or their license issued under section 29-143l, as amended by this act, shall be disqualified from receiving any new license issued under section 29-143l, as amended by this act, and shall forfeit to the state the sum of five hundred dollars. The officers of any such club, corporation or association, for such subsequent offense, shall be fined not more than two hundred dollars.

Sec. 6. Section 29-143p of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective October 1, 2011):

The price of admission and of the seats to any boxing or mixed martial arts match conducted under the provisions of this chapter shall be published in a newspaper published and circulated in the town, city or borough where such [boxing] match is to be conducted, if any newspaper is published in such town, city or borough, but, if no newspaper is published in such town, city or borough, such publication shall be made in a newspaper having a substantial circulation in such town, city or borough. Any such publication shall be made in at least three separate editions of such paper and in a space not less than two inches by three inches in size.

Sec. 7. Section 29-143q of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective October 1, 2011):

(a) No boxing match shall consist of more than twelve rounds and each round shall be no longer than three minutes nor less than two minutes in duration. In all matches, if a contestant who has been knocked down arises before the count of ten seconds, the referee shall complete a count of eight seconds and assure himself that the contestant is fit to continue. The referee may, in the referee's discretion, order a standing knockdown and a mandatory eight count if a contestant is taking a severe beating and is apparently defenseless but is not knocked down. The standing knockdown shall be treated in all respects, including scoring, as a knockdown.

(b) No mixed martial arts match shall consist of more than five rounds, with each round to be followed by a period of rest of not less than one minute.

(c) No boxing or mixed martial arts match shall be conducted unless a referee approved by the commissioner is in attendance and directs and controls the boxing or mixed martial arts match.

Sec. 8. Section 29-143r of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective October 1, 2011):

The commissioner shall select the referees for any boxing [exhibition] or mixed martial arts match conducted, held or given within this state, except amateur boxing [exhibitions] matches held under the supervision of any school, college or university having an academic course of study or of the recognized athletic association connected with such school, college or university or amateur boxing [exhibitions] matches held under the auspices of any amateur athletic association that has been determined by the commissioner to be capable of ensuring the health and safety of the participants. All such referees shall be licensed by the commissioner under this chapter and the regulations adopted by the commissioner under this chapter, in accordance with chapter 54.

Sec. 9. Section 29-143s of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective October 1, 2011):

No boxing or mixed martial arts match or wrestling exhibition shall be held on Christmas Day, Good Friday, Memorial Day or Veterans' Day.

Sec. 10. Section 29-143t of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective October 1, 2011):

(a) No person shall engage in any boxing match as a boxer or in any mixed martial arts match as a combatant until such person has been examined and found to be physically fit by a competent physician approved by the commissioner, licensed to practice under the laws of this state and in practice in this state for at least two years. Such physician shall be appointed by the commissioner and shall be in attendance throughout the boxing or mixed martial arts match for which such examination was made. Such physician shall certify, in writing, that the contestant is physically fit to engage in such boxing or mixed martial arts match. Any fee for such physician, as determined by the commissioner, shall be paid by the person or club, corporation or association conducting such boxing or mixed martial arts match.

(b) The cost of any physical examination required by this chapter or regulations adopted under this chapter, other than an examination required by subsection (a) of this section, may be assessed by the commissioner on any boxer or combatant examined by a physician appointed by the commissioner or on the person, club, corporation or association conducting the next boxing or mixed martial arts match in which the contestant is scheduled to compete.

Sec. 11. Section 29-143u of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective October 1, 2011):

Any person acting as principal, manager, second, promoter or matchmaker receiving or accepting, directly or indirectly, any money or other valuable thing from any boxer or combatant in a mixed martial arts match for any special privilege or for discriminating in any manner relating to any boxing or mixed martial arts match shall be subject to the penalty prescribed in section 29-143z.

Sec. 12. Section 29-143v of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective October 1, 2011):

No person under eighteen years of age shall engage in any professional boxing or mixed martial arts match or wrestling exhibition and no person under sixteen years of age shall engage in any amateur boxing match or amateur wrestling exhibition except a match or exhibition held under the supervision of a school, college or university having an academic course of study or the athletic association connected with such school, college or university or held under the auspices of any amateur athletic association that has been determined by the commissioner, under section 29-143j, as amended by this act, to be capable of ensuring the health and safety of the participants.

Sec. 13. Section 29-143w of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective October 1, 2011):

No person shall bet or wager upon the result of any boxing or mixed martial arts match or wrestling exhibition.

Sec. 14. Section 29-143x of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective October 1, 2011):

No person under eighteen years of age shall be admitted to any professional boxing or mixed martial arts exhibition, provided any person fourteen years of age or over may be admitted when accompanied by [his] such person's parent or guardian.

Sec. 15. Section 29-143y of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective October 1, 2011):

No license shall be issued under section 29-143l, as amended by this act, to conduct, hold or give any boxing or mixed martial arts match in any town, city or borough which has adopted any ordinance prohibiting boxing or mixed martial arts matches within its limits.

Sec. 16. Section 53-200 of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective October 1, 2011):

Any person who is principal or second in any prize fight in this state shall be imprisoned not more than five years or fined not more than one thousand dollars or both. A contest in which blows are struck which are intended or calculated to stun, disable or knock out either of the contestants, or in which either contestant is counted out or otherwise declared defeated because of failure to resume the contest within a certain time, shall be deemed a prize fight within the meaning of this section. The provisions of this section shall not apply to boxing exhibitions held or conducted under the laws of this state, or to wrestling bouts or amateur boxing exhibitions held under the provisions of section 29-143j, as amended by this act, or under the supervision of any school, college or university having an academic course of study or of the recognized athletic association connected with such school, college or university, or to any mixed martial arts match held or conducted under chapter 532a.

Sec. 17. Section 53-201 of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective October 1, 2011):

Any person who is present at any prize fight, to aid, abet or assist therein, or give countenance thereto, or who aids or encourages such fight in this state, without being present thereat, shall be imprisoned not more than two years or fined not more than five hundred dollars or both. The provisions of this section shall not apply to boxing exhibitions held or conducted under the laws of this state, or to wrestling bouts, or to amateur boxing exhibitions held under the provisions of section 29-143j, as amended by this act, or the supervision of any school, college or university having an academic course of study or of the recognized athletic association connected with such school, college or university, or to any mixed martial arts match held or conducted under chapter 532a.

This act shall take effect as follows and shall amend the following sections:

Section 1

October 1, 2011

29-143j

Sec. 2

October 1, 2011

29-143l

Sec. 3

October 1, 2011

29-143m

Sec. 4

October 1, 2011

29-143n

Sec. 5

October 1, 2011

29-143o

Sec. 6

October 1, 2011

29-143p

Sec. 7

October 1, 2011

29-143q

Sec. 8

October 1, 2011

29-143r

Sec. 9

October 1, 2011

29-143s

Sec. 10

October 1, 2011

29-143t

Sec. 11

October 1, 2011

29-143u

Sec. 12

October 1, 2011

29-143v

Sec. 13

October 1, 2011

29-143w

Sec. 14

October 1, 2011

29-143x

Sec. 15

October 1, 2011

29-143y

Sec. 16

October 1, 2011

53-200

Sec. 17

October 1, 2011

53-201

Statement of Purpose:

To permit professional mixed martial arts matches to be held in the state and to subject such matches to the same regulation that currently applies to boxing matches, including giving the Commissioner of Public Safety regulatory authority over such matches, requiring the registration of hosts of such matches, requiring a license to conduct such matches, imposing a tax upon the receipts of such matches and other safety requirements.

[Proposed deletions are enclosed in brackets. Proposed additions are indicated by underline, except that when the entire text of a bill or resolution or a section of a bill or resolution is new, it is not underlined.]

Co-Sponsors:

REP. LESSER, 100th Dist.

H.B. 5269