Imagine training for an eleven a side game of football and when you turn up to the national championships you are told the tournament will be five-a-side, or in rugby 15-a-side and it will be played in the Sevens format. It would throw your preparations into turmoil. Well spare a thought for India’s top amateur boxers.
At the National Games boxing championships the organisers did not have the computer software to implement the new scoring system introduced for amateur boxing, so they have opted to score by the old method.
Teams who protested against such a move were apparently threatened with disqualification. Realising they had no option but to go along with the decision to revert to the old rules, some teams requested that head guards be used, if the old rules are to be implemented, but their request fell on deaf ears.
Under the old rules boxers were rewarded with a point for every punch that connected cleanly with their opponent. Under the new rules it is far more subjective with boxers rewarded for overall ring craft as well as the number of clean blows needed and aggression. A format that requires a very different style of training and boxing in the ring.
With 27 teams participating including 127 men and 55 women, it is expected that there will definitely be some surprise results in the tournament, which will be disheartening for many who have trained so hard to win a National title.