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§29-5A-3. Commission to have sole control of boxing, etc., matches; licenses; municipality not to tax boxing, etc., club.

(a) The commission has sole direction, management, and control of the jurisdiction over all amateur, professional, and semiprofessional boxing, sparring matches, and exhibitions, or any form thereof, to be conducted, held or given within the state by any club, individual, corporation, or association. As used in this article, the term "boxing" includes any fighting event that includes or permits the striking of an opponent with a closed fist, even if wrestling moves, elements of martial arts, or striking an opponent with the feet are also permitted. No boxing, sparring, or exhibition may be conducted, held, or given within the state except pursuant to the commission’s authority and held in accordance with this article. The commission may issue and revoke the license to conduct, hold, or give boxing or sparring matches or exhibitions to any club, corporation, association, or individual. Every license is subject to rules the commission may prescribe. Every application for a license shall be on a blank form provided by the commission. Upon application of the promoter’s license, the promoter shall pay a state license fee of $125 for one year. The fee is nonrefundable and shall be paid in the form of a certified check or money order issued to the Treasurer of the State of West Virginia to be deposited in the fund set forth in §29-5A-3b of this code. Nonprofit chartered and charitable organizations are exempt from this license fee for all amateur events. No municipal corporation may impose any license tax on boxing, sparring, or exhibition clubs, notwithstanding the provisions of any section of the code respecting municipal taxes and licenses. The granting of a license to a club by the commission, or the holding of a license by a club, individual, corporation, or association, does not prevent the commission from canceling or revoking the license to conduct an event as provided in this section.

(b) In exercising its jurisdiction over professional and semiprofessional boxing, sparring matches, and exhibitions, the commission shall follow the current unified rules of boxing adopted by the Association of Boxing Commissions and requirements to enable the proper sanctioning of all participants, referees, judges, and matches or exhibitions and shall cooperate fully with the Association of Boxing Commissions in order that the sanctioning be extended to state boxers. The commission shall supervise all amateur boxing conducted in this state and any such contest shall follow the amateur rules for boxing as recommended and adopted by the Association of Boxing Commissions, U.S.A. Boxing, the International Boxing Association, or any other appropriate governing or sanctioning body recognized and accepted by the commission. For full contact boxing events and other boxing events that follow nontraditional rules, the commission may impose any limitations or restrictions reasonably necessary to guarantee the safety of the participants and the fair and honest conducting of the matches or exhibitions and may refuse to license any event that poses an unreasonable degree of risk to the participants.

(c) In exercising jurisdiction over professional, semiprofessional, and amateur boxing as well as any other boxing event over which the commission has jurisdiction under §29-5A-3(b) of this code, the commission may propose rules for legislative approval, in accordance with the provisions of §29A-3-1 et seq. of this code, to implement the provision of this section including:

(1) Procedures and requirements for the issuance and renewal of licenses;

(2) Exemptions from licensure;

(3) Procedures for fining, suspending, or revoking the license of any holder of a license issued under this article;

(4) A schedule of licensing fees;

(5) Limitations or restrictions necessary to guarantee the safety of the participants;

(6) Requirements for fair and honest conducting of contests, matches, or exhibitions; and

(7) Any other rules necessary to effectuate the provisions of this article.

Note: WV Code updated with legislation passed through the 2017 Regular Session
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