Olympic Rules Question

  crosstrainer 23:08 16 Aug 2008

Can anyone explain (I've had a good browse through the official I.O.C stuff) How the difference between professional and amateur is designated?

For example: A tennis player is a professional, paid for his / her efforts according to (I guess) success and talent.

Said tennis competitor(s) are allowed to compete in the games.

A boxer is paid the same way, yet a (definition required) "professional" boxer can not compete.

A top class athlete who takes part in many competitions over the course of a year, including the like of the million £$ "break the world record" events, may compete.

I am confused as to where the lines of demarcation fall... Am I missing something?

  Tim1964 23:24 16 Aug 2008

Is it because tennis players make their living on prize money and boxers for e.g. get paid to enter the ring and then the prize money is a bonus?

I guess even 'amateur' athletes do OK as they seem to be able to retire early on the sponsorship money etc.

  crosstrainer 23:29 16 Aug 2008

Thought of that one, but neither earn a wage... I'm really struggling to understand the boundaries. I am enjoying it all, (politics aside) but it seems that the playing field is a bit blurred?

  Dragon_Heart 04:45 17 Aug 2008

Change and / or ignore rules to suit occasion

I still laugh every time I think about the Zola Budd fiasco

  tillybaby 07:19 17 Aug 2008

So do I lolol.

  Forum Editor 08:21 17 Aug 2008

The International Olympic Committee rules are that it's up to the governing body of each Olympic sport to decide who is eligible to compete.

  interzone55 10:02 17 Aug 2008

Amateur & Professional tennis players use the same set of rules.

In boxing things are very different, I'm not sure an amateur boxer would survive 12 x 3 minute rounds against a professional fighter.

As for athletes, I'm not sure there is any distinction between amateur & professional any more.

I think the only stipulation is that no athlete receives payment for their Olympic efforts, although some countries are giving cash prizes to medal winners...

  Quickbeam 11:42 17 Aug 2008

whereby you had to strictly be an amateur meant that unless you were very rich or so good a sponsor would pay your living expenses for you to train, only the social elite would compete.

I don't see anything wrong with being able to make a living out of a natural talent... I wish I was good enough to have made a living out of a sporting event:)

  crosstrainer 12:06 17 Aug 2008

I don't have a problem with it if the playing field is level....Just seems a little strange to me.

  TopCat® 13:50 17 Aug 2008

contestants in all sports should be amateur; that's to say they did not earn a living from their sport. It was up to the governing bodies of each sport to check that their athletes were amateurs. It soon became clear, however, that different sports had different ideas about these rules which led to unfair advantages for some athletes. The IOC rules have been amended over the years but none have been able to satisfy all countries ans all sports. The Olympic ideal is now much further out of date because winning at the highest level is paramount today.

Boxing is the only remaining sport which holds amateur status in the Olympics. Why this continues I can only surmise, but I would guess that the use of headgear and safety concerns for participants could be one answer. TC.

  Forum Editor 00:26 18 Aug 2008

the International Olympic Committee gave international sports federations the authority to decide who competes in the games. This was done in the 1980s, the international boxing association still restricts participation to amateur boxers.

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