The Muaythai Association of Philippines (MAP) recognises the importance of innovation and collaboration to continue supporting the needs of its team for their sustained success, their safety, and well-being, as well as the uninterrupted growth of the grassroots program. The MAP have crafted a 4-phase master plan titled “Return to the Ring: A Roadmap to the Resumption of Muaythai Activities in the ELite & Grassroots Levles”. The roadmap aims to address each stage of the pandemic in the context of participation within our sport. These recommendations are based on IATF, DOH, CDC, WHO, and IOC guidelines and were patterned after best practices of other sports. The 21 page document was signed off by MAP President, Gen. Lt. Lucas M. Managuelod and officials of the association.

MAP President Gen. Lt. Lucas Managuelod stated “We know that everyone is eager to return to his or her normal lives but we have to be conservative in our approach by recognising that we have a responsibility to our community. We anchor our policies on the core values of our sport – respect, tradition, honor, fair play, and excellence – and to our athlete-centered philosophy. Our organisation remains steadfast in its commitment to persevere in placing the best interest of our national pool members and the rest of the Muaythai community.”

“Return to the Ring”, the document developed by the executive team is a step by step guide on bringing athletes back to their routines.

Phase 1: Return to Routine

Phase 1 is implemented during the Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ) and General Community Quarantine (GCQ) and enforced until IATF lifts suspension of gym closures and sports training cessations. Digital platforms are utilised.

Phase 2: Return to the Gyms

Phase 2 includes 3 levels: Level 1 – No Contact Training, Level 2 – Limited Contact Training, and Level 3 – Full Contact Training.

Each level is implemented depending on IATF and LGU guidelines, with Level 2 only possible with mass testing and Level 3 with vaccination and health clearance of our national team members.

Phase 3: Return to Match-up Events (single-day events)

Phase 3 is implemented once there are mass testing, vaccinations, and health clearances of local and regional participants.

Phase 4: Return to Bracketed Events (multi-day events)

Phase 4 allows the return of normal activities and operations when mass vaccinations have been performed.

The Muaythai Association of the Philippines’ “Return to the Ring” Roadmap is an excellent Model of Best Practice, which is available for all IFMA stakeholders to access and utilise in order to develop and innovate a roadmap applicable to their own muaythai communities.