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Boxing-Weightlifting-Wrestling Explained

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With so many new, young audience members at the Commonwealth Youth Games, we felt it imperative to run through some of the rules and scoring methods for sports that aren't everyday parlance for most us.

We begin this series with a look at the three most physical sports at the games - boxing, wrestling and weightlifting.


boxing_img.jpgAmateur boxing is based on a points system with the boxer who has the higher number of points at the end of the bout (boxing match) being declared the winner. Each boxer has a white strip on the gloves around the knuckles and a point is awarded whenever a boxer connects that white portion of the gloves cleanly at the face or torso of the opponent with significant force. Most amateur bouts are scheduled for four rounds, but can be stopped sooner in case of a Knock-out. Each bout has five judges alloted to it and points are scored through an electronic system if a minimum of 3 judges feel that a strong enough contact has been made.

A referee monitors the fight to ensure that competitors use only legal blows. A belt worn over the torso represents the lower limit of punches and any boxer repeatedly landing blows below the belt is disqualified. Referees also ensure that the boxers don't use holding tactics (clinch) to prevent the opponent from swinging punches. If this occurs, the referee separates the opponents and then orders them to continue boxing. Repeated holding can result in a boxer being penalized or ultimately disqualified. The bout can be stopped before completion only if a boxer is seriously injured, if one boxer is significantly dominating the other or if the score is severely imbalanced.

During bouts, boxers wear a form-fitted applaince in their mouth known as a gumshield and a protective helmet which covers most of their head, except the face.

Below are the definitions of some specific boxing terminology:

Infighting: Fighting at close quarters so blows using the full reach of the arm cannot be delivered.

Count: The counting up to 10 seconds by the referee, after which, if a boxer is still down, a loss by knockout is declared.

Passive defence: Covering up with both arms and not trying to avoid a blow.

Queensberry rules: The set of rules followed in modern boxing, developed by the 8th Marquess of Queensberry in the mid-19th century.

Second: A boxer's assistant.

Southpaw: A left-handed boxer.

Warning: A notice from the referee that a boxer has committed an infringement of the rules (three warnings mean disqualification).

Photograph Copyright:Chris Dixon (CCANC2G)


weightlifting_img.jpgWeightlifting is a sport in which participants attempt a maximum weight single lift of a barbell loaded with weight plates.

Each lifter performs 2 types of lifts, i.e. the snatch and the clean and jerk.

In the snatch, competitors lift the bar to arm's length above their head in one movement. On the other hand, in the clean and jerk, they lift the bar to their shoulders, stand up straight, and then jerk the bar to arm's length above their head. Lifters are allowed 3 attempts at each lift, and their best snatch and best clean-and-jerk figures are added to determine the winners.

There are 3 referees who oversee whether a particular lift was legal or not.

Some basic weightlifting terminology:

Chalk: The common name for the magnesium carbonate powder that lifters put on their hands to improve their grip on the bar.

Elimination: An athlete failing to obtain a valid result in either one or both movements (lifts) for any reason is eliminated.

IWF: It stands for International Weightlifting Federation, which is the world-wide governing body for the sport of weightlifting.

No Lift: An attempt judged as unsuccessful by at least two of the three referees.

Platform: A square platform measuring 4m along each side and 50-150mm high, made of a solid and non-slippery material, on which the competitors execute their lifts.

Photograph Copyright: Annie (CCANC2G)


wrestling_img.jpgUsually at the Commonwealth Games (or the Olympics for that matter), the two different styles of wretling - Greco-Roman & Freestyle are both on show. However, at the Youth Games, only wrestlers competing under the Freestyle category are participating. As per freestyle rules, wrestlers can use their legs for pushing, lifting and tripping, and they can also hold opponents above or below the waist.

The sport is based on a points system and they are awarded as follows:

Takedown: A wrestler can be awarded 1,3 or 5 points for a takedown when the wrestler gains control over his opponent on the mat from a neutral position (when the wrestler is on his feet). At least three points of contact have to be controlled on the mat (e.g. two arms and one knee; two knees and one arm or the head etc)

Reversal: A wrestler is awarded a solitary point for a reversal when the wrestler gains control over his opponent from a defensive position (when the wrestler is being controlled by his opponent)

Exposure/Danger Position: A wrestler is awarded points (2 or 3) for exposure when the wrestler exposes his opponent's back to the mat (floor) for several seconds.

Penalty: A wrestler whose opponent takes an injury time-out receives one point unless the injured wrestler is bleeding. Other infractions (e.g. fleeing a hold or the mat, striking the opponent, acting with brutality or intent to injure, using illegal holds, etc.) are penalized by an award of either one or two points, a caution and a choice of position to the opponent.

Out-of-Bounds: Whenever a wrestler places his foot in the protection area, the match is stopped and a point is awarded to his opponent.

Photograph Copyright: Muscl_mc (CCA2G)

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