We haven't had a Cagewriter facepalm of the week in a while, but this week, my beloved home state merits it. Why? Because they've decided that regulating amateur bouts isn't worth their time.
According to the Chicago Tribune, while there has been no change in the way professional bouts are regulated, amateur bouts are getting little to no oversight.
The state no longer requires blood testing to verify that fighters don't have AIDS, HIV or hepatitis B. And while the revised law says events must provide protections including on-site medical staff, safety equipment and standards for striking techniques, it does not define what is acceptable or require proof of compliance.
A change in the state law was made supposedly to make it easier for youth groups to hold karate tournaments. As happy as I am that it will be easy for Johnny to participate in the All-Valley Tournament, the unintended consequences are dire.
Obviously, it concerns me that no one will be looking out for people starting out in the sport. A good friend of mine is set to make her MMA amateur debut in Illinois in June. It makes me wonder if she would be better off heading over to Indiana or Ohio for her first bout.
If you are an Illinoisan, you can contact your legislator to close this loophole. Find out the best way to get in touch with him or her here.