Title:
METHOD OF CONDUCTING A FIGHTING CONTEST
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A method and computer program product for conducting a fighting tournament are disclosed. Fighters are chosen to compete in the fighting tournament. Pairing the fighters produces a predetermined number of bouts in a first stage of the tournament. Also, a number of rounds for each bout and a time duration for each round are selected. The bouts in the first stage are scored by assigning event points to the fighters. The fighters earn the event points based on one or more of events including a number of knockdowns inflicted, a degree of aggressiveness from an offensive posture, an extent of power hits landed and a number of clean hits landed. A winning fighter is determined based on the scoring. The winning fighter in each bout is advanced to next stage of the fighting tournament, the next stage including half of the total number of bouts in the first stage.



Inventors:
Duval, Stephen (New South Wales, AU)
Application Number:
11/677970
Publication Date:
01/31/2008
Filing Date:
02/22/2007
Assignee:
SUPERFIGHTER PTY LTD (FSA#77, Fox Studios, New South Wales, AU)
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
273/440
International Classes:
A63B71/06
View Patent Images:



Primary Examiner:
RENWICK, REGINALD A
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
FISH & RICHARDSON, PC (P.O. BOX 1022, MINNEAPOLIS, MN, 55440-1022, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A method comprising: choosing a predetermined number of fighters to compete in a fighting tournament including a plurality of stages; pairing the fighters to compete in head to head bouts, the pairing producing a predetermined number of bouts in a first stage of the fighting tournament; selecting a number of rounds for each bout; selecting a time duration for each round; scoring the bouts in the first stage by assigning event points to the fighters competing in the bouts, the fighters earning the event points based on one or more of events including: (a) a number of knockdowns inflicted, (b) a degree of aggressiveness from an offensive posture, (c) an extent of power hits landed, and (d) a number of clean hits landed; determining a winning fighter and a losing fighter in each of the bouts based on the scoring, wherein the winning fighter has earned more points than the losing fighter; advancing the winning fighter to next stage of the fighting tournament, the next stage including half of the total number of bouts in the first stage; and disqualifying the losing fighter by deducting from the losing fighter the points earned by the winning fighter.

2. A method as in claim 1, wherein the choosing a predetermined number of fighters to compete in a fighting tournament comprises choosing the fighters to compete in a boxing tournament.

3. A method as in claim 1, further comprising limiting the fighting tournament to a single day.

4. A method as in claim 1, wherein selecting the number of rounds comprises selecting four rounds for each bout.

5. A method as in claim 1, wherein selecting the time duration of each round comprises selecting a time duration not less than 2 minutes and not more than 3 minutes.

6. A method as in claim 1, further comprising obtaining data from a sensor coupled to one of the fighters, the data indicating at least one performance metric associated with the coupled fighter, and receiving the data at a data processing device.

7. A method as in claim 1, wherein scoring the bouts comprises scoring the bouts in real time.

8. A method as in claim 1, wherein scoring the bouts comprises awarding a predetermined number of offense points to the fighters based on an offensive effort, wherein the offense points awarded to the fighters in each bout do not exceed a set maximum when combined.

9. A method comprising: conducting a fighting match between two fighters; generating a first score for each fighter based on one more objective criteria; generating a second score for each fighter based on votes from spectators of the fighting match; combining the first and second scores for each fighter to generate a total score; determining which of the fighters has a higher total score; and when a knockout or a disqualification has not occurred, identifying a winner of the fighting match based on the determination.

10. The method of claim 9, wherein conducing a fighting match comprises conducing a boxing match.

11. The method of claim 9, wherein the objective criteria comprises: (a) a number of knockdowns inflicted; (b) a degree of aggressiveness from an offensive posture; (c) an extent of power hits landed; and (d) a number of clean hits landed.

12. A computer program product, embodied in a computer-readable medium, operable to cause a data processing apparatus to perform operations comprising: choosing a predetermined number of fighters to compete in a fighting tournament including a plurality of stages; pairing the fighters to compete in head to head bouts, the pairing producing a predetermined number of bouts in a first stage of the fighting tournament; selecting a number of rounds for each bout; selecting a time duration for each round; scoring the bouts in the first stage by assigning event points to the fighters competing in the bouts, the fighters earning the event points based on one or more of events including: (a) a number of knockdowns inflicted, (b) a degree of aggressiveness from an offensive posture, (c) an extent of power hits landed, and (d) a number of clean hits landed; determining a winning fighter and a losing fighter in each of the bouts based on the scoring, wherein the winning fighter has earned more points than the losing fighter; advancing the winning fighter to next stage of the fighting tournament, the next stage including half of the total number of bouts in the first stage; and disqualifying the losing fighter by deducting from the losing fighter the points earned by the winning fighter.

13. A product as in claim 12, further comprising causing a data processing apparatus to choose a predetermined number of fighters to compete in a fighting tournament comprising a boxing tournament.

14. A product as in claim 12, further operable to cause a data processing apparatus to select the number of rounds to include four rounds for each bout.

15. A product as in claim 12, further operable to cause a data processing apparatus to select the time duration of each round to include a time duration not less than 2 minutes and not more than 3 minutes.

16. A product as in claim 12, further operable to cause a data processing apparatus to perform operations comprising: receiving data from a sensor coupled to one of the fighters, the data indicating at least one performance metric associated with the coupled fighter; and storing the received data in a storage device.

17. A product as in claim 12, further operable to cause a data processing apparatus to transmit the received data to a remote location.

18. A product as in claim 12, further operable to cause a data processing apparatus to score the bouts in real time.

19. A product as in claim 12, further operable to cause a data processing apparatus to score the bouts by assigning offense points to the fighters based on an offensive effort, wherein the offense points assigned to the fighters in each bout do not exceed a set maximum when combined.

20. A computer program product, embodied in a computer-readable medium, operable to cause a data processing apparatus to perform operations comprising: conducting a fighting match between two fighters; generating a first score for each fighter based on one more objective criteria; generating a second score for each fighter based on votes from spectators of the fighting match; combining the first and second scores for each fighter to generate a total score; determining which of the fighters has a higher total score; and when a knockout or a disqualification has not occurred, identifying a winner of the fighting match based on the determination.

21. A product as in claim 20, further operable to cause a data processing apparatus to generate the first score for each fighter based on the one or more objective criteria comprising: (a) a number of knockdowns inflicted; (b) a degree of aggressiveness from an offensive posture; (c) an extent of power hits landed; and (d) a number of clean hits landed.

22. A product as in claim 20, further comprising causing a data processing apparatus to conduct a fighting match comprising a boxing match.

Description:

This application claims the benefit of the filing date of U.S. Patent Application No. 60/776,066, filed on Feb. 22, 2006, the contents of which are incorporated by reference as part of this application.

TECHNICAL FIELD

The subject matter described herein relates to a method of conducting a fighting contest (e.g., a boxing match or tournament), and more particularly, to an improved method of conducting a participatory boxing match.

BACKGROUND

Traditionally, professional and amateur boxing matches can last up to twelve rounds, with each round spanning three-minutes. Points are awarded for landing clean punches to the legal area on the front of the opponent's body above the waistline. Punches to the head and the torso often garner the most points. The fighter with the most points at the end of the twelve rounds is declared the winner. The match can end earlier if one of the fighters is unable to continue (e.g., due to a knockout.) Due to the physical nature of the sport and the large investments in time and money required to conduct boxing matches, there tend to be practical limitations on the frequency with which boxing matches can be conducted.

SUMMARY

Implementations of techniques for conducting a participatory fighting match as described in this specification may include various combinations of the following features.

In one aspect, conducting a fighting tournament includes choosing a predetermined number of fighters to compete in a fighting tournament having multiple stages. The fighters are paired-up to compete in head to head bouts, the pairing producing a predetermined number of bouts in a first stage of the fighting tournament. For each bout, a number of rounds are selected, and a time duration is also selected for each round. The bouts in the first stage are scored by assigning event points to the fighters competing in the bouts. The fighters earn the event points based on one or more of events including (a) a number of knockdowns inflicted; (b) a degree of aggressiveness from an offensive posture; (c) an extent of power hits landed; and (d) a number of clean hits landed. A winning fighter and a losing fighter in each of the bouts are determined based on the scoring, where the winning fighter has earned more points than the losing fighter. The winning fighter in each bout is advanced to next stage of the fighting tournament, the next stage including half of the total number of bouts in the first stage. The losing fighter is disqualified by deducting from the losing fighter the points earned by the winning fighter. Implementations can optionally include one or more of the following features. The fighting tournament can include a boxing tournament. The fighting tournament can be limited to a single day. Each bout can include four rounds and the time duration of each round include a time duration not less than 2 minutes and not more than 3 minutes. Data from a sensor coupled to one of the fighters can be received at a data processing device. In addition, the bouts can be scored in real time. In addition, the bouts can be scored by assigning offense points to the fighters based on an offensive effort. The offense points assigned to the fighters in each bout do not exceed a set maximum when combined.

In another aspect, a fighting match is conducted between two fighters. A first score is generated for each fighter based on one or more objective criteria. In addition, a second score for each fighter based on votes from spectators of the fighting match. The first and second scores for each fighter are combined to generate a total score. A determination can be made to decide which of the fighters has a higher total score, and when a knockout or a disqualification has not occurred, a winner of the fighting match can be identified based on the determination. Implementations can optionally include one or more of the following features. The fighting match can include a boxing match. Also, the objective criteria can include (a) a number of knockdowns inflicted; (b) a degree of aggressiveness from an offensive posture; (c) an extent of power hits landed; and (d) a number of clean hits landed.

The subject matter described in this specification can be implemented as a method or as a system or using computer program products, tangibly embodied in information carriers, such as a CD-ROM, a DVD-ROM, a semiconductor memory, and a hard disk. Such computer program products may cause a data processing apparatus to conduct one or more operations described in this specification.

In addition, the subject matter described in this specification can also be implemented as a system including a processor and a memory coupled to the processor. The memory may encode one or more programs that cause the processor to perform one or more of the method acts described in this specification.

Traditionally, professional and amateur fighting matches tend to require large investments in time and money. These investments often limit the maximum number of bouts a boxer can participate each year. Furthermore, these investments may restrict the number and types of venues and also may limit accessibility to audiences. Indeed, a relatively small percentage of the potentially interested sports fans may ever have a chance to become fighting spectators.

In addition, the duration of fighting matches can vary from one to the other. For example, one match may last seconds, in the event of a first round knock out, while another match may last up to an hour for a full 12-round bout. This variability often makes scheduling broadcast coverage risky, as advertisers are provided with little or no assurance that the time slot they purchased will actually occur during the pendency of the bout.

Furthermore, traditional professional fighting matches tend to place a high premium on knock-outs and savage blows designed to incapacitate an opponent. This trend can often limit the number of bouts a fighter can undertake in a given amount of time and can also limit the length of many boxer's careers.

Nevertheless, professional fighting remains a popular sport and can provides a source of revenue for the venues and the broadcasters who cover the bouts. However, there are still opportunities to enhance fighting tournaments to make them more engaging for audiences and to provide enhanced revenue opportunities for promoters, broadcasters, and sponsors.

In recognition of these and other disadvantages in conducting traditional fighting matches, an improved method of conducting a fighting match is described. The subject matter described in this specification provides many advantages. For example, a new, tournament-style fighting match can attract larger audiences, greater audience participation, and rules that enable boxers to withstand multiple bouts in a shorter time period. Furthermore, participation via video game (e.g., X-Box®, Playstation®) and computer platforms is also made possible. To achieve this, factors such as round length and match duration may be compressed, factors such as bout length may be standardized, while other factors such as scoring may be modified to allow greater spectator participation, such that spectators involved in interactive viewing of matches can be spectator-participants.

The details of one or more variations of the subject matter are set forth in the accompanying drawings and the description below. Other features and advantages will be apparent form the description and the accompanying drawings.

DESCRIPTION OF DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a block diagram of a Superfighter tournament bracket.

FIG. 2 is a block diagram of a system to collecting and distributing fight data.

FIG. 3 is a process flow diagram of a process for allowing spectator participation in a Superfighter tournament.

FIG. 4 is a functional block diagram of a system for receiving scores from spectator-participants and judges.

Like reference symbols and designations in the various drawings indicate like elements.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

The following provides techniques for conducting a sporting event and in particular, a fighting tournament. The word, “fighting” includes any style of head to head combat with or without the use of weapons, such as boxing, kickboxing, marshal arts (e.g., Kung-Fu, Karate, Tae Kwon Do, Judo, etc.), Thai boxing, fencing, etc. The techniques may be used to modify match and event structure to enhance the attractiveness of a sporting event both from the point of view of the spectator (who, if he or she chooses to participate in the event, for example, via a networked data processing apparatus, is termed a spectator-participant) as well as from the viewpoint of broadcasters (whether via radio, television, Internet, or other conveyance techniques), event promoters, and sponsors. Modification of match and event structure can be implemented by incorporating one or more of the following suggested guidelines (or regulations).

Regulation 1: Matches are to be held in the following manner:

Each Superfighter event consists of an eight person single-elimination tournament format beginning at the quarter finals stage. Except in exceptional circumstances such as qualifying tournaments, this format controls. Each event is made up of seven head-to-head bouts in total. Each bout can last a maximum of four rounds with each round having a duration of either three minutes or two minutes, including the final championship bout. In order for any fighter to proceed to the next stage of the event, he or she must win each bout by knocking out the opponent, deemed being ahead on points, disqualification of the opponent, or retirement by the opponent for any reason by the end of the bout. The Superfighter winner fights and wins a total of twelve rounds in one day (however, this is over three bouts against three different opponents.) Between event participation bouts, Superfighter can arrange and hold exhibition bouts, alternative events and entertainment.

Regulation 2: Each fighter participating in the Superfighter event wears regulation gloves provided by Superfighter management, a protective cup and a mouthpiece. Wearing of contact lenses are prohibited. Glove sizes for each weight class are provided in Table 1.

TABLE 1
Glove Sizes Per Weight Class
ClassBody WeightGlove Size
FlyweightUnder 50.80 kg 8 oz.
BantamweightUnder 53.50 kg 8 oz.
FeatherweightUnder 57.15 kg 8 oz.
LightweightUnder 61.23 kg10 oz.
WelterweightUnder 66.68 kg10 oz.
MiddleweightUnder 72.57 kg10 oz.
Super MiddleweightUnder 76.20 kg12 oz.
Light HeavyweightUnder 79.38 kg12 oz.
CruiserweightUnder 86.18 kg12 oz.
HeavyweightOver 86.18 kg12 oz.

Regulation 3: The match is held in a 16 ft-by-16 ft boxing ring surrounded by 4-level ropes.

Regulation 4: When a fighter is knocked down, and the three minute time limit for the round expires before a referee can finish the “down” count, the timekeeper signals the end of the round (e.g., by ringing a bell) and the round and or match ends even if the “Down” count is not completed. A fighter may be saved by the bell in this manner in all rounds including the final round in each bout and the championship final round.

Regulation 5: Awarding of points is based on the following elements:

Whether an effective and accurate attack is recognized, and damage is inflicted on the opponent by authorized fighting techniques. Points are awarded in this priority:(1) Number of downs; (2) Degree of aggressiveness (points in the offensive); (3) Extent of power hits landed on the opponent; and (4) Number of clean hits. The dominant fighter is awarded a score of ten, and points are deducted from his opponent. In the case of a count back as in Regulation 6 below, the order of best score with the highest being number of downs will secure the points in each round.

Regulation 6: CATEGORIES OF OUTCOME

A decision by a three judge panel is applicable when there is no knockout, technical knockout, or disqualification to decide the winner. Each of the three judges award points to each fighter, and the fighter with the higher point total from two out of three judges at the end of final round is declared the winner. If at the end of the bout, the total points awarded to both fighters are equal, a count-back points score will be implemented as to which fighter had the higher score at the end of the previous round. If that score is also equal for both fighters the count-back process continues to obtain the score for each fighter at the end of the first round.

A knockout (KO) is applicable when (a) a fighter fails to stand up before the call of a ten-count; (b) a referee decides the fighter cannot stand up within the call of the ten-count; or (c) a fighter is judged to have lost his will to continue to fight, even though when the fighter stands up within the call of ten-count, and/or (d) a fighter is judged to be incapable of continuing the fight.

A technical knockout (TKO) is applicable when (a) the referee judges that it is impossible to continue the match due to an accidental injury (of neither fighter's fault) to a fighter; or (b) a cornerman throws a towel into the ring during the course of a match. In the event that the referee does not notice the towel being thrown in, an official observer is authorized to announce the end of match. A referee can end the match when the referee judges that one fighter is overwhelmingly superior to his opponent and the inferior fighter is in a physically perilous condition. Alternatively, an official physician can end the match when the official physician judges that it is impossible to continue the match due to an injury or severe damage to a fighter. If a fighter is down and has sustained severe damage, the official physician has the option to stop the match based on his deliberation.

Accidental fouls and cuts can and do occur. At such occurrence, up to five minutes of rest can be awarded by the referee to a fighter who is the recipient of an accidental foul. This can be awarded at any time during the bout including on the bell so long as it is immediately after the incident. If a cut is deemed by the referee or doctor to be of serious consequence to the fighter and his ability to continue fighting, the referee can provide the corner two minutes to attempt to fix the cut. In any event, cuts may be covered by a thin plastic cover that assists in preventing the cut from opening further. The covering used must be supervised by the referee.

Regulation 7: AUTHORIZED FIGHTING TECHNIQUES

The following fighting techniques are authorized and within the legal limits. Straight punches, hooks, uppers and any other techniques generally considered under the guidelines of “Boxing.” All other fighting methods are considered a violation to the Superfighter rules and regulations.

Regulation 8: FOUL TECHNIQUES

A fighter who executes a foul technique can be penalized with a caution, warning, or a point reduction. Two cautions leads to one warning for the first two cautions. Each subsequent caution leads to additional warnings. Two warnings leads to a point deduction, and three point deductions in one round is grounds for disqualification. This clause is not applicable in cases where the judges rule the foul technique as unintentional.

Regulation 9: DISQUALIFICATION

A fighter can be disqualified when: (1) a referee determines that a fighter intentionally used a foul technique; (2) a fighter fails to follow the referee's instructions during a match; (3) a fighter is late for a match or does not show up at all; (4) a referee determines that a fighter exhibits ill-mannered behavior or a malicious attitude during a match; (5) the referee determines that a fighter does not have the will to fight; (6) a fighter receives three point deductions within one round, counting two warnings as one point deduction; (7) the official physician deems a fighter unfit to fight as a result of a medical check; (8) a cornerman has entered in the ring or touched one of the fighters during the match; or (9) a fighter is found to have broken other rules.

Regulation 10: BODY FOULS

Except as provided below, a fighter cannot be disqualification for committing fouls to the body. The referee, at his discretion, can order point deductions when appropriate for one or more fouls, and provide the fouled boxer with reasonable time for recovery but not more than five minutes. However, if the referee, at his discretion, determines that a foul was committed, and the official physician determines that the fouled boxer cannot continue, the offending boxer is to be disqualified. If the official physician determines that the fouled boxer can continue fighting but the fouled boxer elects not to continue, the fouled boxer loses by abandonment. In the case of clear, extreme and continued fouls, with the offending boxer disregarding warnings and point deduction, by the referee, the referee may disqualify the offending boxer after a specific warning and not before three different point deductions.

All fouls recognized by boxing authorities are penalized by warnings from the referee and point deductions, at the discretion of the referee, after two warnings. A list of common fouls is as follows:

1. Hitting below the belt (being a line encircling the body at the level of the navel);

2. Use of elbows, shoulders or forearms;

3. Butting with the head;

4. Hitting in the back of the head (rabbit punch);

5. Striking the kidneys or back;

6. Hitting with the antedorsum (the inside of the glove);

7. Hitting with the back of the hand;

8. Striking with the knees, feet or any part of the legs;

9. Holding the ring ropes to hit with the other hand;

10. Hitting the opponent when part of his body is out of the ropes;

11. Hitting an opponent when he is down or getting up from the canvas;

12. Leaving the neutral corner and striking the opponent before the referee's instructions;

13. Holding the opponent or maintaining a clinch;

14. Striking after the referee's order to “break” or “stop”;

15. Stepping on the opponent;

16. Holding the opponent's head or body with one hand, while hitting with the other;

17. Using the open hand to fix the face or rub the glove on the opponent's face;

18. Thumbing the opponent's eyes;

19. Striking after the bell;

20. Crouching the body below the opponent's belt defensively or to strike;

21. Biting or spitting on the opponent;

22. Using abusive or profane language;

23. Failing to obey the referee's command;

24. Giving the back and walking, or running, away from the other boxer;

25. Spitting the mouthpiece;

26. Cutting or mutilating the gloves (seconds); and

25. Any rough tactics other than clean punches.

Regulation 11: If a fighter is injured, the judges and the official physician confer to decide whether to continue the fight. The official physician is not to give any treatment to the injured area during the course of the match. In the situation of an accidental injury, up to five minutes of recovery time may be given to the injured fighter. Two minutes of rest will be awarded if the accidental injury occurs on the bell.

Regulation 12: If a fighter is injured and is unable to continue the match, the result of the match is determined in one of three ways. (1) If the cause of injury is a rule violation (by the opponent), the referee is to provide the injured fighter a rest period to check his condition. If the fighter does not recover and the match cannot be resumed, the fighter who has violated the rules is the loser (disqualification of the violator). A fighter who is disqualified for a rule violation is not entitled to advance in a tournament even if the injured opponent is not in a condition to continue the match. (2) If the cause of the injury is carelessness of the injured fighter himself and the match cannot be resumed, the fighter who has injured himself is declared the loser (disqualification of the injured). (3) If the cause of the injury is accidental and at neither fighter's fault, the count back process is applied from the point immediately prior to the injury. In this case, if the injured fighter cannot proceed, the fighter that inflicted the injury proceeds to the next round only when the injury is deemed an accident.

Regulation 13: A fighter, a coach, a trainer and/or a manager are not allowed to raise an objection to calls or decisions made by the referee or the judges. However, official written protests can be filed to a Rules Committee within two weeks of the date of the match.

Regulation 14: REFEREE COUNTDOWN

The definition of a DOWN (or a knockdown) is when any area of fighter's body besides the bottom of the foot has touched the ground due to one or more legal punches sustained from an opponent. Even in some cases where there has been no damage to the fighter, it may be considered as a “DOWN” when a fighter falls to the ground and cannot stand up immediately. Even without having the fighter fall to the ground, a standing eight count may be announced when it is obvious to the referee that a fighter has sustained damage, and the referee has determined that the fighter may be in a dangerous situation if the fighter sustained additional damage. The “DOWN” count will be preceded by a “STOP” call and a gesture by the referee. Following the “STOP” call, the referee will send the fighter that caused the knockdown to a neutral corner. Only when the fighter that caused the knockdown is in the neutral corner can the referee begin the “Down” count. The fighter who has downed his opponent is to wait at a neutral corner during the “DOWN” count by the referee until further instructions are given. If the fighter that downed his opponent does not follow the referee's instruction to wait at a neutral corner, the referee may stop his count, and continue the countdown only after the fighter has moved to a neutral corner.

The referee can at any time at his discretion call “TIME” after any incident that the referee is not certain as to the call in circumstances such as a slip, an illegal blow, a head butt, or any other potential violation. In this situation, a fight supervisor can call for a video replay of the incident to be viewed by all officials, telecast viewers, and attendees in the arena, and adjudicated by the referee. During this period of adjudication, both fighters will be sent to a respective neutral corner to await the referees' ruling.

Regulation 15: CORNERMEN CONDUCT

A fighter is allowed to have a total of three cornermen, including one chief cornerman and two additional cornermen standing-by at ringside. All three cornermen are to remain within the designated corner area during each round. Only the chief cornerman may give instructions to the fighter during each round. Cornermen may not place their hands on the ropes, ring apron, or on any part of the ring area during each round. Only one cornerman is allowed to enter into the ring during intervals. No cornerman is allowed to enter into the ring or touch the fighters during each round as prescribed in Regulation 9 (8). Cornermen may not place any item (such as towels etc.) in the area around the corner post of the ring. When the referee calls “SECONDS OUT,” cornermen must leave the ring immediately. Judges shall give a caution to any cornerman who does not abide by the instructions listed above. A yellow card is given for a second caution and every caution thereafter. A red card shall automatically be given for a third yellow card, and the cornerman who receives the red card is ejected from the venue.

Regulation 16: DRESS CODE

All fighters are to be properly dressed in clean and tidy clothes when they enter the ring for all occasions such as opening ceremony. The three cornermen are obligated to wear a unified team wear associated with the fighter. Combination of clothes such as “jeans and T-shirts” are not allowed. T-shirts, however, may be worn if they are “team” T-shirts. Fighters are free to select their fighting costume so long as it does not provide a distraction of major significance or danger to the opponent and confers with the above requirements.

Regulation 17: USE OF TAPE AND BANDAGES

Fighters may not wear any material other than tape and bandages on their knuckles and on other parts of their hands unless an injury has been sustained to an area of the hand and such injury has been accepted by the official physician. Fighters are to use the tape and bandages supplied by the event promoter (e.g., Superfighter), and may not use tape and bandages that they themselves bring to the match for the taping of the hands. Tape and bandages are to be applied to the fighter AFTER the promoter supplies them and not before this point. Any tape or bandages worn to the venue by a fighter are not approved. Tape and bandages that the promoter provides are for use on the hands only. The promoter provided tape is not to be used for other areas for reasons such as an injury. Fighters are to supply such taping materials individually for themselves. Tape used on such areas must also be checked and signed by the judges. In case of an injury, foam to cover the knuckles may be provided by the promoter. The application of the foam will be supervised by a fight supervisor or referee.

Regulation 18: RESTRICTION ON TAPE USE

Fighters may use a minimal amount of tape on their knuckles in order to protect the hands. Fighters may not insert any object inside the tape or bandage. The definition of “minimal” is the extent that the judges will approve a tape job during the bandage checking procedures.

Regulation 19: GLOVE CHECK

All fighters are to submit to a glove check before putting on the gloves. After the glove check, an official seal or signature is placed on the tape which seals the gloves. Once checked, the gloves may not be taken off until the end of the match. If there is any evidence that the gloves have been removed or tampered with (e.g., if the official seal is broken) the fighter is ordered to immediately undergo another glove check. It is acceptable for the fighter to put the gloves on once the fighter is in the ring. All fighters are to adhere to the requests of the fight supervisor if there are any concerns as to the validity of this regulation.

Regulation 20: MOUTHPIECE

If the mouthpiece comes out of a fighter's mouth during a match, the referee can, in principle, retrieve the mouthpiece and hand it to the respective cornermen at the next distinctive break in the fight. The referee can call time at any point to allow the fighter to replace the mouth guard. Each boxer must bring three mouth guards for the tournament with all three accessible during the fight.

Regulation 21: ANTI-DOPING TESTS

In order to establish and maintain prestige and unilateral fairness of Superfighter, all fighters are obligated to submit to a drug test upon the promoter's request. Testing positive for doping results in penalties to include confiscation of title and prize money

Regulation 22: MEDICAL CHECK

All fighters are to submit to a medical check by the official physician before competing. Also, each fighter are to submit to a blood test which is drawn within fourteen days prior to the tournament. During a tournament, a fighter who has won a match is obligated to go through subsequent medical checks in order to proceed to his next match.

Regulation 23: REGARDING THE TREATMENT OF INJURED FIGHTERS

Official physicians are not to apply any treatment to fighters during rounds except where an accidental cut or illegal blow has been inflicted. In this case, the respective cornerman may have two minutes between rounds to treat the cut. No one including a cornerman is permitted to apply treatment to an injured area during each round. This includes the application of tape to an injury during intervals between the rounds, except in the circumstance of an accidental cut or illegal blow.

Regulation 24: WHEN A FIGHTER FALLS OUT OF THE RING

When a fighter falls out of the ring, the time count is stopped, and a doctor checks the fighter. During this time, the judges confer to discover the cause(s) of the fall. This may be via video replay review if required. When the fall is judged as a DOWN by an authorized technique and (1) if the fighter is able to continue the match, then the fall is counted as “1 DOWN”, and the match continues from the point of stoppage of time; (2) if the fighter is not able to continue the match, the match is ruled a Technical Knock Out (TKO) by doctor stoppage. When the fighter is judged as not having been downed and (1) if the fighter is able to continue the match, the match is continued from the point of stoppage of time; (2) if the fighter is not able to continue the match, the cause of the injury is considered accidental and not of neither fighter's fault, and Regulation 12 (3) is observed. When the fall is not considered a DOWN, the referee calls “TIME” and the round clock is stopped. The fighter is to re-enter the ring unaided by his cornermen. If the fighter is aided by anyone, including any member of the crowd, the fighter automatically loses the fight. The fighter has twenty 20 seconds to re-enter the ring. The referee and doctor can check the fighter and also may view the video replay to see whether the fall was due to a violation at which time the fighter receives five minutes of rest.

Regulation 25: USE OF OIL AND VASELINE

Minimal use of Vaseline to the facial area is allowed. No other substance can be applied except for substances accepted by the official doctor. All fighters are notified of acceptable ointment that has been approved by the physician within seven days before the event. Minimal, in this case, is defined as the amount that the referee and the official doctor permits. A fighter with an excessive amount of oil/Vaseline to the face and/or body is not allowed to compete. In such cases, the excessive oil/Vaseline is to be removed before the fighter is allowed to compete.

Regulation 26: Any issues or circumstances not specifically provided for in these Official Rules (or Regulations) can be resolved by a consensus among the referee and the judges.

The above set of regulations are for illustrative purposes only and are not meant to limit the rules that can be applied to various matches.

A sporting event that modifies the format of a traditional sporting event, such as a boxing match, may be conducted based on one or more factors depending on the desired implementation. A new, tournament-style boxing match is described, one which envisions larger audiences, greater audience participation, and rules that enable boxers to withstand multiple bouts in a shorter time period. A tournament can be organized in the manner suggested by the bracket 100 depicted in FIG. 1. In this example the boxing match is organized as an elimination tournament in which each boxer is eliminated from further participation after losing. Losing may be determined by factors such as the opponent reaching a certain score or having a higher score total after the termination of a fixed amount of time. For example, each match might consist of four rounds, with each round lasting two minutes.

FIG. 1 is a block diagram of a tournament bracket 100 for conducting a fighting (e.g., boxing) event. The tournament can include multiple stages with each stage having one or more bouts. The tournament begins when a group of fighters are chosen and matched, for example, by body weight. The chosen fighters are scheduled in pairs, chosen from the group of fighters, to compete in a single- or multi-day boxing tournament consisting of, for example, seven bouts.

Each pair of fighters go head to head in each bout of the tournament. Each bout may comprise a fixed number of rounds and each round may have a fixed duration. The winning fighter in each pair advances to the next stage of the tournament while the losing member may be disqualified or relegated to another match, as determined by the number of points the fighter has earned. The winning fighter of the pair in each bout may be awarded, for example, a score of ten points and the losing member of the pair may have, for example, ten points deducted from his or her point total.

For example, FIG. 1 shows eight Superfighters, Superfighter-1 (120), Superfighter-2 (140), Superfighter-3 (130), Superfighter-4 (150), Superfighter-5 (125), Superfighter-6 (145), Superfighter-7 (135) and Superfighter-8 (155). From the eight Superfighters, four quarterfinal bouts are scheduled as shown in FIG. 1. Superfighter-1 (120) faces Superfighter-2 (140) in one of the four bouts, for example. The winner of the four quarterfinal bouts are designated Superfighter-A (SF A) 160, Superfighter-B (SF B) 170, Superfighter-Y (SF Y) 165 and Superfighter-Z (SF Z) 175. In the next stage, the four quarterfinal winners face off in two semifinal bouts. For example, SF-A 160 faces SF-B 170 and SF-Y faces SF-Z. The two winners of the semifinal bouts are designated Superfighter-Alpha (SF-Alpha) 190 and Superfighter-Beta (SF-Beta) 195. The next stage is the final bout between the two semifinal bout winners, SF-Alpha 190 and SF-Beta 195, and the winner is designated Supreme Superfighter 199. These designations are illustrative only and other designations can be applied. Further initial number of fighters entered in the tournament can be varied to allow for a smaller or a larger total number of stages. For example, twelve fighters can face off initially in six matches.

The bouts are scored based on technique and style rather than merely force, as outlined in one or more of the twenty four Regulations described previously. For example, throughout the tournament, boxers earn points for various factors such as the number of knockdowns, the degree of aggressiveness, the extent of power hits landed on the opponent, and the number of clean hits. The points earned based on these factors are ranked in the order of importance. For example, the number of knockdowns may count the most, then the degree of aggressiveness (consisting of total points scored from an offensive posture) may be the next important factor. The extent of power hits landed by one fighter in the pair on the other fighter in the pair may be the third important factor below the number of knockdowns and the degree of aggressiveness. The least important factor may be the number of clean hits landed by one fighter in the pair on the other fighter in the pair. Knockdowns may include blows landed on an opponent that result in the opponent's falling to the floor. Power hits may include punches thrown and landed with a certain level of force as gauged, for example, by power sensors in the gloves or subjectively judged by video evidence. Clean hits may include punches that land on the opponent's body without significant obstruction by the opponent's arms or hands.

The bouts are scored by a panel of judges, based on a scoring system consistent with the 26 regulations, who enter points in real time, using, for example, a touch pad. The scoring is similar to amateur boxing but points will be weighted based on the level of the score. For example, a knock down, depending on severity, will be worth 5-10 points; a power hit will be worth 3 points; and a clean hit will be worth 1 point. The bouts are scored on total points accumulated throughout the entire bout.

As described in the 26 regulations, the scoring system does not allow for a draw. A count back system is used in the event of a tie at the end of a bout. Furthermore, additional scoring criteria can be used to award additional points. For example, an extra judge can be included to award offense points that results in an offense score. The offense score rewards a fighter for offensive effort throughout each round. The judge will award a share of 10 points to each fighter, with the majority (or all in some instances) of the points going to the fighter who put forth the greater offensive effort.

In addition, the judges can review video replays of the bout and access data about the bout based on, for example, tallies of the number of hits landed or force of impact, which is updated throughout the bout. Spectator-participants can also have access to these same data and video feed online or through other appropriate wired or wireless communication protocols such as local area network, Wifi, Bluetooth, WiMax, etc.

In some implementations, statistical data, such as total scores, number of knockdowns or hits, force of punches landed, degree of aggressiveness, or number of fouls may be tallied. These data can be used to populate a web-accessible database regarding boxers, or the data can be displayed during a broadcast, or the data can be used to allow spectator-participants to compete against each other. The scoring and relative position of each fighter may be displayed in real time and be available in an archive. The archived data can be used at a later time. For example, the archived data can be used to implement a fantasy draft tournament. In such fantasy draft, spectator-participants can “draft” boxers based on prior records and form “teams” of boxers. During a live Superfighter event, spectator-participants can follow the fate of their teams in real time, as data from each bout (e.g., blows landed, knock downs, and force of blows) is made available. Spectator-participants can then predict fight outcomes, trade boxers, and keep score of their “teams” of boxers.

In some implementations, the archived data can be used to implement a simulated boxing tournament in a gaming environment. For example, a video game can be implemented for video game consoles (e.g., XBOX®, Playstation®, etc.). Alternatively, a video game can be implemented for a personal computer (PC) platform. In both instances, the video games can be operated over the internet to allow remotely connected users to compete against one another. FIG. 2 is a block diagram of a system 200 for storing bout data for each fighter during a bout. The system 200 includes a data repository 210 communicatively coupled to one or more bout data input devices 260. A bout data input device 260 can be provided to each of the judges to receive input form the judges that reflect the scoring of the bout. The bout data input device 260 includes various bout data modules to receive data related to a total score 220, a number of hits or downs 230, a number of fouls 240 and a degree of aggressiveness 250. The data repository 210 is communicatively coupled to the bout data input device through one or more appropriate communication links 222, 232, 242 and 252. For example, each of the bout data modules 220, 230, 240 and 250 can be coupled to the data repository through individual communication links 222, 232, 242 and 252. Alternatively, a single communication link (not shown) can be used to link all of the bout data modules 220, 230, 240 and 250 to the data repository 210. The data repository 210 is also communicatively coupled to one or more personal computers 290 to allow one or more home viewers to access bout data while viewing the bout. The data repository 210 is also communicatively coupled to one or more server computers 294 located at one or more legalized gambling facilities to allow legal betting on the bouts. Further, the data repository 210 is coupled to one or more remote databases (e.g., a web database) 292 for backing up the bout data and/or distributing the data to other locations.

The communication links 222, 232, 242 and 252 can include a bidirectional wired or wireless transmission/communication protocols including Universal Serial Bus (USB), FireWire, Bluetooth, WiFi, WiMax, etc. The communication link 285 can include a data communication networks including internet, local area network (LAN), wide area network (WAN).

In some implementations, the system 200 can optionally include various video/audio input devices 270 (e.g., video and still cameras) communicatively linked to the data repository 210 to stored video/audio data of each bout. The video/audio data stored in the data repository 210 is distributed to one or more PCs 290 though the internet 285 to allow individual viewers to view the video/audio data as live streaming feed. Alternatively or in concert with the internet distribution, the vide/audio data can be distributed to individual viewers through traditional over the air television or radio broadcasting systems. By using one or more video/audio devices, various camera angles can be presented to the viewers. In addition, each view can choose from the various camera angles. In addition, the video/audio data can be transmitted and stored in a remote database 292 to allow individual viewers to view the bouts at a later time. Further, the video/audio data can also be distributed to one or more servers 294 at legal gambling facilities to allow individual viewers and operators of the gambling facilities to view the bout.

The system 200 can also optionally include one or more glove sensors 280 equipped on each boxer. The glove sensors can be powered, for example, by batteries, and designed to measure various glove data related to the boxer. For example, the glove data can include glove speed, force of punch landed, and number of punches landed. The glove sensors 280 can include the sensors that measure parameters related to movement of a boxer's gloves, such as force, pressure, strain, acceleration and speed. These parameters are convertible into “power” or “strength,” for example. The data from the glove sensors are transmitted to the data repository 210 using a wireless communication protocol (e.g., Bluetooth, WiFi, etc.) The glove sensor data received at the data repository 210 can be transmitted to individual PCs 290, a remote database 292, or one or more server computers 294 to provide the received glove sensor data to individual viewers, gambling facilities, etc. Furthermore, the glove sensor data may be correlated with video/audio data to allow close up views of the various punches and other actions at various camera angles at the viewers discretion.

In some implementations, the bout data including the video/audio data and glove sensor data may relate to any factors that are relevant to the bout. In addition, the bout data may include data that are random or subject to chance. In particular, the data repository 210 can store data that may be used to provide additional information to home viewers (interacting at one or more PCs 290) and web site databases 292, as well as gambling facilities (at servers 294 to provide types of bets). For example, the total scores module 220, the number of hits or downs module 230, the number of fouls module 240, and the degree of aggressiveness module 250 can be implemented to collect data related to the total score, the number of hits or downs, the number of fouls and the degree of aggressiveness respectively. These bout data criteria may be determined per round, per bout, per tournament, or for a particular fighter during the entire tournament, and the like. Bets can be taken on a web site associated with the tournament.

The spectator-participants may involve themselves in Superfighter tournaments, for example, as depicted in FIG. 3, shown as a process flow diagram 300. At 310, a spectator-participant participates in a “fantasy draft” of Superfighter contestants (or fighters). The spectator participants can participate from a remote location using any network accessible computer or a data processing device. For example, using a web-accessible computing device, a spectator-participant may access a database (not shown) containing names of fighters and from that database assemble a “team” of Superfighter contestants at 320. Assembling the team of Superfighter contestants can be accomplished by participating in a fantasy draft. Each spectator-participant is randomly assigned a draft order and according to the assigned order, one Superfighter contestant is selected each spectator-participant in succession until all of the Superfighter contestants have been selected.

Once a spectator-participant assembles a team, he or she may observe the bouts and tournaments at 330. The spectator-participant may observe in person, over closed-circuit or pay-per-view television, over broadcast television, or the Internet. During the course of a bout or tournament, spectator-participants may place wagers on the projected winners of each round. In addition, the spectator-participant can review data or video from the bout that is underway (in a manner, for example, similar to a digital video recorder associated with a television).

On the basis of points earned in a bout and in the course of a tournament, the Superfighter contestants are assigned points and rankings at 340. Spectator-participants track the progress of their teams of Superfighter contestants and can trade any member of their teams of Superfighter contestants with other spectator-participants to enhance their team standings at 350. Through out the Superfighter season, the spectator-participants can re-assemble their teams of Superfighter contestants by repeating 310, 320, 330, 340 and 350. Spectator-participants can establish wagers or other contests involving the performance of their teams of fighters. The rules of Superfighter and the abbreviated rounds and bouts make this type of participation possible as opposed to the rules of traditional boxing.

In some implementations, the spectator-participants input their scores for the fighters, during the fight (e.g., at the end of each round) or at the end of the fight. As noted above, judges input scores based on objective criteria received using modules 230, 220, 240 and 250. In some implementations, the scores derived from spectator-participants are combined with the scores from judges to produce a final score that determines the outcome of the bout. FIG. 4 depicts a process 400 of scoring input by spectator-participants and judges. During a bout, judges keep score and input their scores into the data repository 410. The scores from the judges are received, for example, at the end of each round, or, for example, at the end of each bout. The judges input scores using, for example, networked computers 420, 430 and 440 that are connected to the data repository 410 as described with respect to FIG. 2 above. For example, Judge 1 can enter his scores using computer 420, and Judge 2 can enter his scores using computer 44. While FIG. 4 shows two judges only, any number of judges can enter scores for any given bout.

FIG. 4 further depicts the process of spectator-participants' scoring. Using, for example, an Internet-connected computer 430, spectator-participant 1 enters scores for the fighters using an appropriate networked computer 430 communicatively linked to the data repository 410. Also, spectator-participant 2 can input his scores using a networked computer 450 communicatively linked to data repository 410. The spectator-participants can, for example, input their scores at the end of each round or at the end of the bout. The scores of Spectator-Participant 1 are sent to and stored in a data repository 410. A similar process occurs for Spectator-Participant 2, and for any number of other spectator-participants (not shown).

The spectator-participants can use various criteria for determining the scores they assign to the fighters. For example, the spectator-participants' scores can be based on criteria not related to the criteria used by the judges. In some implementations, the criteria used by the spectator-participants can be entirely subjective (e.g., forcefulness, style, risk-taking, etc.)

The spectator-participants' scores and the judges' scores are weighted in different ways in different implementations. For example, the spectator-participants' scores are given equal weight to the judges' scores in some implementations, while the judges' scores count double the spectator-participants' scores in other implementations. Also, the spectator-participants' scores are input after each round in some implementations but at the end of the entire bout in other implementations.

The data repository 410 merges the judges' and spectator-participants' scores in any number of ways. For example, the scores from the judges and the spectator-participants are weighted equally in some implementations. Optionally, the scores can be displayed on a score display 480 which can be seen by the judges, on-site audience, and spectator-participants regardless of location.

It will be appreciated that there are many ancillary benefits to the current subject matter. Various implementations of the subject matter described herein may be realized in digital electronic circuitry, integrated circuitry, specially designed application-specific integrated circuits (ASICs), computer hardware, firmware, software, and/or combinations thereof. These various implementations may include implementation in one or more computer programs that are executable and/or interpretable on a programmable system including at least one programmable processor, which may be special or general purpose, coupled to receive data and instructions from, and to transmit data and instructions to, a storage system, at least one input device, and at least one output device.

These computer programs (also known as programs, software, software applications, or code) include machine instructions for a programmable processor, and may be implemented in a high-level procedural and/or object-oriented programming language, and/or in assembly/machine language. As used herein, the term “machine-readable medium” and “computer-readable medium” refer to any computer program product, apparatus and/or device (e.g., magnetic discs, optical disks, memory, Programmable Logic Devices (PLDs)) used to provide machine instructions and/or data to a programmable processor, including a machine-readable medium that receives machine instructions as a machine-readable signal. The term “machine-readable signal” refers to any signal used to provide machine instructions and/or data to a programmable processor.

To provide for interaction with a user, the subject matter described herein may be implemented on a computer having a display device (e.g., a CRT (cathode ray tube) or LCD (liquid crystal display) monitor) for displaying information to the user and a keyboard and a pointing device (e.g., a mouse or a trackball) by which the user may provide input to the computer. Other kinds of devices may be used to provide for interaction with a user as well; for example, feedback provided to the user may be any form of sensory feedback (e.g., visual feedback, auditory feedback, or tactile feedback); and input from the user may be received in any form, including acoustic, speech, or tactile input.

The subject matter described herein may be implemented in a computing system that includes a back-end component (e.g., as a data server), or that includes a middleware component (e.g., an application server), or that includes a front-end component (e.g., a client computer having a graphical user interface or a Web browser through which a user may interact with an implementation of the subject matter described herein), or any combination of such back-end, middleware, or front-end components. The components of the system may be interconnected by any form or medium of digital data communication (e.g., a communication network). Examples of communication networks include a local area network (“LAN”), a wide area network (“WAN”), and the Internet.

The computing system may include clients and servers. A client and server are generally remote from each other and typically interact through a communication network. The relationship of client and server arises by virtue of computer programs running on the respective computers and having a client-server relationship to each other.

While this specification contains many specifics, these should not be construed as limitations on the scope of any invention or of what may be claimed, but rather as descriptions of features that may be specific to particular embodiments of particular inventions. Certain features that are described in this specification in the context of separate embodiments can also be implemented in combination in a single embodiment. Conversely, various features that are described in the context of a single embodiment can also be implemented in multiple embodiments separately or in any suitable subcombination. Moreover, although features may be described above as acting in certain combinations and even initially claimed as such, one or more features from a claimed combination can in some cases be excised from the combination, and the claimed combination may be directed to a subcombination or variation of a subcombination.

Similarly, while operations are depicted in the drawings in a particular order, this should not be understood as requiring that such operations be performed in the particular order shown or in sequential order, or that all illustrated operations be performed, to achieve desirable results. In certain circumstances, multitasking and parallel processing may be advantageous. Moreover, the separation of various system components in the embodiments described above should not be understood as requiring such separation in all embodiments, and it should be understood that the described program components and systems can generally be integrated together in a single software product or packaged into multiple software products.

Although a few variations have been described in detail above, other modifications are possible. For example, a boxing match may be conducted between two fighters. During the course of the match, a first score may be generated for each boxer based on one more objective criteria (e.g., landed hits, etc.). In addition, during the course of the fight, or optionally after the expiration of the match, a second score may be generated for each boxer based on votes from spectators of the boxing match. These first and second scores may be combined to generate a total score for each fighter. Thereafter, if the boxing match expires (i.e., does not end early due to a knockout or a disqualification), the winner of the match is determined by which fighter has the greater total score.

Further, the logic flow depicted in the accompanying figures and described herein do not require the particular order shown, or sequential order, to achieve desirable results. Other embodiments may be within the scope of the following claims.