1. The first the most important duty of an amateur referee is to prevent either boxer from receiving unnecessary punishment An amateur referee must immediately stop the boxing when a boxer appears unable to properly defend himself. This is a difference from professional boxing! Thus is an amateur referee also occasionally handles professional matches, he must be constantly reminded of the amateur "standing knockdown safety procedures and the amateur principle to be constantly alert to prevent an amateur boxer from receiving undue punishment.
2. Check the dress of the boxers in their respective corners. Shorts reaching half way down the thigh, USA Boxing or USABF-approved gloves and properly tied, etc. Do not let a contestant box if he wears a dressing on his scalp or face including the nose and ears. Be sure the Second is in possession of a towel and a sponge for his boxer.
3. When the boxers have been introduced to the public call them to the center of the ring and have them shake hands in a very friendly and sporting manner. It is not necessary to explain to them any of the boxing rules as they are supposed to know the rules and regulations of boxing. Your duty is to see that they stick to the rules when boxing in the ring.
4. Likewise you are expected to be aware of all the Rules and the prescribed "Fouls" so as to carry out your duties efficiently.
5. Be strict without being severe. Boxing is a sport and not a matter for life and death.
6. Forget the public; they may boo when you speak to their favorite. The "Third Man" in the ring is the man in charge.
7. Never try to get into the act! A good referee makes the boxers feel his presence, but the audience hardly realizes he is in the ring.
8. Rules are intended to prevent one boxer taking unfair advantage of the other. The Referee is there to see that the rules are followed. Be quick and alert to detect instantly any of the infringements.
9. When a Referee must speak, do so clearly and distinctly and keep it Short. You are not there to teach rules but to insist on their rigid observance. On your firmness and insistence will depend the standard of the contest.
10. Deal with serious offenses at the very outset with proper cautions and warnings. Your demeanor should impress on the boxers that they are not inside the ring for the purpose of fighting but for a game of skill strictly according to the rules.
11. You have the responsibility to interpret the rules of the contest for which you are officiating and to decide any question not provided in the rules.
12. Make sure that the boxers are ready, the Judges are in their seats and that no ring implements are lying on the ring platform before signaling the Time Keeper to commence the round.
13. Make sure your signal to commence the round is noticed by the Time Keeper. Immediately when the gong is sounded you are in full control of the bout and must see that the rules of boxing are strictly observed by the boxers and their Seconds.
14. Move around in the ring. Do not remain in one position. Always try to be on the "open" side of the action. Your work in the ring should create a favorable impression. The contestants do better if they feel they are in the hands of a good Referee.
15. You must decide when a boxer is incapable of continuing the bout. Do not let a bout continue if, in your opinion, the weaker boxer has no chance of winning and could be hurt.
16. Consult the trainer in attendance when in doubt regarding the capability of the boxer to continue the bout due to injury.
17. When there is a knock-out by a blow on the head, let the boxer remain comfortable on the ring floor, call the trainer, and let him decide whether the boxer should be shifted to the corner of the ring or out of the ring. Unless and until the trainer has examined the boxer do not permit anybody administer the boxer.
18. Be especially alert to detect the most common infringements such as, (a) Hitting with an open glove, (b) Holding, (c) Not stepping back on the command "Break", etc.
19. Do not create difficulties for the Judges by allowing the infringements to pass unnoticed. A Judge may otherwise feel that he is mistaken and thereby give credit to a boxer that should have been penalized.
20. Distinguish between "Infighting" and "Clinching". A Clinch occurs when one or both boxers lead and for a moment their arms become locked together. This is not an offense but an offense does occur when a boxer does not make an attempt to disengage from the Clinch and continues to hold.
21. Do not give the command "Break" too quickly or too often. This order should be given when the boxers are slow in getting out of a clinch. It must be noted that if one of the boxers has his hands free there is no clinch. Therefore, the command "Break" need not be given, but the bout may be stopped and the other boxer cautioned for holding. Remember that fouls should be dealt with cautions and warnings and not by always ordering "Break."
22. A boxer's head might touch lightly his opponent's body in correct "infighting", but you must see that he is not doing this to keep his balance and support himself as this would amount to "Lying-on" which is a foul.
23. At the command "Break", insist on both the boxers taking one full step backward before resuming boxing.
24. Never pull boxers apart or step between then when breaking the clinch. They must respond to your vocal command.
25. Deal severely with the following infringements:
(a) Unfair use of the head: Cut eyebrows are often caused by this and may result in the better boxer losing the bout.
(b) Low Blow: Deliberately hitting the opponent below the belt.
26. Cautions and warnings must be given clearly in such a way that the boxer understands the reason and purpose of the same. You may demonstrate by imitating the nature of the infringements. The following signs will ensure that the boxer understands the offense:
(a) Hitting with open or inside of the glove.
Tap the palm of hand with fingers of the other hand.
(b) Holding: Imitate the nature of a hold.
(c) Dangerous use of the head: Tap the forehead and make appropriate movement of the head.
(d) Lying-on: Bend the body forward to clearly indicate.
(e) Not stepping back on the command "Break":
Demonstrate "Stepping Back."
(f) Hitting below the belt: Point to the position below the belt or move the edge of the palm of the hand along belt line and then point below it.
(g) Low ducking: Touch the forehand with the fingers and indicate the belt line.
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Devoted as I am to popularizing amateur boxing and to improving the caliber of this particularly desirable competitive sport, I am highly enthusiastic over John Walsh's boxing instruction book. No one in the United States today can equal John's record as an amateur boxer and a coach. He is highly regarded as a sportsman. Before turning to coaching and the practice of law John was one of the most successful college and Golden Gloves boxers the sport has ever known.