Hon Mick Murray MLA

Hon Mick Murray MLA

Minister for Seniors and Ageing; Volunteering; Sport and Recreation

    Strategy towards improving safety in WA's combat sports

    15/12/2018 8:00 AM
    • Combat Sports Commission developing new measures to prevent harmful practice of weight cutting by dehydration
    • Strategy open for public comment until January 31, 2019 

    Plans to prevent the harmful practice of weight cutting by dehydration in Western Australia's combat sports are underway, following the release of a draft strategy for public comment.


    'Contestant Safety Strategy to Address Rapid Weight Loss (Weight Cutting) by Dehydration' was developed by the Combat Sports Commission, following extensive research and consultation with the industry and Curtin University.


    Weight cutting by dehydration is a practice whereby combat sports contestants rapidly decrease their body weight before weigh-ins through excessive dehydration.


    Some contestants may use weight cutting by dehydration to gain an advantage by competing in a weight class below their normal fighting weight.


    Symptoms of this harmful practice include mood swings; decreased kidney, heart and cardiovascular function; eye trouble and increased risk of brain injury. In some cases, it can be fatal.


    The strategy delivers a series of recommendations built on four pillars: dehydration assessment; weight assessment; regulation through the Combat Sports Commission's code of conduct; and through a package of education measures.


    The public comment period is open until January 31, 2019. Combat sports industry stakeholders are encouraged to download the strategy report from https://www.dsr.wa.gov.au/weight-cutting


    Comments attributed to Sport and Recreation Minister Mick Murray:


    "This strategy has been developed by the Combat Sports Commission following comprehensive stakeholder engagement and consultation regarding weight cutting by dehydration.


    "As the body at the forefront of safety and regulation of combat sports, the wellbeing of contestants is a priority for the Commission.


    "The Combat Sports Commission has listened to the industry, and now looks forward to working closely with all stakeholders on how to minimise this dangerous practice."


    Comments attributed to Combat Sports Commission chairperson Cassandra Wright:


    "I sincerely hope that Commission registrants embrace the proposed changes to enable them to make healthier decisions to prepare for a contest. The Commission suggests contestants 'prepare well to perform better'.


    "I am proud of what the Commission has achieved in the development of this strategy. This has been a well-researched project involving industry consultation to develop a holistic approach to address the very dangerous practice of weight cutting by way of dehydration."


    Minister's office - 6552 6400