Following the Referee & Judges and Technical & Rules Commission meetings in Lausanne in October, and the successful road-testing of proposed rule changes in Saint Petersburg in November, several significant changes to the AOB rules to improve and clarify aspects of in-competition procedure and scoring have now been ratified by the AIBA Executive Committee.
Among the most integral rule changes ready to be implemented at tournaments in 2017 will be the use of the independent Swiss Timing electronic draw system to select the Judges for each bout and the use of all five of their scorecards to determine the winner.
“Sport is always evolving, and AIBA continuously strives to introduce changes that will help maintain boxing’s position as one of the most exciting and popular sports in the world. Proposals that our experts on the R&J and T&R Commissions put forward in October have been provisionally agreed upon and road-tested at the recent Youth World Championships in Saint Petersburg. Following that operational success, these important changes can now be introduced to all AOB competitions, and it is satisfying to see the efficiency with which the process has been conducted in such a short period of time,” said AIBA President Dr Ching-Kuo Wu.
More solutions for R&J scoring comprehension
The changes to the R&J procedure will provide further transparency to the scoring process, with the Draw Commission replaced by a single Commission Chairman to verify the electronic selection by Swiss Timing. Judges will now be positioned on the four sides of the ring rather than three, and all five scorecards will be used to determine the winner. The scores for each round will only be declared at the conclusion of a bout rather than at the ends of the rounds, and the R&J Evaluators are now formally recognised as International Technical Official positions.
Refined four-year calendar approved
Important changes to streamline and enhance the competition calendar are approved in order to give greater emphasis to the Continental Championships, reduce costs for NFs and give ITOs more year-round opportunities. From 2019, the Men’s and Women’s World Championships will fall in the same calendar year, with the Men’s and Women’s Youth Championships scheduled for the year before.
Door opened for professionals
All National Federations have been informed of the full list of rule changes in order to disseminate them to their members as the next Olympic cycle gets underway for Tokyo 2020. It was ahead of the Rio 2016 that the ground-breaking vote to allow non-AIBA pro boxers to compete at the Olympic Games was made, and that decision has now been taken to its natural conclusion, with National Federations henceforth empowered to select from a wider pool of boxers, including those from other organisations, providing standard eligibility AIBA requirements are met.