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competition RULES

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School Responsibilities

School owners are required to be present at each tournament from set-up to


School owners are expected to judge rings in each tournament and bring black belt judges.

New schools or individual students from an outside school will not be invited to participate during an ongoing season. Schools wishing to join the organization’s events will be required to participate in and entire season of events as probational members. At the end of the season their continued participation will be decided upon.

All participants agree to follow the organizations rules and rulings.

Competition rings are staffed by a score keeper, time keeper, two side judges, and a center judge. The center judge is in charge of, and responsible for, the running of the ring. Ideally, the three judges will be from different schools when staffing permits.

Score Keepers and Time Keepers must be TaeKwonDo students at least 12 years old.

Judges must be Black Belts at least 14 years old.

All ring staff need to focus on the ring in progress. They should not be watching another ring or chatting with people outside the ring.

Judges are not allowed to judge family members.

Judges must be of equal or greater rank than the competitors they are judging.

Only school owners or Chief Instructors are allowed to judge the final rounds of the Black Belt Championships.

In the event of an issue that the center judge needs help resolving - a school owner will act as arbitrator and final judge. 

Student Responsibilities

Black Belt competitors compete in the age bracket that corresponds to their age on January 1st of the current competition year.


Students are sorted into their competition divisions at assigned staging times. Students must be present promptly at staging time to compete. Divisions will then compete as rings become available. Divisions will not be delayed to wait for late competitors unless that competitor is currently competing or judging in another ring.

Competitors from White Belt to 3rd degree Black Belt compete in forms, 1-steps, and sparring wearing a full, clean white uniform and their current belt. 4th degree Black Belts and above may also wear black martial arts pants. Weapons competitors may wear any color martial arts uniform in good condition.

Students must have all required safety gear to compete.

No division will be delayed for wardrobe changes or missing gear.

Parent Responsibilities

Ordering Tournament T-Shirts at your Taekwondo school before the tournament.

Registering your child to compete at your Taekwondo school before the tournament.

Getting your child to the tournament slightly before their scheduled staging time.


Ensuring that your child is competing in the correct age bracket. Black Belt competitors compete in the age bracket that corresponds to their age on January 1st of the current competition year.

Making sure the student has a clean white uniform - in good condition, their current belt, all the required safety gear, and a competition martial arts weapon in good condition if applicable. Students missing safety gear will not be allowed to spar.

Family may not sit or stand ringside, nor walk between rings. It violates our insurance requirements to have civilians in danger of accidentally being kicked in the head.

Parents are responsible for setting a good example of courteous behavior and self-control for your child while spectating. This includes not criticizing other competitors in the stands, not coaching competitors from the sidelines, and not interrupting the matches. Please, do cheer from well outside the ring, but do not offer directions that might confuse or distract your child and get them hurt. Please, do encourage children to congratulate their opponents and ask the judges for tips when the division is done.



Perfect divisions have 4, 8, or 16 competitors. These numbers result in a four-competitor compliment to compete in the final round for 3rd and 4th, then 1st and 2nd place.


Any other number of competitors will result in byes. A bye is a randomly selected student designated to win round one and begin competition in round two.

To find the correct number of byes the number of competitors is subtracted from the next highest perfect number of competitors.

Ex 1: A division of 5 competitors is subtracted from the next highest perfect division - 8. This gives 3 competitors byes to compete in Round Two and leaves 2 competitors to compete in Round One. The winner of Round One progresses to Round Two where they will compete against one of the competitors with a bye.


Ex 2: A division of 12 competitors is subtracted from the next highest perfect division - 16. This gives 4 competitors byes to compete in Round Two and 8 competitors compete in Round One. The winners of Round One progress to Round Two where they will compete against one of the competitors with a bye.

If there are enough competitors in a division to make it possible - we will try to make sure color belt students from the same school do not compete against each other in the first round.



Each school practices its own curriculum. There are variations from style to style in how movement is performed – including chambering, stances, and speed of movements. A judge may not be familiar with a form or a particular style. Good forms are clean, consistent, powerful, and smooth flowing. If a move is performed consistently and cleanly in a way that is unfamiliar to a judge, the judge can assume that movement is true to the way the student was taught and therefore correct for them.


Competitors compete with their most current form. They may not compete with a higher rank form.


Color Belts may compete with their previous form for up to 6 weeks after receiving their new rank. Black Belts may compete with their previous form for up to 3 months after receiving their new rank.

Competitors may not compete with a higher rank form.

Red/Black or Black/White Belts competing with Po-Eun or Pal-Jang must compete in the Black Belt division.

Competitors perform their form side by side with their opponent.

Competitors must stay in the ring and so should adjust their starting position to ensure they do so.


Judges will point to the competitor with the strongest, smoothest, and cleanest form - indicating the winner.


A competitor who makes stops and starts in their form cannot win unless their competitor makes more pauses, fails to complete their form, or falls down in a fit of giggles.

Forms are competed in rounds. Winners of Round 1 will progress to Round 2 and so on.

In the final round competitors for 3rd and 4th place compete first and then competitors for 1st and 2nd place.

Medals are awarded for 1st-3rd place.


Competitor medals are awarded to any competitor age 10 and under who did not earn a 1st-3rd place medal in either forms or sparring.

Black Belts accumulate points towards a bonus Black Belt Championship tournament at the end of the season by placing 1st-4th during the regular season, in forms, sparring, and/or weapons forms.

or weapons forms.



White thru Yellow/Green Belts compete in forms and 1-step sparring/self-defense.

Controlled contact is only allowed on the initial block. No other techniques should make contact.

Two opponents face each other in the ring and bow in as in point sparring.

A student is assigned to be the first Attacker. The student falls back into left front stance with a left low block ready position and kihaps to signal their readiness. 

The Defender kihaps to signal their readiness and the Attacker steps forward into a right front stance with a lunge horizontal punch to the middle.

The Defender then performs their 1-step/self-defense combo and steps back into a back stance with a double guarding block and kihaps to indicate his finish. 

Both students return to choonbee (standard ready position).

The roles are then reversed. At the end of the second competitor's first 1-step/self-defense students return to choonbee. Judges the raise the correct colored flag and tilt it in the direction of the winner.

The students then do a second 1-step/self-defense with the 1st Defender now attacking 1st. 

The best 2 out of 3 points wins.

If there is a tie after each student has performed their second 1-step/self-defense, then a third 1-step/self-defense will be performed by both competitors.

The third 1-step/self-defense can be new or a repeat of one of the first two.

Winners of Round 1 progress to Round 2 and so on.

In the final round competitors for 3rd and 4th place compete first and then competitors for 1st and 2nd place.

Medals are awarded for 1st-3rd place.




Green/White Belts & Up compete in forms and point sparring.

Minimum Required Sparring Safety Gear

Dipped Foam Head Gear

Dipped Foam Chops

Dipped Foam Kicks

Mouth Piece

Groin Protector (Males)


Acceptable Additions to Sparring Safety Gear

Plastic Face Guard

Cloth or Foam Dipped Shin Guards

Cloth or Foam Dipped Forearm Guards

Chest Protector


All gear must be in good condition with no tears or tape.

Sparring gear that leaves open fingers or toes is not permitted.


Ring Set-Up

Rings consist of a matted area no smaller than 5 x 5 mats. 5 chairs for judges outside the ring, two flag sticks, score board, clipboard, bracket sheets, time flag, pencil, calculator, stopwatch.


During forms all ring officials are seated with the center judge in the center flanked by the time keeper and score keeper, and the side judges in the outside chairs. During 1-steps and sparring the time keeper and score keeper remain seated. The side judges are standing on the corners flanking the chairs, and the center judge is across from all other personnel at the edge of the ringside in the center where he can see all ring staff and competitors at once.


Judge should move around the edge of the ring to get a good view of the combatants in action. Judges should try to maintain a triangle shape with no two judges standing side by side.


When a break in the match is called all ring occupants return to their starting positions.




2 Minute Matches.


Competitors enter the ring and move to center. They bow to the center judge, then each other.


The Center Judge calls for competitors to fall back and kihap. Competitor yelling is mandatory to make sure the competitors hear and understand directions and are breathing properly.


Center Judge ask if keepers and judges are ready and upon affirmative starts the match by shouting Sijek or Begin.


The Competitor with the most points at the end of 2 minutes wins.


Or the match ends when one competitor reaches 5 points and wins.


No points or a tie at the end of two minutes results in overtime. During over time the first confirmed point wins the match.

Time is stopped only for injuries, wardrobe malfunctions, warning discussions, and outside interference.

Winners of Round 1 progress to Round 2 and so on.

In the final round competitors for 3rd and 4th place compete first and then competitors for 1st and 2nd place.

Medals are awarded for 1st-3rd place.


Legal Target Areas

Front and sides of torso from belt to shoulders. 

Kicks to the head.


Illegal Target Areas

Anything else. Including kicking or striking below the belt or to the back, or hand striking to the head.


Scoring Points

Kick or hand strike to the torso = 1 point

Kick to the head = 2 points

Jump kick to the body = 2 points

Jump Kick to the head = 3 points

In Color Belt divisions - when a kick to the head is within 6 inches and the receiver makes no move to defend themselves by blocking or avoiding the kick the point is awarded to the kick.

In Black Belt divisions - contact must be made (with control) to win a point.

In Color Belt divisions, 2 No See calls and 1 judge calling Point will result in a point.


In Black Belt divisions the final round of sparring requires 2 judges agreeing to confirm the point.

No competitor can score a point from outside the ring. No point can be scored upon a competitor who is out of the ring. Judges will direct the competitors back to the center of the ring and fighting will continue. Time will not be stopped.


Sparring Calls


Break: All judges should call for points, warnings, or out of bounds, or stop time when they see a need. Judges must call loudly enough for the center judge and competitors wearing helmets to hear. The preferred call to stop the match is “Break,” to allow the judge to stop the match for a variety of reasons.


Call for Points: When a match is stopped Center Judge will the direct the competitors back to the center, the judges return to their corners, the Center Judge calls for points, or warnings. Time continues while calling for points. Time does not stop unless the warning needs to be discussed, equipment needs to be fixed, or an injury attended to.


Time: When the 2-minute match has ended the Time Keeper shouts, “Time!” and throws the time flag at the Center Judge. The Center Judge stops the match returns participants to their places and announces the winner.


Point: Correct colored flag tilted towards scoring competitor with 1, 2, or 3 fingers held up alongside the flag to indicate how many points are being awarded.

No See: Hands held open and crossed over eyes of judge indicating the judge was

unable to see a point scored.

Block: Hands held in fists and crossed low in front of judge’s belt to indicate a block or obvious lack of contact.

Warning: One hand held open and pointed down towards competitor to indicate a warning. No point can be scored by a competitor who receives a warning in the same clash.

Out of Bounds: One flag or foot tapped on the ground to indicate one or both of the combatants were out of bounds.

Ex 1: Judge 1 & 2 calling 1 Point red, Judge 3 calling Block = 1 point red.


Ex 2: Judge 1 & 2 calling No See, Judge 3 calling 1 Point white = 1 point white. Except in the final round of a Black Belt division when 2 judges must confirm a point to score it.


Ex 3: Judge 1 calling Block, Judge 2 calling 1 Point red, Judge 3 calling 1 Point white = no point.


Ex 4: Judge 1 calling Block, Judge 2 calling 1 Point white, Judge 3 calling Out of Bounds = no point.


Ex 5: Judge 1 calling 1 point white, Judge 2 calling 2 points white, Judge 3 calling No See = 1 point white.


Ex 6: Judge 1 & 2 calling 1 point red, Judge 3 calling warning red = stop time to discuss contact.



Blind Techniques

No point will be awarded to a competitor who executes a spinning kick or hand strike without being able to see where it lands.


No points will be awarded for strikes to the front of the body while reaching around from behind the competitor. 


Rule Violations

Deliberately leaving the ring.

Kicking or Striking illegal target areas.

Excessive force.

Drawing blood.

Deliberately falling.

Inappropriate language or disrespect towards a competitor or judge.


Spectators are not allowed to coach from the sideline. Cheering is encouraged. Shouting instructions is a rule violation. Time will be stopped. The spectators will be warned.


Losing Points or Disqualification

Drawing blood is an automatic disqualification.


The first rule violation of any type will result in a verbal warning.


The second rule violation of any type will add a point for the opponent.


The third and consecutive non violent rule violations of any type will result in points for the non-offending competitor. There will be no disputes or refunds.

The third violent rule violation of any type will result in competitor disqualification from this tournament. There will be no disputes or refunds.


Egregiously un-sportsman like behavior by the competitors or family of the competitors may result in suspension from a future tournament or all Pacific 5 Star Tournaments.



All age color belts compete in one color belts weapons division.

Black Belts compete in divisions ages 12 & under, ages 13-15, and ages 16 & up.



Acceptable Weapons

Dull martial arts weapons in good condition.



Weapons Forms

Forms must be no longer than 1 minute long.


Weapons forms are performed individually, and scores are awarded.

One round is performed and the highest score wins.


Color Belts are scored from 8.50 – 8.99.


Black Belts are scored from 9.50 – 9.99.

Weapons may not leave a competitor’s body frame during the competition. Neck and finger roles are acceptable, throws are not. Throwing or dropping the weapon will result in the automatic awarding of the lowest score possible. 

Weapons forms may have no more than 4 kicks. A repeat kick or butterfly kick will be counted as 1 kick.

Competitors are not allowed to do flips.

Medals are awarded for 1st-3rd place.





The Black Belt Championship is a bonus tournament that Black Belts earn the right to compete in based upon their previous tournament attendance and performance. The top 6 point holders, who have attended at least 2 tournaments and earned at least 24 points at the end of the season are eligible to compete in the bonus Black Belt Championship Tournament. If a competitor wins 1st place in Forms, Sparring, or Weapons - they are permitted to wear a championship uniform with their name, year, and achievement on the back of the jacket.


Accumulating Points


Regular Tournament:

10 Points for competing in a tournament.

10 Points for 1st place.

8 Points for 2nd place.

6 Points for 3rd place.

4 Points for 4th place.



Final Tournament of the Season:

10 Points for competing in a tournament.

20 Points for 1st place.

16 Points for 2nd place.

12 Points for 3rd place.

8   Points for 4th place.

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