In Xiamen, China, today, AIBA President Dr Ching-Kuo Wu closed the first AIBA Executive Committee meeting in a year he hailed as historic for the sport. Among many agenda items, the Executive Committee made important changes to some of its procedural rules, debated the rules of the forthcoming World Series of Boxing, received progress reports on preparations for forthcoming AIBA events and discussed the details of the "Road to London" program covering all major tournaments in the run-up to the London 2012 Olympic Games, approved the business plans for its commissions and confederations as well as the 2009 audit and the 2010 AIBA budget.
"This will be a very busy year for AIBA," Dr Wu said. "We have five major AIBA events, including the Youth and Women's World Championships, as well as the launch of the World Series of Boxing. We also had a highly successful first-ever Joint Meeting of the Executive Committee and AIBA Commissions to encourage dialogue, which produced a lively exchange of information between all members of the AIBA family. But more importantly it allowed us to meet each other and develop synergies between our members."
"It was my pleasure to sign the four World Series of Boxing (WSB) franchises in Asia after this Joint Meeting. On the following day, the Executive Committee discussed the new Technical and Competition Rules for the World Series of Boxing," Dr Wu added.
Procedural rule changes
The Executive Committee approved changes to the Disciplinary Commission Code and Procedural Rules in order to increase the efficiency of the disciplinary system. The previous Disciplinary Commission having resigned, Mr Pierre Cornu was appointed as the new Chairman. Mr Cornu was previously Chairman of the AIBA Appeals Commission. Together with Dr Tom Virgets, President of USA Boxing, Mr Cornu, Mr Virgets and the Disciplinary Commission will immediately tackle all pending issues.
Some modifications to the AIBA Bylaws were also agreed in order to clarify nominations and election procedures, including new rules for Vice-Presidency, qualification for elections and clear identification of Congress representation. These changes provide for a faster hearing process, ensure preservation of both plaintiff and accused rights and protect the autonomy of the Disciplinary Commission.
Complete "Road to London" program unveiled
The "Road to Milan" program to prepare selected boxers and coaches from underprivileged nations for participation in the 2009 World Championships in Milan proved so successful that its principle has been extended to include all AIBA Men's and Women's World Championships plus the 2010 Youth World Championships. Thus there will be a "Road to Baku," "Road to Barbados," "Road to Busan" and a programme for the 2012 Women's World Championships.
The "Road to London" will assist athletes with their qualification for the London 2012 Olympic Games via the different qualifying tournaments. The scheme covers all travel, accommodation, board and local transport expenses to a 16-day pre-event training camp programme and the event itself.
2011 Junior World Championships
The Executive Committee unanimously accepted a bid from Astana, Kazakhstan, to host the 2011 Junior World Championships. As part of their bid, the organisers agreed to implement a "Road to Astana" program along the lines of those used for the Elite and Youth level competitions.
AIBA Technical and Competition Rules changes
The Executive Committee adopted the following weight categories that will apply from 1 September 2010:
• Men's Elite and Youth competitions
46-49kg, 52kg, 56kg, 60kg, 64kg, 69kg, 75kg, 81kg, 91kg and +91kg
• Women's Elite and Youth competitions:
Light fly 45-48kg, Fly 51kg, Bantam 54kg, Feather 57kg, Light 60kg, Light Welter 64kg, Welter 69kg, Middle 75kg, Light Heavy 81kg, Heavy 81+kg.
• Women's boxing at the Olympic Games in London 2012:
48-51kg, 57-60kg, 69kg-75kg.
The following competition formats were adopted:
• All AIBA Men's Elite and Youth events: 3 rounds of 3 minutes
• All AIBA Women's Elite and Youth events: 4 rounds of 2 minutes
• All AIBA Junior Boys and Girls events: 3 rounds of 2 minutes
Furthermore, a rule was adopted limiting the maximum number of International Technical Officers (ITO) per country to two members with the same nationality in the same event with no ITO from the host country allowed. A new proposal was adopted that requires doctors of the same gender as the athletes to officiate at the weigh-in.
The new Management System for Coaches was also adopted which requires 1-star coaches or above for 1-star events, 2-star coaches or above for 2-star events and only 3-star coaches for 3-star events. A grace period until December 2012 is granted to allow lower star-rated coaches to perform as a second in a higher level event if a National Federation does not have sufficient coaches at the required level.
World Series of Boxing Technical and Competition Rules
The AIBA Executive Committee approved the following key points of the World Series of Boxing (WSB) Technical and Competition Rules:
• The competition will be open to AIBA registered boxers between the ages of 18 and 35.
• There will be five weight categories: Bantam (54kg), Light (61kg), Middle (73kg), Light heavy (85kg) and Heavy (+91kg).
• The weigh-in will take place 24-30 hours before the start of the first bout.
• There will be 5 rounds of 3 minutes in the team competition and 7 rounds of 3 minutes in the Individual Championships.
• Decisions will be based on points, Technical Knock-Outs, Knock-Outs and disqualifications - there will be no draws.
• Open scoring based on the 10-point "Must System" (10-9, 10-8, 10-7) using a manual judging system with computerised display and inputs. Scores will be publicly displayed at the end of each round and at the conclusion of the bout.
• There will be 3 judges and 1 referee.
• Boxing gloves will be 8 ounce for bantamweight and lightweight and 10 ounce for all other weights. New boxing gloves are being developed specifically for the WSB.
Key Technical Delegate appointments
Mr Franco Falcinelli, Chairman of the Technical and Rules Commission, was appointed as the AIBA Technical Delegate for the London 2012 Olympic Games. For the same tournament, Mr Terry Smith, Chairman of the AIBA Referee and Judges Commission, was appointed to the newly-created position of Deputy Technical Delegate (applicable to all competitions for which more than 500 boxers are entered).
The Executive Committee adopted a proposal that any National Federation which had been previously recognised by AIBA but which belongs to another boxing organisation shall be accepted as an Associate Member of AIBA. Furthermore, the National Boxing Federation of Guinea Bissau was accepted as a new member and that of Tanzania was reinstated.
The Executive Committee approved all business plans of its Commissions and Confederations and furthermore adopted the 2009 audit and approved the finalized 2010 AIBA budget. In addition, the accounting period was changed to cover the period of 1 July to 30 June and a separate auditor was appointed for the World Series of Boxing accounts.
In concluding the meeting, Dr Wu said "We approved every decision unanimously, which really shows we have built up a strong consensus on what we are going to implement. So I thank all the Executive Members for their support, which will give a very clear direction for the AIBA head office to work on. Without such decisions it would be much more difficult to organise the work. I'm sure 2010 will be another very successful year for AIBA."