How Sport Recognition Affects Demos

Photo by Paul McLean

July 1st has come and gone, Canada is now 150 years old, and the Ministry of Tourism, Culture, & Sport (MTCS) has brought its Sport Recognition Policy in to full effect. Amateur muaythai sanctioned under Muaythai Ontario is now legal, however based on the Sport Recognition Policy, this has some additional consequences: all unsanctioned competition, including what that Ontario Muaythai community refers to as Demos, are enforceably illegal.

This puts the Muaythai community in a difficult spot, as in-house events have been a mainstay for clubs to earn revenue and athletes to build experience. In-house Demos have been used to raise funds for charity, finance athletes competition internationally, or simply provide an opportunity for the community to come together and support each other. Having Demos disappear completely would cause a lot of harm to the community, so Muaythai Ontario is taking the steps required to make sure clubs will be able to continue the practice of holding competition in their gyms- however in doing so, Muaythai Ontario must still follow the rules set out in the Sport Recognition Policy to ensure that all sanctioned competition complies with the legal requirements.

To that end, Muaythai Ontario will be implementing Rules & Regulations for Exhibitions Competition, covering both Full and Light Contact. The Ministry sets out definitions for Full Contact and Light Contact, as well as regulations around each, and the rules have been designed to meet their specification and we are currently waiting on Ministry feedback on the Exhibition rules. We will update the community as soon as we hear back.

We know that there is going to be a period of adjustment for the community, as sudden change after so many years will catch many by surprise. With these changes comes benefits to the community as well- by having written Full & Light Contact Exhibition rules, these types of contests will be able to take place on regularly sanctioned events, meaning young athletes just starting out or community veterans looking to showcase can get in to the ring at a fully sanctioned event.

In order to help identify which events are sanctioned by Muaythai Ontario, please visit our website events page. In the near future, Muaythai Ontario sanctioned events will also be listed on the website of the Ontario Athletic Commission.

As always Muaythai Ontario is here to support the community, and should you have any questions or concerns please don’t hesitate to contact us at info@muaythaiontario.org.

Khop khun khap,

Muaythai Ontario

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