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Appen. I: Comp. Rules

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APPENDIX I: Kickboxing Competition Rules

A Digest The same rules apply essentially to sparring and competition kickboxing. In both, scoring is by light controlled contact. The rules given below pertain to amateur competition. Professional bouts follow the same general rules with additional safeguards similar to those of professional boxing customary to the area.

Article I. Personal Appearance

All contestants shall be well groomed, clean, with nails cut short and shall not carry or wear on them any hard articles susceptible of causing themselves or their opponents any harm or injury.

Article 2. Attire

All contestants shall wear clean boxing shorts and soft leather short or long boxing shoes. Protective cups and mouth guards are mandatory. Other protective equipment is optional, but, except for shin guards, its use is not encouraged.

Article 3. Physical and Mental Condition

All contestants shall be judged by a licensed physician as mentally and physically fit to enter kickboxing competition. The use of drugs and stimulants, as defined by the Olympic rules, is strictly forbidden for at least 48 hours prior to the time of the contest, under penalty of disqualification.

Article 4. Contest Area

The contest shall be fought on a mat area soft enough to prevent injuries resulting from falls, and hard enough to allow speed of action. It should be no less than 6 x 6 meters and no more than 8 x 8 meters, shall have a smooth surface of cloth or suitable plastic material, and shall be clean and free of irregularities capable of injuring the contestants. A protective mat area of no less than 1 meter and no more than 2 meters wide should surround the contest area and must be clearly marked from the contest area by the use of colored tape or similar device. The protective mat area must be of similar material as the contest area proper.

Article 5. First Aid

The organizers must provide a first aid service, and must secure the prompt availability of a doctor in case of accident.

Article 6. Identification of the Contestants

Contestants are identified by colored elastic arm bands worn on both arms, or by colored ribbons of sturdy material worn around their waist. The width of these identifying devices must be no less than 5 centimeters and no more than 10.

Article 7. Weight

All contestants must be weighed in the day of the contest, clad only in their boxing shorts. The organizers must make a serious effort to match contestants within a weight category, in accordance to their height and reach, at least during the elimination bouts. The weight categories are as follows:






Weight (kg)







Light Middleweight






Light Heavyweight





Maximum Weight



Under (kg)







Light Middleweight






Light Heavyweight


Over 93


Article 8. Gloves

Gloves must be new, or like new. They must weigh 284 grams each (10 oz.). Junior competition may be carried out with lighter gloves, if in the judgment of the organizers this can be done without danger of injuries.

Article 9. Starting the Contest

Contestants shall face each other at a distance of about 2 meters. The referee shall announce their name, weight, identifying color and, as the case might be, club affiliation. He shall then make sure that each of the contestants wears nothing capable of injuring him or his opponent. The contestants shall salute each other by touching gloves, step back, and upon the command "GO" given by the referee, shall start the contest.

Article 10. Duration of the Contest

Each bout shall consist of two three-minute rounds, separated by one minute intervals. In case of a tie, another round is held, after which a decision must be reached.

Article 11. End of the Contest and Interruptions

At the end of the contest, or whenever the referee decides that there is a good reason, he shall call "STOP", or "HALT", or "BREAK", upon which the contestants must immediately stop and return to their initial positions. At the end of the contest the referee shall announce the victor by raising his arm, as it is customary in Olympic boxing matches, and the contestants shall in a sportsmanlike manner, shake hands before leaving the contest area.

Article 12. The Referee

The referee shall be responsible for the conduct of the contest, for giving cautionings, warnings, and deciding on disqualifications. Furthermore, he shall be responsible for collecting the judges' vote, and announcing the outcome of the contest. He shall cast his vote only in order to break a tie.

Article 13. The Referee's Position

The referee shall be within the contest area at all times. He shall move about so as to be always in control of the situation, without hampering the movements of the contestants, while closely observing all happenings.

Article 14. The Judges

There shall be three judges for each bout. Each judge shall keep score of the points scored by each contestant as he sees them, and of the formal cautionings and warnings administered by the referee. Each judge shall have at his disposal two pennants of reasonable dimensions corresponding to the identifying colors of the contestants, usually one blue and one red. He shall use these pennants to identify the victor by raising one high above his head when the referee calls for the judges' vote. If a judge feels that the match is a draw, he shall lift both pennants. Judges have the right to call the referee's attention to prohibited acts and dangerous situations by calling "INFRACTION", whereupon the referee shall stop the match and consult with the judges. A judge shall disqualify himself, if he: (a) belongs to the same club as one of the contestants, (b) is his instructor, (c) is related to him in anyway. Two of the judges shall be seated at adjacent corners of the contest area and the third at the middle of the opposite side.

Article 15. Timekeeper and Scorekeeper

The function of the timekeeper is to keep time according to the instructions of the referee, and to indicate the end of each round by a clearly audible signal such as the sound of a bell, or a whistle. He should stop-watch the rounds, the pauses between rounds, and all interruptions which should be subtracted from the official duration of each round, as instructed by the referee. The scorekeeper collects and keeps the scores of the judges. He keeps track of the matching of the contestants, and serves as announcer for the successive matches by calling the names of the contestants to get ready for their match.

Article 16. Scoring System

Kickboxing matches are judged on the basis of points scored by each contestant. The contestant with the highest score wins. Scoring is achieved by light controlled contact of one of the following target areas:

For punches: the head and the torso down to the hipline.

For kicks: same with the exclusion of the head, the neck and the knees. Other targets are: the inner thighs, and the shinbones below the knee down to the beginning of the instep. Points are also scored by seizure of opponent's leg causing thereby his fall, or by lifting him off his feet and throwing him on his back, or side, with appreciable force. Accidental slippage, or loss of balance do not count.

Points scored via falls or throws are additive to those of the blow, if any, immediately preceding them. A technique is scored only if it is cleanly performed.

All landed blows count for one point, except:

Punches to the face - 2 pts.

Kicks to the body - 2 pts.

Falls resulting from seizure of leg by opponent - 3 pts.

Throws - 5 pts.

The referee shall not allow any exchange to proceed beyond a total of three scoring techniques, scored by one or both contestants. He shall also stop any fuzzy or wild exchange of blows.

Article 17. Cautionings and Warnings

Infraction of the rules and unsportsmanlike attitudes by either contestant will result in cautionings and warnings announced by the referee. Upon such happening, the referee shall stop the match and clearly indicate the contestant who is being cautioned, or warned by his identifying color. Two cautionings equal one warning, and three warnings disqualify a contestant. Two points per cautioning and four per warning are subtracted from the total points of the contestant receiving them.

Article 18. Decision

The outcome of a match can be as follows: draw, victory on points, opponent forfeits match, referee stops match for obvious inferiority of one opponent, sickness, wound, or other sufficient reason, and finally, disqualification of one opponent, or both. Decisions are final and may not be appealed.

Article 19. Prohibited Acts and Special Situations

a. Any action which may injure, or endanger opponent.

b. Any unsportsmanlike action, at the referee's judgment.

c. Intentionally going outside the contest area, or forcing the opponent to do so.

d. Fighting in a wild, or fuzzy manner, or deliberately stalling the match.

e. Not remaining completely silent during the match. Contestants may speak only when addressed by an official in the course of the contest.

f. Continuing to fight when even one of the contestants is outside the contest area.

g. Delivering blows with elbow, knee or head.

h. Hitting opponent when he is down, or in the process of getting up. A man is down when any part of him except his feet is in contact with the contest area.

i. Disobeying the referee. His orders must be obeyed at once by all contestants.

j. Linger in the "down" position after an accidental fall.

k. In case a contestant claims that he is the victim of a prohibited blow and is unable to continue the match, the referee stops the contest, and in consultation with the judges, renders a verdict as per the following

While a knockout is unlikely in amateur kickboxing competition, it may happen that in the heat of the action one or both contestants are knocked out. When a contestant falls as the result of an attack, or a counter, one second must elapse and then the referee calls aloud from one to ten at one second intervals, following the timekeeper's cue. The referee shall designate clearly with his arm moving up and down, the passage of time to the fallen contestant. A contestant who has not left the down position at the count of ten is declared "out."

The referee shall then determine with the help of the judges, whether the knockout was intentional on the part of the other contestant. If the knockout was unintentional and the fallen opponent is in position to continue the match, the contestant responsible for it will receive credit for the points scored and the bout will continue. If the fallen opponent is incapable of continuing the match, then the bout is awarded to the contestant who has scored the most points by then. If the knockout was intentional, the contestant responsible is disqualified. Knockout is allowed in professional kickboxing. The contestant being knocked out loses the contest.

Article 20. Accident, Illness or Injury

a. A contestant unable to pursue the match due to accident caused by outside factors is eliminated.

b. Sickness - same as accident.

c. Injury - the cause of the injury must be determined.

1. A contestant injuring his opponent through his own fault is eliminated.

2. A contestant injuring himself through his own fault, or when the fault cannot be attributed to his opponent, is eliminated if he is unable, or the referee judges him unable to continue the match. Else the match continues.

Any situations not covered by the above rules shall be dealt with by the referee who must use his own judgment, after consultation with the judges, and render a decision.

Article 21. Special Contests

In certain special circumstances, amateur kickboxing contests with full contact are allowed, in which  the contestants must wear appropriate full protective gear. While such contests should not be encouraged as a rule, they can be held upon common agreement of the organizers and the coaches of the participating athletes.

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