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Muay Thai is a combat sport practiced in various countries all over the world. Each country differ in rules set by the organization which arranges the fight. There are 24 rules observed in every Muay Thai fight in Thailand. The first 12 will be discussed in this post. Here are the following rules:

Rule No. 1 – The Ring

Muay Thai rules in using equipments -- Muay Thai Camp PhuketIn Muay Thai ordinary competition, the ring should be square measuring 20 feet on each side for the small ring, and 24 feet on each side for big rings. Measurements take the inside of the ropes. There should be three ropes with a diameter of at least 1.90 centimeters and each rope is tied to the posts at the height of 18 inches, 35 inches and 52 inches respectively. The ropes are insulated with soft material and the inside of the four corners are also covered with soft material. Raised at least 4 to 5 feet at most, from the ground unobstructed, the edge should protrude at least 70 cm from the ropes. The posts should be of 4 x 4 inches and not higher than 58 inches from the ring floor. The floor should have a layer of soft rubber sheet, cork board or straw mat not less than 1.5 inches thick, covered by canvas tightly stretched to cover the whole ring area. Two ladders should be installed not less than 3.5 feet at the opposite ends to allow the officials, trainors and officials. 

Rule No 2 – Gloves

Gloves should weigh not less than 4 ounces and not more than 6 ounces. Boxers should not change the shape, twist or crush the glove stuffing into distortion. 

Rule No. 3 – The Hand Bandage

A standard surgical hand bandage of not more than 2 inches will follow the length requirements – 10 yards for flyweight to middleweight; 12 yards for light heavyweight to heavyweight. A plaster bandage may be used provided it is 1 inch wide and not less than 12 inches in length. Boxers are not allowed to use plaster bandage to bound round knuckles. 

Rule No. 4 – Dress

Fighters must be dressed as follows:

  • Groin protector is a must while mouth guard is optional.
  • The pair of shorts which is either red or blue should be the same length as the upper thighs.
  • No shirt and shoes shall be worn.
  • The cotton laurel is put on only during the wai kruu. Cloth talisman tied to the upper arm or waist is allowed.
  • Ankle support is allowed. Ankle bandage is not allowed
  • Belt, necklace or any metal material is not allowed to be worn
  • Use of Vaseline oil, herbs or any other scented material which opponent might consider repugnant is not allowed   

Rule No. 5 – The Ring Equipment

Adhering to set rules -- Muay Thai Camp ThailandThe following equipment should be seen at the ring – 2 seats, 2 bottles of water, 2 jugs, 2 buckets of water, 2 stools, and desks and chairs for the officials, gong with hammer or bell, 1 or 2 time clocks, score sheets and first aid kit and a microphone. 

Rule No. 6 – Divisions and Weights

The divisions with their corresponding weight are as follows:

  • Maximum of 118 pounds for Bantamweight
  • 126 pounds for Featherweight
  • 135 pounds for Lightweight
  • 147 pounds for Welterweight
  • 160 pounds for Middleweight
  • 175 pounds for Light Heavyweight
  • More than 175 pounds for Heavyweight

Age range of fighter should be between 17 years and 40 years of age. 

Rule No. 7 – Weight Measurements

Weighing in happens between 9 and 12 hours prior to the competition start. If weight is over the limit, 12 hours will be given to have a second weighing in. If weight is not the correct weight, weighing in is deemed terminated. Weighing in can be done naked or in boxing attire minus the gloves. Fight will start only at least 3 full hours after the end of weighing in time. Proper examination on health condition of the fighters will be done by the appointed physician. Fighters must compete in one division only. A champion in the lower division may compete in a higher division.

Rule No. 8 – Number of Rounds

Regular competitions shall have no more than 5 rounds of three minutes per round and a minimum of three rounds. For championship final fight, there shall be no more than 6 rounds of 3 minutes each; 5 rounds minimum is required. Wai Kruu dance will be performed before the first round as per tradition. The fight can start only after the dance. 

Rule No. 9 – Corner Men

Each fighter can have 2 corner men provided the corner men are not allowed to assist, advise or support the boxer while fighting; the corner men shall not be entitled to concede defeat on behalf of the fighter unless with a special agreement to that effect; the corner men and their assistants are not allowed to stay on the side of the ring before the start of each round – they shall remove towels and buckets, etc from the ring; the corner men must be politely dressed according to boxing standards, not allowing any publicity of any goods on the clothing except the name of the training camp; for the final fight, 3 corner men will be allowed for each fighter but the 3rd man can be on the platform outside the room while the 2 corner men stays inside the ring; if found to violate any rules, the corner men may be cautioned or stripped off the right to be corner men. 

Rule No. 10 – The Judging Panel

The fight should have three judges – a referee judge and 2 score judges. These judges should be qualified by their long experience in the profession. 

Rule No. 11 – The Referee Judge

The referee judge is duty bound to make sure that the fight in the ring proceeds fairly and is following the rules. The referee should caution the fighter or corner men who do not follow the rules. He should also mark the score on the scorecard at the end of each round and check the scores on the judge’s scorecards at the end of the fight and announce the winner. He will also facilitate sending the checked score cards to the stadium master. The referee will use three words of instruction during the fight, namely, “stop”, “box” and “break”.  The referee should point out some rules to the fighters and head corner man before the start of the first round. 

Rule No. 12 – Powers of the Referee

It is within the referee’s power to stop the fight if he deems the fight is not fair in terms of level of skills; if the fighter is so wounded and should not be allowed to continue; if the fighters are not performing seriously in which case the referee may expel one or both fighters. The referee can get the fighter to stop the fight so as to warn him in case he breaks the rules or enable the fight to continue fairly and following the rules. The referee can expel the fighter or the corner men who break the Muay Thai rules; expel the fighter who commits a foul from the other fighter regardless if he has been warned or not. The referee’s decision is deemed final. He shall interpret the rules as stipulated and can deliberate on a course of action based on the facts even if not governed by the rules.

These rules are imparted during Muay Thai training in any gym in the Kingdom to prepare the fighter in case the fighter decides to fight professionally. It is important to know the rules while on training to refrain from committing violations or worse case scenario, be thrown out of the a fight because of foul violations.

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