One of the skills boxing teaches is how to deal with intense competition, and even fear and pain, in a safe environment with qualified supervision. To make these lessons as safe as possible, the International Boxing Association strictly regulates boxing matches. Most rules for kids conform to those for adult boxers, but the exceptions are among the most important for keeping kids safe in this vigorous sport.
AIBA boxers ages 15 and 16 compete as Junior Boxers and those ages 17 and 18 compete in the youth category. Kids younger than 14 years can't box in AIBA-sanctioned events, but can compete at National and Confederation levels -- levels that are organized regionally. Rules for boxers in this younger category will change from area to area, so confirm the details for your region before committing your child to competition.
Weight Classes for Youth
As of March 2011, male youth boxers fight under the same weight classes as adults, with maximum weights at 49 kilograms, 52 kg, 56 kg, 60 kg, 64 kg, 69 kg, 75 kg, 81 kg and 91 kg. The super heavyweight category has no maximum weight. Female weight categories are at 48 kg, 51 kg, 54 kg, 57 kg, 60 kg, 64 kg, 69 kg, 75 kg, 81 kg and more than 81 kg. For conversion, 2.2 kilograms is equal to 1 pound. So 48 kg equals approximately 106 pounds.
Weight Classes for Juniors
Junior boys and girls fight in the same weight categories, but always against juniors of the same sex. The maximum weight for each class is 46 kg, 48 kg, 50 kg, 52 kg, 54 kg, 57 kg, 60 kg, 63 kg, 66 kg, 70 kg, 75 kg, 80 kg and unlimited. Junior rules provide more weight classes than youth and adult categories to reduce the potential weight difference between two fighters.
Youth boys competitions consists of three rounds, each lasting three minutes. Youth girls fight four rounds, each lasting two minutes. Junior competition, which includes both boys and girls, last for three rounds of two minutes each. In all three cases, fighters rest for one full minute between each round.
To compete in a sanctioned fight, all kids must wear gloves, a mouthpiece and a headguard. Male fighters must also wear groin protection. Female fighters can wear chest and groin protection, but neither is mandatory. Clothing for boys must be light shoes, a vest and shorts. Girls wear the same uniform, plus a sports bra. Clothing and gloves will be red or blue, to match the corner color designated by the competition.