Proposed Amendments to Combative Sports Administrative Rules

Chapter 61. Combative Sports

Proposal Filed: August 29, 2013 – Published in the Texas Register: September 13, 2013
Deadline for Public Comment: October 14, 2013

Underlined text is new language.

[Strike-thru text ] is deleted language.

The Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation (Department) proposes amendments to existing rules at 16 Texas Administrative Code (TAC), Chapter 61, §§61.10, 61.20, 61.23, 61.30, 61.40, 61.48, 61.80 and 61.120 regarding the combative sports program.

The proposed amendments are necessary to implement Senate Bill 618 (SB 618), 83rd Legislature, Regular Session (2013), which amended Texas Occupations Code, Chapter 2052.

The proposed amendments eliminate the ringside physician license type which required that a ringside physician file an application and pay a license registration fee to the Department. In place of the ringside physician licensing program, the proposed amendments allow the Department to assign, by agreement, individuals with an unrestricted and unlimited Texas Medical Board license to combative sports events. The proposed rules also establish selection criteria and procedures for the assignment of individuals who agree to act as ringside physicians and timekeepers for combative sports events. In addition, the proposed amendments also eliminate the timekeeper license type and instead establish an appointment process for timekeepers assigned to combative sports events.

Proposed amendments to §61.10(15) redefines “ringside physician” to implement a change in law made by SB 618.

Proposed amendments to §61.20(a) eliminates the general requirement that timekeepers and ringside physicians be licensed or registered to implement a change in law made by SB 618.

Proposed amendments to §61.23 eliminates licensing requirements for timekeepers and ringside physicians to implement a change in law made by SB 618.

Proposed amendments to §61.30(g) establish selection criteria for the assignment of ringside physicians and timekeepers for combative sports events to implement a change in law made by SB 618.

Proposed amendments to §61.40(b) changes the term “registered” to “assigned” to implement a change in law made by SB 618.

Proposed amendments to §61.48 change the term “registered” to “assigned” to implement a change in law made by SB 618.

Proposed amendments to §61.80 eliminate the licensing fees for timekeeper and ringside physician to implement a change in law made by SB 618.

Proposed amendments to §61.120 changes the term “registration” to “assignment” to implement a change in law made by SB 618.

William H. Kuntz, Jr., Executive Director has determined that for the first five-year period the proposed amendments are in effect there will be no cost to state or local government as a result of enforcing or administering the proposed rules.

Mr. Kuntz also has determined that for each year of the first five-year period the proposed amendments are in effect, the public benefit will be safer combative sports events resulting from the Department’s increased ability to provide greater safety to combative sports participants by ensuring that ringside physicians are qualified for the specific task of overseeing a combative sports event.

There is no anticipated economic effect on small and micro-businesses and to all other persons who are required to comply with the rules as proposed. There will be no adverse effect on small or micro-businesses or to persons who are required to comply with the proposed rules. Since the agency has determined that the proposed rules will have no adverse economic effect on small or micro-businesses, preparation of an Economic Impact Statement and a Regulatory Flexibility Analysis, under Texas Government Code, §2006.002 is not required.

Comments on the proposal may be submitted by mail to Caroline Jackson, Legal Assistant Team Lead, General Counsel’s Office, Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation, P.O. Box 12157, Austin, Texas 78711; by facsimile to (512) 475-3032; or by email to erule@tdlr.texas.gov. The deadline for comments is 30 days after publication in the Texas Register.

The rules are proposed under Texas Occupations Code, Chapters 51 and 2052, which authorize the Texas Commission of Licensing and Regulation, the Department's governing body, to adopt rules as necessary to implement these chapters and any other law establishing a program regulated by the Department.

The statutory provisions affected by the proposal are those set forth in Texas Occupations Code, Chapters 51 and 2052. No other statutes, articles, or codes are affected by the proposal.

§61.10.  Definitions.

The following words and terms have the following meanings:

(1) - (14) (No change.)

(15) Ringside Physician--An individual who has an unrestricted and unlimited license [licensed] to practice medicine in this state and who by agreement, is assigned as the physician for a combative sports event [Texas Medical Board, and registered with the department].

(16) - (18) (No change.)

§61.20.  General Licensing Requirements.

(a) Professional combative sports contestants, promoters, referees, judges, seconds, matchmakers, managers, [timekeepers, ringside physicians,] and event coordinators who officiate or participate in a regulated professional event authorized by the Code must be licensed or registered by the executive director. Referees [and ringside physicians] who officiate at regulated amateur events must also be licensed or registered by the executive director.

(b) - (e) (No change.)

§61.23.  General Prohibitions.

(a) - (d) (No change.)

(e) A promoter may not act as, and may not be a timekeeper or licensed as [;] a referee [, timekeeper,] or judge. A promoter may be licensed as a manager and as a second. A promoter may be licensed as a contestant unless prohibited by Federal law.

(f) - (j) (No change.)

§61.30.  Responsibilities and Authority of the Executive Director.

(a) - (f) (No change.)

(g) Selection and Assignment of Ring Officials

(1) The executive director, or his designee, will assign ring officials [on a rotational basis from lists of licensees and registrants. Assignments will be made] to ensure the highest degree of safety for contestants. The department will assist ring officials [license holders and registrants] in developing expertise in the combative sports of their choice, to include training and shadow officiating.

(A) Ringside Physicians must hold a license as defined by §61.10(15); and

(B) Demonstrate by training, education, or experience, knowledge in the diagnoses and treatment of sports related trauma.

(2) To officiate at an assigned event, a ring official will be issued a department badge after executing a signed acknowledgement agreeing to the following terms.

(A) - (B) (No change.)

(C) Failure to surrender the badge upon direction of the executive director or his designee may result in disciplinary action and removal from the pool of qualified ring officials [rotation list].

(3) The key determining factors for assigning ring officials are:

(A) - (B) (No change.)

(C) the location of the ring official’s [licensee's] residence; and

(D) (No change.)

(4) A ring official who declines to work an event may be removed from the pool of qualified ring officials [, will miss his rotation].

(5) The name of a ring official who declines to work an event five times in succession will be removed from the pool of qualified ring officials [taken off of the rotation list].

(6) A ring official who uses his badge to gain access to a regulated event to which he has not been assigned or who violates department rules or the code may be removed from the pool of qualified ring officials [rotation list].

(7) In order to be reinstated to the pool of qualified ring officials, a ring [on the rotation list, an] official may be required to complete additional training as determined by the executive director, in addition to any other qualifications.

[(8) If a ring official under this subsection substitutes for another who declined to work an event, the substituting official does not lose his place on the rotation list.]

(h) - (q) (No change.)

§61.40.  Responsibilities of the Promoter.

(a) (No change.)

(b) A promoter shall:

(1) - (5) No change.)

(6) Provide two ringside physicians, to be assigned [registered] by the department, for each event.

(7) Provide at least one [registered] physician to conduct pre-fight physicals. The department may require additional physicians depending on the event size. Provide a private area for the ringside physician to perform pre-fight examinations.

(8) - (10) (No change.)

(11) Provide no less than two private dressing rooms of adequate size for the contestants and their licensed managers, and seconds, and separate dressing rooms for male and female contestants. Only working department employees, contract inspectors, media, physicians, [licensed] working ring officials, promoter, matchmaker, manager and seconds will be allowed in the dressing rooms.

(12) - (16) (No change.)

(17) Pay by check or money order the licensing fee of any contestant, second, or manager, [or ringside physician] who intends to participate in a scheduled combative sports event and who is not licensed at the time of the event weigh-in.

(18) - (19) (No change.)

(c) - (f) (No change.)

§61.48.  Responsibilities of Amateur Combative Sports Associations.

(a) - (g) (No change.)

(h) An ACSA conducting an event shall:

(1) - (2) (No change.)

(3) Provide two physicians to be assigned [, that are registered] by the Department for each event.

(4) - (11) (No change.)

(i) - (j) (No change.)

§61.80.  Fees.

(a) The annual fee shall accompany each license or registration application or renewal as follows.

(1) - (7) (No change.)

[(8) Timekeeper--$30]

[(9) Ringside Physician--$25]

(8) [(10)] Amateur Combative Sports Association--$50

(9) [(11)] Event Coordinator--$200

(b) - (d) (No change.)

§61.120.  Medical Advisory Committee.

(a) - (c) (No change.)

(d) The Committee shall make recommendations to the Department concerning:

(1) physical tests for contestants; and

(2) assignment [registration] requirements for ringside physicians.

This agency hereby certifies that the proposal has been reviewed by legal counsel and found to be a valid exercise of the agency’s legal authority.

Filed with the Office of the Secretary of State, on August 29, 2013.

William H. Kuntz, Jr.
Executive Director
Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation

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