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Old 11-27-2012, 04:41 PM   #1
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Default Boxing Scoring FAQ and Discussion

The 10-Point Must System is complicated and there have been (understandably) quite a few threads asking about certain aspects of properly scoring a Boxing match (as well as a lot of uninformed posters answering). So I put together a brief overview and FAQ on this topic. I hope it helps increase the understanding of scoring around here...

If you are the TL;DR type, jump to the bottom of the post and reference the FAQ.
Professional Boxing matches are scored using the "10-Point Must System". This system assigns ten points to the winner of each round. The loser receives nine points for a close round, eight points if he was knocked down or dominated, and seven points if he was knocked down twice. If a round is even and neither boxer was knocked down, both boxers receive 10 points. If each boxer was knocked down once, the knockdowns are disregarded and the winner of the round receives 10 points, while the loser receives nine points.

Each round is typically scored by the following criteria:

Clean Punching - Punches landed cleanly in the legal scoring area of the other fighter on the knuckle part of the glove. Punches landed to the back of the head, the rear torso, or below the beltline are not legal. "Slapping" or "Backhanded" punches are not legal, and glancing or partially blocked punches should not be counted in scoring.

Effective Aggressiveness - When a fighter is moving forward, and in doing so scores more clean punches or damaging blows on his opponent.

Ring Generalship - If a fighter is able to control the pace and style of the fight and impose his style on the other fighter, he is winning in the Ring Generalship category. For example: A "brawler" will try to drag a "boxer" into an inside fight by moving forward and cutting off the ring, whereas the "boxer" will try to keep the "brawler" at a distance using his legs and his jab. It is important for the judges to understand the style of each fighter to properly score Ring Generalship.

Defense - A largely ignored category. Defense is the ability of a fighter to avoid being hit by the other fighter's punches by blocking, slipping, dodging, or staying out of range.

The boxer with more accumulated points at the end of the match is the winner of the match, as long as two of the three judges are in agreement. The four possible decisions of a bout that goes the distance are as follows:

Unanimous decision: All three judges score the same boxer as the winner.

Split decision: Two of the three judges score in favor of one boxer, who is declared the winner, despite the fact that the third judge ruled in favor of the other boxer.

Majority decision: Two of the three judges score in favor of one boxer, who is declared the winner, despite the fact that the third judge ruled the contest a draw.

Draw: If at least two judges have the match as tied, then a draw will be declared. Also, a draw occurs if one judge has one winner, another judge has a different winner, and the third judge has a draw.

A bout can also be stopped earlier than the scheduled duration due to Knockout (KO), Technical Knockout (TKO) or Referee's Technical Decision (RTD), which is a stoppage by the referee between rounds. Once a boxer gets to his feet after being knocked down, he must be approved to continue by the referee. If the boxer is unable to recover from the knockdown within ten seconds, his opponent wins by way of knockout. A referee can also choose to stop a fight at any point to protect a boxer from severe injury. In this case, the boxer loses by Technical Knockout. In the very rare case that neither fighter is able to continue (including the theoretical "double KO" scenario), the fight is declared a Technical Draw.

Fouls – (Knockdowns are deducted BEFORE fouls) such as head butts and low blows – inevitably occur during a bout. The referee must make a judgment whether the committed foul was intentional or unintentional. If an intentional foul occurs and the boxers are both able to continue fighting, the referee must take at least one point away from the boxer who committed the foul. If a boxer cannot continue due to injury from an intentional foul, the boxer who committed the foul is disqualified.
Unintentional fouls occur much more often than intentional fouls, though. Boxers who commit unintentional fouls receive a warning from the referee, who can deduct points from the boxer if he continues to commit fouls. Unintentional fouls that immediately end a fight can result in either a “no-contest” ruling or a declared winner.
A no-contest occurs if less than four rounds of the match have been completed. Neither boxer is declared the winner in a no-contest. If the fight has gone past four rounds, then a winner is declared. The winner, in this case, is the boxer who has the most points at the current stage of the match. A declared winner wins by “technical decision.” A “technical draw” could also occur if the boxers have the same amount of points at the time of the stoppage.
That should answer most questions, including some of the following, which have come up on this forum:

If fighter A scores a knockdown, but fighter B seems to win the rest of the round, is it scored 10-9 in stead of 10-8?
A: No. Fighter B would need to completely dominate the rest of the round to earn 9 points rather than 8. Not just "win the rest of the round."

Is there such a thing as an "even round?"
A: Yes. Although rarely used by professional judges, awarding 10 points to both fighters in an evenly contested round is perfectly legal and acceptable under the rules.

If both fighters are knocked down in the same round, how is the round scored?
A: If each boxer was knocked down once in the same round, the knockdowns are disregarded and the winner of the round receives 10 points, while the loser receives 9 points.

If "Fighter A" scores one knockdown, but "Fighter B" scores 2 knockdowns in the same round, how is the round scored?
A: 10-8 in favor of Fighter B. In terms of scoring, knockdowns cancel each other out. When Fighter A scored one knockdown, the score for this round went from 10-7 to 10-8.

If in a round with no knockdowns a fighter clearly wins the round but is docked a point for a foul, how is the round scored?
A: 9-9. An exception is only applied to the "10-point must" part of the system when the referee calls time and docks a point from a fighter for committing a foul (repeated low blows, intentional head butts, etc...).

Ok, Juicebox... Riddle me this!: What if "Fighter A" clearly dominates the round, and in doing so, scores 2 knockdows in the round and is docked 2 points for intentional fouls, but "Fighter B" scores 3 knockdowns of his own?!
A: That sounds like a realistic round, I'll give it a go. First, deduct the knockdowns. If "Fighter B" scored one more knockdown than "Fighter A," the 4 other knockdowns in the round (2 for each fighter) cancel each other out. But wait, "Fighter B" was "dominated" in the round. I would start the score 10-9 in favor of "Fighter B," and then deduct 2 points from "Fighter A" for the fouls. This round would be scored 10-7 in favor of "Fighter B," although some judges may ignore the subjective concept of "domination" in a round so full of knockdowns and fouls, perhaps scoring it 10-6. Do you have a link to this crazy ass round?

If you have any questions regarding scoring that this guide does not cover, please post it in this thread and I will add it to the original post.

Thanks to Booradly for RTD

Last edited by Juiceboxbiotch; 04-23-2013 at 06:53 PM.
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