MONTREAL -- Quebec athletes who take part in combat sports have taken a big hit during the pandemic, and now they're arguing that the time has come to allow them to throw punches once more.

Six different sports associations for contact sports have called on the Quebec government to lift restrictions that have forced them to put a halt to activities during the pandemic. The associations represent athletes in boxing, judo, karate, kick-boxing, wrestling and taekwondo.

A date of March 22 was presented as when they wish to re-open, saying that would be long enough after March break is over to see if there has been an uptick in COVID-19 cases.

Representatives said they want to resume sparring, training in bubbles and competitive events as soon as possible, and that they have protocols that would allow them to do so safely.

They pointed to public health data showing only 44 cases of the virus have been linked to all sports activities since September.