Lausanne: In a post Olympics meeting, AIBA Commissions met in Lausanne during October 3-5 to discuss reforms to be implemented in the road map for new Olympic cycle heading to Tokyo 2020 Games.
Convened in Lausanne, the AIBA Referees & Judges and Technical & Rules Commissions reflected upon various learning from Rio 2016 Olympic Games. It is to be noted that AIBA was in the middle of controversies related to AIBA Referee and Judges Management during the summer games.
It was challenge on the Commissions to plan affirmative actions to build on during the new Olympic cycle and several crucial recommendations were made. Moving over to the Technical & Rules Commissions: during various cases and hearing by Court of Arbitration, the education of boxers and coaches with regards to various rules, was found to me insufficient.
So, measures are taken on to improving the education of boxers & coached and improving the dialogue with National Federations, with the meetings marking a positive new horizon for AIBA and the boxing world.
Speaking about the Rio 2016, AIBA President Wu said, “Rio 2016 was a watershed moment for AIBA.”
Further, speaking about controversies related to Boxing rings during the games, he added, “Boxing was in the spotlight for positive reasons, but occasionally also for the wrong ones. As an organisation, we have pulled together and I am extremely happy with the work that has been done this week by highly experienced members of our commissions, whose expertise and council will allow AIBA and its community to develop further throughout this next Olympic cycle.”
Reforms to better the Referees & Judges Management
AIBA Commission on Referees and Judges has claimed to have taken strong decisions to better the experiences at the major events. Taking cognizance of the cases which put AIBA in spot during the Olympic Games, the Commission believed that seamless integration of recent reforms such as headguard removal and the inclusion of non-AIBA pro boxers, a small number of decisions under debate indicated that further reforms were necessary.
Specific R&J investigations done by AIBA officials during the Olympics will allow the International federation to assess the actions which are required to better the situation. In a precautionary measure, the commission has decided that none of the 36 R&Js who officiated at the Olympic Games will not officiate at any AIBA event until the investigation reaches its conclusion, along with further immediate measures adopted by the commissions.
During the course of the convention, current R&J certification system was also discussed with regards to increasing the pool of Referees & Judges over the next four years in accordance with the values and ethics set out by AIBA commission. After thorough discussion, it was decided that the current 5-star R&J programme will be disbanded and there will be greater empowerment and efficiency brought to the role of the R&J evaluators.
In a bid to reach towards greater transparency, it was recommended that the Draw of the R&J’s for each bout will now be automated Swiss Timing, the official scoring system adopted by AIBA. This means that the three-person Draw Commission will be disbanded. This will safeguard the interests of the boxers and coaches who have, time and again, alleged misjudgement by the Referees and Judges. Though AIBA, with these measures, is trying to take on those claims by the boxers and their coaches.
Scoring System to stay the same
During the convention, AIBA decided that the current 10-point must system, despite the subjective criteria which causes misunderstandings and public debates, is the best scoring method for the sport. The scoring system takes into account the four key criteria essential to maintaining high level and entertaining boxing. What has been recommended by the Commission in a bid to increase transparency for future events is the opening up of all five of the judges scorecards to determine the winner of a bout.
Audiences, Boxers & Coaches to be educated on Rules
During the Rio 2016 Summer Games, various cases involving the boxers also hinted at the need to educate these about the rules and systems in place. Also, it was found that there was a need to better educate the different audiences concerning judging methods and the precautions taken by AIBA in order to preserve a level playing field for all boxers.
From next year onward, ahead of the Men’s World Championships in Germany, AIBA will introduce an extensive educational programme dedicated to this topic with the support of its National Federation members.
Speaking about the importance of educating the various stakeholders of the sport, Ching-Kuo Wu said, “Education will be a big part of the HeadsUp program in 2017. We want our fans, the media and of course the boxers to better understand our judging system, and we need to remind them of and explain our criteria more clearly and to open up dialogue that takes into account all feedback that can contribute to optimising the current system, but the decisions taken this week will already have contributed deeply to strengthening our stature.”
The recommendations will seek ratification of current statutes & by-laws to be produced before the Extraordinary Congress which will be held in December 2016.