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2011 ABC Unified Rules and Guidelines for Muay Thai Report

  • Written by Rian Scalia

The Association of Boxing Commissions has released their report on the unified rules and guidelines of Muay Thai. This report was presented at the Association of Boxing Commissions Annual Convention in Washington, D.C. on August 3rd.

The report was put together to help establish unified rules for Muay Thai in the United States. Many athletic commissions have unified rules for Boxing, MMA and even Kickboxing in some cases, but there are no established rulesets for Muay Thai in the United States. The lack of a unified ruleset was suggested as having hampered the growth of the sport. It is hoped that the report will help athletic commissions become more knowledgable and well versed of the rules and tradition of Muay Thai.

Here is the full background of the report, from the document:

On July 30, 2009, at the Association of Boxing Commissions annual
convention in New Orleans, Nick Lembo presented a report entitled “Guidelines
For Muay Thai”. This presentation was intended to provide information to those
Commissions who were not overly familiar with the sport. For example, several
16 jurisdictions had contacted New Jersey, prior to the report, with regard to
questions about amateur and/or professional rule sets and officiating, after
promoters had contacted them to possibly stage muay thai events in their
jurisdiction. Lembo noted that while many commissions have rule sets for the
sports of boxing, mixed martial arts, and even kick boxing, few had established
rule sets for muay thai. It was suggested that the lack of a unified rule set, or at
least an ABC recognized guide rule set might be hampering the growth of the
sport. After the presentation, ABC President Tim Lueckenhoff saw fit to form a
committee to present a full rules report regarding professional and amateur muay
thai. This Committee was to study the issues present for one year and report
back at the following year’s annual convention (2010).

At the 2010 convention, Lembo made a brief presentation noting the
progress of the committee, but asked for one more year in order to provide the in
depth review and discussion that the sport deserved. The advisory panel was still
engaging in deep discussions with the Committee. ABC President Leuckenhoff
granted the extension.

This report is the culmination of the meetings, detailed input, and mass of
correspondence of the committee and the expert appointments. The input from
this worldwide group of highly decorated men in the sport proved invaluable. It
was a true and amazing honor to even discuss their sport with them. Their
participation led to a product that has much more worth. That being said, it does
not mean that all the experts agreed on every point within the report. There are
certainly some points of contention. Such would be expected when discussing a
subject matter steeped in such rich tradition, meaning and history.
In addition to the expert panel, special mention must be made of Mr.
Robert Reiter of Muay Thaimes for his unyielding assistance and support. His
true love of the sport is self-evident and I am grateful for his participation. Others
who provided noteworthy and esteemed input on this project include Chris
Ballard, Rigel Balsamico, David Ross, Anthony Salcedo, Chris Tran and Chris

It is our hope that this report assists member athletic Commissions to be
more comfortable and well versed in the rules and traditions of this fine sport.

If you want to look at the whole document of the report, you click here. We can hope that this is a step in the right direction for Muay Thai in the United States. As of now, I wouldn't expect it to have much of an impact but the fact that a unified ruleset has been presented might increase the knowledge of the sport among the athletic commissions.

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