Overview

In 2017, the Ontario government clarified the legal status of amateur combative sport through Order in Council 1087/2017.

This means that contests are legal in 11 amateur combative sports if they are held with the permission of a government-recognized Provincial Sport Organization (PSO).

Contests in sports that are not sanctioned by a provincially recognized PSO are deemed illegal.

Safe and legal amateur combative sport contests

Ontario supports safe participation in amateur combative sports.

About Provincial Sport Organizations

A PSO is a not-for-profit organization recognized by the ministry as the governing body of a particular amateur sport in Ontario. A PSO must be recognized in accordance with the provincial Sport Recognition Policy.

The primary function of a PSO is to develop athletes, coaches and officials. Currently, there are 10 PSOs recognized by the government in Ontario for combative sports.

List of designated sports and events

Browse a list of designated amateur combative sports, including:

  • their specific Provincial Sport Organization
  • links to their sanctioned event listings
Designated amateur combative sportProvincial Sport OrganizationEvent listings
BoxingBoxing OntarioFind boxing events
GrapplingOntario Grappling AssociationFind grappling events
Jiu-JitsuOntario Jiu-Jitsu AssociationFind jiu-jitsu events
JudoJudo OntarioFind judo events
KarateKarate Ontario Inc.Find karate events
KickboxingKickboxing OntarioFind kickboxing events
Muay ThaiMuay Thai OntarioFind Muay Thai events
PankrationOntario Grappling AssociationFind prankration events
TaekwondoTaekwondo OntarioFind taekwondo events
WrestlingOntario Amateur Wrestling AssociationFind wrestling events
WushuWushu OntarioFind wushu events

Definition of a contest

When sanctioning contests, PSOs must adhere to:

  • the definition of a contest
  • all requirements as detailed in the Sport Recognition Policy

If a contest meets the definition of a prize fight, it must be sanctioned by the recognized PSO.

As per the Canadian Criminal Code section 83 (2), "In this section, prize fight means an encounter or fight with fists, hands or feet between two persons who have met for that purpose by previous arrangement made by or for them."

Special note on wrestling

In the case of wrestling, amateur contests may also be held by a school or university with the permission of a school, or university athletic association or its affiliate, and would adhere to the full competition requirements mandated under the Ontario Amateur Wrestling Association.

Host a combative sport contest

To host a contest in an exempt amateur combative sport, the associated recognized PSO must sanction the contest.

The government has authorized ten PSOs as the recognized sport bodies to sanction contests.

A contest not authorized by a recognized PSO in an exempt amateur combative sport could be deemed illegal and subject to prosecution.

Compete in a combative sport

Before you participate in an amateur combative sport contest, make sure you’re informed about the health and safety practices at the training facilities or tournament venues.

This includes obtaining information about first aid response and insurance policies that disclose:

  • how injuries are handled
  • the responsibilities of tournament or practice facility owners

To inform your decisions about participating in an amateur combative sport, learn more about health and safety standards.

Enforcement

Enforcement of the Canadian Criminal Code is handled by provincial or municipal police services.

Contact us

For more information, email us sport@ontario.ca or contact your Provincial Sport Organization.