Kickboxing Rules & Regulations

All Triangle Kickboxing Promotions events are regulated by the North Carolina Boxing Authority (NCBA) and sanctioned by the International Kickboxing Federation (IKF).

Professional Fighters

Professional bouts are by contract and fighters may choose between Unified Kickboxing Rules or Muay Thai Rules. Fighters must contractually agree on the rule set for their specific bout. All professional fighters are required to have a corner person and cut person in their corner. Failure to have appropriate assistance in a professional corner may disqualify the bout.

Amateur Fighters

All amateur bouts are CONTINUOUS FIGHTING using Unified rules.

Potential competitors are required to have current medicals (blood work and eye exam) on file with the NCBA. It is the fighters responsibility to insure their information is correct and up-to-date with the NCBA. Failure to have current medical information on file with the NCBA will disqualify a potential candidate from being considered for an event.

Amateur bouts consist of three (3) X two (2)-minute rounds for men and women. The maximum number of rounds for amateurs is three (3) for non-title fights and five (5) for title fights.

Any fighters over the age of 40 are required to have a full physical.

Fighters Required Equipment

Competitors are required to provide their own approved gear.


  • Groin cups are mandatory.


  • Fighters must wear a padded sports or athletic bra. In addition, a foul-proof breast protector or plastic breast covers may be worn. The NCBA recommends that female contestants also wear pelvic protection.


  • A NCBA-approved mouth guard is required. No red or pink mouth guards are allowed.


  • Hand wraps shall be restricted to no more than twenty (20) yards of soft gauze, not more than two (2) inches wide.
  • The gauze shall be held in place by no more than eight (8) feet of adhesive tape, no more than one and one-half (1 ½) inches wide.
  • The adhesive tape shall not cover any part of the knuckles when the hand is clenched to make a fist. The use of water, or any other liquid or material, on the tape is strictly prohibited.
  • ALL Fighter hand wraps must be “Signed Off” by an NCBA representative prior to the beginning of their bout.


  • Amateurs: 10-oz gloves with laces are required. Laces must be taped firmly.


  • 12oz Headgear is mandatory for all amateur fighters – no exceptions allowed!
  • Fighters must come to the contest with their own NCBA approved headgear. Headgear may be velcro or lace wrapped. No jaw bar or excessive ear padding is allowed.


  • Shin guards with foot guard are mandatory. No gel pads are allowed.
  • Shin guard fasteners must be taped. No buckles or metal of any kind can be exposed.


  • All fighters must wear Thai Boxing shorts. No shirts allowed for male fighters. All fighters shall be clean and present a neat appearance.


  • Fighters with long hair may wear NCBA approved hair stays.


Fighters shall be weighed in on scales provided by the NCBA. See Addendum marked “Itinerary” for details about weigh-ins.


Fighters are allowed 2 people in their corner; one chief corner person and one second. All corner persons must have a valid NCBA State license and must wear proper credentials when in the corner. If a corner person is not wearing the required credentials in the corner, he/she will be asked to leave.

Corner persons MUST remain seated during rounds. Corner person or second may not place their hands on the ring apron, the ropes, or any part of the ring during the rounds. Only the chief Corner person may give direction to the competitor during a round. Corner person or seconds MAY NOT enter into a verbal dispute with the referee of official during the bout.


The Standing 8 count is in effect for all bouts. The 3 knockdown rule is in effect. If a fighter is knocked down to the canvas 3 times in one round, OR is given 3 standing 8 counts in one round, the bout is automatically over. The 4-knock down rule is also in effect for fights scheduled for three rounds. That is, if a fighter is knocked down four times (cumulatively in a 3-round bout), the fight is over.

A fighter cannot be saved by the bell in any round including the final round.

Legal Techniques

  • All boxing punches.
  • Back fists and spinning back fists.
  • Inside and outside leg kicks.
  • Body and leg kicks, except for heel kicks to the head.
  • Clinch is allowed for up to three (3) seconds.

Illegal Techniques

  • All forms of biting.
  • Head butts.
  • Punches to the back of the head.
  • Striking to the spine area.
  • Slapping (striking with the back side of the gloves).
  • Holding your opponents head or arm and hitting.
  • Striking to the head with your knee(s).
  • Kicking directly to the front or side of the opponent’s knee with the intent to hyper extend the joint.
  • Elbow & forearm strikes. Palm heel strikes or joint (legs & arm) attacks: (striking to “AND” arm bars.) Pro by contract agreement only.
  • Take downs, throwing, or grappling of any kind.
  • Hammer fists.
  • Strikes to the groin.
  • Spinning or elevated sweeps of any kind.
  • Striking opponent when he/she has slipped or fallen to 1 knee or more. An opponent is down when any part of his/her body touches the floor of the ring.
  • Grabbing or holding onto an opponent’s leg, foot, or any other part of the body is not allowed.
  • Spinning forearm or elbow; A spinning “Back fist” is allowed. It must strike with the portion of the glove that is above the wrist line. This portion is from the tape line at the wrist to the end of the glove.
  • No heel strikes to the head (amateur). Pro by contract agreement only.


The 10-Point Must System is based on damage, effective aggression, ring control, and properly landed strikes. Leg kicks are given emphasis. No kick count requirements.


A fighter shall be declared knocked down if any portion of the fighters body other the feet touch the floor, or if the fighters hangs helplessly over the ropes. “Flash” knock downs will not be considered knock downs.


  • Any time a fighter is knocked down, the referee shall automatically begin a mandatory eight-count, and if the fighter appears OK to continue, will allow the bout to resume.
  • Should the fighter be knocked down three times in one round from blows to the head, the referee shall stop the contest and declare the opponent the winner. The three knockdown rule may be waived by agreement by the NCBA, the promoter, and the contestant prior to the bout in a championship bout.
    • Whenever a fighter is knocked out primarily as a result of a kick, whether or not the kick occurred in combination with punches, a referee shall declare the opponent to be the winner by either kick knockout or technical knockout, whichever is appropriate and shall be entered into the fighter’s official record.
  • Should the fighter who is down rise before the count of ten and then go down immediately without being struck, the referee shall resume the count where it was left off.
  • If the fighter taking the count is still down when the referee calls the count of ten, the referee shall waive both arms to indicate the fighter has been knocked out and will signal the  opponent is the winner.
  • A round ending before the referee reached the count of ten will have no bearing on the count. The fighter must still rise before the count of ten to avert the knockout.
  • Shall both fighter’s go down at the same time; the referee shall continue to count as long as one of the fighters is down. If both fighters remain down until the count of ten, the bout will be stopped and the referee will declare the bout a technical draw. However, if one fighter rises before the count of ten and the other fighter remains down, the first fighter shall be declared the winner by knockout. Should both fighters rise before the count of ten, the round will continue.


  • A fighter who intentionally refuses to engage an opponent for a prolonged period of time, or who deliberately clinches or holds onto an opponent shall receive an immediate warning from the referee. If the fighter continues to utilize such passive tactics after receiving one warning during a round, a point shall be deducted from the fighters total score as determined by the referee.
  • If the fighter repeats the passive tactics, either in the same or following rounds, he/she may be considered guilty of a foul and penalized accordingly.
  • If the bout is stopped because of an accidental foul, the referee shall determine whether the contestant who was fouled can continue. The referee may consult with the attending physician. If the fighters chances have not been seriously jeopardized as a result of the foul, the referee may order the bout to continue after a reasonable interval.
  • On the other hand, if by reason of accidental foul, a fighter shall be rendered unfit to continue with the bout, the bout shall be terminated. If the injured fighter is behind on points in the majority of the opinion of the judges, the referee may declare the contest a technical draw. But if the injured fighter has the lead on points, the referee shall declare him/her the be the winner by technical decision.
  • Further, should an accident or foul terminate a bout during the first round, the referee may declare the content a technical draw.

Stopping the Contest

  • The referee or physician shall have the power to stop the contest. The referee shall have the power to stop the contest at any stage if he/she considers the contest to be too one-sided, or if either fighter is in such condition that to continue the bout might subject him/her to serious injury. In either case, the referee shall declare the fit fighter the winner by technical knockout.
  • Should both fighter be in such condition that to continue might subject them to serious injury, the referee may declare the contest a technical draw.
  • In the cases where a fighter receives a cut eye from a fair blow, or accidental foul, or any other injury which the referee believes may incapacitate the fighter, the referee shall call the attending physician into the ring for examination of the figher before the referee decides whether to stop the contest. Time will be called during the examination.

Fight, Stop, and Break! Fighter safety is our top priority.