Rule change: Boxing headgear is now mandatory for all competitors in all events in Canada

Effective immediately, Boxing Canada and the Rules Commission have ruled that headgear must be worn by all competitors at all domestic boxing events, including the upcoming Canadian Qualification this month and the Canadian Championships moving forward.

Since the removal of headgear for Elite men boxers in 2013, the number of lacerations has greatly increased and has prevented some boxers from moving forward in a multi-bout tournament due to these cuts, which could have been prevented with headgear.

At the most recent edition of the Elite Men’s World Championships that took place in September 2019, 78 countries competed in a total of 357 bouts and some medical statistics have shown that a great number of cuts occurred during the competition. Indeed, there were 46 lacerations greater than one centimeter in addition to numerous secondary lacerations. One of these injuries occurred in semifinals and two during gold medal bouts, where the fights had to be stopped and these avoidable injuries determined the outcome of the bouts.

As the National governing body for Olympic boxing, it is Boxing Canada’s duty to be proactive in ensuring the health and safety of all boxers by preventing these injuries. The rule to reinstate the use of headgear has been unanimously supported by all provincial associations as well.

“It is quite obvious that the removal of the headgear for Elite male boxers has resulted in an increase in injuries to the boxers. We have seen a significant increase in facial cuts due to unintentional headbutts. When the headgear was worn, these cuts never occurred, states Pat Fiacco, Boxing Canada’s President. There is no evidence of a decrease in concussions that was initially reported when AIBA made the decision to remove the headgear. USA Boxing and the Argentina Boxing Federation have also brought back the headgear rule for those Elite male boxers. As the leaders in Canada, we have an obligation to ensure we are taking care of the health and safety of our boxers. We will be doing this by bringing back the headgear rule. I encourage all National Boxing Federations and AIBA to do the same. We are amateur boxing, not professional boxing.” 

AIBA has not shown to our satisfaction that the removal of headgear was justifiable and has not proven the removal to be safer for our boxers. The no-headgear rule will continue to be applied in international competitions where AIBA rules apply.



Posted on: December 6, 2019