TBA-SA Muay Thai Rules
Amateur & Professional
(As approved by the TBA-SA Board of Directors, 2007. Revised 2015)
For amendments for individual tournaments, please visit the FAQ page for that event.
Click here to download TOURNAMENT RULES ONLY in a .pdf file.
Thai Liniment such as Namman Muay and the new Athlon Thai Liniment ARE ALLOWED to be used to warm the fighter up prior to the fight. It cannot be applied above the shoulders (neck and head area). Other warming agents such as Ben Gay, Icy Hot, and other sports cremes are NOT allowed.
Vaseline --Vasoline may be used on the fighter's face. If excessive, referee will wipe it off. Baby oil is NOT allowed.
Prajioud (Arm Bands) -- Arm bands may be worn by fighters, however the bands cannot hang down past the elbow.
Ankle Supports -- Fighters may wear cloth ankle supports. No Tape.
Juniors -- Ages 6-17. 16 & 17 yr olds will have the option of fighting in junior or adult divisions UNLESS governing state requires a 16 & 17 year old to compete as an adult. State requirements overrule s TBA-SA requirements.
Amateur -- All Ages -- Fighters cannot be paid to fight. This also means NO excessive 'travel' stipends!
Professional -- Ages 18+ Fighters will receive monetary payment to fight.
All Levels: All punches of boxing are allowed to the body and to the head. This would include the jab, cross, hook, uppercut, overhand, and spinning backfist. This applies to Junior, Amateur and Professional bouts.
Juniors & Amateur Adults -- Only elbows to the body in Class C.
Class B, Class A, and Open will allow elbows to the head with padded elbows. In Class B, BOTH fighters must agree on a regular show. Tournaments -- See tournament rules below.
TBA-SA approved elbow pads must be worn by both fighters. "Downward, Spiking, 12/6 elbows ARE allowed"
NO elbows to the back of the head or the spine.
TOURNAMENT RULES: Elbows to the head will be used in Class A, B and Open in both juniors, adults and senior adults. Novice divisions will NOT be allowed to use elbows to the head. ALL fighters may throw elbows to the body in ALL Divisions.
Professional -- Elbows to both the body and the head are allowed. This includes spiking elbows and spinning elbows. No elbows to the back of the head or the spine. No elbow pads worn.
Junior & Amateur -- Knees are allowed to the body and legs. No knees to the head.
Professional -- Knees are allowed to the legs, body, and head.
Junior & Amateur -- All types of kicks are allowed to the head and body. These kicks must impact with the bottom or top or side of foot or the shin. Only round kicks are allowed to the legs. These are allowed to the inside and outside of the legs, both above and below the knee. There will be no straightline kicks to the legs. No "checking" the opponent�s roundkick, by teeping the kicking leg.
Professional -- All types of kicks are allowed to the head and body. These kicks must impact with the bottom or top or side of foot or the shin. Only round kicks are allowed to the legs. These are allowed to the inside and outside of the legs, both above and below the knee. There will be no straightline kicks to the legs, however, "checking" the opponent's kicking leg with a teep is allowed.
Clinching is allowed for all fighters: Juniors, Amateurs and Professionals. All strikes (as applicable to amateur and professional) may be used. The amateur fighter may NOT pull the head down, as knees to the head are not allowed. Professional fighters MAY pull the head down to apply a knee strike.
Throws from the clinch range are allowed. These must be done with the arms, knees, and legs to off balance the opponent and "dump" or "throw". No Judo throws or hip tosses are allowed. No picking up the opponent to body slam, as in the MMA competitions. No "tripping" allowed. A fighter is NOT allowed to intentionally fall on top of the opponent to cause injury.
NO striking the back of the head
NO striking the spine
NO striking the groin
NO striking the front and sides of the knees
NO foot stomps
NO sweeps "foot to foot"
NO hip throws or Judo throws
NO picking up opponent and slamming to the canvas
NO hammerfist strikes
NO straightline kicks below the waist
NO "plowing". Must strike for every step taken, if holding a caught leg.
Note: All of the above are considered "fouls". If referee determines foul is intentional, a point will be deducted. If referee determines the foul is unintentional, a warning will be given for first occurrence. Subsequent fouls will receive a point deduction. The downed opponent has up to 5 minutes to recover (at the discretion of the referee). Referee reserves the right to end fight after subsequent fouls if he/she feels it is in the best interest of the fighters.
"No Contest" Decisions
If an opponent is fouled in the first round and, as a result, cannot continue, AND the referee rules the foul as accidental, the bout will be ruled a �no contest�. If the bout has completed the first round, and the fouled opponent cannot continue, then the decision will go to the score cards to determine a winner. This of course, will also be determined by whether or not the ring referee dictates the foul was "accidental" or "intentional". An intentional foul will award the win to the downed fighter. An accidental foul will award the win to the fighter winning completed rounds on the judge�s cards.
SAFETY EQUIPMENT: For approved equipment
Juniors must wear headgear, shin guard, handwraps, mouth guard and groin protection (female groin protection is optional). Chest guards are optional, if one coach requests chest guard, both fighters must wear it.
Amateur--Fighters with 3 fights or less must wear headgear, shin guard, handwraps, mouth guard and groin protection (female groin protection is optional).
Amateur--Fighters with 4 fights or more may fight without headgear, ONLY if both fighters and coaches agree. Both fighters will wear similar gear. Not one with headgear and the other without.
Amateur--Fighters with 8 fights or more may fight without head gear and shin guards, ONLY if both fighters and coaches agree. NOTE: if fighters agree to NO shin guards, then NO headgear will be allowed either.
TOURNAMENT RULES -- ALL Juniors and Amateur Adults will be required to wear all safety equipment: *headgear, shin guard (regardless of experience), mouth guard, and groin protection (female groin protection is optional). Classes A, B, and Jr. & Sr. Class A, B & Open will use elbows with elbow pads. Novice classes will NOT use elbows.
Revision effective in 2014 -- Headgear will NOT be worn for the Adult, Class A Championship fights. Class A juniors will still wear it.
Head Gear-- Headgear may have cheek protection but cannot have nose or chin protection.
TOURNAMENT RULES: Revision effective in 2014 -- ONLY "Neutral" head gear will be allowed in the tournaments. Fighters may wear red headgear if fighting out of the red corner and may wear blue headgear if fighting out of the blue corner, but may NOT wear red out of the blue corner or blue out of the red corner. Black or white headgear is preferred by the TBA-SA however, a 'neutral' color may be worn.
Shin Guard-- Shin guards may be cloth, leather, or neoprene, and can pull on or fasten with Velcro or buckles. Any metal clasps must be covered with tape. ***If not provided by promoter.
TOURNAMENT RULES: Revision effective in 2014 -- ONLY red or blue shin guards can be worn at the tournaments. Each fighter/team will need to have BOTH a red pair and a blue pair to match the corner they are fighting out of.
*NEW for MTC in 2016. We will be supplying shin guards for the 2016 & 2017 Annual Muay Thai Classic.
Elbow pads-- In amateur bouts where both fighters/coaches agree to elbows to head, the elbow pads must still be worn regardless of fight experience.
TOURNAMENT RULES: Elbows to both the body and head will be allowed in ALL Class A, Class B and Open divisions, both juniors and adults. Elbow pads will be supplied. Novice divisons will NOT use elbows to the head, but may still use elbows to the body.
Handwraps-- Junior and Amateur fighters may use training hand wraps or gauze and tape. Professional fighters must use gauze and tape. Tape must be one finger's width back from knuckles. All fighters must have wraps checked and signed by TBA-SA Representative before putting on fight gloves.
Gloves-- Gloves must be TBA-SA approved gloves. All gloves will be provided by promoter. No fighter may use their own. All Junior and Amateur will use red and blue approved compeition gloves. 8 oz will be used for Juniors under 85#, 10 oz. will be used for all weight divisions UNDER Lt Heavy. Lt Heavy and above will wear 12 oz.
TOURNAMENT RULES: *Revision effective in 2014 -- Junior weight classes, 85# and under, and ages 12 and under, will wear 8 oz gloves.
Professional -- fighters will wear mouth guard, handwraps, and groin protection (female groin protection is optional). No other padding will be allowed. Gloves must be red and blue 10 oz., TBA-SA approved, fight gloves and will be provided by promoter. No fighter may use their own.
Standing 8 Count:
This will be in effect for all bouts, both amateur and professional. All fighters must engage. If you are not fighting back/defending yourself, the ring referee will stop the action and administer an 8 count to ensure your safety. This will also be scored like a knockdown on the judges scorecards.
3 KnockDown Rule:
If a fighter is knocked down 3 times in any single round (provided the referee has given the 10 count), the fight will be stopped and pronounced a TKO.
The "flash" knockdown is in effect in all bouts, both amateur and professional. If a fighter is knocked down, but gets back up immediately with no signs of damage, at the discretion of the ring referee, it may be declared a flash knock down and no 10 count will be administered. This will also NOT count as a knock down on the judges scorecards. Again, this rule is at the discretion of the referee. Sometimes a fighter is Knocked OUT on impact (and eyes roll back in head) and then wake up upon their head bouncing off the canvas and get right back up. The referee may see this and still give the count to ensure the fighters is able to continue.
LENGTH OF ROUNDS:
Juniors--Three 2 minute rounds. One minute rest. Younger fighters may have three 90 second rounds if both coaches agree. Title fights will be three 2 minute rounds.
Amateur--All non-title bouts will be Three 2-minute rounds. One minute rest.
*Amateur Elimination Tournament--ALL Juniors and Amateurs fights will be Three 2-minute rounds. One minute rest.
All Regional, U.S., North American, and World title bouts (non-tournament) will be Five 2-minute rounds. One minute rest.
Professional--Non-title bouts may be Three 3-minute rounds, Four 3-minute rounds, or Five 3-minute rounds (promoter fighter negotiation). All will have One minute rest.
All title bouts will be Five 3-minute rounds. One minute rest.