‘Nathan’s Law’ Unanimously Passed by Nevada Athletic Commission and Signed by Gov. Steve Sisolak

LAS VEGAS, Dec. 14, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — Stephen J. Cloobeck, Chairman of the Nevada Athletic Commission (“NAC” or “the Commission”), today announced the emergency regulation titled “Nathan’s Law” was signed by Gov. Steve Sisolak following unanimous passage by the NAC. The law, prompted by the death of 20-year-old UNLV student Nathan Valencia, expands the Commission’s regulatory oversight to amateur contests or unarmed combat to clarify which events fall outside the NAC’s jurisdiction.

The Commission immediately implemented the policy following the Governor’s signature.

“It is incumbent upon us to honor Mr. Valencia’s memory by protecting Nevada’s college students from similar events in the future,” said Chairman Cloobeck, who hand delivered the regulation to Gov. Sisolak for his signature. “Fighter safety is my top priority as Chair of the Nevada Athletic Commission, and it’s OUR top priority as a Commission.”

The emergency regulation specifically addresses a rule in the Nevada Revised Statutes governing unarmed combat, NRS 467.170, that previously exempted any school, college or university, or by any association or organization of a school, college or university, when each participant in the contests or exhibitions is a bona fide student in the school, college or university, from oversight by the Commission.

As noted in the statement accompanying the Emergency Regulation passed by the Commission and signed by the Governor and Executive Director of the NAC, “Broadly read without regulatory guidance, NRS 467.170 could be interpreted in a manner that allows a school, college, or university organization to conduct an unarmed combat event while entirely evading oversight and regulation from any school officials or unarmed combat sanctioning bodies.”

The statement continued: “The emergency regulations submitted here will promote the safety of student or unarmed combatants by ensuring that unarmed combat events that fall outside the jurisdiction of the Nevada Athletic Commission are supervised and regulated by school, college, or university administrators, or by a recognized collegiate sanctioning body with expertise in unarmed combat and unarmed combat safety.”

Nathan’s Law establishes procedures for unarmed combat event organizers claiming an exemption from the Commission’s oversight under NRS 467.170.  The emergency regulations give the Commission the authority to verify the organizer’s eligibility for the exemption, and clearly identifies the supervising authority if the event falls outside the Commission’s jurisdiction.  These new rules will ensure necessary health and safety measures and protocols are implemented, and that the contest or exhibition is conducted in a manner that protects the health and safety of all participants.

“While we must work within our statutory framework, the regulation here today will close some holes in the system that allow fraternities and similar organizations to evade oversight and regulation,” said Chairman Cloobeck, who thanked the Governor’s office and the Attorney General’s office for moving quickly to adopt and implement the new rules before any other individuals are harmed.

About the Nevada Athletic Commission:

In 1941, the Nevada Athletic Commission was established by an act of the Nevada legislature.  Since that time, the Commission has regulated professional unarmed combat (e.g., boxing, kickboxing and mixed martial arts/ MMA) in Nevada.  The conduct and regulation of unarmed combat in Nevada are governed by NRS Chapter 467, and are further clarified by the Regulations of the Commission (Chapter 467 of the Nevada Administrative Code).  The Commission administers the State laws and regulations governing unarmed combat for the protection of the public and to ensure the health and safety of the contestants. For more information about the Nevada Athletic Commission, visit http://boxing.nv.gov/.

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