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General Laws

Section 32. (a) In this section and in sections 33 to 51, inclusive, the following words shall, unless a different meaning is clearly required by the context, have the following meanings:-

“Boxing”, the art of attack and defense with gloved fists practiced as a sport limited to legal blows above the waist and on the front or sides of the opponent.

“Commission”, the state athletic commission established in section 12 of chapter 22.

“Kickboxing”, a form of competition in which a person delivers blows with any part of the arm below the shoulder, including the hand and any part of the leg below the hip, including the foot.

“Mixed martial arts”, any form of unarmed combat involving the use of a combination of techniques including, but not limited to, grappling, kicking and striking, commonly associated with boxing, kickboxing, wrestling and various disciplines of the martial arts including, but not limited to, karate, kung fu, tae kwon-do, Jiu-Jitsu or any combination thereof.

“Unarmed combative sport”, any form of competition in which a blow is usually struck which may reasonably be expected to inflict injury and no weapon is used; provided, however, that “unarmed combative sport” shall not include professional wrestling.

“Toughman”, a boxing or unarmed combative sporting match or exhibition in which combatants do not qualify for licensure by the commission as a professional combatant or for amateur status by a commission-approved amateur organization; provided, however, that “toughman” shall not include matches or exhibitions conducted pursuant to section 50A.

(b) No boxing, kickboxing, mixed martial arts or other unarmed combative sporting event or sparring match or exhibition for a prize or purse, or at which an admission fee is charged, either directly or indirectly, in the form of dues or otherwise, whether professional or amateur, shall take place or be conducted except in accordance with a license granted as hereinafter provided by the commission. Applications for a license shall be accompanied by the fee, as established annually by the commissioner of administration and finance pursuant to section 3B of chapter 7, which may take into consideration the population of the city or town or the seating capacity of the building or place in which the match or exhibition is to be held; provided, however, that a license, the fee for which is established on the basis of seating capacity of a building or place as aforesaid, shall be exercised only in such building or place. Tough-man or similar type matches or exhibitions shall be prohibited. In the case of exhibitions or bouts held in accordance with the rules and regulations of amateur organizations as may be approved by the commission, the commission may issue special licenses without the requirement of a bond as provided in section 34 or payment of the annual fee.

(c) Any persons holding, conducting, promoting or participating in a match or exhibition held without a license, as provided in section 33, or a toughman or similar type match or exhibition, shall be punished by imprisonment in the house of corrections for not more than 3 months or by a fine of not more than $5,000, or both such fine and imprisonment.

(d) Matches or exhibitions under the governance of the Massachusetts Interscholastic Athletic Association, the National Collegiate Athletic Association or any equivalent school or college organization shall be exempt from the requirements of this section if the competitors are amateurs.

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