System News
U.S. Amateur Boxing Uses Java Technology
Improving Scoring
September 3, 2001,
Volume 43, Issue 1

Amateur boxing is utilizing an electronic scoring and timing system driven by JavaTM technology to avoid controversy in scoring. This signals the sport's most significant reform in decades.

At the Seoul Olympics, the outcome of its twelve gold-medal bouts was so suspect that Juan Antonio Samaranch, president of the International Olympic Committee (IOC), proposed that the IOC eliminate boxing as an Olympic sport. Instead, the IOC requested that the International Amateur Boxing Association (AIBA) change the way that judges score international events.

Engineers from Gallaware, Inc., programmed an electronic scoring system that relies on the JavaTM Runtime Environment 1.1.8 to time and score a bout, and Microsoft Access to print the results. A JavaTM Database Connectivity (JDBCTM) to Open Database Connectivity (ODBC) Bridge passes data between the two.

Using the electronic scoring system, five judges evaluate each fight by pressing a red or a blue button located on their handheld keypads as each boxer lands a scoring punch.

If at least three out of five judges report a solid hit from the same boxer at the same time, a laptop computer, which connects to the electronic scorecards, calculates the new score and posts the result. The Java technology software that runs the computer also records the number of knockdowns and warnings per round and per bout; alerts the judges if either number exceeds the limit; and keeps the official time.

Java technology software records a punch each time a judge presses a button and determines whether other judges have recorded a punch for the same boxer during the required time interval. If a majority of judges report a punch within a split second of one another, the software updates the score. Because the software identifies each punch by judge and elapsed time, officials can review a trace file if a challenge occur.

Future directions of this technology include having the scoring portion of the electronic scoring system to the web as an applet. Spectators would be able to watch the event, enter their own scores, and compare them with the judges' scores.

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