Amateur Boxing Rules

Article VII, Section 107.6 -- Judges

(1) Dress. The judges shall officiate in white clothing, similar to the referee. Female officials will be dressed in white blouse, white skirt or slacks, and preferably, white shoes. Officials working in USA Boxing Group Members’ tournaments may wear the uniforms of that organization at its competitions.

(2) Duties.
(a) Each judge shall independently judge the merits of the two boxers and shall decide the winner according to the rules.


(b) A judge shall not speak to a boxer nor to another judge nor to anyone else except the referee during the contest, but may, if necessary, at the end of a round, bring to the notice of the referee any incident which the referee may appear not to have noticed, such as the misconduct of a coach, loose ropes, etc.
(c) The number of legal scoring blows will be counted with the use of a tally counter or similar counting device. Two counting devices will be used. One device will count the scoring blows for the Red corner and the other device will count the scoring blows for the Blue corner. The number of legal scoring blows awarded to each boxer will be recorded on the score card at the end of each round. In addition, any warnings shall be entered by the judge on the scorecard immediately after the end of the round as indicated by Rule 107.7(1)(b) & (c). The scoring device must be reset to zero prior to the start of the next round.


(d) At the end of the bout, a judge shall total the scoring blows and nominate a winner.
(e) Judges shall not leave their seats until the result has been announced to the public.

(3) Each contest shall be marked by five USA Boxing judges who shall be seated separate from the public and immediately adjacent to the ring.

Two of the judges shall be seated on the same side of the ring at a sufficient distance from one another, and each of the other three judges shall be seated at the center of one of the other three sides of the ring. When the number of officials available is insufficient, three judges instead of five may be used, but this shall not apply to the U.S. Championships or similar events.

(4) Before a contest begins, the referee and the judges should confirm the identity of each boxer, fill in the necessary preliminary entries on their score card, such as weight class, bout number, date and affix their signature to the bottom of the paper. Each official will print, in large block letters, the names of the boxers in the red and blue corners in the corresponding left and right columns on the scorecard. Note: Competition organizers should strive to have all scorecards pre-printed or typed with names, club representation, weights, etc.

Article VII, Section 107.7 -- Awarding of Points

(1) Directives. In awarding points, the following directives shall be observed.

(a) Concerning blows.
(1) Scoring blows. During each round, a judge shall assess the respective scores of each boxer according to the number of blows obtained by each. Each blow to have scoring value must, without being blocked or guarded, land directly with the knuckle part of the closed glove of either hand on any part of the front or sides of the head or body above the belt.

Blows landing as above described are scoring hits. The value of blows scored in a rally of infighting shall be assessed at the end of such rally and shall be credited to the boxer who has had the better of the exchanges according to the degree of said boxer’s superiority.
(2) Non-scoring blows. Non-scoring blows are blows which are struck by a boxer:
(a) while infringing any of the rules;
(b) with the side, heel, or inside of the glove or with the open glove or any part other than the knuckle part of the closed glove;
(c) which lands on the arms;
(d) which merely connect, without the weight of the body or shoulder.

(b) Concerning fouls – “W,” “X” and “J.”
(1) There are three symbols the Judge uses to annotate fouls on the score card – “W,” “X” and “J”.
(a) W – Referee’s Warning. If the referee issues a “warning” against one (or both) of the boxers, the judge will indicate a “W” on the score card in the column of the offending boxer.

The judge will also note the reason for the warning (i.e. W - holding).
(b) X – Judge disagrees with referee’s warning. If the judge concludes “unequivocally” that the warning was inappropriate or in error, the judge will annotate an “X” in the appropriate column and indicate the reason for the warning (i.e. X – low blow).

In this case, there will be no addition to the number of scoring blows awarded the “fouled” boxer. It must be noted if the judge did not see the foul or was unsure if it was a foul, the judge will accept the advice of the referee and issue a “W” for warning.
(c) J – Judge’s warning. If the judge detects a foul, apparently unnoticed by the referee, the judge may impose a warning by writing a “J” on the score card in the column of the offending boxer. The judge will also note the reason for the judge’s warning (i.e. J – ducking). A “J” warning carries the same penalty as a “W” warning.

(c) How to administer the penalty (foul).
(1) The purpose of using a tally counter or similar scoring device is to mimic the computer scoring system. Administering the penalty (foul) will also mimic the computer scoring system. These are the rules a judge must use to administer the penalty (foul).
(a) “W” - Two scoring blows will be added to the round score of the FOULED boxer. This will be done for each “W” occurring in that round.
(b) “X” - In this case no scoring blows will be added.
(c) “J” - Two scoring blows will be added to the round score of the FOULED boxer. This will be done for each “J” occurring in that round.


(d) When using tally counters or similar scoring devices, there will be no “offsetting” fouls. Two scoring blows will be added to the round score of any boxer fouled.
(e) The judge must immediately note the foul in the remarks column of the scorecard, when given by the referee. A judges warning must be noted prior to the beginning of the next round.

(d) Concerning the award of scoring blows.
(1) At the end of the bout the scores for each of the rounds will be totaled and the winner will be the one with the higher score.
(2) If, at the end of a bout, having marked each round, the judge finds that the boxers are equal in scoring blows after totaling the scorecard, the judge is required to select a winner. The judge must record the criteria for the selection of the winner. The judge must record the criteria for the selection of the winner in the remarks column next to the scorecard total of the winner.

The criteria for selecting a winner is as follows:
(a) Who has done most of the leading off or was the effective aggressor? If equal, in that respect:
(b) Who has shown the better defense (blocking, parrying, ducking, side-stepping, etc.) by which the opponent’s attacks have been made to miss? If still equal:
(c) Who boxed cleaner and had the better style?
(d) A winner must be nominated in all USA Boxing competitions (in AIBA dual matches, a draw decision may be awarded).
(3) Knockdowns. No extra points shall be awarded for a knockdown.

Article VII, Section 107.8 -- Method of Scoring

(1) A judge is advised to fixate in between the two boxers; do not develop a tendency to study or follow just one of the boxers.

(2) Never rely on past performance, reputations or titles earned by a particular boxer.

(3) Amateur boxing is scored on a point system, not on a round basis.

(4) The winner is decided on the majority of judges, i.e., 5-0, 4-1 or 3-2.

(5) Amateur boxing is scored on a legal scoring blow system not on a round basis.

(6) Decisions.
(a) Types of decisions.
(1) Win on points. At the end of a contest the boxer who has been awarded the decision by a majority of the judges shall be declared the winner.
(a) If both boxers are injured or down simultaneously and cannot continue the contest, the judges shall record the points gained by each boxer up to its termination, and the boxer who was leading on points up to the actual end of the contest shall be declared the winner.
(b) AIDS Stoppage Rule: If both boxers are bleeding or where one boxer is bleeding and the opponent has an open cut or abrasion, the referee may stop the bout and take the boxers to the doctor to be examined. If the bout is stopped the boxer ahead on points shall be the winner.
(2) Win by retirement. If a boxer retires voluntarily owing to injury or other causes, or if a boxer fails to resume boxing immediately after the rest between rounds, the opponent shall be declared the winner.

If a boxer retires during the rest between rounds, the referee will immediately notify the jury and the judges of the retirement and the other boxer is declared the winner.
(3) Win by referee stopping contest (RSC).
(a) Outclassed. RSC is a term used to stop a bout when a boxer is outclassed or unfit to continue.


(1) If a boxer, in the opinion of the referee, is being outclassed or is receiving unnecessary and excessive blows, the bout shall be stopped and the opponent declared the winner.
(b) Outscored. RSC-OS is only used with the Computer Scoring System and stops a bout when a boxer is outscored as follows:
(1) If one boxer has a 20-point advantage (for Open and Under 19/Junior men), or a 15-point advantage (for Women and Junior Olympics/Cadets) over their opponent, the bout must be stopped except in the last round, and the boxer with the advantage is declared the winner.
(c) Injury:
(1) If a boxer, in the opinion of the referee, is unfit to continue because of injury or other physical reasons, the bout shall be stopped and the opponent declared the winner. The right to make this decision rests with the referee, who may consult the doctor. Having consulted the doctor, the referee must follow the doctor’s advice.
(2) When a referee calls a doctor into the ring to examine a boxer only these two officials should be present. Coaches should not be allowed into the ring or on the apron.
(3) The ringside physician has the right to request the bout be suspended if the physician thinks, for medical reasons, the bout should not be allowed to continue.


(d) Compulsory Count Limits. When a male boxer has three compulsory counts in the same round or four counts during the same bout, the match must be stopped. When a female boxer has two compulsory counts in the same round or three counts during the same bout, the match must be stopped. A count issued for a harm foul is not included in this number.
(4) RSC(H). If a boxer is down due to head blows, and fails to box within eight to 10 seconds, whichever is applicable, the opponent shall be declared the winner by RSC(H). For more information on awarding RSC(H), see section 107.1.
(5) Win by disqualification. If a boxer is disqualified, the opponent shall be declared the winner. A boxer is automatically disqualified for not making weight or for committing three warnings in a bout. If both boxers are disqualified, the decision shall be announced accordingly.

A disqualified boxer is eliminated from the tournament and shall not be entitled to any prize, medal, trophy, honorable award or grading, relating to any stage of the competition in which the boxer has been disqualified.

(6) No contest. A bout may be terminated by the referee inside the scheduled distance owing to a material happening outside the responsibility of the boxers, or the control of the referee, such as the ring becoming damaged, the failure of the lighting supply, exceptional weather conditions, etc. In such circumstances the bout shall be declared “no contest” and in the case of championships, the jury shall decide the necessary further action.

(7) Win by walkover. Where the boxer presents themselves in the ring fully attired for boxing and the opponent fails to appear after the opponent’s name has been called out by the public address system, the bell sounded and a maximum period of two minutes has elapsed, the referee shall declare the first boxer to be the winner by a walkover. The referee shall first inform the judges to mark their score cards accordingly, collect them and then summon the boxer to the center of the ring. After the decision is announced, the referee raises the boxer’s hand as the winner.
(a) For medical eliminations determined by a medical doctor and administrative eliminations, such as a boxer not having his USA Boxing passbook, not having the properly filled out entry forms, parents approval for minors, etc, the winning boxer may enter the ring for the announcement of the verdict but shall not be required to be in proper boxing attire.

The official in charge or tournament administrator should endeavor to inform the affected boxer as soon as possible.

(8) A draw (AIBA dual matches only). Two clubs or two nations in a friendly dual match may agree to a draw decision when the majority of the judges scored the competition equally. Likewise, an accidental injury in the first round may result in a draw in dual matches.

Article VII, Section 107.9 -- Score Cards

(1) Scorecards from each competition will be submitted to the LBC’s designated officer within 10 days following the event and will be kept on file for one year.

(2) Scores can be obtained from the Chief of Officials after the session, with judges’ names confidential.

Source: Official USA Boxing Rulebook

See also: Olympic Boxing Rules.