Use of Head Guards in AIBA Boxing Tournaments—A Cross-Sectional Observational Study

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Objective:This study looks at the changes in injuries after the implementation of a new rule by the International Boxing Association (AIBA) to remove head guards from its competitions.Design:A cross-sectional observational study performed prospectively. This brief report examines the removal of head guards in 2 different ways. The first was to examine the stoppages due to blows to the head by comparing World Series Boxing (WSB), without head guards, to other AIBA competitions with head guards. Secondly, we examined the last 3 world championships: 2009 and 2011 (with head guards) and 2013 (without head guards).Setting:World Series Boxing and AIBA world championship boxing.Participants:Boxers from WSB and AIBA world championships.Interventions:The information was recorded by ringside medical physicians.Main Outcome Measures:Stoppages per 10 000 rounds; stoppages per 1000 hours.Results:Both studies show that the number of stoppages due to head blows was significantly decreased without head guards. The studies also showed that there was a notable increase in cuts.Conclusions:Removing head guards may reduce the already small risk of acute brain injury in amateur boxing.

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