Certification Program for
Nothing in this program may be duplicated or
disseminated without the express written consent of Wally Jernigan, or the
President of the Association of Boxing Commissions. This program was written for
the exclusive use of the Association of Boxing Commissions and member
Commissions in good standing.
Chapter I Dress
Chapter II Pre-Bout Preparation
Chapter III Scoring Zone
Chapter IV Prior to Bout
Chapter V Scoring the Bout
Chapter VI Completion of the Scorecard
Chapter VII After Completion of the Bout
Chapter VIII Scoring Criteria
Chapter IX Point Deductions
Chapter X Scoring Knockdowns
Chapter XI Even Rounds
Chapter I Dress
Chapter II Pre-Fight Duties
Chapter III Dressing Room Instructions
Chapter IV Ringside Checklist
Chapter V Duties of Referee Upon
Boxers Entering the Ring
Chapter VI Positioning During the Bout
Chapter VII Shortening the Distance
Chapter VIII Procedure Following A Knockdown
Chapter IX Procedure Following A Cut,
Head-Butt, or Low Blow
Chapter X Low Blows
Chapter XI Enforcement of Fouls
Chapter XII Referee Action on Fouls
Chapter XIII Concussive Impact Fouls
Chapter XIV The Five Minute Rule
Chapter XV Disqualification of Boxer(s)
Chapter XVI Powers of the Referee
Chapter XVII Conclusion
Thanks are due to many people who contributed
directly and indirectly to this handbook and associated certification program.
Deserving special mention are Bill Clancy, Duane Ford, Frank Garza, Armando
Garcia, Tom Kaczmarek, Gary Merritt, Jay Nady, Tom Sweeney and Peter Trematerra.
Their unselfish contribution and continued dedication have served the boxing
industry well, and they can be proud of their accomplishments.
To ABC President Tim Lueckenhoff, for his guidance and trust in the charge given the Training and Education Committee to complete this task. My fellow committee members for their help and guidance; Flip Homansky (NV), Greg Sirb (PA), Jason Penley (FL), and Jim Cassidy (OR).
This handbook and the associated certification program for our officials are dedicated to that boxer known as the “opponent”. It is important that without certainty, from the opening bell to the completion of the contest, he shall be guaranteed an equal opportunity for victory and not have any concern about a “hometown decision”.
Uniformity in actions, responsibilities, duties and
performance of ring officials must be attained, leading to quality control for
each boxing match. This handbook and the certification of all ring officials
will establish minimum standards and define the criteria to be followed during
professional boxing matches throughout the boxing industry.
Everyone is aware that there is an underlying
disadvantage to being cut or having serious eye swelling. It is not unusual for
a boxer who is cut or bruised, and his face a bloody mask to outscore his
opponent and win the ensuing round, and sometimes the bout. The effectiveness of
the blows causing the damage should only contribute to the boxers advantage.
Neither an experienced judge or referee will be swayed by blood flowing from a
cut or a badly swollen eye, even though it may appear to detract from the
The integrity of the entire boxing industry starts
with excellent, quality, knowledgeable and dedicated ring officials.
Association of Boxing Commissions;
ABC Training & Education Committee
entire boxing industry understands the highly sensitive and very unique
responsibility that is placed on the ringside officials and the impact their
actions have on the public’s perception of the sport of boxing. The continued
success of the sport requires the highest standards of performance and integrity
of all licensed officials. It is imperative that all officials make themselves
knowledgeable of all laws, rules and regulations of the supervising commission,
including the Professional Boxing Safety Act of 1996 and any subsequent
supervising Athletic Commission will make all official assignments. It is
important that all assignment decisions be made based on the following criteria;
difficulty of the
completion of the official certification program approved by the Association of
assignments should be considered for any official who has not attended and
successfully completed the ABC certification program for judges and referees.
ABC strongly recommends that referees or judges attend and successfully complete
an approved certification-training seminar every twelve (12) months.
following procedures, guidelines and Uniform Championship Rules govern all world
and regional championship bouts held within the United States of America, Puerto
Rico, the Virgin Islands, the District of Columbia, including any Indian Tribe
recognized under the Professional Boxing Safety Act of 1996 which has formed a
II. JUDGES AND REFEREES PROFESSIONAL CONDUCT AND
It is the
responsibility of all officials to report to the location of the event at least
one hour prior to the scheduled start time and check in with the Athletic
Commission Supervisor in charge, rested and mentally prepared to work.
of alcohol will not be tolerated at the location of the event, neither
prior to, nor during the matches. It is recommended that any person, who
accepts an official assignment, should refrain from consuming alcohol 24 hours
prior to the scheduled start time of the event.
officials must refrain from smoking at ringside.
At no time
during, or between rounds, should an official comment or discuss his/her view of
how the contest is progressing. All officials should refrain from talking to the
contestants, managers or seconds. The exception to this is when the referee is
issuing a verbal warning, enforcing a rule, or assessing the condition of a
that reflect the performance of another official should be addressed with the
Athletic Commission Supervisor privately, and care should be taken not to demean
anyone in a public forum.
At no time
should an official use his position to gain favor for themselves and/or anyone
from anyone associated with an event. This
includes events that the official is not assigned to work.
should not express an opinion or predict the outcome of a bout to anyone. Opinions on fighters and fights must not be expressed.
All officials must be especially careful not to exhibit any partiality,
support, or favoritism at anytime, prior to, during, or after the contest,
whether you are working the bouts or not.
approached by members of the media regarding the outcome of a bout, regardless
of whether you worked that particular bout or not, do not express any personal
opinions regarding the outcome. Only after receiving clearance from the
supervising Athletic Commission, you may discuss the rules, interpretation and
application by you as an official. It
is your duty to remain neutral.
All officials are to be fully versed with all commission rules and
federal laws regarding conflicts and potential conflicts of interest.
Officials should pay particularly close attention to the interpretation
of “The Professional Boxing Safety Act of 1996” (amended by “The Muhammad
Ali Boxing Reform Act” in 1998), codified as 15 U.S.C. §6301, et seq.,
specifically, 15 U.S.C. §6308.
PROFESSIONAL BOXING JUDGES
the knowledge and full understanding that from time to time, judge’s row is
not a good place to be seated because of bodily fluids that are being dispersed
through the air. It is suggested
that judges’ dress in casual business attire (sport coat and dress slacks) to
assure a professional appearance. At a minimum, the recommended attire will be
dress sport shirt and slacks, with females dressing accordingly, or as required
by the supervising Athletic Commission. In
some cases the supervising Athletic Commission may allow more casual dress for
weather conditions, especially for outside events.
II. PRE BOUT PREPARATION
you accept an assignment to work:
If you have any conflict of interest or other concerns regarding
the assignment, contact the Athletic Commission Supervisor and discuss the
matter with him immediately. Do not
accept an assignment if your concerns have not been addressed and resolved.
anything to public scrutiny, report all concerns to the supervising Athletic
Commission as soon as possible.
You should always
report to the Athletic Commission Supervisor at least one hour before the
scheduled start time.
You are a
professional sports official and very much in the public eye, your attire and
demeanor say a lot. A neat and
clean appearance is required.
Make sure that you
are well rested and have cleared your mind of any issues that could become a
distraction while working the bouts, you will want to eliminate the possibility
of breaking your concentration. You
should have a good meal that will sit well with you throughout the program, and
watch your liquid intake.
The consumption of
any alcoholic beverage with-in 24 hours of the event will result in your being
disqualified to work the bouts and may result in disciplinary action to include
the loss of your professional license issued by the supervising Athletic
Smoking is not
permitted at ringside.
If you find
yourself ill on the day of the event or prior to the event advise the Athletic
Commission Supervisor immediately.
The most important
tool that you will utilize as a judge is your eyes.
A judge must have an annual eye examination and a minimum of 20/40 vision
either corrected or uncorrected.
Be prepared to
take your seat assignment at least 30 minutes prior to the scheduled start time
for the matches.
Make sure that you
have an unobstructed view of the ring, and if there are any problems with the
press, photographers or spectators, notify the Athletic Commission Supervisor
Make sure that you
have a sufficient number of working pens.
The decisions that
you render will have a major impact on the life and career of the boxers that
you judge. Don’t take this
Be on time, be
informed, be alert and most importantly be prepared to render your undivided
attention to the bout you are scoring. You
must be able to focus and concentrate solely on the task at hand.
Ask any questions, and clear up any concerns or issues that you may have
prior to taking your place at ringside and beginning your task of scoring the
III. SCORING ZONE
judge should be aware of the scoring zone.
The method for establishing the scoring zone starts at the top center of
the head, with an imaginary line continuing down the sides of the head through
the ears, down to and including the shoulders to the naval and hipbones.
Caution should be taken in using the beltline, due to boxers keeping the
trunks high above the navel. Any
punch delivered outside of the scoring zone should not be considered when
scoring the bout.
test to measure the awarding of points for “offensive boxing” should be the
number of direct, clean punches delivered with the knuckle part of the closed
glove on any part of the scoring zone of the opponent’s body above the belt
line. The judges should also
consider the effect of blows received versus the number of punches delivered.
Punches that are blocked or deflected should not be considered in
tabulating your score. Blocked or
deflected punches that land foul are not to be considered fouls in the awarding
of points at the end of the round.
most cases the arms are considered defensive weapons. However, judges must take into consideration the shoulders of
a boxer as being in the scoring zone.
PRIOR TO A BOUT
judges will be seated separate from each other immediately adjacent to the ring,
with an unobstructed view. Each
judge will be seated in the center of the side of the ring that they are
assigned. Elevated chairs are best
suited for working judges at ringside.
avoid any confusion, identify the contestants as they enter the ring.
Make notations on the scorecard as to who is who, and make sure that your
scorecard has the name of the boxers listed in the proper corner assignments.
sure that all information is properly recorded on the scorecards.
If there is any doubt in your mind, ask the referee who in turn will
communicate with the Athletic Commission Supervisor at ringside prior to the
start of the bout. Whatever you do,
don’t leave your assigned position; let the referee handle situations after you have
communicated them to him.
V. SCORING THE BOUT
a professional boxing judge, your analytical skill is to recognize and
acknowledge any advantage one participant is having over the other.
At any given point of a round, you must know who is winning.
At the conclusion of the round, the contestant who has won the round, no
matter how minute the margin, is entitled to that round.
The difference might have been a single jab, or a defensive move, yet it
was still enough to give that boxer the edge.
10-point must system will be utilized for scoring all bouts.
The winner of the round will receive 10 points, (minus any points
deductions for fouls) with the lesser score awarded to the loser of the round
(minus any points deductions for fouls). There
are to be no fraction of points awarded, and in the event of an even round, the
score will be 10/10. Even rounds
should rarely, if ever happen.
total of three (3) minutes of concentration must be used in determining the
winner of a round. Judges should
avoid any inclination to watch a particular contestant. Total concentration on one contestant could result in a
judge’s failure to see scoring tactics by the other participant.
Judges are advised to direct their gaze midway between the two
contestants, causing the judge to see and note the actions of both contestants.
should not be mistaken for aggressiveness when one boxer continuously moves
forward boring in on the opponent regardless of the number of punches being
received. If an attack is not effective, the boxer cannot receive credit for it.
In order for the boxer to be effective in their aggressiveness, he or she
must force the action and set the tempo of the bout through forward movement.
The boxer must score punches while blocking and avoiding the opponents
counter punching. An aggressive
boxer who continues boring in and getting hit from every angle should not be
awarded points based on aggressiveness.
judge should not only know what a 10/9 round is, but know the degree a boxer is
winning the 10/9 round. Either a
boxer won a close 10/9 round, a moderate
10/9 round, or a decisive 10/9 round.
Extreme decisive may push the
score to a 10/8 score depending on the judgment of the judge.
a judge MUST know which contestant is
winning the round at any given point. You
should know the score of the round, and the score should immediately be written
on the scorecard at the end of the round.
application of these scoring concepts will determine a winner in each round.
OF THE SCORECARD
the referee indicates that a contestant has been knocked down, it must be scored
as a knockdown. The referee is the
only official that can penalize a contestant for a foul.
Judges must deduct points for infractions when the referee officially
designates a foul and point deduction.
Double-check your math before
handing your scorecard to the referee. If
a mistake was made by you on the scorecard, correct and initial your scorecard
and inform the referee of your mistake and correction.
out the scorecard in its entirety, enter the points, and turn it over to the
referee will pick up the cards after each round and turn them over to the
Athletic Commission Supervisor.
VII. AFTER COMPLETION OF THE BOUT
judges will remain seated at ringside until the winner has been announced,
unless security concerns require the judges to leave the ringside area.
officials should be accessible to the supervising Athletic Commission
immediately after the bouts.
Ten-point must system shall be in effect. The
winner of the round will receive ten points and the loser will receive nine
points or less (minus any point deductions).
10/9 From a “close”
to “moderate” margin
10/8 EXTREMELY DECISIVE
(without a knockdown)
10/8 One knockdown
10/6 More than (2)
10/10 Cannot pick
a winner (very rare)
IX. POINT DEDUCTION SCORING
the referee declares a foul and deducts point(s), the judge must write the
amount of the deduction on his scorecard at that moment.
Should the referee take additional points the judge must draw a line
through his original deduction and put the new amount of point deductions.
He must initial the corrected amount.
Only the referee can declare point deductions for fouls.
X. SCORING KNOCKDOWNS
judge can only score a knockdown when the referee declares one.
In most cases two (2) points
may be awarded for the first knockdown in a round, for either fighter, one (1) point thereafter
for each additional knockdown. However,
in rare cases, good discretion must be used and a judge may award only one
(1) point in cases where the boxer who suffered the knockdown clearly
dominated the round.
The ABC recommends
that a round should never be scored less than 10/6 regardless the number of
knockdowns (minus any point deductions).
XI. EVEN ROUNDS
are even rounds, however they are VERY
rare. A judge that scores multiple
even rounds displays a lack of concentration and the inability of making a
to judge with your eyes, not your heart, and above all, render an honest
is important to project a neat, well groomed, clean shaved, professional image
when refereeing. You are the person
in charge, your personal appearance plays a major role in how you are received
by contestants, the public and the media. When
working in the ring as the referee, you are not to wear glasses, large belt
buckles or jewelry of any kind. Your
uniform will be clean and pressed prior to the start of the first bout of the
evening. If you are working
multiple bouts on the same card, it is recommended that you bring a spare shirt
in the event that the first becomes soiled.
uniform of a referee shall consist of:
Black or dark blue trousers
(boxing shoes or approved soft-soled shoes)
Light blue button
shirt (long or short sleeved) or an approved uniform designated by the
supervising Athletic Commission
Black bow tie
Rubber or latex
II. PRE FIGHT DUTIES
is the responsibility of the referee to make certain that the bouts are
conducted pursuant to the rules and regulations that are in effect, and to
insure the safety of the participants. You
must review and familiarize yourself with the current rules and regulations and
any special rules of the supervising Athletic Commission.
to the event location a minimum of one hour prior to the scheduled start of the
bouts, and check in with the Athletic Commission Supervisor.
Be on time and available for any pre-fight meetings with other officials.
must meet with the Ringside Physician and emergency personnel to determine
exactly where they will be seated at ringside during the bouts.
This is also a good time to discuss the method of notification as to when
you want them to enter the ring and attend to an injured participant, or check
any cuts or other minor injuries from the ring apron.
is also a good time to meet with the Timekeeper and Knockdown Judge regarding
the method that they will be utilizing to sound the ten second warning to start
the next round (whistle, hammer or wood block, etc).
should make every effort to limit contact with any of the participants, boxers,
seconds, trainers, managers or any individual connected with a particular boxer.
You must keep yourself as objective as humanly possible, and do not let
friendships or associations appear where any person might suggest your
objectivity and integrity are being compromised.
the dressing rooms of the participants with a representative of the supervising
Athletic Commission, and have the chief second identified for you.
Advise that person of their responsibilities which are:
Complete responsibility of all corner activities
Any problems or
infractions of the rules in the corner will be their responsibility, and you
will consult with him or her only
III. DRESSING ROOM INSTRUCTIONS
are expected to know both the general rules of boxing and those special rules
that govern their contest should it be a championship bout.
Bout control starts in the dressing room, however this is not a time to
recite all of the rules. The
referee should seize this opportunity for a one on one conversation with the
boxer and stress key issues that may come up in the bout.
Take the opportunity to be brief and firm in discussing key issues such
A) Unsportsmanlike - Head-butting, Low
Blow and Holding
is very important to immediately establish control and make it very clear that
you are the person in complete control of their bout and all activity in the
ring. Briefly go over fouls
in general, but explicitly discuss the three most common fouls.
Instill in the boxers a sense of respect for the event and that you
demand that they follow the rules and your commands without exception.
B) Verbal Commands and Hand Signals
your commands and signals in the dressing room. Go over breaking or separating the boxers, specific commands
and stress your expectations when giving the commands.
C) Knockdown Procedures
a moment and tell the boxers what you will do in the event of a knockdown and
what you expect of them. Specifically
explain to them exactly what they need to do if they suffer or score a
knockdown. Explain to the boxers
what happens if they go down again during a count without being struck by
another blow. Also explain to them
and make it clear that they are not to strike an opponent when they are down,
that they are to go to a neutral corner as directed by the referee after scoring
a knockdown and are not to leave until they are called out.
D) Temporary Stops of Action
to avoid any temporary stops. However,
if you have to stop the bout temporarily, do it decisively and quickly,
utilizing clear voice commands and hand signals.
E) End of the Round Procedure
is good practice to take advantage of the ten-second announcement at the end of
the round by getting in good position so that you will be squared to the boxers
when the bell sounds ending the round. When
the bell sounds to end the round, call out in a clear voice “TIME”
and simultaneously step in close to the contestants and hand signal the end of
F) Mouthpiece Procedure
to the boxers how you will handle a dislodged mouthpiece and the consequences of
spitting it out deliberately. If
the mouthpiece becomes dislodged concurrent to a knockdown, it is your decision
whether the mouthpiece was spit out or it became dislodged because of a legal
mouthpiece must be properly set in the boxer’s mouth at all times during a
the mouthpiece, points may be deducted and or a disqualification rendered by the
referee in the following instances;
If the mouthpiece is not being properly kept inside of the
If the mouthpiece
is being purposely spit out
If the corner
fails to have the boxer resume boxing with a mouthpiece in place, and or delays
in replacing it after it has become
Specific Rules of the Bout
over any special rules which have been agreed to at the rules meeting, and cover
the rules and regulations for the supervising Athletic Commission.
In the event that you are working a title bout, you will address the
“Uniform Championship Rules of the Association of Boxing Commissions”, and
any other sanctioning body rules. It
is important that you address these areas with emphasis:
The application of the three knockdown rule (if applicable)
The standing eight
count, (if applicable)
Stress what you
expect, and that any un-sportsmanlike conduct will not be tolerated
In case of a
knockdown, the scoring boxer is to go to farthest neutral corner and remain
there until advised to continue
No hitting after
the bell ending the round
knocked out of the ring, have 20 seconds to reenter the ring unassisted
You will not be
saved by the bell ending any round
H) Final Instructions
the dressing room is the best opportunity that you will have to give specific
instructions to a boxer and establish your authority and emphasize that you will
control the bout at all times.
is your last opportunity to establish what you will do and most importantly,
what you expect them to do in key situations.
Address any questions or concerns that are raised, and this is the best
time to inspect the groin protector and advise the contestant that this is the
only groin protector that is approved. Make
sure that they understand that you must be able to see their “belly button”.
The groin protector must be approved for competition and not a high
wasted work out or training protector.
the participant and the seconds that you are aware of the importance of their
bout, and assure them that you will give them your best effort.
It should be very clear at this time to all involved, that you are in
charge, will not tolerate any nonsense and how you will officiate.
IV. RINGSIDE CHECKLIST
should enter the ring a few minutes prior to the start of your bout and check
the ring for tautness, the floor covering and the ropes.
Also check for any loose floor boards, determine who is in charge of
maintenance and where the maintenance crew will be stationed during the bouts.
(This is a good time to have any debris or foreign material removed from
the ring floor.) The top and middle
ropes should be taut, with the bottom rope somewhat loose, (loose enough to be
pushed to the ring floor with little resistance).
This should aid in the prevention of a participant injuring their head or
neck in the event they are knocked down and their head strikes the lower rope.
All of the ropes should be held together with straps placed evenly and
securely on each side of the ring.
and make a mental note of the locations of the stairs, the ringside physician,
the EMT’s, timekeeper, judges and knockdown judge. You should also know where the Athletic Commission
Representatives are seated because they will act as your second set of eyes.
OF THE REFEREE UPON BOXERS ENTERING THE RING
the participants enter the ring, you will conduct your final inspection prior to
the start of the bout. Areas of concern will be:
Check the gloves to make sure that they have not been twisted or
Check for proper
taping of the gloves, no loose ends or debris, verify that the gloves have been
initialed by the wrap inspector
Check the mouthpiece in the participants’ mouth
foul-proof cup, and make sure that it is the one that was approved in the
Make a general
inspection of the participants for such things as excessive grease, body
piercing adornments, earrings or jewelry
approved height of the groin protector, and once again specify that you must be
able to see the “belly button” at all times
advise the chief second that he is the only person in the corner who can stop
the boxers are brought to the center of the ring for any final instructions or
inspection, they should be accompanied by the chief second.
At this time the boxers should have removed any warm-ups, towels or any
other clothing and be ready to start boxing at the command of the referee.
the participants and their chief seconds that they have received their
instructions in the dressing room. Ask
at this time if they have any questions, if not, remind the participants to
protect themselves at all times, obey your commands, touch gloves and start
boxing at the sound of the bell.
VI. POSITIONING DURING THE BOUT
during the bout is very important for you to be able to see all of the action,
and ensure the safety of the participants.
You should maintain enough distance between yourself and the participants
to be out of the way, yet close enough to take appropriate action in the event
of a foul, knockdown or knockout. Keep
the following in mind during the course of the bout:
Stay out of the way as much as possible, the best compliment a
referee can receive is for somebody to ask after the bout, ”I wonder who the
referee was?” Always remember
that your movement around the participants must be such as not to obstruct the
view of the judges
participants as much as necessary to maintain a position that allows you to have
the best view between them. You
should make every effort not to become trapped behind the participants, your
view will be obstructed and you will not be able to see what is occurring.
Be close enough to
take immediate action if needed, but far away enough not to interfere.
If the bout is being fought consistent with the rules and regulations,
let the participants’ box.
Concentrate on the
participants, the progress of the bout, the safety of the participants and
don’t become distracted by the spectators or anything that is happening
outside of the ring. You must stay
alert, and be prepared to take action in a split second.
Let the boxers box
and avoid becoming a part of the bout.
should be made by you not to over officiate.
or swinging of the arms, bouncing, bending at the waist, clapping, touching or
holding the ropes, chewing gum, frowning, or the like should always be avoided.
SHORTENING THE DISTANCE
and instinct gives the referee the sense of knowing when to move in closer and
when to stay at a prudent distance.
is no set rule, but there are some situations where a referee should shorten his
distance to the boxers. Generally,
the referee should shorten his distance in the following cases:
During a difficult and tough bout
§ When boxers are
moving towards or fighting on the ropes
§ When the boxers
mainly resort to infighting
§ When the fighting
ability of one of the boxers is in doubt and a stoppage may be eminent
§ When there is a
good deal of noise and his verbal commands may not be easily heard
§ At the sound of
the timekeeper signaling that ten (10) seconds are left in the round.
PROCEDURE FOLLOWING A KNOCKDOWN
following a knockdown is when the adrenalin factor really kicks in, this is the
time that you have to remain calm and take care of business.
You will have the best idea as to whether the participant is injured or
not when he heads toward the canvass. Make
a quick analysis of the fallen participant, if he is knocked out, waive the bout
off, ending the contest. Summon the
Ringside Physician, remove the mouthpiece if possible and keep everyone away
from the fallen contestant until the doctor is in the ring and takes charge.
normal circumstances the following guidelines should be applied when practical:
Direct the contestant scoring the knockdown to the farthest neutral
contestant has reached the neutral corner, locate and pick up the count from the
during the count so that you can watch the contestant who is down, as well as
the actions and movement of the one scoring the knockdown.
If the contestant who scored the knockdown leaves the neutral corner for
any reason during the count, stop the count and direct the contestant back into
the corner. Once the contestant has
returned to the neutral corner, then you should resume the count at the point
where you stopped.
If the contestant
who has been knocked down gets to his feet during the count and before you reach
ten, make a quick check of his physical condition and have the contestant take a
step towards you, check his gait and determine at this point if the bout can
continue. If you determine that the
bout should proceed, wipe off his gloves on your shirt, move out of the way and
give the signal and command to resume boxing.
If at some point
during the contest, you make a determination that one of the contestants is
unable to continue. Give the
command and signal to stop boxing, waive the contest off and indicate that the
bout has been halted. (Note: a good
practice might be to wrap your arms around the contestant that has been injured
to prevent him from falling or becoming injured further.
This is a good time to offer some words of encouragement, and assist the
contestant back to his corner)
The bout should be
terminated when a contestant is unable to protect himself or the contest is so
one-sided that it can no longer be considered in any way competitive.
The health and safety of the contestants are the most important factors
in making a determination as to whether to allow a contest to proceed or call a
halt to it.
When making your mental evaluation as to whether a contest should
be allowed to continue. Things to be considered are:
Weakening of the neck muscles
control basic movement
Inability to focus
or concentrate, is the boxer alert
Inability to walk
forward without staggering or losing balance, is the boxer listening to your
Any other physical
signs that cause you concern, fatigued
defend himself, getting hit with more damaging punches
Lacks ability to
fight back, are his eyes less reactive
Contestant is so
far behind in the bout that in your opinion suffering more injury out-weighs the
chance of winning
If on the canvas,
look for unnatural muscle activity or shaking.
if a fighter could be seriously injured or in danger is a judgment call.
It is based on a comparison as to how the boxer looks when the contest
began and how he is as the bout progresses.
The following represents perceptive analyses that can be considered to
determine if a boxer’s health and safety may be in jeopardy.
Carefully scrutinize the boxer as he enters the ring and look at the
How readily and quickly he responds to questions
the boxer returns to the corner between rounds, observe whether the boxer fits
any of the following:
Is he responding
summary, no one has a better view of the boxer than the referee.
Use the close proximity to protect the fighter.
Work as a team with the Ringside Physician.
This will simplify your job as well as increase your ability to know when
a fighter is in danger.
It is better to
waive off a bout too soon and prevent serious injury, than to stall medical
assistance by counting the person out. If
you err, do it on the side of safety and don’t leave yourself open to
IX. PROCEDURE FOLLOWING A CUT, HEAD-BUTT, OR LOW
a cut occurs, identify and designate as quickly as possible whether it was
caused by a punch or a head butt. If
it was a head butt, once that particular action is over, separate the boxers,
and direct each to a neutral corner and recognize the head butt to the Athletic
Commission Supervisor. Advise
whether it was intentional or not. If
you did not see the actual foul, signal time out and ask the judges if they
witnessed a foul. Do not ask the
judges, “did you see the head butt?” Just
ask what they saw if anything pertaining to the foul.
It is your discretion to ask the judges about the foul if you did not see
the infraction. This is a safe way
to determine how it occurred. If it
becomes necessary for the Ring Physician to examine the cut, call timeout if you
have not done so and take the injured boxer to the physician.
Make certain the physician is not interfered with by the seconds or
trainers and he has a clear view of the injury.
Whether the contest should be stopped or not is up to the referee,
but certainly the medical opinion of the ring physician should be given great
consideration and rarely, if ever overruled by the referee if the question is
one in which medical expertise is needed.
Cuts on the eyelid and deep in the brow are dangerous and may
require the ring physician’s examination more quickly than others.
· Encourage the physician not to treat the injury, only to inspect,
observe and render an opinion as to whether the bout can continue.
X. Low Blows
a boxer is hit below the belt line and claims to be incapacitated because of the
foul, the boxer will be entitled to a rest period of up to five (5) minutes in
duration. The boxer must, after
rest, either continue or lose the bout by technical knockout.
The applicable rule and regulation of the supervising Athletic Commission
will take precedent upon the referee’s determination if the low blow was
intentional or unintentional. The
outcome of the bout will be decided based on the interpretation and application
of the rule.
XI. Enforcement of Fouls
referee must immediately declare if a blow was legal or a foul and if a foul, if
it was intentional or accidental.
If an intentional foul causes an injury, and the injury is severe
enough to terminate the bout immediately, the boxer causing the injury shall
lose by Disqualification.
§ If an intentional foul causes an injury and the bout is allowed to continue, the referee will notify the authorities and deduct (2) points from the boxer who caused the foul. Point deductions for intentional fouls will be mandatory.
§ If an intentional
foul causes an injury and the injury results in the bout being stopped in a
latter round, the four (4) round rule will apply, (if the Uniform Championship
Rules are in effect.) Incomplete
rounds will be scored and tabulated in the final score.
§ In these cases, if
the injured boxer is ahead, he will win by TECHNICAL
DECISION. If the injured boxer
is even or behind on the scorecards, the result of the bout will be a TECHNICAL
If an accidental foul causes an injury severe enough for the
referee to stop the bout immediately and the fourth (4th) round is
not yet completed at the time of the stoppage, the bout will result in a NO
§ If an accidental
foul causes an injury severe enough for the referee to stop the bout immediately
and it is after the fourth (4th) round was completed, the four (4)
round rule will apply. That is, if
the bout is stopped after the fourth (4th) round has been completed,
the scorecards will be tabulated to include the scoring of any incomplete rounds
as if it were a complete round. At
the time, whichever boxer is ahead on points will be awarded a victory by TECHNICAL
REFEREE ACTION ON FOULS
At the most opportune time, the referee shall inform the
supervising Athletic Commission representative of the following:
That the foul was accidental or intentional
§ The type of foul
§ If point(s) will
be deducted from the offending boxer
§ If the offending
boxer will be disqualified
§ That the five (5)
minute rule will be or will not be in effect
§ That the four (4)
round rule will or will not be applied
§ If the bout will
or will not continue
CONCUSSIVE HEAD IMPACT FOULS
a bout is temporarily stopped because of an accidental foul to the head, the
referee shall determine whether the injured boxer who has been fouled can
continue or not. If the injured
boxer’s chance of winning has not been seriously jeopardized because of the
foul, and if the foul did not involve a concussive impact to the head of the
boxer who was fouled, the five (5) minute rule can be applied. This decision is based on the discretion of the referee in
clear consultation with the Ringside Physician.
the referee determines that the bout may not continue because of an accidental
foul that caused a concussive head impact injury, the four (4) round rule will
XIV. THE FIVE (5) MINUTE
In cases where a
foul, other than a foul that causes a concussive head impact, and the foul has
not seriously jeopardized the injured boxer’s changes of winning, the referee
may allow a reasonable recovery period not to exceed five (5) minutes.
XV. DISQUALIFICATION OF BOXER(S)
should be rare that a bout would be stopped because of a Disqualification of
either of the contestants, although it can happen. The following are some good
examples to keep in mind when making that determination:
Continuous, intentional fouls after having been warned by the
referee with corresponding point deductions.
extreme un-sportsmanlike conduct, which brings discredit to the contestant
warnings to the corner, or when any second mounts the ring apron and projects
himself into the contest causing a distraction to the contestants.
POWERS OF THE REFEREE
the referee can stop a bout. The
referee may terminate or temporarily stop a bout:
At any stage if he considers that it is too one sided
§ If one of the
boxers has sustained an injury rendering him unable to continue
§ To admonish,
administer a warning or disqualify a boxer who fails to follow or violates the
§ If during a count,
a boxer refuses to go to or deliberately fails to remain in the neutral corner
indicated to him by the referee
§ To consult with
the ringside physician
§ To adjust
referee should always keep in mind that their job is to make certain the bout is
conducted consistent with the rules and regulations of the supervising Athletic
Commission, the applicable guidelines of the Association of Boxing Commissions
and any approved special rules. Your
job is to protect the safety of the participants, and never permit yourself to
be intimidated by any contestant, manager, second, trainer, any person connected
with promotion or anyone else. The referee must be in charge at all times.
You are a Professional Boxing Referee, the most difficult profession in
any sport, and one that involves great scrutiny.
Every bout is important to the contestants, let them know that you will
give them your best effort and you expect the same in return.
Remember you are the guardian of the boxers! As the great Mills Lane
would say, “Lets get it on”.
“Above all, you must stay prepared, both mentally and physically”