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AIBA agree on women Pros for Olympics and changes in scoring and judging systems
by Michael O'Neill
December 7, 2016

(DEC 7) News just in from the AIBA (International Boxing Association) that several important changes have been made for 2017 and beyond. These changes are designed to improve and clarify aspects of in-competition procedures and scoring and have just 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”.

That last paragraph of course is of great important to women boxers since a limited number of males but no females took part in Rio 2016. Now it is open to more Pros to also try and qualify for the Olympics via their National Federations or for example via any WSB or APB bouts which may be authorised before the next Games.

Since that last paragraph is open to interpretation ie: …” providing standard eligibility AIBA requirements are met”, WBAN has asked the AIBA to clarify same and specify the true meaning especially as to whether or not boxers who have had more than a certain number of Pro fights will be excluded. More on that when we hear from the AIBA.

It does look now though has if the final decisions will rest with the National Federations and NOT all may agree to include Professionals.

Will we see such as Claressa Shields, Katie Taylor, and if they turn Pro shortly as expected, Estelle Mossely and Nicola Adams in Tokyo 2020?

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