New York State Athletic Commission

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Also known by its acronym, the NYSAC, the New York State Athletic Commission has governed boxing and wrestling in New York State since 1920, when the Walker Law legalized prizefighting. (There was a New York State Athletic Commission that governed boxing earlier, before boxing was prohibited.)

Contact Details

  • New York State Athletic Commission
  • 123 Williams Street, 20th Floor
  • New York, NY 10038
  • Tel. (212) 417-5700
  • Fax. (212) 417-4987
  • Web site

Rules and Regulations (Past & Present)

1929 Weights and Classes

  • Junior Flyweight......109 pounds
  • Flyweight.............112 pounds
  • Junior Bantamweight...115 pounds
  • Bantamweight..........118 pounds
  • Junior Featherweight..122 pounds
  • Featherweight.........126 pounds
  • Junior Lightweight....130 pounds
  • Lightweight...........135 pounds
  • Junior Welterweight...140 pounds
  • Welterweight..........147 pounds
  • Middleweight..........160 pounds
  • Light Heavyweight.....175 pounds
  • Heavyweight...........All over

Boxing Rules of Athletic Commission of the State of New York
(As published in Self-Defense Sporting Annual 1929, p. 14.)

  • Referee
    • The referee shall have the power:
      • (a) To cast the third vote, in which case the three votes shall be of equal value. In the event of two votes coinciding, the result shall be so determined. In the event of all votes disagreeing, the contest shall be declared a draw.
      • (b) To stop a bout or contest at any stage and make a decision if he considers it too one-sided.
      • (c) To stop a bout or contest if he considers the competitors are not in earnest. In this case he may disqualify one or both contestants.
      • (d) To disqualify a contestant who commits a foul and to award decision to opponent.
    • The referee shall not touch the contesting boxers, except on failure of one or both contestants to obey the “break” command.
    • When a contestant is “down” the referee and timekeeper shall at once commence calling off the seconds and indicating the count with a motion of the arm. If the contestant fails to rise before count of ten, the referee shall declare him the loser.
    • Should a contest who is “down” arise before count of ten is reached and again go down intentionally, without being struck, the referee and timekeeper shall resume count where it left off.
    • Should a contestant leave the ring during the one minute rest period between rounds and fail to be in ring when gong rings to resume boxing, the referee shall count him out, the same as if he were “down.”
    • If a contestant is down, his opponent shall retire to the farthest corner and remain there until the count is completed. Should he fail to do so, the referee and timekeeper may cease counting until he has so retired.
    • Referee shall decide all questions arising during a contest which are not specifically covered by these rules.
  • Judges
    • The two judges shall be stationed at opposite sides of the ring. The decisions of the judges shall be based primarily on effectiveness, taking into account the following points:
      • 1. A clean, forceful hit, landed on any vulnerable part of the body above the belt should be credited in proportion to its damaging effect.
      • 2. Aggressiveness is next in importance and points should be awarded to the contestant who sustains the action of a round by the greatest number of skillful attacks.
      • 3. Defensive work is relatively important and points should be given for cleverly avoiding or blocking a blow.
      • 4. Points should be awarded where ring generalship is conspicuous. The comprises such points as the ability to quickly grasp and take advantage of every opportunity offered, the capacity to cope with all kinds of situations which may arise; to foresee and neutralize an opponent’’s method of attack; to force an opponent to adopt a style of boxing at which he is not particularly skillful.
      • 5. It is advisable to deduct points when a contestant persistently delays the action of a contest by clinching and lack of aggressiveness.
      • 6. Points should be deducted for a foul even though it is unintentional and not of a serious nature to warrant disqualification.
      • 7. A contestant should be given credit for sportsmanlike actions in the ring, close adherence to the spirit as well as the letter of the rules and for refraining from taking technical advantage of situations unfair to an opponent.
      • 8. In order to arrive at a true conclusion every point should be carefully observed and noted as the contest progresses, the decision going to the contestant who scores the greatest number of effective points regardless of the number of rounds won or lost.
    • When neither contestant has a decided margin in effectiveness, the winner should be determined on points scored and aggressiveness.

As of 1939, the NYSAC was located at 155 Worth Street, New York City, and met on Tuesdays and Fridays.

Past Commissioners


  • 1914-01-07: NYSAC Offices are located at 41 Park Row, New York City. Jan. 7 New York Times, p. 12. At its first meeting (in 1911, when the Frawley Act went into effect?), the NYSAC had enacted a regulation prohibiting decision bouts, and had "sole charge of the question." Jan. 11, 1914 New York Times, p. S2.
  • 1914-04-06: After receiving numerous complaints from patrons about too much butting, wrestling and pushing, as well as the re-emergence of the kidney punch, the NYSAC warns all boxers, referees and club owners that referees are to disqualify all offending boxers and report them to the Commission. April 7 New York Times, p. 7.
  • 1914-04-07: NYSAC now specifies that boxing licenses will be valid for one year from date of issue. Before, there was no set period of expiration, which caused some misunderstanding. April 8 New York Times, p. 11.
  • 1916-02-20: NYSAC adopts new weights. [1]
  • 1920-12-17: NYSAC issues boxing licenses to 152 men. [2]
  • 1922-06-01: NYSAC adopts rule prohibiting boxers under the age of 20 from participating in bouts of more than six rounds. Wenatchee Daily World (Wenatchee, WA, USA) wire report.
  • 1931-03-26: Pennslyvania State Athletic Commission joins NYSAC in recognizing Midget Wolgast as Flyweight Champion. New York Times (NYT)
  • 1932-01-08: Secretary Bert Stand announces that Battling Battalino forfeited his World Featherweight Title by stepping onto the scales overweight at 135¾ pounds, causing the first abandonment of a boxing match in the history of Madison Square Garden on the afternoon of the night on which the match was scheduled, and the "only parallel for the situation in modern boxing" since the Charley (Phil) Rosenberg-Bushy Graham 1927 title bout. Lew Feldman, Battalino's scheduled opponent, immediately claims the title. New York Times

See also, USA: New York Laws