The International Boxing Association (AIBA), in a low key announcement, has confirmed that its Executive Committee Bureau yesterday made some key amendments to the AIBA Technical & Competition Rules.
These amendments were proposed by the AIBA Technical & Rules Commission further to recommendations made by the various AIBA Commissions following the 2012 AIBA Commissions meetings held from 19 to 22 January in Bangkok, Thailand.
As expected there was confirmation that skirts for women would indeed be ‘optional’ and NOT made compulsory – an issue which has dragged on for far too long and caused great concern to boxers and their coaches in most countries. Now let us move on and concentrate on the actual boxing at the Olympics rather than the ‘skirts or shorts ‘issue . One feels sure that the AIBA Executive will have learnt great lessons from this P.R disaster though the fact remains that in some countries women still cannot take part in boxing, though that is no fault of the AIBA.
Cuba’s Head boxing trainer Pedro Roque remains adamant the boxing ring is no place for a woman.
“Women are made for beauty and not to take blows around the head,” he said whilst the country’s sports federation chief, Jose Barrientos told the Prensa Latina news agency : “We have no intention of participating for the moment in any international competition as we consider this discipline is “inappropriate” for women,” (wrestling is approved).
Insofar as the AIBA is concerned, the major amendments concern the medical examination and certification of boxers, the duties of and guidelines for competition officials, the Referee & Judges classification and certification, the Field of Play management and the boxers’ uniform, especially for women boxers.
With regards to this last point, AIBA President, Dr. Ching-Kuo Wu, recently declared at the 5th World Conference on Women and Sport, “We never asked women to wear skirts. We heard recommendations about this from national federations and boxers. Our Technical and Rules Commission have had several discussions. Some women want to wear shorts and some others want to wear skirts. So the decision we have made is that we shall make it optional.
“When I was elected President of the International Boxing Association in 2006, one of the most important reforms I needed to carry out was to include women in Olympic Boxing”, added Dr. Wu.
“Everything in this world is more exciting, interesting and inspiring when women participate. Also, as a father of two daughters, I’ve always brought them up with the idea that women can do anything and everything. And that must include the right to be an Olympic boxer.
“I am so glad that after years of advocating, the gender barrier will be coming down soon. This year’s summer Olympic Games in London will be better because 36 women boxers will have the opportunity to compete for an Olympic medal in boxing for the first time in history.
“This breakthrough will also translate into more behind-the-scenes roles for women in areas of education, training, team management, along with more referees, judges, technical officials and medical practitioners.
“We have all been watching in wonder how youth and women have the power to change the world they live in. It is crucial for us to recognise the importance of building a solid base of women who take interest and participate in sports. These women will create their own legacies, not only as athletes, but also as leaders who have rounded careers in the world of international sports.”
For the benefit of boxers and coaches – and indeed all enthusiasts of the noble art – , here is a link to the revised Rules and Regulations with the key amendments shown on pages 2 and 3 and underlined later in the document. Enjoy! – be aware though that it contains some 83 pages!