A major sports federation has mandated banning headgear in amateur boxing competition in an effort to reduce concussions and head trauma, a decision that is thought to be a first in the sports world.[…]
Removing the use of helmets or headgear has been discussed as a counterintuitive way to decrease brain injuries, with the idea being that athletes wouldn’t use their heads as weapons or hit as hard if they didn’t feel as protected. In boxing, there also is the belief that headgear makes it harder to see to the side to avoid blows, and makes the head a bigger target.
There has been limited research to support this change, but fresh data, still unpublished, suggests the removal of headgear in elite, male amateur boxing reduces the incidence of concussion, according to the chairman of the AIBA medical commission, Charles Butler, a retired cardiac surgeon and ringside doctor, who spearheaded the study that served as part of the basis for the recommendation.