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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. No promoter's license may be granted to any club, corporation, association or individual unless the signer of the application is a bona fide resident of the state of West Virginia. 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 section three-b of this article. 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 conducted under the rules described in subdivision (1), subsection (c), section twenty-four of this article 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 adopted by the United States Amateur Boxing Authority. 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.

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