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CURRENT TOURNAMENT RULES

2020-2022 Tournament Season

ATA Tournament Rules for 2020-2022

The 2020-2022 Tournament Season will end on Sunday, May 1, 2022. The final day for ATA Licensees to host a sanctioned Class “C” event will be April 15, 2022.  All tournaments held after those dates will have points posted in the following season’s standings.

*ATA International reserves the right to make changes or adjustments to the rules & procedures as it sees fit during the competition season*

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'''Unless it is expressly stated that something is permissible in these rules, it is illegal.”  If you are unsure about a particular situation, submit your question in writing to ATACMRivera@gmail.com

SECTION 1 - TOURNAMENT OFFICIALS AND THEIR DUTIES

As in every organization, there is a specific and detailed chain of command that must be followed to achieve consistent success. Any person having a question concerning an aspect of a tournament should adhere to the chain of command listed below to obtain the answer:

  1. Speak to the judge.
  2. Ask your instructor.
  3. Have one’s instructor speak to the RTTL in one’s area.
  4. Have one’s instructor speak to the Tournament Department at Headquarters.

International Chairman of Tournaments

The International Chairman of Tournaments is the overseer of all aspects of tournaments. He/she is part of the ATA International Headquarters staff and is appointed by ATA International Headquarters. The Tournament Department is responsible for maintaining all tournament sanction paperwork, the oversight of tournament judging certification, the preparation for world and national tournaments, the arbitration of disputes, and rule revisions. The International Chairman of Tournaments is:

Chief Master Betsy Stevens - 8th Degree Black Belt  - Betsy.Stevens@ataonline.com

Authority of the International Tournament Director

The International Tournament Director is the final arbiter of these rules. Any determination concerning the interpretation, applicability or necessary exceptions to the rules shall be made in the sole discretion of the International Tournament Director.

 

National Tournament Director

A National Tournament Director is appointed by the Grand Master of Songahm Taekwondo with the input of the International Chairman of Tournaments based upon their experience with the individual and any recommendations of the organization’s seniors. This person is in charge of the general operations of world and national tournaments and supplies a great deal of input on operation procedures and rule revisions. The ATA currently has two National Tournament Directors and several Assistant National Tournament Directors.

 

USA - National Directors of Tournaments (NTD) at this time are:

Chief Master Izel Rivera - 8th Degree Black Belt

Senior Master Kelly Harman - 7th Degree Black Belt

USA - Assistant National Tournament Directors:

Senior Master Jack Hornbuckle - 7th Degree Black Belt

Senior Master Michelle Pavlik - 7th Degree Black Belt

European - National Tournament Director:

Mr. Antonio Monteiro - 6th Degree Black Belt

Australian - National Tournament Director

Ms. Suzie Sanfort - 5th Degree Black Belt

South American - National Tournament Director:

Master Rodolpho Cavenatti - 6th Degree Black Belt

 

Director of Development -Team Sync and Team Demo - Chief Master Scott Skiles - 8th Degree Black Belt

Director of Development - Team Sparring - Master Jesse Isaacs - 6th Degree Black Belt

National Tournament Staff - Master Kevin Pavlik - 6th Degree Black Belt

 

Regional Tournament Team Leader

The Regional Tournament Team Leader (RTTL) for each region is appointed by the Grand Master in consultation with the International Chairman of Tournaments. This volunteer leadership position is based upon the International Chairman's experience with the individual, the person's willingness to volunteer, plus the recommendation of the seniors of the region.

The duties of this position vary according to the region in which they are involved. These duties include, but are not limited to:

  • Approving the tournament sanction documents for his/her region.
  • Verifying that tournament sites are adequate for a regional event.
  • Planning and approving the competition schedule for regional tournaments.
  • Organizing and running the regional tournaments including arbitration issues that may arise.
  • Administering judging certification clinics and tests.
  • The RTTL will send the original result sheets, packets (competitor slips) and tournament staff sheet to ATA Headquarters within seven business days of the event at the tournament host's expense.
  • The RTTL will keep the copy of the result sheets for at least two years in case of association research needs.
  • The RTTL will email data files within two business days of the tournament.

One should check with one’s instructor as to the region in which the student belongs. 

 The Regional Tournament Team Leaders for the 2020-2021 season are listed below:

REGION RTTL EMAIL ADDRESS
101A Master Beth Giles eam5487@hotmail.com
101B Master Tony Rosa itsrosa82@yahoo.com
102A Chief Master Kelli Shoup ikicktwo@aol.com
102B Master Andrew Steinman atsteinman@yahoo.com
103A Master Brad Thomas tkdtech@verizon.net
103B Master Christopher Martin vegastkd@gmail.com
104A Sr. Master Jeremy Moore mastermoore1@hotmail.com 
104B Ms. Andrea Jung atajungs@gmail.com
105 Mr. Michael Lee misaweektkd@yahoo.com   
106 Master Tammy Parker  Co-RTTL indyatatp@gmail.com
106 Ms. Beth Moreland  Co-RTTL roblin8693@att.net
107 Master Nicholas Schafer schafekwon@gmail.com
108 Mr. Jimmy Bell JimmyK@Gmail.com 
109 Ms. Christy Overby c.overby@thriveata.com
110A Master Susan Winter srwinter@princetonata.com
110B Mr. Michael Marino mmarinoata@gmail.com  
111A Sr. Master Julia Wegmann jsbeddow@yahoo.com
111B Ms. Melynda Cordry fourkix@gmail.com
112 Sr. Master Jack Hornbuckle cptjack_01@hotmail.com
114 Mr. Matthew White  mwhite@triumphma.com 
115 Ms. Sarah Worsham sarahworshamata@gmail.com 
116 Ms. Rachel Dendy rachel.dendy15@gmail.com
117 Sr. Master Michelle Pavlik rct117@pickata.com
118 Sr. Master Jessiah Rueckert masterrueckert@gmail.com
119A Ms. Sharon Pleu pleu13@comcast.net
119B Ms. Sharon Pleu pleu13@comcast.net
119C Mr. Todd Nadeau todd.nadeau@prestigetkd.com
119D Master Joshua Schultz atamartialarts@cableone.net

 

Assistant Regional Tournament Team Leader

Many regions have elected to ask for volunteers to serve as Assistant Regional Tournament Team Leaders or as part of the Regional Tournament Volunteer Staff.

Two main reasons for this are:

  • The enormous responsibility of running regional tournaments.
  • To provide a training ground for future volunteer Regional Tournament Team Leaders.

Assistant Regional Tournament Team Leaders, whose names are suggested by the RTTL,  are selected by the Grand Master in consultation with the  International Chairman of Tournaments based upon the chairperson's experience with the individual, the person's willingness to volunteer, plus the recommendation of the seniors of the region.

The responsibilities of these assistants are assigned by Regional Tournament Team Leaders.

One should check with their instructor as to the name of the Assistant Regional Tournament Team Leader and the Regional Tournament Volunteer Staff members for one’s region.

 

Tournament Arbitrators

The position of Tournament Arbitrator is a temporary volunteer assignment during an individual tournament. It is not a permanent volunteer position. The International Chairman of Tournaments or the Regional Tournament Team Leader is in charge of supervising the event and the arbitrators are under their guidance. If a tournament arbitrator is used for a tournament they should be selected from the tournament staff. During National or World Tournaments, the International Chairman of Tournaments, the National Tournament Director and/or the Assistant National Tournament Directors will perform the duties of arbitrator. Under no circumstances should a senior/master of a region take it upon his/herself to arbitrate a ruling in a ring.  He/She may ask for a ring to stop for the purpose of getting the tournament arbitrator to the ring.

 An arbitrator is responsible for:

  • Supervising assigned rings and for enforcement of tournament rules.
  • He/she will make on-the-spot corrections and will assist in resolving problems in a diplomatic and respectful manner.
  • If necessary, he/she may suggest to the RTTL to replace a judge for appropriate cause. He/She may not replace a judge without first consulting the RTTL.
  • And all other duties as assigned

 

Tournament Secretary / ATA Records / Data Entry Personnel

The tournament staff includes the tournament secretary, and Data Entry Personnel.  These are volunteer positions to the RTTL and approved by the International Chairman of Tournaments. These persons duties include, but are not limited to:

  • Staffing the control table at all times until all results and all entry cards have been returned from all the rings
  • Entering all packets and results into the FilemakerPro system
  • Provide a check-out/check-in system to be certain that all packets have gone out and results have been returned.
  • Check all returned packets for complete/correct information.
  • Packets that are incorrect and/or incomplete should be returned to the center judge of that division for corrections.
  • If results are missing, tournament officials shall assume that the fault is that of the center judge rather than the secretary.

SECTION 2 - DUTIES OF ATA SENIORS, INSTRUCTORS, AND JUDGES

General Guidelines

It is the duty of all adult black belts, regardless of rank or position, to earn appropriate judging levels and volunteer to judge at any ATA event they are attending. This rule applies to every black belt in attendance. One should check with his/her instructor for guidance on how to obtain appropriate chevrons.

All adult black belts shall arrive before the judge's meeting held at every regional event, attend the meeting, and remain at the tournament until the final “Bow-out” has been completed. Under “Special Circumstances” they may attempt to receive permission to leave early from the RTTL and the Senior Rank in attendance . It is the duty of every senior instructor to ensure that their junior instructors and black belts comply with this rule. Failure to do so will result in forfeiture of any points earned at that event and repeatedly leaving early can lead to additional sanctions from the ATA's tournament department.

Senior instructors shall refrain from interfering in the competition. If anyone, especially a Senior Rank, feels there is a problem in the ring they shall notify the RTTL. He/she should NOT enter a ring, or take any further action unless instructed. Any person may ask that a ring be suspended for a rule violation arbitration, and/or safety issue until the appropriate RTTL staff members can be notified.

If a black belt does not follow proper protocol at the tournament, the following steps will be taken:

  • For the first infraction the RTTL will speak to the competitor involved, discuss the proper expectations of an adult black belt, and notify the student’s instructor.
  • Any further occurrences will result in a letter being written to the student with copies to that student’s senior instructor and the tournament department at National Headquarters advising them of the repercussions for future occurrences of the behavior.
    • The possible consequences include, but are not limited to the following:
      • For adult black belts arriving late, the RTTL will determine if they will be allowed to compete. Black belts who are repeatedly late for tournaments and black belt meetings will, at the discretion of the RTTL be denied permission to compete.
      • Those who leave early may forfeit any or all top ten points earned up to and including those earned on that date toward any championship program (state or world champion top ten.) This decision on the number of points to be removed is at the sole discretion of the International Chairman of Tournaments.

Black Belt Meetings

All black belts ages 15 and above, eligible for chevrons and regardless of rank, are required to attend the Black Belt Meeting held prior to the beginning of each tournament.  Any black belt mentioned above may be denied the right to compete if he/she does not attend this meeting.  This decision is at the discretion of the RTTL in charge of that event.  Jr. Black Belts age 14 and under are encouraged, but not required, to attend Black Belt Meetings.

The Regional Tournament Team Leader or his/her assistant is to coordinate a Black Belt judges meeting prior to every regional tournament. The purpose of such meeting is to:

  • Address judging concerns and any rule clarifications.
  • Make special announcements concerning the tournament.
  • Make judging assignments.
  • Begin the process of black belt competition assignments.
  • Remind Judges of the safety compliance rules.

Dress Code at an ATA Tournament

Black belts are held to a higher standard, in regards to their attire and conduct, due to their position in the organization and in the eyes of the color belt students. Black Belts in attendance (whether competing or not) should wear either a traditional white dobok or certified instructor suit. Black belts in attendance should remain in this attire until they are dismissed from the event.  Changing into “street clothes” is not acceptable.

Before and after their competition, color belts may wear regular “street” clothes, bearing in mind appropriate styles for the occasion.  Shorts/tank tops etc. are never acceptable.

The dress code for tournaments  does not change for tournaments held over multiple days.  NO INSTRUCTOR should arrive in “street clothes” so they can “watch” their students. 

It is understood that younger junior black belts have “trouble” keeping nice clothes clean, and they will be given special consideration. Teenagers and above should be able to care for themselves and are expected to comply with the dress requirements. This dress code is in effect from the first appearance at the tournament site until away from the tournament site.

SPECIAL NOTE:  There have been multiple occasions where black belts have been at a tournament, changed because they were “catching a flight soon” or “just here to watch my students''. If a black belt is not in the proper attire because they are leaving, they should exit the facility.  A black belt should not be in attendance just to “watch”. While we all wish to see our child compete, it is not always possible.   All RTTL’s have been asked to be as accommodating as possible for the parents of children under 12. For parents whose children are over the age of 12, fulfilling the judging needs of the tournament is the 1st priority of an RTTL. 

SECTION 3 - JUDGING LEVELS and CERTIFICATIONS

The ATA takes great pride in the training of black belts to be judges at regional, district, national, and world tournaments. Black belts are trained over a period of time to be qualified as a Level 1 Corner Judge, a Level 2 Center Judge, or a Level 3 Chief Judge. Each competition ring (except ATA Tiger rings) will have three qualified black belts to judge the competitors. All certifications are valid for one year. This requirement is mandatory for all ranks 1st through 9th Degree Black Belt. Permission to test will be withheld for those whose judging chevrons are not current.

Note: Judges, whose competition age is 17 or younger, may not judge any division that contains competitors older than their age.  This rule does not apply to adult judges.

Level 1

The following rules and guidelines apply to a Level 1 judge:

  • Must be at least 14 years of age, and a 1st Degree Black Belt Decided or higher.
  • May corner judge color belt competitions.
  • Must know all the following material:
    • All color belt form techniques.
    • One-steps for white, orange and yellow belt ranks.
    • Be familiar with all the weapons allowed for traditional color belt weapons competition.
    • It is highly recommended that any person who desires to certify as a Level 1 Judge have prior tournament experience as a time and score keeper.

A Level 1 judging chevron is a 1-inch wide blue chevron to be put on the right sleeve of the uniform jacket. The chevron should be centered (on a diagonal) on the crease in the right edge 4 inches from the sleeve bottom and on the left edge (as you look at the uniform) 2 inches from the bottom of the sleeve. Wearing of chevrons is not required, but highly recommended.

Level 2

The following rules and guidelines apply to a Level 2 judge:

  • Must be at least 16 years of age and a 1st Degree Black Belt Decided or higher.
  • May corner judge or center judge for color belt rings.
  • May corner judge for black belt rings up to his/her current rank.
  • Must know all material required for a Level 1 judge, plus all color belt forms. Must know the black belt forms up to and including his/her current rank.
  • Must be knowledgeable in the weapons included in the association’s black belt curriculum for the ranks they are judging.
  • It is highly recommended that any person who desires to certify as a Level 2 Judge have prior tournament experience as a Level 1 judge.

A level 2 judging chevron is 1-inch wide red chevron to be placed on the right sleeve of the uniform jacket. This chevron should be placed 1/4 inch above the blue chevron. Wearing of chevrons is not required, but highly recommended.

Level 3

The following rules and guidelines apply to a Level 3 judge:

  • Must be at least 18 years of age and a 2nd Degree Black Belt Decided or higher.
  • May corner judge or center judge for color belt rings.
  • May corner judge black belt rings up to his/her current rank.
  • May center judge black belt rings up to one rank lower than his/her current rank.
  • Must know all material required for a Level 2 judge.
  • It is highly recommended that any person who desires to certify as a Level 3 judge have prior tournament experience as a Level 2 judge.

The level 3 judging chervon is 1-inch wide black chevron to be placed on the right sleeve of the uniform jacket. This chevron should be placed 1/4 inch above the red chevron. Wearing of chevrons is not required, but highly recommended.

Obtaining Judging Level Certifications

The requirements to certify or recertify for any level of judging chevron are the same.

  1.  Read the rules.
  2.  Receive practical training from their instructor.
  3. Students must take and pass with a score of 90% or better, an online test for the appropriate judging certification level.(visit http://www.atatesting.com for the online exam)
  4.  Have your instructor’s signature verifying that the students have the curriculum knowledge required for that judging level. 
  5. Attend and participate in a judging clinic which emphasizes the practical application of the rules and is taught by an RTTL or the person designated to fill that role. Please, bring a copy of the result sheet from the online test with your instructor's signature which verifies your curriculum knowledge.

At the completion of the chevron clinic, the RTTL will forward all passing scores via mail, fax or email to the tournament department at International Headquarters. At that time, the student may order, through their instructor, the appropriate chevron. The RTTL will not be responsible for collecting money or ordering chevrons for judges. All judging chevron clinics are at no cost to the student.

Only one level of judging chevrons can be obtained in any 30-day period.

Special Notes:

  • Instructors may go to this link ( https://ata.wistia.com/projects/dyxwvzvvgg ) for judging videos to facilitate training of their students.
  • Attending the black belt meeting the morning of a tournament WILL NOT fulfill the judging clinic attendance requirement for certification or recertification.
  • No black belt or Senior Rank should ask or imply that a RTTL should certify or recertify a judge for any level without that person attending a seminar and taking the test regardless of rank or experience.
  • Any student, regardless of rank, who, with their instructor’s permission, desires to attend a regional judging certification clinic for practical application of rules is permitted to participate.
  • All levels of certification must attend a clinic to renew their judging chevrons.
  • Current Level 3 chevrons are required for all persons requesting to test for 4th degree and above.

Responsibilities of Judges

During competition, judges will:

  • Remain at their assignment or assigned ring until relieved or replaced by the RTTL or their assistant.
  • Refrain from showing prejudice regardless of the students' school or region.
  • Recognize that small differences in form technique demonstrated by students from other schools and regions are natural and to be expected.
  • Be courteous and respectful to all competitors in both word and deed.
  • Ensure the safety and positive experience of every competitor. Ensure that each competitor abides by the official tournament rules.
  • Conduct each aspect of competition in the proper order. (See Order of Events)
  • Award the correct winners in each division his/her tournament award (trophy or medal).
  • Complete the required paperwork for each completed division, and return that signed paperwork to the Regional Tournament Team Leader or their assigns.
  • Be responsible for the areas surrounding their ring. In the interest of safety, the judges should make sure that spectators allow ample room around each ring for competition to progress unimpeded. Judgment as to what determines ample room is based on the type of competition taking place.
  • Judges who find difficulty in resolving a given problem should ask the Regional Tournament Team Leader or his/her assigns for rulings. 

Judging Ethics

At any ATA tournament, demonstrations of prejudice, lack of attentiveness in the ring, etc.,shall be cause for warnings and reprimands from tournament officials and the International Chairman of Tournaments. The use of cell phones, bluetooth devices, etc. used for the purpose of communication with non-tournament staff, such as sending and receiving text messages, receiving calls, etc. is strictly prohibited for judges as well as scorekeepers and timekeepers during the running of their ring. Failure to follow this rule will subject the offender to immediate disciplinary action by the RTTL. Additional disciplinary actions are determined by the International Chairman of Tournaments and may include mandatory suspension from all official activities, including judging, participating in tournaments and/or testing for two years.

A judge’s focus should be entirely on the competitors in their ring. Any such warnings shall become part of the judge’s permanent record. Three warnings within a one year period of time shall incur disciplinary actions to be brought forth by the International Chairman of Tournaments.

SECTION 4 - UNIFORMS, SAFETY EQUIPMENT & WEAPONS

Traditional White Dobok

An Official ATA uniform is acceptable for all tournament events.

An official traditional uniform MUST:

  • Be a white cross-over style top with matching white pants.
  • Be in good repair (no holes or frayed edges).
  • Have an official ATA patch.

An official traditional uniform MAY  include the following:

  • School patch.
  • Karate Kid or Tiny Tiger Victory patch. (School patch is permitted on top of Victory patch if it is round and the same size.)
  • ATA Tiger animal patch.
  • Official ATA program patches:
    • Black Belt Club
    • Master Club
    • Leadership Club.
    • ATA Legacy Patch.
  • Uniform Lettering:
    • If the Dobok is lettered, that lettering on the back of the uniform top must be in compliance with ATA standards.
    • All State, District & World Champion uniforms must be done by World Martial Arts to ensure validity.
    • No alterations of “years” or “patches” is allowed. Use of an "altered year or patch" on a uniform will nullify the awarding of any byes in sparring or combat sparring.
  • 4th Degree Black Belts or higher will wear a 1" black stripe on the side of each pant leg.
  • Undershirts are permitted for any member (male or female) but must be plain white. Undershirts are NOT a requirement for females, although a plain white garment is encouraged.
  • Other patches allowed are:
    • W.A.T.
    • E.L.T.A.
    • A-Team.
    • President’s Council on Physical Fitness.
    • Demo Team.
    • Competition Team.
  • Leadership Collar Stripes:
    • Red/White/Blue Collar for leadership students.
    • Blue stars (round patches) used to measure accomplishments set within school or club can be utilized with or without a collar stripe.
    • The following collars may be worn by any student in the leadership program only if and when the student has received a letter from ATA International Headquarters stating that they have been accepted into the Leadership Program.
  • Legacy/Instructor Collar Stripes:
    • Black/Red (All students, all belt ranks).
    • Black/Red/Black (All students, all belt ranks).
    • Solid Black (Black Belts only, minimum age of 18).
    • Instructor Collar Stripes shall be worn by Instructors only when they have received a letter from ATA International Headquarters informing them of their successful promotion to that collar level.
  • An official traditional uniform MUST NOT have the following:
    • A V-neck pullover top.
    • Stripes, patches, pockets, or anything else not listed above.

It is the ATA Licensee’s decision as to the amount of patches allowed on a uniform for his/her school. A traditional dobok IS REQUIRED to be worn by all competitors and judges during traditional forms, weapons, sparring and combat weapons sparring competition at ATA sanctioned tournaments. It MAY also be worn by competitors involved in ATA-Xtreme forms, ATA-Xtreme weapons, creative forms, creative weapons, and all types of Team competitions. (all members of a team must wear the same uniform)

ATA Creative / ATA-Xtreme Uniform

The official ATA Creative/ Xtreme Black Uniform – Must have the Xtreme logo on the back and Songahm Taekwondo in Korean calligraphy on the leg of the pants. This uniform may be worn by competitors or judges involved in either ATA-Xtreme or ATA-creative events and team synchronized form competition or team demo competition (as long as all members of the team are wearing the same uniform). It may not be worn in traditional forms, weapons, sparring or combat weapons sparring events regardless of whether or not the events are held on the same day. This uniform may not be altered in any way, including but not limited to rolled sleeves.

The New Adidas Black Uniform, used for Creative/Xtreme competitions, may be altered to shorten the sleeves as long as the altered sleeve reaches the midpoint of the competitor's forearm - meaning the overall length of the sleeve is no shorter than the midpoint between the bend of the wrist and the bend of the elbow.  If the sleeve is not altered, the competitor may roll the sleeve under one time.

SPECIAL NOTE:   If, in the opinion of the center judge, the altered sleeve does not reach the midpoint of the forearm, the competitor will be asked to change back into his/her white traditional uniform. At this time, the RTTL should be notified by the center judge. Failure to change uniforms will result in the competitor being removed from competitions.  Any fees paid for this competition will be forfeited by the competitor.

Team Sparring Uniform

Teams may elect to wear one of the new Adidas Team Uniforms beginning with the 2020-2021 season.  Uniforms may have Team Names, participant names and team titles sewn by WMA on the backs of the uniforms.  The team uniforms come in the colors, blue, black, red, or white.  All Team members must be in the same color uniform. Team uniforms MAY NOT be worn in traditional, creative, or xtreme competitions. 

ATA Tiger Uniform

There are two different traditional uniforms a tiger competitor may wear, the traditional uniform or the  ATA Tiger uniform. Only students competing as a tiger may wear the ATA Tiger uniform. The ATA Tiger uniform may not be worn in a junior division

Belts

For tigers competitors, only the following colors and marking are permitted:

  • The ATA Tiger belts.
  • Traditional color belts, see below.

For color belts, only the following colors and markings are permitted:

  • White, orange, yellow, camo, green, purple, blue, brown, red, red/black, black.(Some licensees use plain black belts instead of red/black belts for recommended black belt ranks.)
  • “Knowledge Stripes” (color belts only) MUST be black and are limited to a maximum of 3 stripes. Color belts MAY include either a black or gold stripe the length of the belt.
  • 1BR Black Belts MAY wear full black belts that do not have embroidery.
  • NO other belt colors, combinations, or stripe colors are allowed.

 For black belts, the following rules for markings apply:

  • Any and all embroidery MUST be gold.
  • If a rank indicator is used, it MUST be the bar or star patch from World Martial Arts.
  • Student’s name and rank MUST both be on the same end of the belt (left end when worn).
  • Black Belts MUST NOT have “Knowledge Stripes.”

Tang Bagee Pants

Tang Bagee (“hakama”) all black, including the pleats, pants may only be worn when competing with the Gum Do weapon. The judges will not pause the ring for a competitor to put on Tang Bagee pants. Pants should touch the top of the competitor’s instep. 

Shoes

The only shoes acceptable to wear with any ATA uniform, traditional, creative or xtreme, are those that are predominantly white or black sports shoes.  ATA sliders are acceptable. Other color sports shoes, flip flops, sandals, etc. are not acceptable.

For judges in their dobok, you must be barefoot or wearing athletic shoes. ATA sliders are not acceptable footwear for judges who are wearing a dobok.

Competitor Appearance During Competition

The following is a guide for proper appearance while competing at an ATA Tournament:

  • During the competition, competitors will wear clean, pressed ATA uniforms.
  • A competitor may roll under the sleeves of the traditional white uniform only one time and may not roll under the sleeves of the black creative and extreme uniform.
  • An ATA patch is required on each white uniform for competitors excluding white belts.
  • All other lettering, striping, and patches must be in good repair and positioned according to ATA guidelines.
  • NO JEWELRY is allowed once a student puts on their uniform or during competition. This includes watches, rings, earrings, or other piercing (male or female), necklaces, etc. Wedding rings may be worn if taped or the stone turned toward the palm as well as medical bracelets and mandated religious medals. This is for the safety of the wearer as well as other competitors. Master Instructors are allowed to wear their Master's ring while not competing.
  • Fingernails and toenails should be trimmed for safety as well.

Required Safety Gear

The following safety gear is required by all competitors in a sparring competition including combat weapon sparring:

  • Dipped foam or vinyl covered hand pads (all finger joints must be covered when a fist is made).
  • Dipped foam or vinyl covered foot pads (back of heel & all toes must be covered).
  • Dipped foam or vinyl covered martial arts style foam headgear with attached plastic face shield. (full coverage).
  • Attached face shield MUST be one of these six models:
    • ATA Champion face shield. (The Champion face shield is not allowed for combat weapon sparring competition)
    • Dyna Rival face shield.
    • ProForce Lightning Clear face shield.
    • Ventilator face shield.
    • Universal face shield.
    • Tiger Claw face shield.
  • Black martial arts style chest protector with an ATA logo. It must cover all ribs and sternum and be worn over the uniform top.
  • Mouthpiece (even while wearing the mandatory face shield).
  • Groin protector (cup and supporter) for males (NO age exceptions / MUST be worn under uniform pants).
  • No additional stickers, decorations or adornments may be added to the required safety gear.

All gear MUST be in good repair. (Torn, taped, or worn out gear will NOT be allowed). No one, including Instructors or parents, can give permission to alter the rules pertaining to the use and wearing of safety gear. A competitor who does not have all of his/her proper equipment may borrow from another competitor or purchase the equipment at the event if possible, however, it is not required that one student lend another student his/her gear.

Color of Safety Gear

The following guidelines apply to the color of safety gear:

  • Color belts MUST wear either red or black safety gear.
  • Black belts MUST wear BLACK safety gear.
  • Hand, foot and head gear must match in color.
  • All gear MUST have the ATA logo on it.

If a competitor has mismatched safety gear or gear of the wrong color, the student will be allowed to compete. It should be brought to the attention of the RTTL and a note made on the outside of the ring packet. The RTTL will address the issue with the student's instructor. That day, a competitor with illegal or mismatched gear may borrow from others in the ring so they may compete. If, after consulting with the competitor’s instructor, the student continues to arrive at tournaments with incorrect gear, they may be prevented from competing.

Types of Weapons

ATA competition weapons include the following:

  • Bahng Mahng Ee.
  • Ssahng Jeol Bong.
  • Jahng Bong.
  • Ssahng Nat (This is a double weapon only and may not be used as a single weapon during any type of competition).
  • Jee Pahng Ee (The rubber cap on the end must be removed).
  • Gum Do.
  • Oh Sung Do (This is a single weapon only. OSD flags are recommended to balance the sword properly. Flags should be 12-inch squares and colors should be yellow, red, blue).
  • Sam Dan Bong.

Style of Weapons

During a weapon's competition, there are three styles of weapons that may be used.

  • ATA Protech safety weapons. These weapons may be black, blue, or red in color.
  • ATA Xtreme weapons, including X5 weapons.
  • Exempted from classification:
    • Jahng Bong
    • Jee Pahng Ee
  • Gum Do Sword have three classifications:
    • ATA Protech safety sword (plastic sword)
    • ATA Xtreme sword
    • ATA branded sword that is an advanced Protech training sword.

Note:

  • The “collapsible” Ssahng Nat are considered Protech safety weapons.
  • An ATA approved Combat Bahng Mahng Ee may not be used in traditional forms competition.

Size of Weapons

  • Single or Double Bahng Mahng Ee (This does not include combat Bahng Mahng Ee):
    • If a competitor is under 60” tall, they MAY use either 21” or 25” weapon.
    • If a competitor is 60” or over, they MUST use a 25” weapon.
  • Single or Double Ssahng Jeol Bong:
    • If a competitor is under 60” tall, they MAY use either 9” or 12” weapon.
    • If a competitor is 60” or over, they MUST use a 12” weapon.
  • Jahng Bong:
    • Color Belts: Length of weapon MUST be at least shoulder height.
    • Black Belt Mid-Range: Length of weapon MUST be at least shoulder height.
    • Black Belt Long-Range: Length of weapon MUST be at least 4” taller than a competitor.
    • There is no maximum length for this weapon.
    • Minimum height requirement is suspended if it requires a Jahng Bong over 7 feet long
  • Ssahng Nat:
    • If a competitor is under 60” tall, they MAY use either 9” or 12” weapon.
    • If a competitor is 60” or over, they MUST use a 12” weapon.
  • Jee Pahng Ee:
    • No restrictions on size as long as the weapon is a functional length.
  • Gum Do:
    • Color Belts: No length requirement. See your instructor for appropriate length.
    • Black Belts: The act of sheathing and unsheathing the Gum Do is an integral aspect of a Gum Do presentation. The current lengths are 29, 32, 35, and 41 inches. The length of the weapon to be used is determined by the student standing at attention with the sword (not in the sheath) gripped at the guard and held downward and relaxed at a 45-degree angle. The tip of the sword should be approximately ½” to 1” from the ground. If the tip of the sword is more than 1 inch from the ground, the next length of Gum Do should be used.
    • A competitor must use the sheath that is provided with the weapon. Example: A 35-inch weapon cannot be used with a 41-inch sheath.
  • Oh Sung Do:
    • No restrictions on size.
  • Sam Dam Bong:
    • No restrictions on size.

Adornment Restrictions

Decorating a weapon is defined as:

Putting anything on the weapon that was not included in the manufacturing of the weapon. Using two weapons that are identical except for the color falls under the category of decorated weapons.

Altering the weapon is defined as:

Changing the weapon from its original size, shape, or form by any means.

  • For traditional weapons competition (all ranks),
    • The weapon must not be decorated in any fashion.
    • The weapon must not be altered in any fashion.
  • For creative & ATA-Xtreme weapons competition (all ranks)
    • The weapon MAY be decorated. If in the opinion of the RTTL, the decorations alter the weapon, the weapon will not be allowed to be used in competition. The decision of the RTTL is final.
    • Using two weapons that are identical except for the color falls under the category of decorated weapons. Therefore, it is allowed in creative and xtreme weapon competition, but not in traditional weapons competition.
    • The weapons must not be altered in any fashion.
  • Grip tape is allowed on all weapons, but must not alter the shape or reduce the size of the weapon. This includes combat weapons.
  • Weapons used in competition will not have “knowledge” stripes on them.

SECTION 5 - COMPETITION OPPORTUNITIES

Tournament Classifications

The ATA provides many opportunities for members to compete at a variety of levels. Currently, there are five classifications of tournaments. Check ATAMartialArts.com (www.atamartialarts.com) for the date of these events each year.

The classifications are:

  • Class AAA Tournament: World Championships hosted by the Grand Master of Songahm Taekwondo.
  • Class AA Tournament: Fall and Spring Nationals hosted by the Grand Master of Songahm Taekwondo and the Pan American Championships.
  • Class A Regional Tournament: Regional Tournaments hosted around the country by qualifying ATA Licensee, the European Championships, and the Asia Pacific Championships.
  • Class B Regional Tournament: Regional Tournaments hosted around the country by qualifying ATA Licensee.
  • Class C Tournament: In-School Tournaments hosted by individual ATA Licensee.

Aspects of Competition

There are currently eight different competitive events in which a student can compete at every ATA sanctioned tournament. Those events are:

  1. Traditional Forms.
  2. Traditional Weapons.
  3. ATA-Combat Weapons Sparring.
  4. Traditional Point Sparring / Traditional One-Steps.
  5. ATA-Creative Forms.
  6. ATA-Creative Weapons.
  7. ATA-Xtreme Forms.
  8. ATA-Xtreme Weapons.

There are currently two team competitions which will be held at every ATA sanctioned Regional, National, or World tournament. Those events are:

  1. Team Sparring
  2. Team Combat Sparring

 At National and World events there are two team creative/xtreme competitions. Those events are:

  1. Team Sync
  2. Team Demo

Participants are not required to compete in all aspects of competition. The student should consult his/her instructor to determine the extent of his/her participation at every event. An instructor or judge should not force or intimidate students into something in which they are not confident.

SECTION 6 - COMPETITION DIVISIONS AND RING ASSIGNMENTS

Permission / Eligibility to Compete

THIS APPLIES TO ALL STUDENTS REGARDLESS OF RANK

To compete in any sanctioned Songahm Taekwondo event, a competitor must comply with all three of the following requirements:

  1. Be a member in good standing of the ATA.
    • In good standing means that any member regardless of rank belt or leadership collar, must have a current membership with the organization.
    • Competitors should check their personal profile online to monitor their expiration date.  Anyone in a Champions Division who places 1st-2nd-3rd in any event will not have their points posted online by the tournament department. Those competitors will have the same 30-day period after the points are posted for that tournament to rectify the issue or forfeit the points they would have earned.  It is to be treated like any other point correction.  It is the responsibility of the competitor, or his/her guardian, or his/her instructor to check the profile of the competitor and update their ATA membership.  For questions on how to find one’s profile, members may send an email to tournaments@ataonline.com requesting help and include a contact phone number.  A member of the tournament department will call you to help as soon as possible upon receiving the request.
  2. Be a member and train regularly at an ATA licensed school or club.
  3. Have his/her instructor’s permission to attend and compete.

Failure to comply with any of the three requirements listed above will result in the competitor being denied the opportunity to compete, or if discovered after the completion of the event, any points or place winnings will be nullified. The eligibility requirement is applicable for all competition divisions including Traditional Forms, Traditional One-Step Sparring, Traditional Point Sparring, Traditional Weapons, ATA-Xtreme Forms, ATA- Xtreme Weapons, Creative Forms, Creative Weapons, Combat Weapons Sparring, Team Synchronized Forms, Team Demo Competitions and Team Sparring/Combat Competitions. This rule will also apply to all future competition divisions.

Division Definitions

Divisions are classified as either “CHAMPION” or “RECREATIONAL”.

Champion Divisions are a higher competitive level and provide the competitor opportunities to earn points towards State titles as well as eligibility toward District/World Tournament of Champion titles.  The first/second/third place winners, who are registered in the OFFICIAL ATA LEADERSHIP/LEGACY Program at ATA HQ, will be eligible to earn points, depending upon the tournament classification, and other guidelines.  See Championship Program.

Recreational Divisions, formerly referred to in previous seasons as NOVICE divisions, do not award points regardless of the competitors age, rank, or status in the ATA Official Leadership/Legacy Program. See RECREATIONAL BLACK BELT DIVISIONS for additional guidelines.

One can check their Program Status viewing their ATA Member Profile at www.ATAMartialArts.com. All Tiger Divisions are Recreational divisions.

 

Competition Rank

All Rank Competitors:

For all Regional/National/World tournaments student is considered to have earned their rank when either of the following criteria have been met:

  • Rank testing is submitted and processed by the ATA School Licensing Department.
  • The student is given his/her new rank belt by their instructor.

For the District Championships, the competitors rank/belt is determined by their Official Rank/Belt listed at ATA HQ by May 15th of the current tournament season. See District Championships for additional District guidelines.

Color Belt Competitors:

Color belt competitors must wear the proper belt and compete in the division for the rank that they currently hold regardless of how long they have held that rank. A student should take pride in what they have earned and be honored to wear the correct belt. If the student has been awarded a rank at their school, they should wear that belt even if the instructor has not “officially” sent in the results to headquarters.

Example #1:  A new camo belt is not comfortable with free-sparring; he/she may choose to only compete in the form and/or weapons portion of the competition. He/She should not wear their yellow belt.

1st Degree Recommended Black Belts may choose to either compete with either Color Belts or with Black Belts at any tournament. 

At each tournament, Recommended Black Belt students  have a choice to participate as a Color Belt or as a Black Belt but not as both. If a student participates as a Black Belt for one event in a tournament, then they must participate as a Black Belt for all events at that tournament. Conversely, if a student competes as a Color Belt for one event in a tournament, then they must compete as a Color Belt for all events at that tournament. (Traditional and Creative/Xtreme) If a Recommended Black Belt competes in a Color Belt Division, his/her TOP TEN State or World points for that tournament will not be moved to a Black Belt Division. 

The following Guidelines apply if a Recommended Black Belt Competes in a 1st Degree Decided Black Belt Division:

  1. For Traditional Forms Competition, he/she may perform either the Choong Jung 2, Choong Jung 1, or In Wha 2.
    1. He/she may not compete with a lower belt form or with the 1st Degree form, Shim Jun.
  2. If he/she chooses to compete in Traditional Weapons, he/she must compete with one of the 5 approved 1st Degree Decided Weapons forms. Those weapons forms are for:
    1. Single Ssahng Jeol Bong, Single Bahng Mahng Ee, Oh Sung Do, Gum Do, or Mid-range Jahng Bong
    2. The competitor may not replace one of these forms with the color belt 30-seconds of free style exhibition.
  3. In order to compete at Districts and or Tournament of Champions, in the 1st Degree division, the competitor must obtain his/her 1st Degree Black Belt Decided , and it must be recorded at ATA HQ  by May 15th of the competition season. Failure to meet this requirement will result in forfeiture of all State/World Top Ten Points, thus making the competitor ineligible for Districts and/or World TOC competitions as a black belt competitor.
  4. At the Worlds “Tournament of Champions” competition, the 1st Degree Form, Shim Jun, must be performed in order to earn a World Champion Title. No color belt form can be performed at the Worlds “Tournament of Champions”. 
    • The above guideline, referring to the form that may be presented, does not apply to the District Championships.

***Special Note:  If a 1st Degree Recommended Black Belt competes at a tournament in the 1st degree division, he/she may also compete in Team Sparring/Team Combat.  If he/she competes as a Color Belt at that tournament, he/she is not eligible to compete in Team Sparring/Team Combat at that tournament.       (See Team Sparring/Team Combat Rules)

Black Belts Competitors:

Competitors that are 1st Degree Decided Black Belt rank or higher who are planning to test for a higher rank during the current tournament season, MAY opt to compete in the next higher rank division. If a black belt chooses to compete in a higher rank division,and qualifies to compete at Worlds in the Tournament of Champions (TOC), he/she must obtain the Decided Rank of that division, and compete with one of the forms of that division at the TOC.  Failure to meet this requirement will result in forfeiture of that person’s eligibility to compete in the TOC.

See State and World Champion programs for additional information.

District Competition has specific rank rules and dates. Please see the District Championship section in these rules for exact information.

Competition Age

A competitor's competition age is determined by their age as of 11:59 pm, December 31st of the tournament season. The age that they are at on that date will indicate the division in which they should compete in throughout the entire tournament season.

General Procedure for Creating Divisions

Division breakdowns are handled by the Regional Tournament Team Leader or his/her assigns. The one rule that is standard is that divisions at regional tournaments will be limited to no more than 12 competitors.

The following procedure will be followed to divide divisions for regional tournaments.

  • The competitors will be called to the “staging area” or a specific ring. This area is usually separate from the main competition floor.
  • The divisions will be made according to the number of competitors in each of the age and rank groups.
  • NO ONE (Competitors, Parents, ATA Seniors, or Spectators) will attempt to influence the Regional Tournament Team Leader (or his/her assigns) in the forming of divisions.
    • This includes asking the RTTL to make adjustments to competition ring assignments to accommodate their travel schedule.

Black Belt Divisions

The divisions for the black belts are set by the International Tournament Department and are designed to give everyone an equal chance. Divisions are based on gender, the age of the competitors, and rank. At the conclusion of each tournament season, the International Chairman of Tournaments will evaluate the number of competitors in each division and determine if any changes are to be made for subsequent tournament seasons. The current Black Belt divisions for individual competition in Traditional Forms, Traditional Point Sparring, Traditional Weapons, Combat Weapons Sparring, Creative Forms and Weapons and Xtreme Forms and Weapons events are:

Junior Boys

8 & under

1st, 2nd & 3rd degrees

 

9 & 10

1st degrees

2nd & 3rd degrees

11 & 12

1st degrees

2nd & 3rd degrees

13 & 14

1st degrees

2nd & 3rd degrees

15, 16 & 17

1st degrees

2nd & 3rd degrees

                              

Junior Girls

8 & under

1st, 2nd & 3rd degrees

 

9 & 10

1st degrees

2nd & 3rd degrees

11 & 12

1st degrees

2nd & 3rd degrees

13 & 14

1st degrees

2nd & 3rd degrees

15, 16 & 17

1st degrees

2nd & 3rd degrees

 

Adult Men

18 - 29

1st degree

2nd & 3rd degree

4th & 5th degree

30 - 39

1st degree

2nd & 3rd degree

4th & 5th degree

40 - 49

1st degree

2nd & 3rd degree

4th & 5th degree

50 - 59

1st degree

2nd & 3rd degree

4th & 5th degree

60 - 69

1st, 2nd & 3rd degree

4th & 5th degree

 

70 - Up

1st, 2nd & 3rd degree

4th & 5th degree

                              

Adult Women

18 - 29

1st degree

2nd & 3rd degree

4th & 5th degree

30 - 39

1st degree

2nd & 3rd degree

4th & 5th degree

40 - 49

1st degree

2nd & 3rd degree

4th & 5th degree

50 - 59

1st degree

2nd & 3rd degree

4th & 5th degree

60 - 69

1st, 2nd & 3rd degree

4th & 5th degree

 

70 - Up

1st, 2nd & 3rd degree

4th & 5th degree

 

Guidelines for Dividing or Combining Champion Black Belt Rings

The black belt age divisions, 59 and under, will be strictly followed at National and World events. However, even at National/World events the 60 and above age divisions may be combined. On a regional level, however, it is often difficult to strictly follow these divisions. On a regional level, black belt divisions MAY be combined. The Regional Tournament Team Leader (or their assigns) has the ability to combine divisions where necessary. They will follow the guidelines given to them by the International Chairman of Tournaments.

Notes: 

  • For black belts, genders may not be combined.
  • Junior black belt age divisions must never be combined.
  • Junior black belt rank groups can be combined when one or more “rank group” within that age division does not contain at least five competitors. This type of combing is only applicable for competitors of the same age and gender. Consider the following cases:
    • Case 1: One rank group has only 1 competitor, and one rank group has 5 or more competitors. Combine for one ring of 1st/2nd/3rd degrees. If the combined ring has 13 or more competitors, line up by height and divide.
      • Recommended Black Belts choosing to compete in a 1st Degree decided ring, are included in this scenario and should be made aware of this possibility by his/her instructor.
    • Case 2: One rank group has 2 to 4 competitors, and one rank group has 5 or more competitors. Do not combine.
    • Case 3: Both rank groups have 1 to 4 competitors. Combine to make one ring of 1st/2nd/3rd degrees.
      • Recommended Black Belts choosing to compete in a 1st Degree decided ring, are included in this scenario and should be made aware of this possibility by his/her instructor.
    • Adult black belt age and rank divisions may be combined.
    • Adult rank groups may be combined at the discretion of the RTTL to facilitate competition.
    • At regional events, all black belt CHAMPION rings, junior, and adult, will not be divided unless there are 13 or more in the ring regardless of height/size of the competitor.
    • At National and World events, all black belt CHAMPION rings, junior, and adult, will not be divided unless there are more than 16 in the ring regardless of height/size of the competitor.

Black belts are vying for World Champion points and need to have the experience of going against the taller or shorter opponent throughout the year.

Recreational Black Belt Divisions

"Recreational" competition, previously referred to as NOVICE competition, is for any student wanting to compete but not yet ready to be placed in a "Champions Competitive" ring. This applies to black belts as well as color belts. The purpose of the Black Belt Recreational division is to give inexperienced black belt competitors the option to gain tournament experience in black belt divisions before moving into the Champions more competitive divisions.

A competitor, with guidance from his/her instructor, may choose to be placed in a recreational division indefinitely. Instructors should determine if a competitor should be placed in a "Recreational Division" ( no points awarded) or a "Champion Division" (points awarded).

  • Only 1st through 3rd degree black belts may choose to compete in a Recreational Black Belt Division.
  • Recreational Black Belts division winners will not receive any championship points toward State/World Rankings for placing in a recreational Division.
  • No State or World Championship points will be awarded in a recreational division. (even if one competes in the recreational division by any mistake or error).
  • A Recreational Black Belt Divisions will not be held in the same ring/time as the Champions competitive division.
  • All 8 Traditional/Creative/Xtreme events, in both Recreational and Champions competitions, will be held in the same ring.
  • A recreational competitor will be given the same opportunity to change into a Creative/Xtreme uniform prior to Creative and Xtreme events at the competitors in the Champions competition divisions.
  • A competitor may choose to compete in a Champion division at one tournament, and Recreational in another tournament. The competitor must choose for the entire tournament to either be in Recreational or Champion divisions. He/she may not be in both type competitions at the same tournament.
  • When judging Black Belt recreational divisions, the Center Judge does not give a zero for an incomplete form. The Center Judge’s score should reflect the overall presentation with no consideration as to the completeness of the form.

Dividing Recreational Black Belts Divisions

  • For all Recreational Black Belt divisions, 1st-3rd degrees ranks will be combined. For black belt juniors, age divisions nor genders will be combined.
  • For black belt adults, genders will not be combined. However, age divisions will be combined.
  • If the division has 13 or more competitors and is to be split, the RTTL will split the division in half. Rank will not be a consideration when making the split. Competitors will be split by height.
  • If there are 12 or fewer competitors, the ring will not be split.
  • If a ring of 12 has been sent to the competition floor (on deck) and an additional competitor arrives, the ring will not be split at that time.

Color Belt Divisions

In trying to promote color belt competition at regional events and provide them with a positive experience, color belt rings will be either classified as Recreational or Champion.

Champion Divisions Guidelines

“Champion” divisions are available for the student who wishes to compete at a higher competitive level and possibly earn points for the State/World Top Ten standings. Only color belts and/or black belts "officially" registered in the ATA Leadership Program or ATA Legacy Program at ATA International headquarters receive points for State top ten standings.

Dividing Champion Divisions - Color Belts

Due to the vast difference from region to region of the number of competitors at each event, it is not feasible to issue comprehensive rules concerning how the color belt divisions will be formed.

  • Regional Tournament Team Leaders (RTTL) will try whenever possible to follow the black belt junior and adult divisions for color belt competitions, meaning the split will not occur until there are 13 or more competitors in the ring.
    • If there are 12 or fewer competitors, the ring will not be split.
    • If a ring of 12 or fewer competitors has been sent to the competition floor (on deck) and an additional competitor arrives, the ring will not be split at that time.
      • The above guideline does not infer that the ring has been started. If the ring has been set, late competitors will just be added to the ring.  The ring WILL NOT be reset or split.
  • An RTTL will TRY to have no more than 3 different color belts in any one ring or more than a 5 inch height difference. Key word is TRY. The number of competitors and range of belts will help the RTTL to determine the range of height and the number of different color belts.
  • All Adult color belt rings will not be split unless there are 13 or more in the ring regardless of height/size of the competitors.
    • If there are 12 or fewer competitors, the ring will not be split. If a ring of 12 or fewer competitors has been sent to the competition floor (on deck) and an additional competitor arrives, the ring will not be split at that time. 
      • The above guideline does not infer that the ring has been started. If the ring has been set, late competitors will just be added to the ring.  The ring WILL NOT be reset or split.
  • An RTTL may, at their discretion, combine or alter color belt divisions to facilitate competition. Adults have a better understanding of the concept of competition and in general want more competition.
  • Junior Color belt rings will be combined to facilitate competition. The combination guidelines are handled by the RTTL of the event.

Special Note:

In Champion Divisions at Class A tournaments, for the purpose of awarding points, IF the number of competitors for an event (forms/sparring, weapons, etc.) determined a full division, PRIOR TO the split of the ring, full points will be awarded to all rings of that split division, regardless of the number of competitors in each separate ring.  Conversely, if the number of competitors did not meet the requirement for full points prior to the split, full points will not be awarded for that EVENT.

Recreational Division Guidelines - Color Belt

The purpose of the recreational color belt division (formerly referred to as novice division) is to give an inexperienced student the option to gain tournament experience before moving into the more competitive divisions.

The following guidelines apply for all Recreational division:

  • The choice to compete in the recreational division is made by the competitor and their instructor on a tournament-by-tournament basis.
  • No judge or other persons should comment on the level of competition in which any competitor participates regardless of the reason, such as the competitors age, rank or participant numbers etc..
  • A competitor may elect to compete in the recreational color belt division at a tournament even if they have previously competed in a competitive division.
  • The choice to compete in a recreational division applies to the entire tournament.
    • e. A competitor may not compete in the recreational division in some events and the competitive division in others.
  • A recreational competitor may compete in forms, traditional weapons, sparring/one-steps and combat weapons, but are not required to compete in any specific event.
  • Recreational division competitors may compete in creative and xtreme events, if he/she has competed in the corresponding traditional event.
    • This competition will take place in their traditional ring after the traditional events have been completed.
    • A recreational competitor will be given the same opportunity to change into a Creative/Xtreme uniform prior to Creative and Xtreme events at the competitors in the Champions competition divisions.
    • A recreational division competitor may not compete in the “competitive division” for Creative/Xtreme events at that tournament.
  • Recreational divisions are required at all sanctioned regional tournaments and must be advertised accordingly.
  • In a recreational division, traditional forms competition, the competitors are not required, but may, perform a complete form. Judges will base their score according to what the competitor demonstrates based on their traditional judging assignments. A competitor will not be penalized by any judge for an incomplete form nor will a competitor be given extra consideration for completing the entire form.
  • For traditional weapons competitions, the recreational division will run exactly as the Champion divisions. For sparring/one-step and combat weapons competitions, the recreational division will run exactly as the Champion divisions.
  • No State or World Championship points will be awarded in a recreational division. (even if one competes in the event by mistake).
  • Awards in “recreational” divisions are the same as those given in “competitive” divisions.

Dividing Recreational Divisions - Color Belts.

  • Recreational rings will be split if there are 13 competitors or more.
  • If there are 12 or fewer competitors, the ring will not be split.
  • If a ring of 12 has been sent to the competition floor (on deck) and an additional competitor arrives, the ring will not be split at that time.

SECTION 7 - TOURNAMENT STANDARD OPERATING PROCEDURES

Ring Size

Ring dimensions for competition shall be square and should measure in the range of 14 - 18 feet per side, depending on the type of division (adult or junior). For ATA Tiger divisions, the previously described rings can be “cut” in half, and two divisions may be run side-by-side.

Each ring should:

  • Have clearly marked boundary lines.
  • Have centering marks for sparring competition.
  • Be numbered.

Order of Events

The host of each tournament will publish the tournament schedule, provided by their Regional Tournament Team Leader, for that particular tournament. If the host has a particular schedule in mind, the host must submit their proposed tournament schedule to, and receive approval from, the Regional Tournament Team Leader before it is published to the general public.

 The order of competition at regional, national, and world events will be:

  1. Traditional Form Competition
  2. Traditional Weapons Competition
  3. Traditional One-Steps (if necessary)
  4. Combat Weapons Sparring
  5. Traditional Point Sparring.
  6. Creative Forms
  7. Creative Weapons
  8. Xtreme Forms
  9. Xtreme Weapons

At all sanctioned regional events, ATA-Xtreme and ATA creative competitions will immediately follow the traditional events for all divisions and be held in the same ring as the traditional events.

  • Awards for the Traditional events will be awarded at the conclusion of Traditional Point Sparring.
  • Competitors not continuing in Creative/Xtreme events will be dismissed at that time.
  • Competitors who are competing in Creative/Xtreme events will be given 5 minutes to change into their Creative/Xtreme uniform.
    • Competitors may not change clothes at ringside.
    • Those changing clothes should retire to a restroom or locker room to change clothes.
    • The center judge may extend the time period for changing clothes.Center Judges will take into consideration the age/rank of the competitors in making this decision.

Tournament Registration

For regional tournaments, all competitors are encouraged to pre-register with their instructor. The following guidelines apply to all registrations and registration cards:

  • It is the responsibility of the competitor to obtain a registration card from their instructor, and with his/her guidance, fill out the registration card fully. This includes but is not limited to their Name, ATA number, Date of Birth, Age, Rank, School Number, and the Name of their instructor.
  • If the student is competing at an event that their instructor cannot attend, as long as they have their instructor’s permission, they may register at the event.
  • If the ATA membership number is absent or incorrect on the registration card, it is the responsibility of the Instructor of the competitor within five business days after the event to contact ATA International Headquarters with the missing or incorrect number to avoid the forfeiture of points.

To better prepare for world and national tournaments, all competitors, regardless of their rank, are asked to pre-register to compete. All registration cards must be filled out completely. ADULT BLACK BELTS, who register onsite at a world or national event, will be charged a “late” fee of $50 in addition to the on-site registration fees. Adult black belt competitors will also only be eligible for ½ regular points.

(Half points will be rounded up. For example: A “late” competitor earns ½ of 9 points in his/her ring. The 4.5 points will be rounded up to reflect 5 points earned).

Arrival and Competition Times

It is recommended that each participant arrives before opening ceremonies in time to be on the main floor to line up and bow-in before the competition. However, many regional and all national and world events now post the approximate competition times for each division. In those instances, each color belt competitor should arrive at the tournament site approximately 30 to 45 minutes before their posted competition time unless otherwise notified in the tournament information packets. All Black Belts age 15 and older should arrive in time to attend the Black Belt meeting prior to opening ceremonies being held.  If for some unforeseen legitimate reason, a competitor is late for his/her division, the center judge will allow the competitor to enter the division if possible based on the following:

  • The Regional Tournament Team Leader approves the entry and will be called to the ring to oversee the proper insertion of the competitor into the competition ring.
  • The rule governing late competitors is as follows:
    • If traditional forms competition has started but has not been closed, the competitor will be allowed to compete in the traditional forms.
      • The inserted competitor will perform next.
      • Regardless of where the inserted competitors name is placed on the scoresheet, this late competitor will be called up next to compete. No additional time will be given for warm-up, stretching etc.
        • If, in the opinion of the RTTL, the competitor was deliberately late to a ring to gain an advantage, or is one who is habitually late for competition, the RTTL will deny the competitor from this competition. This decision will also adversely affect the competitors’ Creative/Xtreme competitions either in eligibility to compete, or in points being removed if that aspect of competition has already occurred.

 Traditional forms competition is closed when one of the following events have occurred:

  • If there are any ties, when the tie run offs have begun.
  • If there are no ties, when the first weapons competitor has been called up to compete.
  • If traditional forms competition has been closed and traditional weapons competition has started, the competitor will not be allowed to compete in the forms event, but can be added to traditional weapons. If traditional weapons competition has already begun, the inserted competitor will perform next. Regardless of where the inserted competitors name is placed on the scoresheet, this late competitor will be called up next to compete. No additional time will be given for warm-up, stretching etc.
  • Traditional weapons competition is closed when one of the following events have occurred:
    • If there are any ties, then when the tie run offs have begun.
    • If there are no ties:
      • In a ring with one-step sparring, when the first one-step sparring match has begun.
      • In a ring without one-step sparring, when the first combat weapons sparring match has begun.
    • If the traditional weapons competition has been closed, the competitor will not be allowed to compete in the traditional forms or weapons event, but may compete in combat weapons and one- step or sparring.
    • If the first round of one-steps has started, and there are no byes available in the first round, no late entries will be allowed in this event. The bracket will not be re-written, to create byes to accommodate a late competitor if the first round has started.
    • If the first round of combat weapons sparring has started, and there are no byes available in the first round, no late entries will be allowed in this event. The bracket will not be re-written, to create byes to accommodate a late competitor if the first round has started. The late competitor may, however, compete in the one-step and/or traditional sparring.
    • If the first round of traditional sparring has started, and there are no byes available in the first round, no late entries will be allowed in this event. The bracket will not be re-written, to create byes to accommodate a late competitor if the first round has started.

At that time, the Regional Tournament Team Leader will determine if there is another ring available. At national and world events, that decision will be made by the National Tournament Director or his/her assigns.

If, in the opinion of the RTTL, the student has purposefully arrived late in order to receive an advantageous position, the RTTL may refuse entry into any competition.

For the sake of competition, the Regional Tournament Team Leader will make every effort to see that a junior competitor is allowed to compete. If their ring is completed the Regional Tournament Team Leader MAY, create another ring of competition for the purpose of awarding trophies. These specially created rings will not receive points in the World or State Champion Top Ten standings.

Rule exception:  If the RTTL determines that it was the fault of the RTTL or his/her staff as to why the competitor missed his/her ring, and a special ring is created, the competitor will receive points.  The maximum points given in this instance is 3.

Ring Procedures

  The following procedures are indicative of how each ring is to be run at every ATA tournament:

  • Collect all the competitor registration cards.The center judge should re-count the number of competitors and the number of registration cards to ensure these numbers match.
    • The center Judge should not physically “warm-up” the competitors in any manner.
  • To officially start the division, the competitors will line up and bow-in to the judges assigned.
    • The center judge will introduce the judges to the competitors and announce who is judge A, and who is judge B, and what area of form competition each judge is scoring.
    • While facing the competitors, judge A will be on the left-hand side of the center judge and judge B will be on the center judge’s right.
  • Traditional Forms competition
  • Traditional Weapons competition.
    • A traditional weapons check should be performed by the judges for all competitors participating in traditional weapons competition prior to the start of weapons competitions. See Weapons check below.
  • Traditional One-Step
  • Combat Weapons Sparring competition.
    • A discrete “groin cup-check” should be performed by one of the male judges for all male competitors participating in Combat Weapons Sparring and/or Traditional Point Sparring competitions. Prior to the Combat Weapons competition the designated judge should bring all male competitors who have chosen to compete in either combat sparring or traditional sparring together to form a tight circle. At that time, the male judge should ask each competitor to tap on his own cup so that the judge can hear the “knock”.  No person, judge or competitor, should tap on another person’s cup for any reason.  See Groin Check procedures.
  •  Point Sparring competition.

Special Notes: Sparring and or Combat Sparring

  • All judges have equal authority to call points or penalties. A center judge cannot overrule a call by a corner judge, except through his vote on a point or warning, which has no more weight than each of the other two judges’ votes.
  • No judge is allowed to alter, add, or modify any ATA rules.
  • If anyone (Senior, Parent, Competitor, Spectator, or Judge) feels there is a problem in a ring, that person should notify the National Tournament Director or Regional Tournament Team Leader with the concern. The National Tournament Director or Regional Tournament Team Leader will decide if any changes should occur.
  • Announce Awards: Awards should now be given for the traditional events in the following manner:
    • Call each competitor by name, have them step forward, and award the commemorative tournament pin.
    • For those competitors who placed in an event, the individual competitor should be called forward and awarded placement medals in the following order: third place, second place, and first place. This same process should be repeated for each individual event.
    • Each judge should shake the hand of each competitor and congratulate them after the awarding of the trophies/medals.
  • To officially end the traditional division competitions, the competitors will line up and bow out to the judges in that ring.
    • PRIOR to dismissing the ring, the Center judge will announce for all those continuing in Creative or Xtreme events to remain standing in line.
      • They will then dismiss those not continuing in the Creative or Xtreme competition.
    • Announce to competitors and parents the current time, and the number of minutes those competitors who would like to change clothes.
    • Dismiss those continuing to either change or take a break while others change.
  • Double check paperwork for the traditional events and return it to the Tournament Secretary.

AT THE CONCLUSION OF THE TIME ALLOTTED TO CHANGE CLOTHES,UNIFORMS, THE CREATIVE/XTREME COMPETITIONS WILL BEGIN IN THE SAME RING.

  • Each RTTL will make every effort, but are not required, to switch judges, during the time allotted to change clothes.
    • This does not mean the judges are dismissed.
  • Creative Forms Competition
  • Creative Weapons Competition
    • A weapons check should be performed by the judges for all competitors participating in Creative weapons competition prior to the start of this competition. See Weapons check below
  • Xtreme Forms Competition.
  • Xtreme Weapons Competition
    • A weapons check should be performed by the judges for all competitors participating in Xtreme weapons competition prior to the start of this competition. See Weapons check below
  • Announce Awards: Awards should now be given for the Creative/Xtreme events in the following manner:
    • For those competitors who placed in an event, the individual competitor should be called forward and awarded placement medals in the following order: third place, second place, and first place. This same process should be repeated for each individual event.
    • Each judge should shake the hand of each competitor and congratulate them after the awarding of the trophies/medals.
  • To officially end the Creative/Xtreme division competitions, the competitors will line up and bow out to the judges in that ring.
    • No additional Commemorative pins will be given in the Creative/Xtreme rings. Competitors received their commemorative pins at the conclusion of the traditional event competition.

White/Orange/Yellow Belt - Sparring and Combat Eligibility

All W/O/Y belts will be allowed to compete in traditional sparring and combat weapons sparring as well as traditional one-steps at all tournaments.

For traditional sparring, W/O/Y belt students may choose to:

  • Compete in traditional one-steps or
  • Compete in traditional sparring or
  • Compete in both traditional sparring and one-steps.
    • If a W/O/Y belt chooses to compete in both traditional sparring and one-steps additional fees may apply.
    • For W/O/Y belts competing in both Sparring and One-step Sparring, points will be given to the higher placement of the events. The competitor will not receive points in both events at the same tournament.  For details on how the points will be awarded for placement if the competitor chooses to compete in both sparring and one-step sparring, see Champion program.

A competitor who chooses to do both one-steps and traditional sparring will have an additional competition fee unless this event is their 6th/7th/8th/or 9th event. In that case, the traditional sparring will be at no charge.

Genders will be separated only for traditional point sparring and combat weapons sparring.

Example: There are five boys and five girls combined to form a ring at a tournament. They will compete together for forms, weapons, and one-step sparring. However, the genders will be separated for traditional sparring and combat sparring as well as all creative and xtreme events.

Weapons Inspections

The center judge will call for each weapons competitor to come forward and present the weapon intended for use in that competition.  The weapon shown will be inspected to insure that:

  1. Based on the competitor's rank, they are eligible to compete with that type of weapon.
  2. The weapon is an appropriate style for their rank and competition event.
  3. The weapon is the appropriate size for the height of the competitor.
  4. The weapon does not violate weapon adornment restrictions in any way.
  5. The weapon is in good repair and safe to use in competition.
  • If in the opinion of the judges, it is determined that the weapon has been altered before the competition takes place, the competitor will be allowed to replace the weapon.
  • Presenting an appropriate weapon for the weapon inspection, then exchanging it for an incorrect size, type or style after the inspection process will result in a disqualification of the competitor. This type of behavior will be brought to the attention of the International Chairman of tournaments, and additional sanctions/penalties may apply.
  • If a weapon breaks during competition it is not the fault of the judge who performed the weapons check.
  • The weapon is the responsibility of the competitor.

Groin Protector Check Procedures

All male competitors must wear a protective cup prior to the beginning of combat or sparring competition.

  • For male all male divisions, prior to the beginning of combat and/or traditional sparring competitions, the judges will perform a discrete groin protector cup check. One of the adult male judges shall gather the competitors competing in either traditional or combat sparring together, forming a tight circle, and ask each person to tap on their protective groin cup so that the judge can hear the knocking sound. No judge should perform this task for the competitor. If all three judges are female, they should ask an adult male black belt judge nearby to do the groin protector check. Any male competitor found not to be wearing a protective groin cup shall be instructed to put one on promptly.
  • Any competitor in this ring who is not wearing a protective groin cup, or has not returned from putting on their protective cup, at the time they are called to spar, will forfeit the match.

Injuries

Every effort has been made to ensure that competing in a Songahm Taekwondo tournament is as safe as possible. However, injuries may occur. The following guidelines will be applied to all injuries during competition:

  • If a competitor is injured the judge will have him/her lie down (or remain where he/she has fallen).
  • Keep the competitor as still as possible, and DO NOT remove the headgear.
  • The medical team on site will be called to the ring.
  • If there was no blow to the head or face, the competitor may be asked to remove his/her mouthpiece.
  • Until the medic arrives at the ring, every effort will be made to help the competitor stay calm, making sure he/she is advised not to move around.
  • If the competitor has asked for multiple injury “time outs” as a way to rest, and/or calm themselves in order to continue, the center judge at his/her sole discretion, may stop the competitor from continuing. In these instances involving Sparring or Combat matches, the competitor will forfeit the match.

The injured competitor will only be allowed to continue when a certain criterion is met. The criteria are as follows:

  • It is the opinion of the medical team that he/she will not be further injured by continuing. The decision of the medical team, the day of the event, is final, and may not be overruled by a parent or instructor.
  • If the competitor is under 18 years old, he/she MUST ALSO receive permission from his/her parents (if present), instructor (if present).
  • If a health-care professional is not available, ALWAYS err on the side of caution.

Injuries and Concussions: ALWAYS err on the side of caution and safety of the competitor. Judges are not expected to “diagnose” a concussion, as that is the job of an appropriate health-care professional. If an appropriate health-care professional on the side determines that the athlete HAS NOT suffered a concussion, the athlete may return to competition. If an appropriate health-care professional determines an athlete HAS suffered a concussion, that athlete MAY NOT return to competition that day under any circumstances. No one may “overrule” the health-care professional. This includes parents, instructors, competitors, guardians, other judges, and spectators.

Tournament Awards

Placement Awards for Competition

There will be three places awarded in all Competitive and Recreational divisions based on the criteria below for Traditional Form, Traditional Weapon, ATA-Xtreme Form, ATA- Xtreme Weapon, Creative Form, Creative Weapon, Synchronized Team Form and Team Demo competitions. They are as follows:

  • 1st Place - Awarded to the competitor/team with the highest cumulative point total.
  • 2nd Place - Awarded to the competitor/team with the next highest cumulative point total.
  • 3rd Place - Awarded to the competitor/team with the third highest cumulative point total.

Combat Weapons Sparring, One-step Sparring, and Traditional Point Sparring competitions will culminate with the following awards given:

  • 1st Place - Awarded to the person who wins the final round of competition.
  • 2nd Place - Awarded to the person who reaches the final round, but is defeated.
  • 3rd Place - Awarded to the winner of the 3rd place match which will be held between the two competitors defeated in the semi-final matches.

Tournament Commemorative Pins

  • Each competitor will receive a unique tournament commemorative pin. These pins will be awarded to each competitor prior to any placement medals.
  • Disqualified competitors are still eligible for commemorative awards.

Competitor Conduct / Coaching / Correctable Errors / Attitude  

Correctable Errors

As in most competitions, there exists the possibility of "correctable errors". Judgment calls such as scores given or points called in sparring are not considered a correctable error. An instructor/parent/competitor may ask for clarification if they believe a "correctable error" has been made. The Regional Tournament Team Leader will be responsible for this determination, and his/her decision will be final. If an instructor/parent/or competitor would like to discuss the decision of the Regional Tournament Team Leader, they may do so after the conclusion of the tournament. This should occur through the proper "chain of command."

Video Review

A Regional Tournament Team Leader, or National Tournament Director is allowed, but not required, to review video for the purpose of reversing a “Correctable Error”.  Video review will not occur on any judgement call.  EXAMPLE:  After looking at all 3 scores in sparring, the Center Judge calls, one point red, but the scorekeeper inadvertently awards the point to white.  This is a correctable error.  Assuming the video shows all aspects of the call, the RTTL may award the appropriate point.  The review of whether a competitor actually scored a point, is not a correctable error.  There is no “instant replay”.  Judgment calls are final, and not subject to review.

No Coaching

It is the responsibility of the judges to ensure that no one is allowed to receive coaching during any competition except the team sparring/combat events. There will be no coaching from the sidelines by anyone, including color belts, black belts, instructors, family members or friends. This no-coaching rule is in effect from the time the competitors are “bowed into their ring” through the time they are “bowed out of their ring.” This includes quietly telling a student what to do between matches in sparring, or before a tie-breaker in forms/weapons. Cheering and offering encouragement is indeed allowed and encouraged. A competitor receiving coaching will be penalized in the following manor:

  • 1st offense- Competitor shall receive a noncontact warning.
  • For 2nd and subsequent offenses - Opponent will be awarded a penalty point.
  • The person coaching shall be removed from the ring area after the 2nd offense. Failure to leave the ring area, for the coaching offense, will result in disqualification of the competitor.

Competitor Attitude and Conduct

One of the most important tenets of Songahm Taekwondo is the concept of DISCIPLINE. While it is important to show the discipline of being a good loser, it is equally important to exhibit the discipline of being a good winner. Songahm Taekwondo students are known for their discipline, courtesy, and respect. Any exhibition of disgust, frustration or dissatisfaction with the outcome of competition will not be tolerated. This includes leaving the ring or ring area before awards are given and the ring being formally dismissed. Neither will over-exuberance with winning be allowed.

Unsportsmanlike Conduct Warnings

Unsportsmanlike Conduct Warnings are at the sole discretion of the center judge. Unsportsmanlike conduct warnings may, in the sole discretion of the center judge, result in a penalty point and/or disqualification.

  • If the competitor's family, friends or fans engage in such conduct, then also at the discretion of the center judge, a competitor may be given an unsportsmanlike conduct warning. All penalties would also apply.
  • If a competitor is disqualified for unsportsmanlike conduct after places are awarded, that competitor will forfeit his/her place. Other competitors will not move up in place if this occurs.
  • At the discretion of the International Chairman of Tournaments, unsportsmanlike conduct may result in the loss of all or part of one’s accumulated top ten points, or being barred from future tournaments. The offender will receive official written notification from the International Chairman.

SECTION 8 - TRADITIONAL FORMS COMPETITION

Admissible Competition Forms

Color Belts

Color belts that participate in the forms portion of the competition will demonstrate the form selected by their instructor. For integrity reasons, the instructor should not have a color belt student do a form that would be considered below his/her current ability level. However, competitors will not be questioned by the judges about the appropriateness of the form a color belt demonstrates.

There will not be any special consideration given regarding the color of the belt the students are wearing and the form with which they compete (neither higher scores for a higher level form nor lower scores for a lower level form). The students will be judged according to their performance in comparison to the others in their division that day.

If a Recommended Black Belt Competes in a 1st Degree Decided Black Belt Division, he/she must perform with either Choong Jung 2, Choong Jung 1, or In Wha 2 forms. He/she may not compete with a lower belt form or with the 1st Degree form, Shim Jun.

Black Belts

Black Belts may not compete with a form designated for a rank higher than their current rank, even if they are “competing up” for the tournament season.

1st Degree Black Belt competitors:

  • Must compete with Shim Jun form after six months from the date of their successful decided rank test. This is commonly referred to as the “6-month rule”. Judges will assume that the form presented qualifies under this rule. This is an integrity issue.  Judges who feel that the 1BD competitor has been competing with a “color belt” form longer than 6 months should report this to the RTTL at the event. The RTTL will then report this to the ATA International Chairman of Tournaments at ATA headquarters.
    • The judge should not question or make comments to the competitor as to his/her time in rank. Nor should the judge reflect his/her concern in the score given to the competitor at that event.
  • The lowest forms that can be performed in a 1st Degree Decided Black Belt ring is Choong Jung 2, Choong Jung 1, or In Wha 2.

2nd Degree Recommended Black Belt competitors:

  • Must compete with Shim Jun.

2nd Degree Decided Black Belts and higher competitors:

  • May choose to do any of the black belt forms up to and including the form designated for their rank during the regular tournament season.
  • The lowest form that can be performed is Shim Jun.

Note: Please see the District and World Championship section of the rule for additional information on selecting the appropriate form for your competitive goals.

Judges Area of Concentration

Scoring of traditional forms is divided into three judging aspects. Judge A, Judge B, and Center Judge. Each judge is scoring a different aspect of the competitor’s presentation. An important aspect of judging forms is not letting personal preferences concerning techniques influence scoring. It is not feasible to expect every member of Songahm Taekwondo to do every technique the same. Differences in body styles, age, and other criteria can make a difference in how an Instructor may teach a student certain techniques. Form judges must base their score on the overall look and effectiveness of the techniques. The best “rule of thumb” is to watch the competitor as a judge and not as an Instructor. When seated, Judge A will be on the left hand side of the Center Judge and Judge B will be on the Center Judge’s right hand. While judging one’s respective areas, scoring should be based on the following ten attributes. The competitor who can demonstrate the highest quality and the most consistent of these attributes should be given the highest score.

  1. "Base"- Foundation of every technique (Base foot when kicking, starting point for hand techniques.)
  2. "Trajectory"- The path a technique will take from point A to point B.
  3. "Follow Though"-Going beyond the target. (full extension of technique).
  4. "Joint Position"- Proper setup of all joints for a technique.
  5. "Balance"- Body alignment, posture, proper base, and eye contact.
  6. "Precision"- Hitting the exact target with the proper point of contact.
  7. "Speed"- Time it takes for your technique to go from point A to Point B. Relaxing the muscles and exploding.
  8. "Reaction Force"- The counter balance. to each movement.
  9. "Power"- Body rotation and input of the body mass through acceleration.
  10. "Automatic Reflex"- Proper repetition allows you to react effortlessly.

Corner Judge A

Will grade only stances and kicks.

For stances, the judge should look for:

  • Proper Base to include correct
    • Length
    • Width
    • Weight distribution
    • Foot position

 For kicks, the most important things to judge are proper:

  • Trajectory
  • Follow through
  • Joint position
  • Balance
  • Power

 Note:

  • The height of the kicks should match the competitor's body dimensions. (i.e. their solar plexus for mid-section kicks and head level for high section kicks)
  • Judge A will only judge the techniques that are shown and will not make point deductions for moves left out, the wrong type of kick or an incomplete form. Those areas are the responsibility of the center judge.

Corner Judge B

Will grade only hand techniques.

For hand techniques, the most important things to judge are proper:

  • Trajectory
  • Joint Position
  • Speed
  • Reaction Force
  • Power

Judge B will only judge the techniques that are shown and will not make point deductions for moves left out, the wrong type of block or strike, or an incomplete form. Those areas are the responsibility of the center judge.

Center Judge

Will grade the overall form presentation.

The center judge will score the overall presentation of the form. In addition to the criteria of Judge A and B, the additional criteria for the center judge are proper:

  • Memory (Automatic Reflex)
  • Rhythm & Timing
  • Attitude & Enthusiasm

Score Keeper / Time Keeper

The scorekeeper and timekeeper at an ATA tournament play an important part in the overall running of a ring. While these volunteers are not considered to be judges, they have responsibilities and obligations that must be followed. The Center Judge should select a student who is in dobok to fill the role of the scorekeeper or timekeeper. Street clothes are not considered appropriate attire for this position.

The Scorekeeper/Timekeeper should:

  • Make sure that his/her duties in the ring are understood, and ask the Center Judge for any clarifications necessary.
  • Be appropriately dressed in a white or black ATA uniform.
  • Write legibly and completely fill in any and all scores given by the Center Judge. Repeat the score back to the Center Judge in a loud, clear voice.
  • Make every effort to get the Center Judge's attention if he/she becomes unclear with a score or time issue at any point during the competition.
  • Pay complete attention to the ring in which they are working.
  • Refrain from cheering for any particular competitor. He/she should remain unbiased as if he/she were one of the three judges.

Traditional Form Competition Procedures

The following procedures are indicative of how each ring is to be run at every ATA tournament:

  • The Center Judge will turn the cards face down and shuffle them so that the competitors are called in a random manner. It is not necessary for all names to be written on the scoresheet before beginning the forms section of the competition,
    • At national and world events, the scoring sheets are pre-printed. The order of the competitors called will be based upon the directions given by the National Tournament Director the day of the event.
  • To begin form competition, the center judge will draw one card at a time and call the competitor’s name. He/she will hand the card to the scorekeeper so the scorekeeper can record the name while the person is doing his/her form. It is not necessary to fill in all of the competitor names before starting the competition. The scorekeeper will do this while the competitor is demonstrating the form to the judges. As an additional courtesy to the competitors and their families, the Center Judge should also announce the competitor “on deck” (meaning the next competitor up for competition).
  • When their name is called, the competitors will answer, “Yes, Sir/Ma’am”, run to the center of the ring, stand at attention, and wait for the judges’ directions. They will follow the judge's instructions, and when given the command to begin, will demonstrate their form on their count.
  • They will hold the position of the last movement until given the command to return and will not leave the ring until dismissed.
  • In every division, the first three competitors will demonstrate their form, one at a time, and then be dismissed to the side. This will allow the judges to evaluate the ring by determining the general ability of the competitors present in the ring. At the conclusion of the third competitor's demonstration of his/her form, all three competitors will be brought back and given scores. Every subsequent competitor will be scored immediately following the performance of their form.
    • Competitors should keep in mind that scores vary depending on the level of competitors in the ring on that particular day.
  • The Center Judge will announce scores from his/her left, calling out Judge A’s Score, then the Center Judge's score, and finally Judge B’s score. Judges should keep their scores visible until the scorekeeper has written the scores correctly, and repeated the scores back to the Center Judge for verification.
  • After every competitor has had an opportunity to demonstrate his/her form, the center judge will check the addition of the scores and determine if there are any ties.
  • If a tie in scores should occur for first, second or third place, use the run-off system. (See Resolving Ties.)

Determining and Administering a Score

It is important to understand how to determine a competitor’s score.

  • The first three competitors will complete their form before being scored. This gives the judges a base for their scores.
  • Each judge will give a score ranging from 0 through 9.
    • The score is a comparison score based on the competitors in that ring, on that day, and not based upon the excellence of the form presented.
      • Competitors should keep in mind that scores from one tournament may be completely different from another tournament depending upon the level of the competitors in that particular ring on that particular day.
    • It is highly possible that the scores from each judge may greatly vary because each judge is scoring a different part of the performance and the scores do not have any relationship to each other.
    • This method of scoring also gives the competitors instant feedback on what part of their form may need improvement.
  • There are no boundary restrictions during forms competition.
    • Competitors will not be penalized for stepping beyond the ring boundaries, nor will they be penalized for adjusting their position to avoid obstacles, people, or the ring boundaries. Competitors may not realize that they will not be penalized for stepping beyond the ring boundaries and may adjust to prevent this. It is also possible that equipment bags, spectators, etc., may be in their way and they should be permitted to adjust to avoid these obstacles.
  • There are no specific time restrictions for completion of a form.
    • When forms are described and taught, the written material has a suggested time frame in which the form should be performed. This suggested time frame is there for the purpose of helping the student understand the speed and flow of the form. It is not included as judging criteria to be used for tournament competition.

For rings where there are three or fewer competitors

  • Instead of giving scores, each judge will point their choice for the top score according to their assignment. (A for Kicks/Stances, B for Hand Techniques & Blocks, C for Overall Presentation)
  • The score keeper will record the following scores:
    • 1st place : 9 for all judges
    • 2nd place: 8 for all judges
    • 3rd place: 7 for all judges
  • If all the judges point to a different competitor, then the judges will follow the normal tie-breaker procedure, beginning with each competitor repeating his/her form. During the tie-breaker, each judge will be looking at the overall presentation of the forms.
  • A single competitor should be given the scores of 9, 9, 9, due to them being the best in the ring that day.
  • All participants in all competitive divisions, regardless of belt or rank, will be given 1 attempt to present his/her form.
    • In every ring, regardless of the number of competitors, a competitor who presents an incomplete form will receive a score of 0 (zero) from the center judge. Judge A and Judge B will score the competitor following the normal guidelines for a complete form and not deduct points based on the completeness of the form.
      • This rule is in effect for all tournaments beginning in the 2020-2021 season for both Champion and Recreational divisions

Score Range & Meaning

The meaning of the scores are as follows:

9 = Considered among the best of the group.

6 thru 8 = Better than the average of the group.

5 = The group average.

1 thru 4 = Below the group average.

0 = Incomplete (only to be given by the center judge on the incomplete first attempt.

 

Notes:

  • All competitors are allowed only 1 chance to complete their form.Students who are unsure if they know their form should, in consultation with their instructor, consider competing in the recreational division for that tournament.
  • An incomplete form will receive a score of 0 (zero) from the Center Judge.
  • Corner judges should always base their score based on the quality of technique shown in comparison to the other competitors that day in that ring.

Incomplete Form

An incomplete form is defined as a competitor leaving out at least four or more consecutive moves or stopping any time during the form and not continuing the presentation.

  • If a competitor omits a one or two techniques, turns in the wrong direction, or performs an incorrect technique, this would NOT be classified as an incomplete form.
    • The emphasis of the organization’s teaching is on the quality of technique rather than solely memorization. Only the Center Judge will deduct points based on presentation and the corner judges should not deduct for this type of mistake.

During form competition, the Center Judge may assist a competitor in completing their form through verbal cues and possible physical demonstrations if the competitor is unable to complete their form. This is done solely to help the self-esteem of the competitor by giving them the opportunity to finish their form in front of their peers and audience.

  • The Center Judge must then score the form as if it were incomplete, giving a score of 0 (zero), which would be the same as if the judge did not offer assistance and the competitor had not completed their form. The corner judges should not deduct for this assistance. Corner Judges only judge the techniques demonstrated.

Example: A competitor demonstrating Songahm #3 leaves out both knife hand high blocks, or does sidekicks in place of the two round kicks, but does correct techniques during the rest of the form. The Center Judge, who is responsible for the overall presentation of the form, may make score deductions for the competitor doing the wrong techniques or leaving out techniques, while Judge A and Judge B should give scores that only reflect the quality of the techniques demonstrated when compared to the other competitors.

Resolving Ties

Should two or more competitors have the same score for first, second, or third place, there is a tie in the division.

  • Ties are to be run off rather than decided in conference.
  • The tied competitors will be asked to do their form again, individually.
  • Each competitor must do the same form they did originally.
    • A competitor that does not repeat the same form will forfeit the tie-breaker.
  • All three judges will now be judging the entire form overall rather than their original assignments. All ties will be decided by the judges pointing to the best form instead of giving scores.
  • If there is a tie for more than one place, the judges will decide the highest place first.

The following method for determining the winner is in place:

  • After all the tied competitors (for that place) have done their form, they will line up facing the judges.
  • On the command of the center judge, all judges will point at the competitor they felt did the best.
  • If at least two judges pick the same person, that person wins and will receive that place in the competition.
  • If more than one place were at stake, the judges would immediately decide the next best form, and so on, until all the positions are filled.
  • If all three judges point to different competitors, those three will step forward one step.
    • Next, the two competitors on the right (the judges’ left) will take one more step forward. The Center Judge will now ask the judges to pick the better form from those two.
    • This winner now steps forward with the competitor on the left, and the judges will again point to the better form. This person is the winner.
    • If more than one place were at stake, those competitors eliminated by the original vote would now be brought back, and the judges will point to the one they felt deserved the next place. This procedure will be used until all places have been determined.
  • A judge will remain consistent with his/her choice for best form when deciding ties. If a judge points for “Competitor A” in his/her initial voting, that judge must continue to vote for “Competitor A” in all subsequent voting until competitor A places or is eliminated.

Example #1: There is a two-way tie for first place and a two-way tie for third place. The Center Judge would have the two competitors tied for first place demonstrate their forms again and a decision would be made as to the victor. Then the two that tied for third place would perform next and a decision made.

Example #2: Sue, Mary, Jane, and Betty tied for first place. All four competitors demonstrate their form a second time. All four competitors’ line up in front of the judges and at the direction of the Center Judge, each judge points to the competitor they felt earned first place. If each judge points to a different person, one competitor is eliminated from the first place voting (for this illustration Mary was eliminated). Once the first place has been decided per the above procedures, the second place needs to be determined. To do this, Mary would be brought back to be eligible to earn second place. This procedure would be used if there are four or more tied for first or second place; those eliminated in the deciding for one place will be brought back for the next place.

Example #3: There is a three-way tie for 1st place in one division. The top finishers are Ellen, Sally, and Jane. After all three competitors have completed their form a second time, the center judges call for the judges to point to the competitor they feel should win 1st place for the best form and Judge Brown votes for Ellen. The other judges each vote for Sally and Jane. When the Center Judge calls Ellen and Sally to step forward and the judges to vote, Judge Brown must vote for Ellen again. If Ellen wins that vote and then goes against Jane, Judge Brown must vote for Ellen again.

SECTION 9 – TRADITIONAL WEAPONS COMPETITION

Color Belt Rules & Guidelines

Type & Style of Weapons Available to Color Belt

The color belt student must confer with their instructor concerning the weapon they will use in competition. If competing in weapons, a color belt MAY ONLY compete with one of the following:

  • Single or Double Bahng Mahng Ee.
  • Single or Double Ssahng Jeol Bong.
  • Jahng Bong.
  • Ssahng Nat.
  • Jee Pahng Ee.
  • Gum Do.
  • Oh Sung Do.

Color belts may use only Protech safety weapons for traditional weapons competition except for the Jahng Bong and the Jee Pahng Ee, which any style is acceptable.

Content of Color Belt “Freestyle” Demonstration

The color belt student will demonstrate a “freestyle” routine of his/her own creation that has a maximum duration of 30 seconds. Their entire freestyle form cannot be all “a shortened” black belt weapons form. Competing with large sections of a traditional black belt form is not considered an "original creation" of the competitor and therefore cannot be used and the competitor shall be disqualified. The traditional weapon form created by the competitor and his/her instructor should only contain moves taught in traditional Protech curriculum.

The color belt competitor may not:

  • Add any “gymnastic type” moves such as, but not limited to, splits, rolls, flips, etc.
  • Release the weapon.

For each violation of this rule,in color belt divisions, each judge shall reduce their score by one (1) point. The center judge shall, prior to calling for scores, remind the corner judges of the required deductions.

The routine must be approved by the competitor's instructor before the competition; therefore, it is vital that the color belt student consults his/her instructor as to the presentation.

Judging Criteria for Color Belt "Free-Style” Demonstration

In traditional color belt weapon's competition, Judge A, Judge B, and Judge C will score the entire performance of the form rather than one of the specified aspects. Also, there are no incomplete traditional color belt weapon forms since it is a "freestyle" form.

This presentation will be judged on the following criteria:

  • Overall control of the weapon (deductions for drops, mishandling, etc.).
  • Difficulty (more difficult maneuvers deserve more recognition).
  • Originality (is the competitor being creative).
  • Presentation (was the display exciting and fun).
  • Practical application of the weapon.
  • Stances, timing, and rhythm of the form.

Control of the weapon is of utmost importance.  The above list is not intended to be a specific order of importance but rather a guide for the judge to compare one presentation against another for the purpose of giving a score. However, in the resolving of ties during the weapons competition, the control of the weapon should be the number one criteria for determining the winner. In breaking a tie, a competitor who “drops” a weapon should not receive the win over a competitor who controls the weapon throughout his/her performance.

Black Belt Rules & Guidelines

Black Belt Weapons Forms & Rank Requirements

Here is the list of black belt weapons forms and their rank requirements. The following weapons, as well as which black belt rank may use them, are listed below:

  • Single Bahng Mahng Ee for 1st Degrees or above.
  • Double Bahng Mahng Ee for 2nd Degrees or above.
  • Single Ssahng Jeol Bong for 1st Degrees or above.
  • Double Ssahng Jeol Bong for 2nd Degrees or above.
  • Ssahng Nat for 2nd Degrees or above.
  • Jahng Bong Mid-Range for 1st Degrees or above.
  • Jahng Bong Long Range for 3rd degrees or above.
  • Sam Dan Bong for 4th Degrees or above.
  • Jee Pahng Ee for 4th Degrees or above.
  • Oh Sung Do Level 1 for 1st Degrees or above.
    • At this time - Oh Sung Do Level 2 is not approved for competition
  • Gum Do Level 1 for 1st Degrees or above.
  • Gum Do Level 2 for 4th Degrees or above.
    • Note: For Black belts, the sheath of the Gum Do is required during traditional competition.

Special Note:  For 1st Degree Recommended Black Belts that choose to compete with Black Belts,  he/she must compete with one of the 5 approved 1st Degree Decided Weapons forms.  (Single Ssahng Jeol Bong, Single Bahng Mahng Ee, Oh Sung Do, Gun Do, or Mid-range Jahng Bong). The competitor may not replace one of these forms with the color belt 30-seconds of free style exhibition.

Style of Weapon Approved for Black Belt Weapons Competition

Black belts may use only Protech safety weapons for traditional weapons competition except for the Jahng Bong and the Jee Pahng Ee for which any style is acceptable, and all Black Belts may use the metal ATA branded advanced training sword.  This includes Recommended Black Belts competing in 1st Degree Decided rings.

Judging Criteria for Black Belt Forms

In traditional black belt weapon competition, Judge A, Judge B, and Judge C will score the entire performance of the form rather than one of the specified aspects. The center judge has the additional judging criteria of the completeness of the form. The center judge is the only judge that will consider completeness and make necessary deductions.

All judges will consider the following criteria:

  1. Control of the weapon is the first and most important priority.
  2. The following list is not intended to be a specific order of importance but rather a guide for the judge to compare one presentation against another.
  • Accurate, effective strikes (as they relate to the nine angles of attack).
  • Timing: The judge will look for the coordination of hand and foot movements.
  • Fluid handling of the weapon: The judge will look for smooth exchanges and transitions from one move to the next.
  • Equal precision of the left and right sides of the body: The judge will look for a balance of technique quality from one side to the other.
  • Consistency between the first half of the form and the second half: The judge will look for equal speed and direction of the weapon during both halves.
  • Proper stances.
  • The attitude of the competitor.

Traditional Weapons Form Competition Procedures

Traditional weapon competition procedures will be consistent with traditional form procedures with the following additions:

  • During color belt weapon competition: The time-keeper of the ring will start the clock running at the command of the center judge and will call out “Time” when 30 seconds has expired.
    • Once time has expired, the center judge should stop the competitor if he/she has not finished his/her demonstration within a few seconds of “time” being called.
  • Black belt weapon forms do not need to be timed.
    • There is no time limit for black belt weapons forms.
  • The use of resin, resin bags, or other products intended for use to dry the hands before the competition is allowed.

Determining and Administering a Score

Scoring Range

The range of scores are the same as traditional forms. The judges will give a score ranging from 0 through 9.

Notes:

  • There are no incomplete traditional color belt weapon forms since it is a freestyle form.
  • If a color belt's entire weapon form is all or a section of a black belt weapon form, the competitor will receive a 0 (zero) from the center judge only. The judge A & B will give scores based on the criteria given.
  • There will be no penalty for a color belt weapons form that is less than 30 seconds.
  • For Color Belts, no part of the presentation that exceeds 30 seconds will be considered when the judges give scores, even if a weapon is dropped during that excess of time.
  • An incomplete black belt form, will receive a 0 (zero)  from the center judge only.   Judges A & B will give scores based on the criteria given.
  • During a black belt's weapon form, deductions for leaving out moves that do not result in an incomplete form, may be taken by all 3 judges.

For rings where there are three or fewer competitors

  • Instead of giving scores, each judge will point to their choice for the top score according to their assignment.
  • The score keeper will record the following scores:
    • 1st place: 9 for all judges
    • 2nd place: 8 for all judges
    • 3rd place: 7 for all judges
  • If all the judges point to a different competitor, then the judges will follow the normal tie-breaker procedure, beginning with each competitor repeating his/her form. During the tie-breaker, each judge will be looking at the overall presentation of the forms.
  • If there is only one competitor in the ring, the judges will throw scores based on the number of competitors in the ring. The single competitor should receive a 9, 9, 9, due to them being the best in the ring that day, unless an automatic point deduction is involved (ex. Dropped weapon, incomplete form).

Dropping or Breaking a Weapon

  • In Traditional Weapons, there is an automatic one point deduction from each judge’s score for a competitor dropping a weapon(s).
  • In Traditional Weapons, there is an automatic one (1) point deduction from each judge’s score for picking up the weapon(s) incorrectly.
    • The correct way to retrieve a dropped weapon FOR ALL WEAPONS is with a traditional pick-up, meaning going down to one knee and picking up the weapon correctly with two hands.
    • It should be noted that no one in an actual battle would pick up a weapon with two hands. However, for the purpose of competition, two hands should always be used.
  • A competitor is considered to be active in competition from the time they are bowed in to do their presentation until the “Bah-roh” command is given to return the student to their ready position. Any weapon drops between those two actions will impact the score given by the judges.
  • There is NO DEDUCTION from a competitors score if a competitor’s weapon breaks during his/her competition. If a weapon should break, the competitor will be given a maximum of 30 seconds to replace the weapon from his/her own gear, or borrow one from another competitor. Once the student has replaced the weapon, the form will be continued from the point that the weapon broke. If for any reason the damaged weapon is not replaced, the competitor will then receive a score of 0 (zero) from the center judge and regular scores from each of the corner judges.

Example: The Double Ssahng Jeol Bong form's active time does not extend beyond "Bah-roh". If Sally drops the left Ssahng Joel Bong during the triangle strike after the "Bah-roh", no points should be deducted.

SECTION 10 - COMBAT WEAPONS SPARRING COMPETITION

Introduction

Every program sponsored by the ATA is a constantly evolving process. They grow, change and adapt. For this reason, Grand Master In Ho Lee, in 2013, approved the development of Combat Weapons Sparring as the newest competitive event in our tournament arsenal. This event is meant to be one that is an extension of the traditional weapons through practical applications.

Eligibility

Combat Weapons Sparring will be offered at all regional and national events to those competitors who meet the following requirements. The competitor must:

  • At all tournaments, all ranks are eligible for combat weapons sparring.
  • Meet the general eligibility requirements.

Equipment

Weapon

The Protech Combat Bahng Mahng Ee sold through World Martial Arts, is currently the only combat sparring weapon approved for competition. It differs greatly from the Protech traditional safety Bahng Mahng Ee in both weight and dimensions. The height of the competitor does not dictate the length of the combat weapon, however, only ATA Tigers may use the new Tiger Combat Bahng Mahng Ee.

Combat Sparring - Safety Gear

The sparring gear requirements are the same for combat weapons as traditional point sparring with the exception of the gloves. There are two options for gloves:

  1. Traditional sparring gloves
  2. ATA branded combat gloves
    1. The new red & black gloves shown below are examples of ATA branded gloves. These gloves are approved for Combat Sparring, but Not Approved for Traditional Sparring.

Optional equipment includes

  • Forearm Pads.
  • Knee Pads.
  • Shin Pads.

Combat Weapons Sparring Procedures

  • Before combat weapons sparring competition, it is the responsibility of the center judge to verify that all competitors are using all of the mandatory safety gear, including groin protection for males, and that all such gear is ATA approved. The judges must also verify that an approved combat weapon, including checking for it being in good repair, is being used.
  • Combat weapons sparring brackets will be set up using the ATA bye system. Once the bracket is completed, it is imperative that the center judge checks the bracket using the following procedure.
    • Have all the competitors line up in the center of the ring
    • Announce each match using the competitors first and last names. Have each competitor kneel as their name is called.
    • Upon completion, make sure everyone still standing is not competing in combat weapons sparring.
  • Each combat weapons sparring match will last a maximum of 2 minutes.
  • Unless a disqualification is declared, the competitor who scores the greater number of points at the end of regulation time will be declared the winner.
  • Following the same procedures as traditional point sparring, the center judge will call up competitors in pairs until places for 1st, 2nd and 3rd are determined.
  • If one competitor reaches 10 points before the end of the two minutes, he/she will be declared the winner.
  • At the end of 2-minutes, any ties will be determined by "sudden victory".
    • The first person to score, wins.
    • There is no time limit for "sudden victory."

Legal Target Areas

Points in combat weapons sparring competition are scored by striking or stabbing with the weapon to a legal target area using one of the combat weapons sparring techniques or by causing one’s opponent to drop his/her weapon.

The following guidelines apply:

  • The strike or stab must be effective and under control and make solid contact to be considered a scoring technique by the judges.
    • A judge would indicate an ineffective or out of control strike/stab with the "no- point" signal used in all sparring events.
  • If, in the opinion of the judges, both competitors strike or stab with proper technique simultaneously, no point will be awarded.
    • A judge would indicate simultaneous strikes/stabs by competitors with the "no- point" signal used in all sparring events.
  • The competitor can not score using the handle of the combat weapon.
  • The entire body is a legal target area in combat weapons sparring with the following exceptions:
    • Stab to the head.
    • Any area of the neck not covered by headgear (face shield is considered part of the headgear).

Points

Strikes with the weapon to a legal contact area will result in the following points with a maximum of 4 points given at any one time:

  • 1 point will be awarded for a legal strike or stab to the body not including the head or weapon-holding arm below the elbow.
  • 2 points will be awarded for a legal strike to the head, weapon-holding arm below the elbow or stab to the front thigh.
  • Add one point to the score for jumping techniques.

Parry, Block or Disarm Techniques

For combat weapons competition, to parry means to pass or deflect the opponent’s movement without causing a counter force that would result in solid counter force by your opponent’s weapon. Parrying of your opponent’s weapon or hand is allowed.

For combat weapons competition, a block means to resist, with counter force, your opponent’s weapon.

  • Blocking an opponent’s weapon with one’s own weapon is allowed, however, pushing one’s opponent is not allowed.
  • Using one’s hand, or any body part, to stop the weapon of one’s opponent will result in a point awarded to one’s opponent.

For combat weapons competition, one may disarm your opponent by hitting the opponent's hand, arm or weapon. However, one may not disarm an opponent using a "trapping disarming" technique where one grabs the weapon.

Dropped & Broken Weapons

If a competitor drops his/her weapon any time after the beginning of the match, an additional point will be awarded to the opponent.

  • In combat weapons sparring, a weapon is considered dropped if the weapon leaves the competitor's hand and hits the ground.
    • If the weapon leaves the competitor's hand and the competitor catches the weapon before it hits the ground, this is not considered a dropped weapon.
    • If the weapon breaks during the competition, the competitor will be given an opportunity to replace it.
  • A broken weapon is not a dropped weapon, and the competitor will not be penalized.
  • A competitor has approximately 30 seconds to replace the broken weapon.
  • If the weapon is not replaced promptly, the competitor will forfeit the match.

Procedures for a Dropped Weapons

  • When a weapon is dropped, the center judge will look at the time-keeper and say "Stop Time"
  • A discussion will then take place about when the drop occurred.

There are two options.

  • The drop occurred during the active part of the match. The competitor who dropped the weapon can not be awarded points for scoring techniques.
  • The drop occurred after "break" was called as the competitors were returning to their starting positions. This is the inactive part of the match, and the competitor who dropped the weapon may be awarded points for scoring techniques.
  • Award the person who did not drop the weapon a point his/her opponent’s drop.
    • If both persons in the match drop their weapons at the same time, both competitors will be awarded points.
  • Call for points if necessary.
  • Time resumes when the center judge restarts the match.

Example #1:The red competitor performs a scoring strike but during the follow through drops his/her weapon. This is considered an active part of the match. White is awarded a point for red's dropped weapon and the red competitor cannot be awarded points for the scoring technique.

Example #2:The red competitor performs a scoring strike and "break" is called. As red moves back to his starting position, he drops his weapon. This would be an example of the "inactive" part of the match. A point is awarded to white for red's drop and red can receive points for his scoring technique.

Warnings and Penalty Points

The safety of all competitors is the main concern of every judge involved. It is because of this safety concern that the calling of warnings is a very important aspect of the judge’s responsibility. Warnings are given when the judge sees the competitor do something illegal or potentially dangerous.

There are three different types of warnings: Noncontact, Contact, and Excessive Contact.

Procedures for Calling a Warning

The procedures for calling warning in combat weapons sparring are the same as those used in traditional point sparring.

Non-Contact Warnings

A competitor may be issued a non-contact penalty. Non-contact penalties include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • The competitor has more than three points of contact on the ground.
  • The competitor was running out of the ring to avoid being scored upon.
  • The competitor was purposely falling to avoid being scored upon.
  • The competitor is delaying the match (slow returning to mark, slow getting up, etc.).
  • The competitor is receiving coaching.

Non-contact warnings will receive the following penalty:

  • For the first infraction in the match, the competitor will receive a verbal warning only.
  • For each additional infraction in the match, a penalty point will be awarded to the competitor's opponent.

Contact Warnings

Contact warning rules are for the safety of competitors in their different divisions. The safety equipment is only effective in stopping cuts and bruises from accidental contact made with controlled technique. It will not protect against full-power attacks. Contact warnings are awarded when contact is made to an illegal area.

Examples would be:

  • Strikes to illegal targets.
  • Stabs to illegal targets.
  • Takedowns of any kind.
  • Throwing of one's opponent.
  • Grabbing one's opponent or of his/her weapon.
  • Body checking, pushing and shoving your opponent.

Contact warnings will receive the following penalty:

  • The first infraction in the match, will result in a penalty point awarded to the competitor's opponent.
  • The second infraction in the match, will result in the automatic disqualification of the competitor.

Excessive Contact Warnings

Excessive Contact Warnings follow the same procedures as traditional point sparring guidelines which are listed below.

Excessive conduct warnings are at the sole discretion of the center judge and may result in a penalty point, or disqualification.

  • Remember that the purpose of this rule is to protect all competitors physically and mentally.
  • Excessive contact may result in disqualification if excessive contact was due to negligent lack of control. A competitor disqualified, during the quarter finals of the bracket, for excessive contact can advance and participate in the 3rd place match unless in the opinion of the Center Judge, the excessive contact was due to Malice Intent.
    • Excessive contact due to malice will result in an unsportsmanlike disqualification, and the competitor is done for the day in all sparring and/or combat events.
    • Excessive contact due to malice will be reported to the ATA International Chairman of Tournaments by the RTTL. This will be reviewed by ATA International to determine if any other penalties should be imposed. Additional penalties are at the sole discretion of ATA International.

SECTION 11 - TRADITIONAL POINT SPARRING / ONE-STEP COMPETITION

Position of the Judges

Each judge is assigned a particular position in the ring which will allow him/her the best view for judging traditional point sparring or traditional one-step competition. The other two judges should take a position in the opposite corners from the center judge, creating a triangle.

  • All three judges should try to maintain this triangle, so that as the competitors and center judge moves around the ring, so do the judges.
  • The center judge must maintain his/her primary position directly facing the scorekeeper and timekeeper during any calls.
    • This is to ensure the scorekeeper and timekeeper receive, understand, and write down all instructions and scores. When the center judge has confirmed a point(s) and called them out to the scorekeeper, the scorekeeper should repeat the point(s) back to the center judge. This process will confirm that the proper information was heard and recorded.

Bye System

The ATA bye system is to be set up before any traditional one-steps or traditional point sparring begins. The ATA bye system is based on the concept that each division must achieve a point at which exactly four competitors are left to spar in the semifinal matches. Simply having an even number of competitors will not ensure that a division will reach this point. A bye would be considered an “automatic win.” The competitor who receives a bye would not have to do one-steps or free-spar in the first round of the competition and would automatically move into the next round.

Procedure for Awarding Byes

For the 2020-2021 tournament season, All World Champions, 2020 District Champions, and 2020 State Champions will receive bye preferences. The US 2020-2021 Tournament Year runs from the Saturday of the World Championship tournament through the Tournament of Champions (TOC) held at the end of the season.. Pan-Am Tournament Year runs from Saturday of the Pan-Am tournament through the Pan-Am Tournament of Champions. Notice that District, Pan-Am,and State Champions only receive bye preferences for the competition year after the title is earned. Pan-Am Champions and District Champions are considered equal for the awarding of byes.

The procecure for administering byes will be as follows:

  • The center judge will calculate the number of byes needed.
  • The center judge will have all the competitors turn around so he/she can view the uniform backs and determine who is wearing the appropriate uniform to receive a bye preference. A competitor must be wearing the “champion” uniform that day to get the bye preference, and continue to wear it during the sparring/combat sparring portion of the competition. Verbal or written confirmation of champion status will not be allowed unless, in rare circumstances, provided by the International Chairman of Tournaments.
  • The byes will be awarded in this order:
    • World Champions: The most current World Champion receives the first bye, additional byes are awarded in descending order of the year the title was won.
    • District Champions or Pan-Am Champions (For competition year after the title is earned). Pan-Am Champion Titles are considered a District title.
      • At this time, a person earning a European and/or Asia Pacific Championship event, may order a corresponding uniform indicating this title, but will not receive a bye at competitions. This policy will be reviewed each year as these events continue to grow.
    • State Champions (For competition year after the title is earned).
    • Award any remaining byes needed by a random drawing.
  • If there are two or more champions of the same year and status, a random drawing among those eligible for the bye will be used.
  • This rule does not guarantee that everyone that is eligible for a bye preference will receive a bye.
  • Should a competitor receive a bye in the first round, thus placing him/herself in the medal round, and then refuse to spar in the next round, the competitor will forfeit any “top ten” points earned in that event.
  • A competitor who wishes to change into his/her “champion” dobok top for sparring events at the ring may do so, provided that the ring is not delayed in any manner. He/she must compete in that dobok top in order to receive the bye.
    • Competitors may not "share" dobok tops.

Same School Rule

When the center judge is pairing the competitors for traditional point sparring or traditional one-step competition, he/she will make every effort to prevent competitors from the same school from competing against each other in the first round of competition.

  • If a competitor receives a bye in the first round, they may face an opponent from the same school the first time they spar.
  • The procedure for determining byes will take precedence over the rule of competitors being separated by school for the first round.
  • The byes cannot be reassigned if this procedure leaves only members from the same school competing against each other in the first round.

This rule does not apply to District and Tournament of Champions competition. All byes, and placement of competitors at the Districts and Tournament of Champions competitions are done in a random order, and no consideration of school will be given by the judges..

Traditional One-Step Sparring Competition

Rules and Guidelines

  • All white, orange, and yellow belts are eligible to compete in traditional one-step sparring. Electing to compete in one-step sparring DOES NOT prevent them from also competing in traditional point sparring. White, orange and yellow belts may choose to participate in both events.
  • A competitor cannot mix one-steps from two different ranks, but the set of one-steps which a competitor uses does not have to match the form the competitor used during form competition
    • EXAMPLE: a competitor may do Songahm 2 Form and Songahm 1 One-Steps.
  • A competitor must do at least two different one-step combinations on the first two attempts to win both points.
  • If a competitor does repeat a one-step during the first two attempts, they are prohibited from winning the second attempt. They may, however, repeat a one-step during the final round and win the tiebreaker.
  • One-step #1 and #2 can be performed in any order. The #3 one-step will not be allowed.
  • If there is a tie and a tiebreaker is necessary, the competitor will use his/her choice of the #1 or #2 one- step.
  • A one-step match will last for a maximum of three one-steps.
  • If a competitor accidentally makes slight contact during one-step sparring, he/she will not be penalized. If excessive contact is made, a penalty point may be awarded, or the student may be disqualified if appropriate.
  • The only one-steps options are from the White, Orange, or Yellow curriculum.

Traditional One-Step Sparring Competition Procedures

  • Traditional one-step sparring brackets will be set up using the ATA bye system. Once the bracket is completed, announce the competitors that received the byes.
  • One-steps must be done with a “partner” facing each other and as if in a self-defense situation. The only exception to this rule is for ATA Tigers.
  • After the competitors bow in, the center judge assigns the competitor on his/her right to be red (using a piece of red cloth attached to the competitor’s belt in the back) and the other competitor to be white.
  • The competitor on the center judge's right will always be red and low block first.
  • The center judge will start each one-step segment by telling the red competitor to “Step Back, Low Block!”
  • The center judge will break the competitors between each one-step.
    • Using flags, the judges will score the first one-step when directed to score by the center judge.
    • One point will be awarded to either red or white.
    • This will continue until one competitor scores two points and is declared the winner of the match.
    • The winner of the match should then confirm his/her name with the scorekeeper to insure that the proper competitor is credited with the win, and advances to the next round.

Traditional One-Step Sparring Judging Criteria

All one-steps will be judged by the following criteria. The judges will check each of the criteria, moving down the list until he/she sees a significant difference between the competitors. This determines the winner of the one- step. The following criteria is in order of importance:

  • The quality of the basic techniques: stances, blocks, kicks, etc. As mentioned earlier about forms, memorization is not the organization’s sole objective. A student that has “great” technique but leaves out a move (or does an incorrect move) should not lose to a student that does the one-step “correctly”, but has only “fair” technique.
  • If both are even, the judges will look at power; which competitor uses the stronger techniques.
  • Next, look at the flow (or smoothness) of the one-step.
  • If the judge still can’t decide, choose the competitor striking closer to the target.
  • If they are still tied, the competitor with the better competitive attitude should win.

Traditional Point Sparring Competition

Rules & Guidelines

At all tournaments, all ranks will be eligible to free-spar including white/orange/yellow belts.

Traditional Point Sparring Competition Procedures

  • Prior to the first sparring match, the center judge will personally check the stopwatch to ensure it is working properly.
  • Prior to sparring competition, the center judge must verify that all competitors are wearing all the required sparring gear and all gear is ATA approved.
  • The traditional point sparring bracket will be set up using the ATA Bye system. Once the bracket is completed, it is imperative that the center judge checks the bracket using the following procedure.
    • Have all the competitors line up in the center of the ring.
    • Announce each match using the competitors first and last names. Have each competitor kneel as their name is called.
    • Upon completion, make sure everyone still standing is not competing in traditional sparring.
  • The center judge will call up the competitors in pairs according to the sparring bracket.
  • Each competitor will answer “Yes, Sir/Ma’am!” when his/her name is called, and run to the mark indicated by the center judge. From that point to the end of the match, the competitors will follow the instructions of the center judge.
  • The competitor on the center judge's right will always be red and this will be indicated by using a red piece of cloth attached to the competitors belt in back.
  • Each round will be timed for a maximum of 2 minutes.
  • Time runs continuously unless the center judge or corner judge indicates that time should be stopped.
  • If one competitor reaches five points before the end of the two minutes, he/she will be the winner.
  • Unless a disqualification is declared, the competitor who scores the greater number of points at the end of regulation time will be declared the winner.
  • Ties will be determined by “sudden victory” -- the first competitor to score a point will win. There is no time limit on “sudden victory."
  • "Sudden victory" match may be decided by penalty points.
  • At the conclusion of a match, the winner should then confirm his/her name with the scorekeeper to ensure that the proper competitor is credited with the win, and advances to the next round. It is the center judges responsibility to ensure the correct competitor is advanced to the next round.
  • After the semifinal matches, the competitors not advancing to the finals will spar for 3rd place. There will be a one-minute break before the 3rd place match begins.
  • There will be a one-minute break before the 3rd place match begins.
  • Once the 3rd place match is completed, the final match will determine 1st & 2nd place.
  • A disqualification or warning given during traditional sparring competition does not carry forward to combat weapons sparring with the exception of unsportsmanlike conduct.

Target Areas & Techniques

In a traditional point sparring competition, points are scored by competitors using only hand or foot techniques to legal target areas. The following guidelines apply:

Hand techniques may only strike the front of the torso.

  • The front of the torso is restricted to the front of the body starting at the hips and going up to the base of the throat, and from one side seam of the uniform to the other side seam.
  • Legal hand techniques include only the following: punch, backfist, hammerfist, ridgehand and knife hand techniques.
  • Striking techniques going towards or making contact with areas outside of this definition will be considered illegal. (See Warnings)

Foot techniques may strike the following:

  • Front of the torso.
  • Any area of the head covered by headgear (face shield is considered part of the headgear).
  • Kicking techniques directed towards or making contact with areas outside of this definition will be considered illegal (See Warnings).

Illegal Target Areas and/or Illegal Techniques

Illegal target areas include any part of the body not described in the above definitions. The type of technique, striking or kicking, will determine which definition to use.

In traditional sparring, Illegal target areas include:

  • All areas below the belt. This includes side, front or back areas and applies to kicks or strikes.
  • The back of the torso.
  • Techniques that strike any part of the head not covered by headgear. This includes the throat, sides and back of the neck below the headgear.
  • Blind hand and kicking techniques are illegal techniques. A hand or kicking technique is considered “blind” if the attacker is not looking at the target at the time the technique is thrown. A spinning backfist would be an example of a “blind” hand technique. Throwing a spinning heel kick while not looking at the target would be an example of a “blind” kicking technique.
  • Fingertip techniques are not allowed.
  • Any hand techniques to the head & neck.

Neutral Area

Neutral areas are defined as areas of the body which when contact is made it is not illegal and does not score. The arms and top of the shoulders are neutral areas.

Points

How a Competitor Scores a Point

Scoring points will be done by striking legal hand or foot techniques to or near the legal target areas. The following techniques will score points:

  • Non-jumping or jumping hand techniques to the legal target area will score one point.
  • Non-jumping foot techniques to the legal target area other than the head will score one point.
  • Non-jumping foot techniques to the head, face, side or back of the neck, will score two points.
  • Jumping foot techniques to the legal target area other than the head will score two points.
  • Jumping foot techniques to the head target areas score three points.
  • The criteria for a technique to qualify as a jump kick is that the non-kicking foot must be off the ground at the time of the kick coming close to or touching the legal target area.
  • Techniques cannot score if the competitor (the attacker) is falling during the execution of the technique. No technique can score if any part of the competitor other than the base foot is touching the ground.
  • Neither color belts nor black belts are required to make contact to score points, but may make light to moderate contact to legal areas.
  • In the interest of safety, if a judge feels that the technique was close enough to score, (no attempt was made to block or evade) but contact was not made because of exceptional control by the attacker, a point should be awarded.

Example: Competitor A strikes the chest of Competitor B with a side kick, but in the process puts his/her hand on the floor while executing the kick. The judges should use the "No point" call.

Note: It is imperative that judges understand the importance of calling a point for a student that is obviously trying not to hit a less talented student. If Competitor A does a spin kick just over the head of Competitor B, and it is obvious to the judges that Competitor A did so in order not to hurt Competitor B (competitor B did not evade, attempt a block, or otherwise demonstrate that the kick was seen and dealt with), the judges should award 2 points to Competitor A just as though the kick had actually hit the head of Competitor B. If Competitor A is continually denied points because he/she is looking out for the other competitor, the student will become frustrated and be more inclined to "make contact".

This is strictly a judgment call, and not open to interpretation by other competitors, judges, spectators, or seniors. It is put in the rules to remind judges that the most important aspect of judging is competitor safety.

The Signals Used for Point Calling

Corner and center judges use signals to indicate calls in a ring. The center judge will point to the proper competitor rather than raising a flag. A corner judge will use the flags as an indicator.

The calls are:

  • Point - raise the correct flag color (as well as pointing the flag toward the competitor who scored) and number of fingers corresponding to the number of points scored. This means the judge saw a technique come close to or touch a legal target area.
  • No Point - cross both forearms downward. This means the judge saw a technique but did not feel that it qualified as a point due to reasons such as, but not limited to:
    • The technique was not close enough to the opponent.
    • The technique was blocked by the opponent.
    • The technique was not a proper technique (weak or poorly thrown).
    • The technique was thrown when the competitor was out-of-bounds.
  • No See - one or both hand(s) covers the eyes. This means the judge either did not see a technique thrown or was not in a position to judge whether the technique came close to or touched a legal target area.
  • Warning - wave the flag color of the competitor to receive the warning down low. This means the judge saw the competitor do something that was illegal.

Difference between 'No Point" and "No See": A judge must SEE, not just hear, contact of any technique he/she warrants a point or warning to be called. If a judge is not sure, or did not clearly see, that a technique scored, he/she will call “no see.” The call of "no see" removes that judge from the decision. If he/she calls “no point,” he/she could prevent a competitor from receiving a legitimate point.

Making a Call – Points

If a point is seen (without a warning), the following actions will occur:

  • One or more of the three assigned judges should clearly call out “Break!” to stop the action.
  • On the direction of the center judge, each judge will indicate one of the three calls; “point”, “no point”, or “no see”.
  • The center judge and the corner judges are required to show their vote at the same time. Each judge has one vote with all the votes carrying equal weight.
  • When indicating a point for either color, the corner judge should raise the appropriate flag and point in the direction of the competitor for whom they are calling, while indicating the number of points awarded. If the judge both raises the flag and points in this manner, and an error is made in the color of flag raised, the judge may change the flag for the correct call. If a corner judge calls a point for red but raises the white flag, red is possibly being deprived of an earned point. Honest mistakes do happen. If the judge points in the direction of the proper competitor but raises the wrong color flag, it is evident to everyone for whom he/she meant. It would be permissible in this event to change the flag color.
  • Points will be awarded according to the majority of judges who saw the techniques.
  • If two or three judges score different points for the same competitor, the highest common score called by the majority of judges will be awarded.

Example #1: Two judges call “no see”, and one judge calls “point.” In this case, the competitor who scored will be awarded the appropriate point(s). If a judge calls “no see”, he/she has eliminated himself/herself from that particular scoring vote. In this situation, only one judge saw the scoring technique, so this would make him the majority.

Example #2: One judge calls “no see”, one judge calls “1 point Red” and one judge calls “no point”. In this case, there is no majority, and no points would be awarded.

Example #3: First judge scores Red 1, second judge scores Red 1, and third judge scores Red 2. The highest common score is 1 and Red is awarded 1 point.

Example #4: First judge scores Red 1, second judge scores Red 2 and third judge scores Red 3. At least two judges scored 2 points or higher and Red is awarded 2 points.

Out of Bounds for Point Sparring

A competitor is considered completely out of bounds when any part of the body is touching the floor beyond the ring boundary during sparring. Judges should tap the floor if they see a competitor is out of bounds to help him/her realize his/her ring position.

The following rules apply:

  • A competitor out of bounds cannot score.
  • A competitor out of bounds can still be scored upon.
  • A competitor is not required to “let” the person out of bounds return in bounds. If in the judgment of the officials, there is no danger to the competitors, or spectators, they may allow the ring to continue even if one competitor is out of bounds.
  • If a competitor has one foot in bounds and one foot out of bounds, the competitor can only score with the foot that was out of bounds. By picking up the out of bounds foot, he/she is now back in the ring.
  • A competitor cannot score with a jump kick if initiated with both feet out of bounds. However, a #3 style kick can score if the out of bounds foot is the one that initiates the elevation for the kick (and the other foot was in bounds). Once the out of bounds foot lifts off the floor, the base foot is in bounds and the competitor would be considered in bounds.
  • A competitor can score on an out of bounds competitor with a jump kick if initiated inside the ring and the scoring occurs while both feet are still in the air.

Warnings

The safety of all competitors is the main concern of every judge involved. It is because of this safety concern that the calling of warnings is a very important aspect of the judge’s responsibility. There are three different types of warnings: Noncontact, Contact & Excessive Contact or Unsportsmanlike Conduct.

Procedures for Calling a Warning

The following procedures and guidelines are used in the calling of a warning:

  • If a judge sees an illegal technique or illegal action, that judge will call “Break” to stop the action. Any judge that saw the warning, will immediately wave the matching colored flag of the offender towards the ground.
  • The center judge will look at the time-keeper and say “Stop Time!”
  • A discussion will then take place about what that judge saw and whether any of the other judges saw that illegal action. The only purpose of this discussion is informational in nature only. One judge should never attempt to persuade the other judges to change their minds.
  • The center judge should then call for verification of the warning similar to calling for verification of point.
    • “Judges call for warning”
    • The signals used to verify a warning are as follows:
      • Verify the warning - Wave the matching colored flag of the offender towards the ground. This indicates the judge saw the action and agrees that it was illegal.
      • Disagree with the warning - cross the arms low. This indicates the judge saw the action, but did not agree that was illegal. This could be because of a different visual position to the action and did not see the action as illegal.
      • No See - hands cover the eyes. This indicates that the judge did not see the action and cannot agree or disagree with the call.
    • The results of this call are handled similar to calling for points. The majority indicates the final call. It is important to remember that two calls of “No See” do not negate a warning or a point. The “No See” calls are treated as if the judge wasn’t there at the time and the majority of what is remaining indicates the final call, even if the majority is only one judge.
    • A competitor cannot be issued a warning and be awarded a point at the same time
    • Judges should make every effort to make sure both competitors and the spectators understand any discussions that occur.

Example: During the action, one judge saw “Red” punch towards “White’s” face and two judges saw “Red” kick towards “White’s” head. After break is called, the judge that saw the punch waves his/her red flag towards the ground. The center judge sees the call for a warning and stops time so the judges can discuss what was witnessed. After the discussion, the center judge asks for official verification. During the verification process.

  • Case #1: One judge votes for a warning and the other two vote "no warming" by crossing their arms low. The warning is not verified. The center judge then calls for points 1 judge votes "no point" and the other two vote 2 points red. Result: no warning for red and 2 points awarded to red.
  • Case #2: One judge votes warning and 2 judges vote "no see." The warning is verified and red can not receive points for the kick to the head.

Non-Contact Warnings

A competitor may be issued a non-contact penalty. Non-contact penalties include, but are not limited to the following:

  • The technique was going in the direction of an illegal target area (this would include fakes or feints).
  • The technique came close to an illegal target area.
  • The competitor was running out of the ring to avoid being scored upon.
  • The competitor was purposely falling to avoid being scored upon.
  • The competitor is delaying the match (slow returning to mark, slow getting up, etc.).
  • The competitor is receiving coaching.

Non-contact warnings will receive the following penalty:

  • For the first infraction in the match, the competitor will receive a warning only.
  • For each additional infraction in the match, a penalty point will be awarded to the competitor's opponent.

Contact Warnings

Contact warning rules are for the safety of competitors. The safety equipment is only effective in stopping cuts and bruises from accidental contact made with controlled technique. It will not protect against full-power attacks. Contact warnings are awarded when contact is made to an illegal area.

Examples would be:

  • Contact made with any hand techniques to the head.
  • A legal technique makes contact to any illegal target area.
  • The technique used was illegal and made contact.
  • Grabbing one’s opponent.
  • Contact is excessive in nature.

Contact warnings will receive the following penalty:

  • The first infraction in the match, will result in a penalty point awarded to the competitor's opponent.
  • The second infraction in the match, will result in the automatic disqualification of the competitor.
  • All contact penalties will result in a point awarded the defender. This includes non-intentional contact that does not fall under the “NO FAULT” rule.

No-Fault Rule

If a competitor throws a technique that is intended for a legal target area, but due to actions outside of his/her control, strikes (or comes close to) the opponent in an illegal target area, the competitor will not be penalized. An important factor in determining if the no-fault rule should be exercised is if the competitor recognized what was about to happen and tried to further control the technique. It is also important to remember that this is a judgment call by those judges in the ring. Judges will use their experience and the attitudes of the competitors as guidelines when using the no-fault rule.

Example #1: A competitor throws a sidekick towards his opponent’s ribs. The opponent does a spinning hook kick at the same time and is therefore kicked in the back. This would result in a no-fault call.

Example #2: A competitor throws a reverse punch towards his opponent’s chest. The opponent ducks down and is hit in the face, or blocks the punch up into his/her face. This would result in a no-fault call.

Excessive Contact

Excessive conduct warnings are at the sole discretion of the center judge and may result in the awarding of a penalty point, or disqualification. Remember that the purpose of this rule is to protect the competitors physically and mentally. It may result in disqualification if excessive contact was due to negligent lack of control.

  • A competitor disqualified for excessive contact can advance and participate in the 3rd place match.
  • Excessive contact due to malice will result in an unsportsmanlike disqualification, and the competitor is done for the day in that particular event.

Disqualification for Contact Warnings

If a competitor is disqualified for two contact warnings during the same sparring match, he/she losses the current match.

  • If a competitor is disqualified in the semi-final match, they can advance to the third place match.
  • If a competitor is disqualified in the finals they will be awarded 2nd place.
    • The only exception is disqualification due to unsportsmanlike conduct. At that point the competitor if finished for the day, and the unsportsmanlike conduct will be reported to the International chairman of tournaments for possible further sanctions to the competitor.

SECTION 12 - ATA CREATIVE COMPETITION

Eligibility Requirements for Creative Competition

In addition to the regular eligibility requirements, in order to compete in any ATA creative competition, the competitor must also compete in the traditional event that correlates to the ATA creative event in which they wish to compete. Failure to compete in the corresponding event will result in the loss of points earned at the creative event and may result in additional penalties. This applies to all ATA sanctioned tournaments regardless of the tournament's classification.

Example: If a competitor, at a Class C tournament, wishes to compete in ATA Creative Forms, the competitor must also compete in Traditional Forms at that tournament. The same would apply for ATA Creative Weapons competition and all classifications of tournaments.

General Rules & Guidelines for Creative Forms & Weapons Competition

The competitors should use the materials taught in Traditional Songahm Taekwondo to "create" their own form which enhances their strengths as a martial artist. The most simple guideline to follow is that if the basis of the technique is not taught in Songahm Taekwondo forms, then it should not be used in a student's presentation. There are no rolls, splits, kip-ups, cart-wheels, or other gymnastic type techniques taught in Traditional Songahm Taekwondo forms. Hence, they are not allowed in creative competitions.

  • The key to this guideline is the term "basis of the technique". A student who learns an inner crescent in class may use that technique to perform a jump reverse inner crescent.
  • Scissor kicks, triple(side-twist- round) kick and quadruple (side-twist- round-side) kicks are allowed. All of these techniques are the result of combined basic kicking techniques taught in Songahm Taekwondo.
    • If a competitor or instructor feels that technique is questionable, he/she should contact the tournament department for clarification before inserting it into their routine.

Uniform Requirements for Creative Competition

  • Students may wear traditional white dobok.
  • ATA Creative/Xtreme Traditional Black Uniform.
  • The Adidas Black Uniform
  • They may not wear the sleeveless ATA-Xtreme uniform.
  • Competitors may not remove any part of their clothing during performance.

The New Adidas Black Uniform, used for Creative/Xtreme competitions, may be altered to shorten the sleeves as long as the altered sleeve reaches the midpoint of the competitor's forearm - meaning the overall length of the sleeve is no shorter than the midpoint between the bend of the wrist and the bend of the elbow.  If the sleeve is not altered, the competitor may roll the sleeve under one time.

  • If the uniform has been altered, the competitor MAY NOT roll the sleeve under one time.

SPECIAL NOTE:   If, in the opinion of the center judge, the altered sleeve does not reach the midpoint of the forearm, the competitor will be asked to change back into his/her white traditional uniform.

Music

  • Music is allowed but not mandatory.
  • In keeping with the concept that judges will consider difficulty, then, if the music is used, a competitor who performs “in time” with the music may receive a higher score.
  • All music must be approved by the student’s instructor.
  • Music is the responsibility of the competitor. Each competitor must have their own sound system in good working order. Malfunctions of any kind will not change the time limit.
  • The total time limit of 2 minutes will stand regardless of any music malfunction. Competitors should continue without music if there is any delay and have the person designated to play their music take the appropriate action in keeping with the wishes of that competitor.

Creative Form Composition Guidelines

The following guidelines are in place for ATA Creative competition (Forms & Weapons):

  • At least 50% of the form must be original material. This means that a person may not use “Songahm Forms” for more than 50% of their demonstration.
    • Keep in mind that a school may create a form that all of its competitors use. This is acceptable, and should not reflect negatively upon the score of the competitor.
  • The entire presentation must be no longer than 2 minutes from the judge's command to start time until the competitor finishes their performance, (there is no minimum time). Everything a competitor does during this 2-minute period of time shall be considered part of his/her routine and judged accordingly.
  • The following techniques are not allowed:
    • No movements with greater than 360-degree turn or twist in the air.
    • No Chinese Wushu Butterfly Kicks or Butterfly kicks with twists.
    • No intended movements where the head is below the waist (leaning to kick high is acceptable).
    • No Rolls, kip-ups, cartwheels or other gymnastic type movements.
    • No "illusion" techniques.
    • No "gyro" techniques.
  • The following techniques are allowed:
    • Multiple traditional butterfly kicks are allowed.
    • Multiple spinning kicks are allowed.

Approved ATA Creative Weapons

General Guidelines:

  • All traditional weapon size requirements apply in creative weapon competition.
  • Competitors may not use Single Ssahng Nat, nor may they combine any weapon types
    • example: one cannot use a Bahng Mahng Ee and a Ssahng Nat at the same time.

Color Belts

The same weapons rules apply as in Traditional Weapons Competition.

  • The same selection of the type weapons applies – NO others are added.
  • The same style of weapons applies - Protech safety weapons for all types of weapons except Jahng Bongs & Jee Pahng Ees.

 Black Belts

  • May choose the following types of weapons:
    • Any weapon from within the entire “Protech” curriculum.
    • The use of double Gum Do swords is allowed.
    • The use of double Jahng Bong is allowed.
  • Black belts, including 1st Degree Recommended Black Belts competing in a 1st Degree Decided ring, have two styles of weapons from which to choose:
    • Black belts may use Protech safety weapons.
    • XMA or ATA-Xtreme branded weapons. This includes the ATA magnetized sword and magnetized Ssahng Nat.
    • The “XMA” branded Xtreme competition sword has the logo on the scabbard and an “X” shaped hand guard.
    • Advanced training Gum Do sword.
    • Jahng Bongs & Jee Pahng Ees may be of any type.

Creative Weapons Composition Guidelines

  • In addition to the above rules, the following additions apply to the creative weapon competitions.
  • Weapons releases are not allowed.
  • Weapon rolls are allowed. A weapon roll is where the weapon remains in contact with the body.
  • Weapon to weapon contact is considered a release.

Examples:

  • The competitor is competing with Ssahng Nats. He/She holds one Ssahng Nat in their hand and rolls one Ssahng Nat around the other Ssahng Nat. This is a release, and will be treated as such.
  • It is also considered a release if a competitor drops the weapon and catches it before it hits the ground.
  • The sheath of the Gum Do is regarded as part of the weapon. In creative weapons, if a student elects to enter the ring with the sheath, it may not be set down or released.

Creative Forms & Weapons Competition Procedures

Creative forms and weapons procedures will parallel traditional forms and weapons competition procedures with the addition of the scorekeeper timing the competitors performance.

  • Before the start of the ring, the judges will perform a weapons inspection.
  • The score keeper will start the time when the center judge says, "Your time begins now."
  • The scorekeeper will inform the center judge when the 2 minutes have expired.

Competitor Bow in Procedures

  1. When a competitor's name is called, he/she enters the ring and runs to the center of the ring for their traditional bow-in.
  2. Upon the completion of the traditional bow-in, the center judge will say, “Your time begins now.” The scorekeeper will start the clock.
    • This signifies the beginning of the competitor's form. If a competitor wishes to add additional adjustments, bows, or presentations, that is up to him/her. However, these additional adjustments, bows, presentations, etc. are considered part of their presentation, and will be considered in the giving of the score, and the time used is part of their 2 minutes.

Determining and Administering a Score

Scoring for creative forms and weapons will be awarded in the same manner as traditional forms competition and will have a consistent meaning. (See Determining and Administering a Score)

Judging Criteria for Creative Forms & Weapons

All 3 Judges will score the entire form with the quality of the competitor's technique and control of the weapon being the most important criteria. Should a competitor choose to add a more difficult technique to his/her routine and fail to control the weapon or technique, points should be deducted.

Additional judging criteria are as follows and are all of equal importance. These criteria are not in any particular order.

  • Creativity
  • Difficulty
  • Presentation
  • Attitude
  • Precision 

Penalties and Disqualifications

Disqualifications

  • If a competitor exceeds the time limit, he/she is disqualified, and no score will be given.
  • Any performance that includes a technique that is not allowed will result in disqualification.
  • A creative form that is not 50% original will result in the competitor being disqualified. This means that a person may not use “Songahm Forms” for more than 50% of their demonstration.
    • Keep in mind that a school may create a form that all of its competitors use. This is acceptable, and not a reason for disqualification or penalty.
  • When a disqualification occurs, the judge will say: “Thank you for your performance today but because you . . . , no score will be given”.
  • A competitor that is disqualified cannot place 1st, 2nd or 3rd. This does not apply to tiebreakers where a medal is guaranteed.

Example: Two competitors tied for second place, during the tie run-off Competitor A is disqualified. Competitor B is awarded 2nd place, and Competitor A will receive 3rd place.

Dropped Weapon in Creative Competition

  • Dropping the weapon: A dropped weapon will result in a one (1) point deduction from all three judges.
  • Retrieving the Weapon: A weapon that is retrieved must be picked up in the traditional manner. If a weapon is picked up incorrectly, an additional one (1) point will be deducted from all three judges.
  • Multiple Drops: If the competitor drops the weapon more than once, a one (1) point penalty per drop and/or incorrect pick up will be deducted from all three judges.
  • Minimum Score: The lowest possible score in creative weapons is 1. There are no incomplete forms or second attempts in any competitions beginning in the 2020-2021 season.
  • Procedure: If there are mandatory deductions, the center will explain the deductions to the corner judges before scores are given.

Broken Weapons

There is NO DEDUCTION from a competitor’s score if a competitor’s weapon breaks during his/her creative/xtreme competition. If a weapon should break, the competitor will be given a maximum of 30 seconds to replace the weapon from his/her own gear, or borrow one from another competitor. Once the student has replaced the weapon, the form will be continued from the point that the weapon broke. If for any reason the damaged weapon is not replaced, the competitor will then receive a score of 0 (zero) from the center judge and regular scores from the corner judges. It is okay to borrow another weapon from another competitor, however you must replace it with the same type of weapon.

Example: During a competitor’s SJB form the end of the weapon flies off into the crowd.

There are three case scenarios:

  1. The judges notice the weapon is broken, the competitor replaces the weapon within the 30 second time frame and completes the form..
  2. The judges notice the weapon is broken, the competitor does not replace the weapon within the 30 second time frame and completes the form. The competitor will then receive a score of 0 from the center judge and regular scores from the corner judges.
  3. The judges do not notice the broken weapon until after the form is complete, the competitor will receive a score as if the weapon had not been broken.

ATA Creative Division Groups

Divisions are based on gender, age, and rank of the competitors and will mirror the divisions of the traditional competitions.  At the conclusion of each tournament season, the International Chairman of Tournaments will evaluate the number of competitors in each division and determine if any changes are to be made for subsequent tournament seasons. Divisions change as the organization grows and more students in different age and rank groups compete.

Creative divisions at all tournaments will reflect these age groups.

  • Junior age groups and gender groups will not be combined, nor will black belts be combined with color belts.
  • Adult age groups may be combined but genders will not be combined, nor will black belts be combined with color belts.

 Music

  • Music is allowed but not mandatory.
  • In keeping with the concept that judges will consider difficulty, then, if the music is used, a competitor who performs “in time” with the music may receive a higher score.
  • All music must be approved by the student’s instructor.
  • Music is the responsibility of the competitor. Each competitor must have their own sound system in good working order.
  • Malfunctions of any kind will not change the time limit, nor will the competitor be allowed to repeat or start their presentation again.
  • The total time limit of 2 minutes will stand regardless of any music malfunction. Competitors should continue without music if there is any delay and have the person designated to play their music take the appropriate action in keeping with the wishes of that competitor.

EXAMPLE: 

  1. A competitor has music planned for his/her competition.  The judge gives the command, “YOUR TIME BEGINS NOW”.  The competitor’s music fails to play.  The competitor should begin his/her presentation, or risk the chance of going over the allotted time. 
    • Competitors should work with their instructor to prepare for music malfunctions and time allotments.

SECTION 13 - ATA-XTREME COMPETITION

Eligibility Requirement

In addition to the regular eligibility requirements, in order to compete in any ATA- Xtreme competition, the competitor must also compete in the traditional event that correlates to the ATA-Xtreme event in which they wish to compete. Failure to compete in the corresponding event will result in the loss of points earned at that event may lead to additional penalties. This applies to all ATA sanctioned tournaments regardless of the tournament's classification.

Example: If a competitor wishes to compete in ATA-Xtreme Forms, the competitor must also compete in Traditional Forms at that tournament. The same would apply for the ATA-Xtreme Weapons competition.

ATA-Xtreme Competition Rules & Guidelines

ATA Xtreme form & weapon competitions are a "free Style" performance that allows the mix of traditional and contemporary martial arts techniques. The ATA Xtreme division category for forms and weapons competition is based in traditional Songahm Taekwondo but allows for non-traditional movements spanning all martial arts styles and disciplines whereas the ATA Creative division categories do not. Competitors are free to create their choreography based where martial arts techniques and combinations carry the highest value over non-martial arts techniques such as gymnastics, acrobatics, and dance.

Note: There are no “qualifying techniques” that must be performed.

Uniform Requirements for ATA Xtreme Competition

  • Students may wear traditional white dobok.
  • ATA Creative/Xtreme Traditional Black Uniform.
  • The Adidas Black Uniform
  • They may not wear the sleeveless ATA-Xtreme uniform.
  • Competitors may not remove any part of their clothing during performance.

The New Adidas Black Uniform, used for Creative/Xtreme competitions, may be altered to shorten the sleeves as long as the altered sleeve reaches the midpoint of the competitor's forearm- meaning the overall length of the sleeve is no shorter than the midpoint between the bend of the wrist and the bend of the elbow. 

  • If the sleeve is not altered, the competitor may roll the sleeve under one time.
  • If the sleeve is altered, the competitor MAY NOT roll the sleeve at all.

SPECIAL NOTE:   If, in the opinion of the center judge, the altered sleeve does not reach the midpoint of the forearm, the competitor will be asked to change back into his/her white traditional uniform.  The rationale of “I have had it this way all season and no one said it was a problem.” will not negate the fact that in the opinion of the center judge it does not meet the rule guidelines.  The competitor, when asked to change back into his/her white uniform, must comply.

Music

  • Music is allowed but not mandatory.
  • In keeping with the concept that judges will consider difficulty, then, if the music is used, a competitor who performs “in time” with the music may receive a higher score.
  • All music must be approved by the student’s instructor.
  • Music is the responsibility of the competitor. Each competitor must have their own sound system in good working order.
  • Malfunctions of any kind will not change the time limit, nor will the competitor be allowed to repeat or start their presentation again.
  • The total time limit of 2 minutes will stand regardless of any music malfunction. Competitors should continue without music if there is any delay and have the person designated to play their music take the appropriate action in keeping with the wishes of that competitor.

EXAMPLE: 

  1. A competitor has music planned for his/her competition.  The judge gives the command, “YOUR TIME BEGINS NOW”.  The competitor’s music fails to play.  The competitor should begin his/her presentation, or risk the chance of going over the allotted time.  Exceeding the allotted time will result in a disqualification of the competitor.
    • Competitors should work with their instructor to prepare for music malfunctions and time allotments.

ATA Xtreme Form Composition Guidelines

The following guidelines are in place for ATA-Xtreme competition (Forms & Weapons):

  • Competitors in these divisions must demonstrate a form or weapons form that reflects the essence and values of ATA-Xtreme.
  • At least 50% of the form must be original material. This means that a person may not use “Songahm Forms” for more than 50% of their demonstration.
    • Keep in mind that a school may create a form that all of its competitors use. This is acceptable, and not a reason for disqualification or penalty.
  • The entire presentation must be no longer than 2 minutes from judge's command to start time until the competitor finishes their performance.
  • There is no limit to the number of "tricks" allowed.
  • All types of kicks and combinations are allowed as long as the instructor of the competitor approves of the safety aspect of the presentation. Safety is the number one concern.
  • No props are allowed.
  • Blindfolds are considered a prop and are NOT

Approved ATA-Xtreme Weapons: Same as Creative Weapons.

General Guidelines:

  • All traditional weapon size requirements apply in creative weapon competition.
  • Competitors may not use Single Ssahng Nat, nor may they combine any weapon types (example: they cannot use one Bahng Mahng Ee and one Ssahng Nat)

Color Belts

The same weapons rules apply as in the color belt Traditional Weapons Competition.

  • The same selection of the type weapons applies – NO others are added.
  • The same style of weapons applies - Protech safety weapons for all types of weapons except Jahng Bong & Jee Pahng Ee.

Black Belts (including 1st Degree Recommended Black Belts choosing to compete in a 1st Degree Decided Ring)

May choose the following types of weapons:

  • Any weapon from within the entire “Protech” curriculum. The use of double Gum Do swords is allowed in ATA-Xtreme competition.
  • The use of double Jahng Bong is allowed.

Black belts have two styles of weapons from which to choose:

  • Black belts may use Protech safety weapons.
  • XMA or ATA-Xtreme branded weapons. This includes the ATA magnetized sword and magnetized Ssahng Nat.
  • The “XMA” branded Xtreme competition sword has the logo on the scabbard and an “X” shaped hand guard.
  • Advanced training Gum Do metal sword sold by WMA.
  • Jahng Bongs & Jee Pahng Ees may be of any type.

ATA Xtreme Weapons Forms Composition Guidelines

In addition to the rules for ATA Xtreme forms competition, the following additions apply to the ATA-Xtreme Weapon Competitions:

  • Releases of the weapon are allowed in ATA-Xtreme competition.
  • During ATA Xtreme competition the sheath of the Gum Do may be set aside as long as it is done in a way that is not disrespectful to the weapon.
    • The sheath of the weapon does not have to be picked up in ATA-Xtreme competitions.

ATA Xtreme Forms & Weapons Competition Procedures

ATA Xtreme forms and weapons competition procedure will mirror creative forms and weapons competition procedures.

Competitor Bow in Procedures

ATA Xtreme forms and weapons competition bow in procedure will mirror creative form and creative weapon competition bow in procedures.

Determining and Administering Scores

Scoring for ATA Xtreme forms and weapons competition will be awarded in the same manner as creative forms and weapons competition and will have consistent meanings.

Judging Criteria for ATA Xtreme Forms & Weapons

  • All 3 Judges will score the entire form.
  • The first and most important aspects of judging is the quality of the competitor's technique and control of the weapon.
    • Someone performing a more difficult technique would still lose points if that person loses control of the weapon.
  • The second aspect of judging the form will be the following five categories. All should be considered with equal weight and in no particular order.
    • Difficulty
  • The third, and final, aspect a judge will consider are the "tricks" and “variety of tricks” presented in the form. This would include how a competitor adds martial art techniques to “tricks” he/she is demonstrating.

Example #1: Competitor A, who is equal in presenting a “XTREME” form that is creative, has strong, difficult, precise techniques with a great attitude, may not score as high as Competitor B who adds a variety of "tricks" to that same type of form.

Example #2:  Competitor A who has strong, crisp, precise techniques, but does not include as many tricks in their Xtreme form presentation may score higher than Competitor B, whose Taekwondo techniques are not crisp and strong but has many difficult "tricks" within their form.

(Remember that the single most important factor in all form presentations is the quality of the techniques demonstrated.)

Example #3: Competitor A and B are equal in quality of techniques and creativity, but Competitor A only does tumbling passes as his/her “tricks” he/she may not score as high, if Competitor B performs martial arts kicking "tricks" verses gymnastic/acrobatic type "tricks".

Example #4: If Competitor A and B are equal in everything including "tricks", the competitor that demonstrates a stronger ability to integrate the "tricks" into martial arts combinations may score higher.

  • Case A: Both competitors do aerial cartwheels but Competitor A performs it in combination - Butterfly kick, hook kick into the aerial ending with a punch in a front stance, Competitor A demonstrates higher level difficulty through integration of this acrobatic move into a martial arts combination verses just doing a stand- alone aerial.
  • Case B: Performing a Jump Split kick, back tuck, pop front kick turn punch is more difficult than just a back tuck and landing in a stance or on one's knee.

Penalties and Disqualifications

Disqualifications

  • If a competitor exceeds the time limit he/she is disqualified, and no score will be given.
  • If a competitor competes with a form that is not 50% original, then he/she is disqualified, and no score will be given.
  • When a disqualification occurs, the judge will say: “Thank you for your performance today but because you . . . , no score will be given”.
  • A competitor that is disqualified cannot place 1st, 2nd or 3rd.
    • This does not apply to tiebreakers where a medal is guaranteed.

Dropping Weapons in ATA Xtreme Competition

Same point deduction will be used for ATA Xtreme weapons as in creative weapon competition. See Dropping Weapons in Creative Competition.

Broken Weapons

There is NO DEDUCTION from a judge’s score if a competitor’s weapon breaks during his/her competition. If a weapon should break, the competitor will be given a maximum of 30 seconds to replace the weapon from his/her own gear, or borrow one from another competitor. Once the student has replaced the weapon, the form will be continued from the point that the weapon broke. If for any reason the damaged weapon is not replaced, the competitor will then receive a score of 0 (zero) from the center judge and regular scores from the corner judges. It is okay to borrow another weapon from another competitor, however you must replace it with the same type of weapon.

Example: During a competitor’s SJB form the end of the weapons flies off into the crowd.

There are three types of circumstances:

  1. The judges notice the weapon is broken, the competitor replaces the weapon within the 30 second time frame and completes the form.
  2. The judges notice the weapon is broken, the competitor does not replace the weapon within the 30 second time frame and completes the form. The competitor will then receive a score of 0 from the center judge and a one point deduction from the corner judges.
  3. The judges do not notice the broken weapon until after the form is complete, the competitor will receive a score as if the weapon had not broken.

SECTION 14 - ATA TEAM SPARRING/COMBAT SPARRING COMPETITION

THESE GUIDELINES AND RULES APPLY TO BOTH SPARRING AND COMBAT SPARRING TEAMS. Please read carefully.

National and Regional Teams

As of the 2018 Season, Team sparring will be broken down into two distinct and separate categories. These categories have teams that are considered either a “National Team” or a “Regional Team”.

National Teams

National Teams represent a country. Each country’s “National Team” will be selected by the ATA governing body of that country. This same governing body will select all coaches and assistants under the guidance of the presiding Grand Master of that year.

  • National Sparring/Combat Teams will compete as a 5-person team (plus alternates) at international competitions.
    • ATA-USA National Team Members will be selected at the ATA-USA National Training Academy “Team Trials”.
  • ATA-USA National Members and ATA-USA National Training Academy members may still be part of their 3-person regional teams. Three-member Regional teams may not represent ATA-USA in international competitions.

 Age/Rank Divisions - Junior National Teams

  • 1st/2nd/3rd Degree Black Belts – Ages 15-17 (Varsity)

 Age/Rank Divisions - Adult National Teams

  • 1st through 7th Degree Black Belts – (Elite) - Ages 39 and under (minimum age requirement is 18)
  • 1st through 7th Degree Black Belts – (Legends) - Ages 40 and older

Special Note: In the Adult divisions, a person older than 40, may compete in the 18-39 year- old division, however, a person 18-39 age group may NOT compete in the 40+ division.

Other Important Information about National Teams

  • In the USA, the National Team will be “TEAM ATA-USA”. Other countries represented will have similar names, associated with the country of origin.
  • The National teams are the only teams eligible to earn the title of “World Champion”, “Pan-American Champion”, “European Champion”, Asia Pacific Champion”. These are International competitions, and only a country’s “National team may compete in those “title” competitions.  There may be local competitions at the events for “Regional 3-person teams”, but those competitions are not for the purpose of earning a title.
  • Individual school/state “regional teams” are not eligible to earn World Champion titles, but are eligible to win “National Champion” titles. There are different levels of “Championship Titles” depending on the age of the division. Regional Team - Championship Opportunities
  • National teams will consist of more members, coaches, and alternates. Each country will compose the rules and guidelines pertaining to how teams are composed, how to become eligible for a National Team, and when tryouts will occur.
  • Please see your instructor for more information concerning how to become eligible for your country’s “National Team” for either sparring or combat sparring.

EXAMPLE: Team Stevens from School 1494, travels to Argentina for the Pan-American Championships. This team may compete against other 3-member teams for points, but not for a “title” at the Pan-American Championships.

Regional Teams

  • Regional Teams will consist of 3 competitors plus alternates. For Regional Team Composition, all team members must be from the same state.
    • A person’s state is attached to the state in which the school they train is located. If the school is located in a “border town” where it is possible for members whose address is in one state, but train in another, the state of the competitor should be where he/she trains. Students who train via “Skype” or other internet methods should be attached to the state in which he/she has his/her primary residence. The International Chairman has the final determination as to any questions about the state in which a person trains.
  • Regional teams can/will compete at Regional Tournaments in the US, as well as the European and Asia Pacific tournaments, & All National Tournaments in order to accumulate points toward State and/ or District Champion.
  • Team members must meet the State Championship Eligibility Requirements to earn points.

Regional Team Composition

Teams can be formed by any ATA Licensee who has become a certified team sparring coach, or has a certified coach on his/her staff. For the purpose of earning event credits for potential tournament hosts, those event credits will be awarded to the school number of the certified coach.  Beginning in the 2019-2020 season, 1 credit will be awarded for each team event for each age group registered.   If the certified coach is not a licensee, the school number attached to the certified coach, at the time the team received it’s Team ID Number will be used as the governing body in case of disputes. 

  • Schools may combine members for the purpose of creating teams.
  • All members of a Regional or National Team, must be in the official ATA Leadership program.
    • The discovery of an ineligible team member will result in forfeiture of all points earned by that team.
  • All members of a Regional Team must be from schools in the same state. The state connected to the competitor follows the same guidelines as all other state indicators as written in previous sections of the rules
  • A licensee, wanting his/her student to be on a team, may not move students from schools located in one state to another for the purpose of composing a team.
  • The student should be attached to the school for the state where their primary residency exists. The International Tournament Director is the final arbiter considering team sparring eligibility.
  • Any determination concerning the interpretation, applicability or necessary exceptions to the rules shall be made at the sole discretion of the International Chairman of Tournaments.
  • Competitors competing in “Recreational” or “Special Ability” divisions are not eligible to compete in Team Sparring or Team Combat competitions.

Example: School 0182, from Pennsylvania, wants to create a Team. The licensee for School 0182 (Team A) also has a school in Ohio, school number 1559. The students from School 1559 cannot be on Team A, because they reside in another state, and are attached to school 1559 at HQ. The Licensee from School 0182 cannot move students from one school to another just to create the team.

Beginning in the 2019-2020 tournament season, regional teams are comprised as follows for the regular season:

  • Each regional team, Junior or Adult, will be composed of 3 persons; 1 female competitor and 2 male competitors -PLUS- Teams may choose to have 1 female and/or 1 male alternate.
    • These teams will be eligible for STATE, DISTRICT, AND NATIONAL TEAM TITLES, depending upon their age group.
      • See: Regional Team - Championship Opportunities
    • All members of a team must be from the state in which the School creating the team is located.
      • Licensees with multiple schools may only coach a team in the state in which the licensee has their primary residence.
      • At every competition, each team may have 2 coaches on the sideline.
        • The coaches must be members of the ATA and be wearing an official ATA white Dobok, Certified Blues Instructor suit, or the team uniform. Team uniforms may only be worn while their team is actively participating in team competition.
      • Each team must have 1 certified coach present at the tournament, but not necessarily at each ringside competition.
      • Under special circumstances, and IF” the RTTL is notified prior to the day of the tournament, the RTTL may grant permission for a certified coach of another team, who is not competing that day, to act as the responsible certified coach for that day.
  • A team can have an unlimited number of team members, BUT AT MOST ONLY 5 of the members are eligible to compete at each tournament during the regular season. ( 2 females and 3 males) The rosters of any Regional Team can change at any time prior to District Championships. There is no limit to the number of different competitors that a team can field throughout the tournament season.

The following stipulations apply:

  • All competitors must meet the “Eligibility Requirements for ATA Team Sparring / Combat Participants” that are listed in these rules.
  • Once a team has earned 1st, 2nd, or 3rd place at a Regional or National Tournament, all competitors listed on that roster are now committed to that team and that team only. They may not compete on another team for the remainder of the tournament season.
  • A team that is found to field an ineligible player will be disqualified from further competition and all earned State and / or National points will be forfeited.
  • Upon qualifying for District Championships or World Championships, each Head Coach will be required to submit their “post season” roster. Further explanation is included later in this section.

Age/Rank Divisions - Junior Regional Teams

1st/2nd/3rd Degree Black Belts – (Bantam) Ages 10 and Under - eligible for State Titles only

1st/2nd/3rd Degree Black Belts – (Rookies) Ages 12 and Under - eligible for State and District Titles only

1st/2nd/3rd Degree Black Belts – (Jr. Varsity) Ages 14 and Under - eligible for State, District, National Titles.

1st/2nd/3rd Degree Black Belts – (Varsity) Ages 17 and Under - eligible for State, District, National Titles.

Special notes:

  • For all divisions, except the Bantam division, the minimum eligible competition age is 9 years old. Bantam divisions may use competitors whose competition age is as young as 8 years old.
  • In all divisions, no consideration will be given to a person small in stature who has been placed in an older age group.
  • A competitor must compete in the same team sparring age division for both sparring and combat sparring.
    • Any Jr. competitor may “compete up” in age brackets. This does NOT include Jr. competitors wanting to compete in Adult divisions

Example 1: A junior competitor, with an age of 9, is considered eligible for a 12 and under division. However, the coach must realize that he/she may be at a height/weight/size disadvantage when competing against other competitors that are age 12.

Example 2: A junior competitor age 12 competes on a Jr. Varsity combat team (14 and under).  If that same person is on a sparring team, he/she must also compete in the Jr. Varsity age group.  He/she cannot be in one age group for sparring, and a different age group for combat.

Age/Rank Divisions - Adult Regional Teams

1st through 5th Degree Black Belts – (Elite) -Ages 39 and under (minimum age requirement is 18)

1st through 5th Degree Black Belts – (Legends) Ages 40 and older

Special Notes:

  • In the Adult divisions, a person older than 40, may compete in the younger division, however, a competitor 39 or under, may not compete in the “Legends" division.
  • A competitor must compete in the same team sparring age division for both sparring and combat sparring.

Eligibility Requirements for ATA Team Sparring/ Combat Participants and Coaches

  • There is a strong possibility that Junior Teams and Adult Teams will compete at the same time. Coaches should consider this when selecting additional coaches. Competition will not be delayed because an adult coach is competing at the same time a Jr. Team is competing.
  • There is also a strong possibility that Teams will compete while a “head coach” is Judging. While every effort to dismiss judges will be made, coaches/teams should be prepared to move forward with the competition. Coaches should consider this when selecting additional coaches.
  • Must meet all tournament participation requirements.
  • All competitors must be at least a first degree decided black belt.
    • 1st Degree Recommended Black belts are eligible to compete, assuming they compete in the 1st Degree Decided Black Belt rings for their traditional competitions at that tournament. If a 1st Degree Recommended Black Belt competes with Color Belts in his/her traditional events at that tournament, he/she is not eligible to compete on a team at that tournament. All rules pertaining to the timeline in which a 1st Degree Recommended Black Belt must obtain his/her 1st Degree Decided rank will apply.
  • 6th and 7th degree black belts are not eligible to compete on a regional team, however, they are eligible to compete as a member of the national team if selected.
  • All members of junior or adult teams, including alternates, must compete in the corresponding Traditional Sparring/Combat Weapons Sparring event at the tournament in which the team is to compete.
  • No student may be contacted by any person from a different school concerning team participation without prior approval from his/her instructor. Sanctions will be enforced upon any school/coach not adhering to this rule.
  • For junior and adult teams, their members and coaches may either be citizens of the country they represent or in the case of USA teams the State in which they represent. A citizen of a country outside of the United States, who works for a school owner in the United States, may compete on a “Regional Team, and still be a member of a different country’s “National Team”. This would include school owners who are citizens of another country but have schools in the U.S. Members of a country’s “National Team” may only try out for a team for the country in which they are a citizen.
  • For National Teams, a competitor who has “dual citizenship” (i.e. USA and England) may compete for either their country of origin, or the country where they live. Once a person with dual citizenship competes for one of the two countries for which he/she has citizenship, he/she may then not compete for the other country.  
  • Members of each team must be currently competing in Black Belt divisions in their respective countries. (Students age 17 and under may not participate in adult regional team divisions )

Regional Teams - Championship Advancement Opportunities

Regional Team Sparring/Combat Program

Individual school/state teams may attempt to earn titles at the State, District, and National Level depending upon their age group’s title eligibility. This is for both sparring and combat sparring teams. Individual school/state teams are not eligible to earn World Champion titles. 

State Champion

The team that has acquired the most points in their state will be awarded the title of “STATE CHAMPION”. Points are awarded to teams at all Regional and National Tournaments. All Teams are eligible to earn State Champion titles.

  • Placing at a Regional Tournament will award points in the following manner, regardless of that Regional Tournament’s classification.
    • 1st Place – 5 points
    • 2nd Place – 3 points
    • 3rd Place – 1 point
  • Teams may compete at an unlimited number Regional and National tournaments.
    • Teams are only eligible to receive points from their best 5 regional
  • Placing at a National Tournament will award team points in the following manner:
    • 1st Place – 10 points
    • 2nd Place – 8 points
    • 3rd Place – 5 points
  • Teams are eligible to receive points from the best 2 of the 3 National Tournaments.(Fall, Spring, Pam-Am)
  • Points for the European Championships, and the South Pacific Championships are Class A points at this time. This will be reviewed at the end of every season.
  • For the 2019-2020 season, at the Worlds, there will not be a point earning tournament for regional teams. The point tabulations for team sparring will start at the first regional tournament after World Expo..

Special Note about point calculations:

  • Teams may compete at multiple regionals. The standard point tabulation method, used for all other events, will apply. Teams are eligible to receive points from their best 2 of the 3 national events and best 5 regional events.
  • Full points will be awarded, regardless of the number of teams competing.

District Champion

In order to earn the title of “District Champion”, a team must:

  1. Qualify for Districts by being in the “Team Top Ten” of their state.
  2. Register for, compete, and win the District Championship team competition.

Note: Winners of each District Championship, in the Rookie (12 and Under), Jr. Varsity (14 and under), Varsity (17 and under), and both adult divisions, are eligible to compete at the World Expo for the title of “National Champion”.

National Champion

To be eligible to compete for and earn the title of “National Champion”, a team must:

  1. Be ranked in the "Team Top Ten" of the nation or...
  2. Qualify for Worlds by placing 1st at a District Championship.
  3. Register for, compete, and win the competition held at Worlds team competitions.

Note: Winning the title of "National Champion" does not make that team, "Team ATA-USA."

Age Requirements For Champion Titles

Teams are eligible to earn certain titles at certain levels of age and experience.

  • Bantam teams, Age 10 and under, may compete at regional and national tournaments with the possibility of earning a “STATE” and/or District titles. For the 10 and under age group, “District Champion” is the highest title they can earn.
  • Rookie teams, Age 12 and under, may compete for “STATE”, “DISTRICT” and/or “NATIONAL” titles.
  • Varsity teams, Age 14 and under, may compete for “STATE”, “DISTRICT” and/or “NATIONAL” titles.
  • Varsity teams, Age 17 and under, as well as Elite & Legends adult teams, may compete for “STATE”, “DISTRICT”, & “NATIONAL” titles.

Competition Times At Tournaments

  • Team competitions at National events will be held on the Friday of the event. (Fall, Spring, Pam-Am and tournaments)
  • For Regional Tournaments, Teams must check with the RTTL of each tournament regional to know when Team Sparring/Combat events will be held at that regional event. A list of all RTTL email addresses is provided in Section 1 of the rules

Regional Tournament - Team ID Numbers - Roster Submissions and Results Tabulations

After each Regional/National tournament, the Data Entry Team for that tournament will fill out a spreadsheet with the names of all members of the teams placing either 1st, 2nd, or 3rd, for each division and type of team sparring event. As well as a list of all TEAM ID NUMBERS.  This information will be sent to ATA HQ with the rest of the tournament results. ATA International will record this information, and tabulate points. State “Team Top Ten Points” will be posted one time each month.

  • For regional competitions, team rosters must be submitted to the RTTL of that tournament by 8 am Wednesday prior to the tournament weekend. A list of all RTTL email addresses is provided in Section 1 of the Rules.
  • Prior to competing in the team competitions for the 2020-2021 tournament season. A certified coach will apply for a Team ID number for this season.
    • Certified coaches should submit their request for a Team ID number to Master Kevin Pavlik at pavlik@pickata.com
    • Teams will submit a Team Name for approval, and to obtain a Team ID Number, prior to competing in any regional, national or international tournament.
    • Once a team receives the Team ID Number, the coach MUST use that number when submitting rosters for competitions.
      • Failure to use the Team ID Number will result in forfeiture of any points earned at that tournament.
    • Members who have participated on any team that places 1st, 2nd, or 3rd at a tournament, MAY NOT compete on any other team during that tournament season. This includes postseason competitions.
    • At the time of District Registrations, all teams eligible to compete for a District and or National title must submit the team’s FINAL ROSTER.        
      • The final roster may not change for the rest of the Championship Series.
  • For District Championships, a coach must submit his/her final roster during the online registration process. Only members submitted on the Final District Roster may receive a District Champion uniform. (See Postseason Rosters)
  • A removed team member may not compete on any other team regardless of the reason for removal.
  • Only the members listed on the qualifying team’s roster may compete. If a member does not attend or cannot compete, a qualifying team must choose from the substitute list they submitted when they submitted their “District” roster. No other or additional substitutes may be added.
  • The roster for teams that place 1st, 2nd or 3rd will be "set" at this point because they have earned Top Ten points.
  • For each national event, team registration requirements will be communicated on ATA's website ataonline.com and must be followed explicitly.
  • Members of each qualifying team will be checked to insure eligibility.
  • If it is discovered that a team uses a “non-qualified” person on his/her team (i.e. incorrect age, ineligible player, etc.) that team will be disqualified, and any events in which they placed, will be null and void.

Team Roster Composition for Postseason District Championships and National Championships

  • Teams that earn the opportunity to compete for the title of District Champion and / or National Champion will be required to submit a final “postseason” roster for this portion of the tournament year.
    • All members included on this “postseason” roster must have competed on this team at a minimum of 1 regional competition during the regular season and meet all of the requirements listed in the “Eligibility Requirements for ATA Team Sparring / Combat Participants” that are listed in these rules.
  • A team’s ”postseason” roster may include the following:      
    • 1 female competitor and 2 male competitors.
    • Teams may choose to have up to 2 female and / or 3 male alternate competitors for the postseason.
      • Special Note: A maximum of only 5 team members may “dress-out” in uniform and be on the sidelines during the Districts and National Championship competitions. This must be the same members throughout  the days of that tournament. 
        • At the end of the season, a team winning a title may get “Champion” doboks for a total of 8 members and 2 coaches, assuming the coach is not also a competitor.
        • These members may be substituted for other members of the team for District Championships and World Championships in case a team member was not able to attend the Championship Event.
      • Only those team members on this list of 8 competitors will have the ability to wear the title of “District Champ,” or “National Champ” on their dobok should their team earn this title.
      • Any and all members of teams that have earned the “State Champ” title will be allowed to wear this title on their dobok.

Coaches Qualifications

All Regional Team coaches must have a Level 1 Coaches Certification. Coaches Certification can be obtained by attending a Coaches Training Seminar at any Regional, National, World, or Virtual certification clinic hosted by ATA-HQ. There is no charge for a person getting a Level 1 coaching certification. Any person who has previously coached a team at the 2018 District and/or World Championships will grandfather in as a certified coach. The official list of certified coaches will be maintained by the tournament department of the ATA.

This “no charge rule” may change for future years certifications.

Coaching certification is necessary to ensure the coaches:

  • Know the rules/guidelines for forming teams and competitions
  • Learn coaching strategies pertaining to team sparring/cumulative scoring.
  • Understand the training nuances connected with team sparring vs individual sparring
  • Limit the coaching liability
  • Ensure the integrity of the selection process for teams

General Definition, Rules and Guidelines for ATA Team Sparring

A FIGHT is the sparring competition between two members of opposing teams

A MATCH is the sparring competition between two opposing teams.

A ROUND is the total matches in one section of a sparring bracket between two opposing teams. There will be 3 matches per round.

TEAM AREA - A 10 foot or more perimeter should be established around the competition ring for team sparring events. Only team members and coaches will be allowed inside the perimeter. Warnings, and penalty points will be awarded if spectators are entering the coach’s area.

COMPETITION MAT/RING -The padded floor marked for Team Competition. Team members who are not a part of the current match may not step into the competition ring at any time. Warnings and penalty points will be awarded for each violation.

STARTERS – Designated teams members at the beginning of the match.

ALTERNATES – Members on a team, not designated as the starters.

CUMULATIVE SCOREBOARD – A separate scorecard, visible to spectators, where a team’s total cumulative score for the round is posted.

REGULATION TIME - Each match has a regulation time of 1 minute-30 seconds.

SUPERIOR DECISION - When the point difference between two competitors is 8 or more points in Sparring, and 11 or more points in Combat Weapons.

FIGHT FORFEIT - A team automatically loses a fight.

MATCH FORFEIT - A team automatically loses the entire match.

 

Regional Team - Competition Procedures

  • Prior to the beginning of a match (before the first fight), the center judge will ask one coach from each team to come forward to review the rules and turn in the line-up for this competition.
    • At this time, the center judge should ask if the team has an assistant coach at ring side. Only designated coaches at ring side may coach during the match.
    • The coach should declare which female, and which 2 male fighters are the “starters” of the match. All other competitors are considered substitutes/alternates.
    • If a team can only field 2 competitors, the opposing team will be awarded 7 points in team sparring and 10 points in team combat sparring for the forfeited fight. The points will be awarded prior to the first fight in this match.
    • The team who forfeited a fight, must then also declare who their first male fighter will be.
      • If one team is missing a girl fighter, and the other team is missing a male fighter, it is possible that there is only one fight in the match.
    • If one or both teams have two female competitors, the center judge will perform a “coin toss.” The team that loses the coin toss must send their female competitor out first.
    • The first fight of the match will be between female competitors.
    • At the end of fight #1, the scores from each team will be shown on the “Cumulative Scoreboard”. At the completion of fight #1, the losing team from fight #1 must put forth their competitor for the fight #2. If in this first fight, the score is tied at the end of regulation time, this fight will go into “Sudden Victory”, so that the winner of the fight can be determined.
    • In subsequent fights, if tied at the end of regulation time, the fight does not go into “Sudden Victory”. Each Team’s scores from subsequent fights will be added to the Cumulative Scoreboard at the end of the fight.
    • All 3 fights will occur, regardless of the cumulative score.
    • If either competitor in fight #3 can not continue and the team does not have a remaining alternate, then a “MATCH FORFEIT” is declared, regardless of the cumulative score. The team that cannot continue forfeits the match.
    • If there is a tie in the cumulative team points at the end of the 3rd fight, sudden victory will apply to the fight in progress.
    • A team may compete with only 2 competitors, however the opposing team will be awarded 7 points in team sparring and 10 points in combat sparring for the forfeited fight.

Special Note:  The 10 points awarded for a forfeit in combat sparring does not constitute a “superior decision”, and thus no “extra point” will be awarded.

Substitutions

At the beginning of each team sparring match, the coach must declare the 3 primary competitors (starters). This is the starting line-up. An alternate can be used as a substitute, prior to the beginning of a fight, during a match. The substitute should declare which competitor he/she is replacing. That starter is now eliminated from competing for the rest of the match. The "starter" may re-enter for subsequent matches of the day. If a competitor is injured during a fight, a substitute may be used.

****If the substitution occurred during the fight because of injury, the injured competitor is not allowed to compete in team sparring or team combat sparring for the rest of the day.

Fight Scores

In each fight, all points and/or warnings will be given using the current sparring/combat sparring rules of the ATA with the following exceptions:

  • For a point to score, direct contact must be made unless, in the opinion of the judges, the person throwing the technique intentionally did not contact his/her opponent for the safety of his/her opponent. "Close Contact”, as applied in traditional sparring, will not constitute a point.
  • The act of running around the ring to avoid the fight will not be allowed. If in the opinion of the judges, the competitor is running around the ring, not just evading techniques, the following penalties will be enforced. For clarification as to what is "running around the ring to avoid the fight" please see your RTTL.
    • 1st time - penalty is a verbal warning-no point awarded.
    • 2nd time - Point awarded to the opponent.
    • 3rd time - Competitor is disqualified, and the opponent is awarded seven cumulative points, plus the current number of points he/she obtained in the fight. The disqualified person's team does not receive any cumulative points for that fight.
  • Each fight will last 1 minute and 30 seconds.
  • Unlike traditional sparring, or combat sparring, there is no limit to the number of points a team can accumulate in a fight.
  • The winner is the competitor who scores the most points during the fight.

Match Scores

Team points are awarded in the following way:

  • Each team will be awarded the points scored during the fights.
  • A competitor can earn an additional POINT for their team if they defeat their opponent by 8 or more points. This is referred to as a “Superior Decision”.

Example 1: Score at the end of the fight  is team A-2, Team B-5. The cumulative team score is Team A-2, Team B-5

Example 2: Score at the end of the fight is team A-0, Team B-7. The cumulative team score is Team A-0, Team B-7

Example 3: Score at the end of the fight is team A-0, Team B-8. The cumulative team score is Team A-0, Team B-9 (superior decision)

Match Winner

The team with the most points at the conclusion of all three fights will be declared the winner of the match. If, at the conclusion of the third fight, the cumulative score is tied, the competitors of that fight will continue in "sudden victory".

  • If either competitor in fight #3 can not continue and the team does not have an alternate, then the team forfeits the match.

Awarding of Byes

Should it be necessary for a bye to be awarded for the bracket, a random draw will be used to choose the team(s) that will be given the bye. This random draw will be done by the RTTL or the national tournament staff. Byes will NOT be awarded based on State, District or National Titles from previous years.

Special Note: The maximum number of teams per division at all regional and national events will be 16 teams. Divisions will be split once 17 or more teams register for a specific competition event.

At Worlds, while competing for the National Champion Title, byes for Team Sparring and Team Combat Weapons Sparring will be seeded based on the Nation’s Top Ten Standings.

  1. The placement in the team sparring and team combat weapons sparring events will be as follows:
  • Awarding of Byes: If any byes are necessary, the top 4 ranking teams will receive byes based upon their ranking on the top ten list. If additional byes are needed, they are placed on the bracket based on the ATA current bye system.
  • The top 4 ranking teams will be placed on the bracket according to their ranking.
  • All other teams, including those that are in the top ten and District Championship winners will be placed randomly.
  • Previous National, District or State Champions in Team Sparring or Team Combat Weapons Sparring will not have any bearing on the determining of byes for this event.
  • Once the sparring brackets are drawn, they will not be redrawn for "no-show" teams. The "no-show" will forfeit the match, and their opponent will be advanced.

Competition Opportunities and Fees

Junior and Adult teams may compete at any ATA sanctioned regional tournament assuming the team has a certified coach. It is the responsibility of the team coach to check with the RTTL assigned to that Region, to see at what time he/she will be conducting this event. The RTTL will work with the tournament host to allow ample time for teams to plan for that tournament's timelines for team sparring.  Team Sparring will be offered on the Friday of National Tournaments. (Spring, Fall, PanAm, European, Asia Pacific)

  • The fee to participate in Team Sparring at all regional tournaments is $75 per team per team, per event. This amount does not change for multiple teams in multiple events.
  • In the postseason, entry fees will be $100 per team per, event for teams who qualify for Districts and/or Worlds.
  • All travel expenses of team members are the responsibility of the individual. Teams may try to obtain sponsorships to defray their cost of travel.
  • At regional events, should only one team register to compete in team sparring at a tournament, that team will automatically earn 5 points towards a State Title. Registration fees will not be returned to a team that “wins” by default at a regional/district/national event, unless the team forfeits the team “top ten” points.
  • At Districts, if only one team registers for the event, that team will automatically qualify for the Worlds’ National Title competition.
    • In instances where there is only one team registered for a postseason event, the team registered must still attend the tournament, and report to the specified time for team sparring.
  • In order to qualify for the District Championships, a team must be listed in their state’s “Team Top Ten”.

Disqualification Team Points and Penalties

If a competitor is disqualified, for any reason other than running around the ring to avoid the fight, and the opposing team is behind in points, they shall be awarded either:

  • The greater the difference in the total team score at the time of the disqualification or seven points.
    • Example 1: Team A is disqualified, and the fight score was 10-7, with Team B in the lead. Team B is awarded 7 points, and Team A is awarded 0 points for that fight.
    • Example 2: Team A is disqualified, and the fight score was 10-1, with Team B in the lead. Team B is awarded 9 points, and Team A is awarded 0 points for that fight.
  • If the opposing team is behind in points, they shall receive 7 points, and the disqualified team shall forfeit any points earned in that fight.
  • If in the opinion of the judges, the disqualification was intentional, meaning the team member got themselves disqualified intentionally to prevent the opposing team from catching up in points, or for unsportsmanlike behavior, (including running around the ring) the offending team shall lose the match entirely.

Special Note:  Instances of a team being disqualified for unsportsmanlike conduct will be evaluated by the presiding Grandmaster and the International Chairman of Tournaments for future participation in ATA tournaments. A team disqualified at multiple tournaments will be eliminated from participating in future tournaments and forfeit all top ten points. Penalties given to teams may also be received by the coach on the sideline, the certified coach, and individual team members, depending on the gravity of the infraction.

Competitor Behavior

Coaches are responsible for the attitude and behavior of all team members as well as the spectators supporting their team. All competitors and spectators should maintain the same positive behavior as required in all ATA competitions. If, in the opinion of the judges, competitors, coaches, or spectators demonstrate poor sportsmanship and/or negative behavior, the team in violation will be warned for the 1st event, and disqualified for multiple infractions.

Examples of negative behavior include, but are not limited to:

  • Arguing calls made by the judges, including visible gestures or visible signs of disagreement.
  • Taunting one's opponent or other team members.
  • Over-exuberance when scoring a point.

Examples of POSITIVE behavior include, but are not limited to:

  • Cheering for one’s team in an encouraging, positive manner
  • Creating signs depicting the positive aspects of one’s team
  • Chanting as a group in a POSITIVE manner

Judges should be mindful that team sparring is expected to be a high energy competition. Appropriate loud, exciting cheering for one's team, including chants, is acceptable and should be encouraged. The judges present at ringside and the RTTL will determine appropriate behavior and issue warnings if necessary.

SECTION 15 - ATA TIGER COMPETITION

Establishing Our Goal

The overall purpose of encouraging ATA Tigers to participate in the Songahm Taekwondo tournament process is to provide them with an introduction to competition. By handling “ATA Tiger” divisions as an introduction to competition we ensure that there will not be any “losers,” only “winners.” All children will be rewarded for what is important, their participation and effort. A key element of this ring is that it should be FUN!

Tiger Age and Rank Guidelines

  • The recommended ages for ATA Tigers are from 3 to 6 years old.
    • If a student trains as an ATA Tiger in their school, then they will be allowed to participate in the Tiger division of an ATA tournament regardless of the age of the competitor.
    • Likewise, if a child is training as a junior student rather than an ATA Tiger, then they should participate in the junior division.
  • The student’s instructor will determine in which division the child should participate.
  • At each tournament, leadership students of tiger age have a choice to participate as a tiger or as a junior but not as both.
    • If a student participates as a tiger for one event in a tournament, then they must participate as a tiger for all events at that tournament. Conversely, if a student competes as a junior for one event in a tournament, then they must compete as a junior for all events at that tournament.

Tiger Divisions Breakdowns

The following are guidelines for Tiger divisions:

  • It is strongly recommended that a tiger division have no more than 8 participants with a maximum number of 10.
  • At regional events, it is preferable to keep tiger white belts in a separate division from orange and yellow belts. However, it is sometimes not possible.
  • It is recommended, but not required, that no more than three rank groups be combined.
  • In Tiger rings, male and female participants may be in the same ring. This is true for all ranks, including those that spar or combat spar.

Tiger Ring Staff

Since ATA Tigers do not actually “compete” for a place, the ring staff can be different from the normal tournament guidelines. Only one judge and one helper are required in each ring.

  • Every effort will be made to ensure that Tiger judges have experience working with this age group.
  • The helper will be a leader through forms and one-steps. These leaders will be available if the child needs help with any of the material they are performing and must know the material for which they are providing help.
  • The helper may be a junior leader, younger trainee instructor, or specially trained color belt that knows the material.
  • Leaders will only be used for those participants that have indicated they need help on their registration card or if the Tiger gets stuck during the demonstration of their form or one-steps.
  • Leaders will perform each form and one-step in such a manner that the Tiger, whose instructor has indicated that he needs help, will be able to follow along.
    • The leader may also verbally lead the student. They should use the proper names for each technique and include a descriptive term that will remind the child how to do the technique.

Tiger Traditional Forms & One-Step Knowledge

The decision of what material the ATA Tiger will participate with will be left up to their instructor and should be indicated on their registration card. Tigers may compete with only one one-step, or they may use two one- steps.

Tiger Judging Criteria & Scoring Format

Since this is an introduction to competition, scoring for forms, one-steps, and sparring will be totally different from other divisions.

Judging of Tigers will be as follows:

  • A tiger will not receive a numerical score. Instead, the judge will make a positive comment about the performance of the student.
  • For one-step competition, call Tigers up two at a time and have them face the front of the ring and not each other. The judge will direct, and the leader will help each tiger to do his/her one-step(s). The judge will not award points, but will comment positively about the effort and techniques demonstrated.
  • For free sparring competition, points will not be issued. Instead, when the judge sees something special to comment on, he/she should call "break" and make a positive comment about the move. Free-sparring rounds for Tigers will be 1 minute each.
  • Each tiger will do two rounds of one-steps or free-sparring. If there is an odd number of tigers, one of them will do three rounds. The judge should pick a good positive reason for having that tiger perform an additional time.

Categories of ATA Tiger Awards

Once the Tigers have completed their demonstration, the judge will decide on which participant will receive an award in each of the following suggested categories:

  • Best Kicks.
  • Strongest Punches.
  • Loudest Yells.
  • Amazing Power.
  • Best Black Belt Attitude.
  • Fantastic Focus.
  • Best Memory.
  • Fastest Moves.
  • Awesome Blocks.
  • Most Energy.

A separate set of awards are given to those Tigers who compete in Traditional Weapons, ATA-Xtreme Forms, ATA-Xtreme Weapons, Creative Forms or Creative Weapons competitions. The categories will be very similar to the categories for forms and sparring.

The following are suggested categories:

  • Incredible Control
  • Super Speed
  • Black Belt Weapon Demonstration
  • Powerful Weapon Handling
  • Terrific Twirling
  • Cool Creativity
  • Best ATA Spirit
  • Amazing Combos
  • Strongest Strikes/cuts
  • Weapon Super Star
  • Xtreme combos

Regions may decide to change these categories at their discretion, but it should be done with the input of those Instructors that work with Tigers.

SECTION 16 - SPECIAL ABILITIES COMPETITION

Since the inception of the Special Abilities competition, Eternal Grandmaster Lee formed the Special Ability divisions for tournament competition with the intent to afford competitors with special needs the opportunity to earn the title of World Champion. His desire was to offer safe and fair competition for those with special needs who were unable to compete with others of their age, gender, and rank. The Tournament Department and the Special Abilities Eligibility Committee work hard to  determine who can fairly compete in the Special Ability divisions at regional, national, and world tournaments.  Special Ability competitors can accumulate points for the Special Ability State Title, as well as, become eligible to compete for District and World Champion Titles. The following information should answer many questions or lead one to the person (or people) who can. The last few years of competition has seen a significant growth not only in the number of Special Abilities competitors, but also in the involvement of Instructors, parents, and other interested members. We are very pleased to have so many involved with actual participation, support, and input. This facet of the ATA membership cannot grow and succeed through the efforts of just a few; it takes everyone.

Special Abilities Competitors Eligibility

Those eligible to compete in the Special Abilities divisions must have either of the following:

  • Meet the general requirement to compete in an ATA tournament.
  • Permanent Physical Limitation.
  • Impaired Mental Acuity.
  • Autism Spectrum

Definitions of Permanent Physical Limitations/Impaired Mental Acuity

Permanent Physical Limitation: This permanent physical limitation would put the competitor at an extreme disadvantage against non-physically challenged peers.

Some examples of a permanent physical limitation that would deem the competitor eligible for a Special Ability division:

  • Has a bone, muscle, or nerve disorder that severely limits the physical mobility of the competitor.
  • Is missing a limb both legs or both arms.
  • Has an artificial leg(s).
  • Is forced to use a wheelchair or other device to maintain mobility.
  • Is blind.

Some examples of physical limitations that would not make the competitor eligible for a Special Ability division:

  • Muscle pulls, strains, or tears, recovering from a surgery or procedure that temporarily limits the physical mobility.
  • Is hearing impaired.
  • Has a seizure disorder.
  • Minor arthritic conditions, or joint replacement.

 

Impaired Mental Acuity: By impaired mental acuity, the intent is that the competitor is at an extreme disadvantage against non-challenged peers due to the inability to comprehend all aspects of the competition. Some examples of impaired mental acuity would include, but not be limited to:

  • Cognitively disabled (impaired ability to function independently).
  • Low functioning Autism.
  • Down syndrome.

Some examples of conditions that would not make the competitor eligible. These disabilities include but are not limited to:

  • Learning disabilities.
  • Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD).
  • Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD).
  • Psychiatric diagnoses.

 

Autism Spectrum:

By autism spectrum, refers to individuals that have been placed on the autism spectrum by the accepted two step evaluation process, (developmental screening and comprehensive diagnostic evaluation). Some competitors with autism will be in this category, while it is possible that lower functioning autistics may be placed in the cognitive division. Where an individual is placed on the spectrum will help the committee decided whether a competitor belongs in Special-A or Special-C (please see Special Ability eligibility procedures for how this will be determined)

Special Abilities (SA) Eligibility Procedures

Any competitor wishing to compete in the Special Abilities division must be approved by the Special Abilities Eligibility Committee. The committee is a multidisciplinary group made up of medical and psycho-social professionals that review each application and the supporting information provided to ensure that competitors are appropriate for the division. The chairperson of this committee is appointed by the presiding Grand Master in consultation with the International Chairman of Tournaments. The current director of this committee is Master Susan Winter.

The following is required to be completed for any competitor to enter into a Special Abilities division:

  • Download the Special Abilities application from ATAonline.com
  • Complete the application and email along with any support information to: specialabilities@princetonata.com. If one is unable to email the application, it may be faxed to 609-430-2893.
  • Special Ability competitors MUST include their IEP (Individualized Education Programs) in addition to any other supportive documentation that will help the committee better place the competitor based on the placement on the spectrum.
  • The committee will review the application and support information and render a decision. If additional information is required, the applicant’s instructor will be contacted.
  • The applicant will receive the committee determination in writing.
  • An approval for competitors in the Cognitive or Physical divisions does not have to be renewed each year; however,
  • Special Ability competitors in the Autistic Division must re-submit their application for approval annually.
    • Some individuals on the autism spectrum can have their needs change as they grow and develop. All parties involved should remember that there are times when individuals, especially younger competitors, will outgrow their need to be in the special abilities division, thus they are asked to re-submit their application annually.
  • Once a competitor has been approved to compete in a Special Abilities division, he/she should not compete in a non-Special Abilities division for that tournament year. A competitor cannot change or compete in a SA division they are not approved for by the committee.
  • A competitor approved for the Cognitive division cannot compete in the Autistic division.
    • Failure to comply may result in one’s Special Abilities status being revoked.
    • Points will not be switched from one Special Abilities division to another for failure to comply.
  • Points earned by a competitor prior to receiving approval from the Special Abilities Committee will be forfeited. This rule will be applied to all Special Ability competitors including those with presumptive eligibility such as Down Syndrome, use of a wheelchair or other ambulation devices, cerebral palsy, etc.

Any State or Top Ten points awarded to someone who competes in an incorrect Special Abilities division or the wrong category (Autism, Cognitive, Physical) for competition will be forfeited.

Please remember, the intent of these divisions is to provide an opportunity for those who qualify to earn the self-respect and self-esteem they could not have previously earned. The goal is that the competition be fair and safe for all the competitors involved regardless of their level of function and/or disability.

Special Abilities Divisions

There are separate divisions for those with cognitive challenges and for those with physical challenges. These divisions are for each gender and age group. To determine which division a member should compete in, the competitor’s diagnosis that requires the most adaptation for daily life will be considered.

Example: A competitor has been diagnosed as autistic, but because of that autism, the competitor has become physically challenged, the competitor will be included in the cognitive division. The assignment of proper division will be done by the eligibility committee on a case-by-case basis with the necessary input from the competitor, parent or guardian, Instructor, and doctor where needed.

In the Special Abilities divisions, the Junior and Adult divisions are divided by age and whether the student is a Black Belt or Color Belt. These divisions are different from the regular ATA competitor divisions because of the limited number of participants.

The following Special Abilities divisions will be at all ATA sanctioned events:

Cognitively Challenged

Boys

12 & Under

13 to 17

Girls

12 & Under

13 to 17

Men

18 to 29

30 & Over

Women

18 to 29

30 & Over

 

Physically Challenged

Boys

12 & Under

13 to 17

Girls

12 & Under

13 to 17

Men

18 to 29

30 & Over

Women

18 to 29

30 & Over

 

Autism Spectrum

Boys

12 & Under

13 to 17

Girls

12 & Under

13 to 17

Men

18 to 29

30 & Over

Women

18 to 29

30 & Over

 

In the Special Abilities divisions, the Junior and Adult divisions are divided by age and whether the student is a Black Belt or Color Belt. These divisions are unique to the Special Abilities divisions and different from the regular ATA competitor divisions because of the limited number of participants.

Special Abilities Rules Adjustments

Traditional Form and Traditional Weapons competition for the Special Ability divisions will be run the same as other divisions with one exception; all the judges will watch the entire form quality and the intent of the technique rather than the original assignments.

The logic behind this rule is as follows:

  • There are competitors that cannot perform kicks and stances; therefore it is not reasonable to expect a judge that is assigned to judge kicks and stances to give a fair score.
  • There are competitors that cannot perform hand techniques; therefore it is not reasonable to expect a judge that is assigned to judge blocks and strikes to give a fair score.
  • By allowing the judges to evaluate all aspects of the form and weapon performance the judges, while taking into consideration the intent of the technique shown and what they are capable of doing, can fairly judge and score the competition.

Traditional Point Sparring Competition - Special Ability Divisions

***For Special Ability- Autism Sparring and or Combat Sparring divisions, the standard point rules will apply.

Sparring and or Combat Sparring Divisions for the Cognitive and/or Physical Special Ability divisions will run the same as other divisions with one exception; all scoring techniques will be awarded one point.

The logic behind this rule is as follows:

  • A person confined to a wheelchair would never have the opportunity to score a two or three point technique.
  • It would give an unfair advantage to a standing competitor to be able to score a two or three point technique to a seated opponent.
  • The variety of the competitors’ individual mobility to evade a two or three point technique could also put a competitor at an unfair disadvantage.

This is not meant to discourage competitors that are capable of using any head level or jumping type kicks. They are still allowed and encouraged. They simply will only be awarded one point. All legal techniques and legal target areas remain the same.

Sparring and/or Combat Sparring Divisions for the Autistic Special Ability divisions will follow the same point system for scoring as in all other Non-Special Ability Divisions.

SECTION 17 - CHAMPION PROGRAM

Introduction

There are several titles that can be earned by individual competitors in the ATA: State/Provincial Champion, District Champion, Pan Am Champion, European Champion and World Champion. Competitors who are in the USA, Latin America, and/or European Top Ten, may compete for the Pan Am Champion, European Champion, and World Champion events at the respective events. In the Worlds competition, those competitors who rank in the TOP 4 standings published by ATA-HQ have a “guaranteed placement”. Eligible competitors from each of the other designated areas will be given a random number for their placement.  See TOC competition guidelines. This ranking placement does not apply to the Pan Am Championships or European Championships.  These events are on the level of the District Championships where all competitions are randomized.

School of Record

A person’s state/school of record is attached to the state in which the school they train is located.  If the school is located in a “border town” where it is possible for members whose address is in one state, but train in another, the state of the competitor should be where he/she trains. Students who train via “Skype” or other internet methods should be attached to the state in which he/she has his/her primary residence. The key words here are “Border Town”.  One should not assume that if they travel across states to train once a month, etc. that they may circumvent the spirit of this rule. The International Chairman has the final determination as to any questions about the state in which a person trains.

This rule applies to all Demo/Sparring/Combat Team competitions.  Sync Team competitions are not restricted to one School or State, and therefore do not fall under this rule.

Tournament Year

The tournament year ends and begins at World Championships; one tournament year ends with the Tournament of Champions, and another begins with the Class "AAA" World Championship tournament usually on Saturday and Sunday. The 2019-2020 Tournament Season will end on Sunday, May 30th, 2021. The final day for ATA Licensees to host a sanctioned Class “C” event will be May 15th, 2021.  Any Tournament held after those dates will have any points earned at those tournaments posted in the following season.

Competitive Events

There are eight (8) competitive individual events that are awarded points in an ATA tournament. These are traditional forms, traditional weapons, traditional free sparring/one-steps, combat weapons, creative forms, creative weapons, xtreme forms and xtreme weapons.

Proper Division Placement

It is crucial to understand into which division a student should be placed. The proper division is based on competition age and rank.

Competition Age

A competitor's competition age is determined by their age as of 11:59 pm, December 31st of the tournament season. The age that they are at on that date will indicate the division in which they should compete in throughout the entire tournament season.

Rank Information

The criteria that are important for a color belt and black belt students differ. It is important to check rank information provided in State and World Championship programs to understand the best placement for the competitor.

Notes:

1st Degree Recommended Black Belts may choose to either compete with either Color Belts or with Black Belts at any tournament. 

At each tournament, 1st Degree Recommended Black Belt students have a choice to participate as a Color Belt or as a Black Belt but not as both. If a student participates as a Black Belt for one event in a tournament, then they must participate as a Black Belt for all events at that tournament. Conversely, if a student competes as a Color Belt for one event in a tournament, then they must compete as a Color Belt for all events at that tournament. (Traditional and Creative/Xtreme) If a Recommended Black Belt competes in a Color Belt Division, his/her TOP TEN State or World points for that tournament will not be moved to a Black Belt Division. 

 

The following Guidelines apply if a 1st Degree Recommended Black Belt Competes in a 1st Degree Decided Black Belt Division:

  • For Traditional Forms Competition, he/she may perform either the Choong Jung 2, Choong Jung 1, or In Wha 2. He/she may not compete with a lower belt form or with the 1st Degree form, Shim Jun.
  • If he/she chooses to compete in Traditional Weapons, he/she must compete with one of the 5 approved 1st Degree Decided Weapons. Those weapons are: Single Ssahng Jeol Bong, Single Bahng Mahng Ee, Oh Sung Do, Gum Do, or Mid-range Jahng Bong
  • The competitor may not replace one of these forms with the color belt 30-seconds of free style exhibition.
  • In order to compete at Districts and or Tournament of Champions, the competitor must obtain his/her 1st Degree Black Belt Decided, and it must be recorded at ATA HQ by May 15th of the competition season.  Failure to meet this requirement will result in forfeiture of all State/World Top Ten Points, thus making the competitor ineligible for Districts and/or World TOC competitions as a black belt competitor. Those forfeited points will NOT be transferred to a color belt division.
    • This rule applies for all events, including Team Sparring/Combat Sparring.
  • At the Worlds “Tournament of Champions”, the 1st Degree Form, Shim Jun, must be performed in order to earn a World Champion Title. No color belt form can be performed at the Worlds “Tournament of Champions”. This guideline does not apply to the District Championships.

***Special Note:  If a 1st Degree Recommended Black Belt competes at a tournament in the 1st degree division, he/she may also compete in Team Sparring/Team Combat.  If he/she competes as a Color Belt at that tournament, he/she is not eligible to compete in Team Sparring/Team Combat at that tournament.  (See Team Sparring/Team Combat Rules)

2BR competitors must compete as the 2nd-degree black belts in the 2nd/3rd degree Division.

  • A 2BR competitor must compete with the 1st Degree form (Shim Jun) and in the 2nd/3rd degree division. He/She may not compete in the 1st Degree division.
  • As a competitor in the 2nd/3rd Degree Division, a 2nd Degree Recommended competitor may compete with any of the weapons forms allowed in that division.

Notes About Points

Participants at class B tournaments will be awarded FULL points regardless of how many competitors are in their ring. This system will also be used for Class AA (national) and Class AAA (World) events. Class A events points are based on the number of competitors in that event and the points are listed below. We understand that by doing this, some competitors are not going to want to have their rings “combined” with other rings. However, the RTTL is required to continue to combine rings as we have done in previous seasons.  Combined division guidelines are set by the International Chairman of Tournaments and given to the RTTL’s. The RTTL’s decision as to how a ring is combined or split is final and should not be affected by the opinion of competitors, spectators, instructors, or seniors at the tournament. If, after all of the combining division steps have been completed, and there is still a division with less than five competitors then the full points will be awarded for Class B, national and world events.

SPECIAL NOTE:  For all Class A tournaments, when a division is split, if the event was full prior to the split of the ring, that event will receive full points in both split rings.  Example:  There are 14 persons in the ring.  The ring will be split.  Prior to the split, 12 were registered for forms, 5 were registered for Weapons, 12 were registered for Sparring, 13 were registered for Combat weapons, 7 were registered for Creative Forms, 2 were registered for Creative Weapons, 4 were registered for Xtreme Forms, and 6 were registered for Xtreme Weapons.  The following events will receive full points:  Forms, Weapons, Sparring, Combat weapons, Creative forms and Xtreme weapons.  

However, since Creative Weapons and Xtreme Forms did not have the minimum of 5 competitors registered for that event prior to the split, they will not receive full points.  They will receive points based on their original number of competitors prior to the split.

“Class C” Tournaments

Class C tournaments are to be “inner-school” events. There are multiple ways for a tournament to qualify as "inner-school".

  1. Competitors are limited to only members of schools or clubs owned by the same owner. The owner is defined as a person included on the license of the school or club on record with the Licensing Department of the ATA International Headquarters. Competitors must be from the same geographical area.

 Example:  A student from Texas, cannot compete with students in Indiana for the purpose of holding a Class C event unless that student travels to the Indiana tournament site from his/her state of residence to a Class C event hosted by the same licensee.

  1. Any school or club may combine with any other school or club or multiple clubs/schools providing they follow one of the 3 guidelines listed below:
    1. Unlimited numbers of clubs may be combined with other clubs.  This does not include combining with Basic/Advanced/Elite schools.
    2. Any 2 school numbers of different licensees may combine. Combined testing numbers are not a factor.
    3. Unlimited number of Basic/Advanced/Elite schools & clubs may combine as long as their combined testing average for the previous calendar year is less than 100.  The schools listed on the sanction and their testing numbers will be verified by ATA HQ staff. The average testing number will be determined by the testing department by taking the total number of Black Belts and Color Belts who test during the previous year’s tournament season and dividing the total number by 6, or the actual number of tests sent in (whichever number is less), to create the average number tested. School Licensees, who fail to turn in tests promptly, may hamper their ability to combine with other clubs or schools for this process.
      • Example 1:  School 1494 (Stevens) and School 3852 (Rosa) may combine.  There is no max. Testing number requirements because it is only 2 separate licensees.
      • Example 2: Club 1234 (Johnson), Club 5678 (O’Brien), Club 9012 (McClain), and Club 3456 (Kent) can all combine, regardless of their combined testing numbers, since they are all club licenses.

If ineligible members of other schools or clubs compete in these events, the results may become null and void and any possible points earned may not be awarded.

Important Sanctions Information for ATA Licensee:

  • The Class C event must be sanctioned with the Tournament Department of the ATA International Headquarters at least 30 days in advance of the event.
  • Only one Class C tournament may be hosted by an ATA Licensee during any 30-day period.
  • These events must not conflict with other regional (in the ATA Licensee’s region), national, or international events and will not be officially sanctioned if the dates conflict.

The points awarded in all divisions (except Special Abilities) at a Class C tournament for the purpose of State, or World Top Ten standings are as follows:

 

For all divisions of 5 competitors or more

1st place

3 points

2nd place

2 points

3rd place

1 point

 

If the division has fewer than 5 competitors:

Place

4 competitors

3 competitors

2 competitors

1 competitor

1st

2 pts

1 pt

0 pt

0 pt

2nd

1 pt

0 pt

0 pt

 

3rd

0 pt

0 pt

 

 

 

There will be NO points awarded for divisions with fewer than three competitors. The creation of divisions is solely in the hands of the school/club owner. They are not bound by any of the same rules governing the other classes of tournaments. Color belts and black belts may be combined to achieve a full division. To prevent abuse of the system (this limit applies only to Class C tournaments), there is a three-event limit per tournament year that a student can earn points towards World or State Champion Top Ten standings. The best of three Class C tournaments will count in addition to the current number of events allowed towards either “Championship” group. To provide another safeguard against a competitor winning a title with only Class C tournament points, a limit of 50% of a competitor’s point total can come from Class C events.

Example: The most points a competitor can earn from Class C tournaments are 9 (3 tournaments times 3 points for first place). To be able to apply all 9 points to their total, they would need to have at least 9 points come from higher-class level tournaments.

Note:

  • As a point to remember, if a competitor places at Class C tournaments first, their points will not be reflected in the standings until they place at a higher class level tournament and meet the 50% rule.
  • The ATA Licensee has seven business days from the completion of the tournament to submit the results to headquarters. Failure to do so will result in forfeiture of points for the students who participated.
  • Class C tournaments held in April must be received at Headquarters by May 20, 2021 to be counted towards the current tournament year. There will be no exceptions to this rule.

Awarded Points for Special Abilities: For Special Abilities divisions at Class C events, the competitors may earn 1 point per competitor up to a maximum of 3 points provided that all competitors in the division are Special Ability competitors. All other rules concerning Class C events apply to Special Ability divisions. In Class C events, all categories of competitors in special ability divisions should be combined. 

 

“Class B” Tournament

Regional events that have been approved by the ATA Licensee’s region and sanctioned by the Tournament Department of the ATA International Headquarters are considered “Class B” tournaments.

The points awarded for a “Class B” tournament are as follows:

For all divisions

1st place

5 points

2nd place

3 points

3rd place

1 point

 

“Class A” Tournament

“Class A” tournaments are regional events that have been approved by the ATA Licensee’s region and sanctioned by the Tournament Department of the ATA International Headquarters. For a tournament to be eligible for the “Class A” ranking, the history of the previous events hosted by the same ATA Licensee is reviewed. “Class A” tournaments are expected to be larger and offer the potential for a higher level competition, therefore, the points awarded are increased. from that of a “Class B” tournament. The points awarded for a “Class A” tournament are as follows:

For all divisions of 5 competitors or more

1st place

8 points

2nd place

5 points

3rd place

2 point

 

if the division has fewer than 5 competitors

1st Place

5 points

2nd place

3 points

3rd place

1 point

 

“Class AA” Tournament

“Class AA” tournaments are the three National events. The number of these events may change in the future as may the locations. Due to the size of these events, the potential for more competitors and thus a higher level of competition in each division, the points awarded are of greater value than a Regional Tournament.

The points awarded for a “Class AA” tournament are as follows:

For all divisions

1st place

15 points

2nd place

10 points

3rd place

8 point

 

“Class AAA” Tournament

There is only one “Class AAA” tournament each year. This tournament is always considered the first tournament of the season and has the highest potential for a competitor to earn “points”.  This event is hosted by the presiding Grand Master of Songahm Taekwondo and ATA International Headquarters. It is typically called the Songahm Taekwondo World Championships and has competitors from all over the world meet to compete. Due to the size of these events, the potential for more competitors and thus a higher level of competition in each division, the points awarded are of greater value than all other Sanctioned Tournaments.

The points awarded for a “Class AAA” tournament are as follows:

For all divisions

1st place

20 points

2nd place

15 points

3rd place

10 points

Points Structure and Maximum Points

All champion programs will use the same point structure for awarding points. Points are awarded based on the tournament's classification, the number of participants in the event, and the competitor's placement in the event. The competitor must be in good standing with the ATA and meet the eligibility requirements for the program. A competitor may choose to attend as many tournaments as they deem necessary to try to obtain maximum points.  However, there is a limited number of tournaments where the results will count towards the standings. They are the World Championship results, best two Class "AA" results for each event, five best regional results for each event, & 3 qualifying class C results for each event. Point accumulation for individual competitive events are calculated independently.

The maximum point total is 99 for State and World Top Ten standings,

  • World Championships - max of 20 points
  • Best National event ( You may count 2 out of 3 class "AA" events) - max 30 points
  • Best five regional tournaments - max 40 points (Assuming 1st place, full ring @ 5 "A" tournaments)
  • Best three “Class C” events - max 9 points.

 

SPECIAL NOTE: “PHANTOM COMPETITORS”

It has come to the attention of the Tournament Department at the ATA International Headquarters that members of the ATA have been “bowing in” to a ring in order to allow the ring to get “full points”. This practice is strictly prohibited. It not only does not follow the letter of the rules but violates the spirit as well. Only competitors who have paid for the event and fully intend to compete in that event to the best of their abilities should be allowed to participate in a ring. Competitors should ALWAYS attempt to compete at their best. Competing with the intention of losing (i.e. demonstrating only a few moves of a form) violates the spirit of Songahm Taekwondo competition. Rings found to contain phantom competitors will be subject to loss of points and additional penalties for the competitors and judges in that ring.

Top Ten Standings

During the tournament season, the ATA Tournament Department will collect the results of all sanctioned tournaments. The eligible students who placed will receive Top Ten points according to their placing. These points are awarded in Traditional Form, Traditional Point Sparring, Traditional Weapons, ATA-Xtreme Form, ATA-Xtreme Weapons, Creative Form, Creative Weapons, and Combat Sparring competitions. These points are totaled at the end of the tournament season, and those ten competitors in each division with the most points will earn a spot on the, appropriate, Top Ten list. All tournaments will follow all ATA tournament rules including the current guidelines for separating and combining age & rank groups and for distributing awards. Points will be awarded only for placing in those tournaments properly sanctioned by the ATA International Headquarters. Tournaments are identified by different class distinctions. Each class has different criteria that must be met and offers a different point structure.

STATE AND TOC POINT CORRECTIONS:

Tournament points are normally updated twice a week during the tournament season. Keep in mind that a competitor must have an ACTIVE ATA MEMBERSHIP at the time of the competition.  Results sent to ATA-HQ have memberships verified. Points earned by EXPIRED MEMBERS will not be posted.  Those points now fall under the point correction guidelines.  Every effort is made to post points on Wednesdays and Fridays. The following guidelines apply:

  • It is the responsibility of the competitor and/or the competitor’s instructor to check his/her points on a regular basis.
  • Any point corrections or inquiries must be made in writing to mailto:tournaments@ataonline.com within 30 days of the tournament being posted to the standings on ATAonline.com.
    • This includes any points removed or not posted by ATA-HQ because of an expired ATA number at the time of the competition.
    • Requests not made via email will no longer be accepted. This “paper trail” is essential in making sure all competitor concerns are fairly and timely addressed.
    • After 30 days of a tournament being posted, no additional correction requests can be made for any reason.
    • It may take longer than 30 days to resolve any requests.
  • For tournaments held in May, the competitor will have until June 5th, 2021 to contact the tournament department to request point corrections. All requests must be submitted via email to tournaments@ataonline.com.
  • This rule applies for any errors including but not limited to wrong age, rank, & gender errors.

HELPFUL TIPS:

  1. Check your points in your personal ATA profile
  2. Match these points against the current World/State Standings
  3. If there is a discrepancy, or if you feel that you are missing any points, please email the ATA Tournament Department immediately at the following email address. tournaments@ataonline.com (please note the deadlines given above for point corrections)

White/Orange/ Yellow Belt Sparring at all Events

Leadership competitors (W/O/Y) who choose to do both traditional sparring and traditional one-steps will receive the points from the highest placement they earn.

Example: Competitor A, in a full division at worlds, wins 2nd place in one-step sparring, but 1st place in traditional sparring. He/she would receive the first place points instead of the 2nd place points. The competitor will not receive both sets of points.

SECTION 18 - STATE CHAMPIONSHIP PROGRAM

Introduction

The tournament process has gone through many incarnations through the years with Grand Champions, National Champions, and World Champions. These programs had always been solely for black belts with the color belts watching and waiting for their chance to earn a title. In 2001, at the Songahm Taekwondo World Championships, the ATA introduced the State Champion Tournament Program for color belts and black belts.

State Champion Program Procedures

All color belts and black belts who are enrolled in an official Leadership Program with ATA International Headquarters are eligible to earn points towards the title of State Champion. These programs include the Junior Trainee Instructor Program and the Trainee Instructor, Certified Trainee Instructor, Specialty Certified Instructor, and Certified Instructor Programs.

Special Note: The ability to start earning points towards the State Champion Program begins once the student has received his/her “welcome” letter from the ATA International Headquarters. It does not start once the student completes the paperwork within his/her school.

State Champion Program Procedure

  • Once the official results are received by the Tournament Department of ATA International Headquarters, those competitors who are enrolled in a Leadership Program will be researched, and State Championship points will be awarded to them.
  • No judge at the regional, national, or world tournaments will be required to confirm a competitor’s enrollment in a Leadership Program. The Leadership requirement will be verified by the Tournament Department at International Headquarters.

Divisions for State Champion Program

Color Belt Divisions: Because color belts change rank frequently during a year, divisions cannot be based on rank. Divisions for color belts will be based on age and gender. Boys and girls will be separated from each other. Also, men and women will be separated from each other. The age breakdowns for junior and adult color belts are consistent with those used for junior and adult black belts. At a regional tournament, if any color belt age divisions are combined and a competitor places, the points will be awarded in their correct age division. The 8 & under division is strictly for those that compete as a junior, not tiger.

Black Belt Divisions: The black belt divisions will match the divisions used in the World Champion program.

Promoting to Black Belt during competition year: A color belt who receives the rank of 1st degree decided black belt will not lose their existing color belt state champ points, but they may no longer add to their total in the color belt division.

The title of “State Champion” is earned solely through the accumulation of points throughout the tournament season. The following guidelines apply:

  • Points will be awarded separately for traditional form, traditional weapons, traditional one-steps/point sparring, ATA Xtreme weapons & forms and creative weapons & forms. There will be a State Champion for each event.
  • The competitor with the highest point total in each competitive event at the end of the competition year will win the title of State Champion for their state and division.
  • There will not be any final competition to determine a State Champion.
  • In the case of a tie in point totals, all members tied will be declared the State Champion.
  • Students who compete in ATA Tiger or Novice rings will not be eligible to earn points towards the title of State Champion for that tournament.
  • The state in which your school of record is located as of December 31st is the state in which your points will be placed.
  • Once the “Final Finals” are posted on the official ATA website at www.ataonline.com, the first place finishers will be able to purchase a special uniform indicating State Champion for his/her state and division through their instructor.

SECTION 19 - DISTRICT CHAMPIONSHIP PROGRAM

General Information

The following are the guidelines for District Championships. District boundaries will be evaluated annually and may change in subsequent years. The district boundaries are based upon the number of competitors in each state's Top Ten for previous year and the anticipated travel distance and time for competitors and judges was also taken into consideration. See the District page at ataonline.com for details of the states comprising each district.

Eligibility Guidelines

Any student, color belt or black belt, who is listed in their state as a “State Top Ten” competitor for one or more of the 8 types of competitions is eligible to compete in the District Championships. When the final State Top Ten points are posted on the ATA official website, students listed in each competition category become eligible in that category with the following provisions:

To compete in this event, an eligible competitor must:

  1. Be enrolled in an official Leadership program with ATA International Headquarters and a student in good standing, training regularly in a licensed ATA School or Club.
  2. Obtain his/her instructor’s permission to compete in this event. Permission to compete in previous competitions does not automatically apply to the District Championship Tournament.
  3. Have a current ATA membership.
  4. Be listed in his/her state’s top ten for the event in which he/she tries to register.
    • Example: A student eligible in Traditional Forms may not be qualified to compete in Traditional Weapons, and would not be allowed to compete in Traditional Weapons at Districts.
  5. Be listed as a Camo Belt or higher in rank by May 15th in the ATA database kept current by the testing department of the ATA International Headquarters. It is highly recommended that all licensees have any May testing results delivered to HQ by May 15th to assure that all belt ranks are current in the ATA database to ensure that their students can complete the online registration process by the deadline. These belt ranks will be auto-checked by the online registration process. The registration process will not be complete for any competitor who does not meet the appropriate belt requirement. The information in the ATA HQ database is the information that will apply to eligibility for district championships.
  6. Registration will be online only. See ataonline.com for the registration window. Onsite registrations will NOT be allowed. All registration fees are the responsibility of the competitor.
    • SPECIAL NOTE: Once the online registration is complete, the competitor will not be allowed to change the decision regarding which rank to compete. The assumption will be that the competitor did, in fact, consult with his/her instructor prior to registration. If an instructor informs headquarters that the student did not have his/her permission to compete before registration, the competitor will be disqualified from that year’s District Championship Tournament.
  7. If a competitor cancels his/her registration prior to Cancellation deadline date, a full refund will be sent to the person whose credit/debit card paid for the event. This is not an "automatic” refund from the registration site. A check will be cut from ATA Headquarters accounting department after the District Championships are completed. Refunds will not be given after the cancellation deadline date.
  8. Ring assignments, divisions, brackets etc. will be announced, posted online, and emailed to registered competitors by announcement date.

Additional Guidelines and Exceptions Applying to District Competition Only

The rules and regulations for the regular tournament season will be enforced with the following additional guidelines and changes uniquely in place for District Championships.

1st Degree Decided Black Belts Guidelines

1st Degree Recommended Black Belts, who have earned the rank of 1st Degree Black Belt Decided, pose some possible unique situations. The following rules only apply to those 1st Degree Recommended Black Belts competing in the District Championships:

  • A) 1st Degree Decided Black Belt students who attain their rank ON OR BEFORE March 30th, but have qualified for the Districts on the Color Belt State Top Ten list WILL NOT be able to compete as a color belt at District Championships. Those individuals will be allowed to compete at the Districts ONLY IF they earn enough points to qualify as a First Degree Decided Black Belt.
  • B) 1st Degree Decided Black Belt students who attain their rank AFTER MARCH 30th, and have qualified for the Districts as a color belt, WILL BE allowed to compete in the color belt division of Districts. However, if this competitor wins District Champion in a color belt division, he/she WILL NOT be eligible to compete in the Tournament of Champions.
  • C) It is possible for a 1st Degree Decided Black Belt, who attains their rank after March 30th to qualify both in a color belt and black belt divisions for the Districts. Only in this scenario, would the final decision, regarding in which division the student should compete, rest solely with the Instructor of that competitor. The instructor is the most qualified person to determine the competition level of the student in this situation. (ATA International Headquarters will not “override” the decision made by the competitor’s Instructor.) If the decision, made by the competitor’s instructor in this scenario, is for the student to compete as a color belt, then the student may only compete as a color belt. If the decision is to compete as a black belt, then the student may only compete as a black belt. It is not the intention of this guideline to infer that an instructor may always choose for a competitor to compete “up or down” in a belt rank. This scenario is unique only to the district championships and may not be used in any other tournament throughout the year.
  • THE ABOVE RULES, DO NOT APPLY TO ANY OTHER BLACK BELT RANK

Example #1: At the District Championships, a 1st Degree Decided Black Belt may compete with Chung Jung 2 (red belt) material in a 1st Degree division provided he/she has not been a 1st Degree Decided longer than 6 months.

Example #2: Mr. John Competitor, who attained his rank on April 1st of the current tournament year, qualifies in forms and sparring as both a Color Belt and a Black Belt. Mr. Competitor must either compete as a Black Belt or a Color Belt for the Districts. He may not compete in both at that tournament. His/her instructor will make that decision as he trains his student. The student may NOT compete in forms as a color belt and in sparring as a black belt.

2nd Degree Recommended Black Belts and Higher Competitors

District Championships will follow the “regular season” rules regarding which material black belts may use for competition. See admissible competition forms

  • A competitor WILL NOT be allowed to compete in one rank/belt division for one type of event, such as forms or sparring, etc., and a different rank/belt division for another type of event.
  • If a Black Belt becomes eligible for the same event in two different rank divisions, he/she must compete at the higher rank for the day. In this case , it is not a decision made by his/her instructor, the competitor, or his/her guardian.

Example #1: A person who qualifies as a 1st Degree in Forms, but as a 2nd Degree in Sparring, may not compete in both. He/She, in consultation with his/her instructor, must choose, prior to registering for the Districts, whether to be a 1st Degree competitor or a 2nd Degree Competitor for this tournament.

Example #2: A person qualifies as a 1st degree in Forms and as a 2nd/3rd degree in Forms. Their only option is to compete in the 2nd/3rd-degree division.

District Tournament Procedures

  • The order of competitors at the District Championships will be done by random draw, and generated by the program currently in place at ATA Headquarters. A competitors “State Top Ten” placement will have no bearing in determining which competitor name is called first or last.
  • In both Traditional Sparring and Combat Weapons Sparring if it is necessary to award one or more BYES, then the byes will be awarded in a random fashion as well. If a competitor has been given a bye, and then does not show up for his/her competition, the bracket WILL NOT be redrawn. It is possible in this case, where there are multiple “no shows”, for a competitor to reach the finals without ever actually sparring an opponent.

MULTIPLE RINGS - SAME AGE/RANK DIVISIONS in a competitive event.

In order to produce one District Champion per age/rank division in each event, the following will occur:

For traditional form, traditional weapon, all creative and extreme events the division will be divided in the following way:

  • 2 preliminary rings: 17-32 competitors
  • 3 preliminary rings: 33-48 competitors
  • 4 preliminary rings: 49-64 competitors

The winner of each preliminary ring in that division will go to a separate ring, not one of the same rings, for the sole purpose to determine who between those “Ring Winners” is to be named the “District Champion”. Each "Ring Winner" will perform his/her material one time for these judges, and the judges will “point” to the winner. No scores will be given in this situation. The winner will be given the 1st place medal and awarded the title of District Champion. 2nd and 3rd places will be awarded in the following way;

  • If there were 2 preliminary rings: the runners-up in preliminary ring will be award 3rd place (finalist compete for 1st & 2nd place)
  • If there were 3 & 4 preliminary rings: no awards given in the preliminary ring (finalist compete for 1st, 2nd & 3rd place).

For Traditional Sparring and Combat Weapons Sparring events the division will be divided in the following way:

  • 2 preliminary rings: 17-32 competitors
  • 4 preliminary rings: 33-64 competitors

The winner of each preliminary ring in that division will go to a separate ring, not one of the same rings, for the sole purpose to determine who between those “Ring Winners” is to be named the “District Champion”. The “Ring Winners” will spar additional matches in the new ring to determine the District Champion. The matches will be run using a regular ATA tournament sparring bracket that is drawn randomly. The winner will be given the 1st Place medal and awarded the title of District Champion. If there are 4 preliminary rings, the non-advancing semifinalist will compete for 3rd place before the finalist competes. If there are 2 preliminary rings, the runners-up in the preliminary rings will compete for 3rd place before the finalists compete.

District Tournament Awards

There will be one gold medal winner, one silver medal winner, and one bronze medal winner in each division for Traditional Forms, Traditional Weapons, ATA-Xtreme Forms, ATA-Xtreme Weapons, Creative Forms, Creative Weapons, and Traditional Point Sparring and Combat Weapons Sparring competition. The only exception in awarding multiple 2nd and 3rd place medals would be for divisions that have multiple preliminary rings. The competitor who wins the District tournament will gain the title of District Champion in his/her division and can wear a special lettered uniform making this distinction. This uniform is ordered through the student’s instructor from World Martial Arts and is done so at the student’s expense.

Black Belts, who win the title of District Champion, are eligible for the current tournament year's Tournament of Champions (TOC) for that competitive event.

SECTION 20 - WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP PROGRAM

Introduction

The competitive events in which it is possible for a black belt to win the title of World Champion are Traditional Forms, Traditional Weapons, Traditional Free-Sparring, Combat Weapons Sparring, ATA-Xtreme Forms, ATA-Xtreme Weapons, Creative Forms and Creative Weapons.

World Champion Eligibility Requirements

Only black belt students who are members in good standing may earn World Champion Top Ten points.

Divisions for Word Championship Program

The age and rank division for the World Championship program follow these black belt Divisions.

Rank Placements: Rank changes during the tournament season can make a difference as to where a competitor’s points will be applied. The following guidelines apply to rank changes during a tournament season:

  • If a person changes rank during the tournament season and that rank change places them in a different division, that competitor cannot gain any further points in the previous rank division.
  • All subsequent points will be awarded to the new rank division.
  • If a competitor is serious about trying for the title of World Champion, they should plan their rank changes accordingly.
  • The one exception to points being carried over to another division after a rank change is if the competitor tests and competes at World Championships.
  • If a student knows that they are going to test during the current tournament season, they can compete in the higher rank division before they achieve that rank. It is permissible to enter what may be considered a more “difficult” division. It is not permissible to enter a lower rank or “easier” division. The competitor must successfully test to the rank of the "higher" division by the TOC to be eligible to compete in TOC.
  • All the competitors that qualify for the "Tournament of Champions" to compete for the title of World Champion in Traditional Forms MUST perform one of the standard forms for the division in which they are competing during that final competition. A 2nd Degree Recommended Black Belt that has qualified to compete for the title of World Champion in traditional forms must successfully pass the test and be awarded the rank of 2nd Degree Decided by the Tournament of Champion.
  • It is possible to earn sufficient points to be in the Top Ten rankings in two rank divisions, but a competitor can only compete for the title in one. This rule applies regardless of the event in which the person qualifies. When the time to compete for the title of World Champion arrives, the competitor must compete in the higher rank division.
  • Points received by a Recommended Black Belt who competes in a Color Belt Division, will not have his/her TOP TEN State or World points for that tournament moved to a Black Belt Division. 

Example #1: Mary (an adult) is a 1st degree and after consulting with her instructor, plans to test for the rank of 2nd degree recommended in November. Mary can compete in the 2nd & 3rd-degree division at World Championships. This would allow her to have all her points awarded in the same division throughout the year. If she competed in the 1st-degree division at World Championships and changed ranks in November, all points she earned from World's to November would be in the 1st-degree division and all points she earned after November would be in the 2nd & 3rd-degree division. This could have a major impact on her World Champion chances.

Example #2: Alice is a 33-year-old 3rd degree testing for 4th degree at the World Championships. Alice shall compete in the Women 30-39 4th&5th-degree division. Regardless of the outcome of her testing, her points will be awarded in the appropriate division per the outcome of her testing. I.e. If she advances in rank, the points will be awarded in the 4th & 5th-degree division. If she is unsuccessful, the points will be awarded in the 2nd & 3rd-degree division.

Example #3: A person qualifies to compete in traditional forms competition for the TOC as a 1st Degree, and also qualifies to compete in traditional sparring as a 2nd/3rd Degree. This person's only option is to compete in the 2nd/3rd-degree division for the sparring title. They may not compete for forms champion in the 1st Degree division. They may not earn a title in two separate rank divisions in the same tournament year.

Qualifying for the Tournament of Champions

The tournament year culminates with the crowning of ATA's World champions. Qualified competitors will compete in the “Tournament of Champions”’ (TOC) which will be held at World Championships at the end of the tournament season. Starting with the 1999 Songahm Taekwondo World Millennium Expo, competitors from the STF (Songahm Taekwondo Federation) and the WTTU (World Traditional Taekwondo Union) were included in the finals to determine the World Champions for each division. Those competitor’s names are provided to the Tournament Department at the end of the tournament year, and will not be found posted in the Top Ten standings. The Top Ten standings will be made up of competitors from the United States and Canada. Since 2012, black belts who won the title of District champion for the current competition year are also eligible to compete in TOC for the event(s) in which they won the title of District Champion.

To qualify for the Tournament of Champions, a competitor must meet one of the following requirements:

  • Earn a spot on the Final World Champion Top Ten standings for the current competition year.
  • Win the title of District Champion for the current competition year.
  • Earn a nomination from the governing bodies from one of the countries in Europe, South American, India, Australia, South Korea, or South Africa for the current competition year.
  • Registration will be online only. See ataonline.com for the registration window. Onsite registrations will NOT be allowed. All registration fees are the responsibility of the competitor.

The result is that potentially there will be more than ten competitors vying for the title of World Champion.

Tournament of Champions (TOC)

The TOC ends the tournament year and is always a highlight of World Championships. After all qualifying competitors are announced, the tournament will be run in the following manner:

  1. Scoresheets and Bracket sheets will be filled out using only the names of the eligible competitors who have pre-registered for the TOC.   .
  • The order of competitors who pre-register will be on the scoresheet for traditional form, traditional weapons, creative forms & weapons, and ATA Xtreme form & weapons will be as follows:
    • For each event, a new random number will be given to all competitors who are not listed in the Top 4 places in the standings listed on the ATAonline.com World Standings. Out of country TOC competitors and District Champions who have not earned a Top 4 standing in the Worlds Standings posted online, be given a random numbering and combined with the competitors who are 5th-10th in the standings here in the United States.
    • The competitor’s name with the lowest random number will be placed in line 1 of the score sheet. This will continue until all competitors not in the “Top 4” standings are on the scoresheet.
    • The Top 4 will be listed last on the competition scoresheet. For questions or concerns contact the International Chairman of Tournaments  - betsy.stevens@ataonline.com.
    • The final four to compete will do so in the reverse order of their ranking (starting with the competitor in fourth place and ending with the top ranked competitor)
  1. During the TOC in Traditional Forms competition, a competitor MUST perform one of the standard forms for the division in which they are competing.
  2. Must be the rank of the division in which they will compete
  3. The placement in the competitors in the bracket for traditional point sparring and combat weapons will be as follows:
  • Awarding of Byes: If any byes are necessary, the top 4 ranking competitors will receive byes based upon his/her ranking on the top ten list. If additional byes are needed, they are awarded based on the random number given to all other eligible competitors. The lowest random number will be given the next bye and so forth until all of the byes have been awarded for that bracket.
  • The top 4 ranking United States competitors, will be placed on the bracket according to their ranking.
    • Number 1 in the standings will be placed on the #1 line on the sparring bracket sheet. Number 2 in the standings will be placed on the #2 line on the sparring bracket sheet and so forth through the number 4 person in the standings.
    • All other competitors will be placed based upon the random number assigned. The lowest random number will be placed on the line marked #5 and so forth until all lines on the bracket have been filled with either names or byes.
  • Previous World, District or State Champions in sparring will not have any bearing on the determining of byes for this event.
  • Once the sparring brackets are drawn, they will not be redrawn for "no-show" competitors. The "no-show" will forfeit the match, and their opponent will be advanced.
  1. After the World Champion Top Ten standings are announced, if one or more of the competitors are unable to compete in the final competition (for whatever reason), those empty slots will not be filled.
  2. No Points for standings will be awarded for the TOC competition.

Example #1: James earns the number ten position in the Men 18-29 2nd & 3rd-degree division. Due to his work obligations, he cannot attend the World Championships and is unable to compete for the title of World Champion. Sam, who is the number eleven finisher, will not move up to the number ten position because of James’s inability to participate. Sam did not earn the number ten position. James will remain in the number ten position.

Example #2: Emily is a 3rd Degree Black belt competing in forms competition during the TOC in the 2nd & 3rd Degree division, She may perform the 2nd degree form, however if there is a tie run-off she must again perform the 2nd degree form.

Tournament of Champions Awards

Certificates and jacket pins are given to all the Tournament of Champion competitors. There will be ONLY one gold medal winner, one silver medal winner, and one bronze medal winner in each competitive event. The competitor who wins the Tournament of Champions will gain the title of World Champion in his/her division and can wear a special lettered uniform making this distinction. This uniform is ordered through the student’s instructor from World Martial Arts and is done so at the student’s expense.

SECTION 21 – “BLACK BELT" TEAM SYNCHRONIZED COMPETITION RULES

Required Number of Team Members:

2 or 3 members (no gender requirements or restrictions)

Required Rank of Members:

All team members must be at least 1st Decided Black Belts or higher and listed as such in the ATA Membership files

Required Age of Members:

All ages are allowed

Uniform Requirements:

  • Songahm Taekwondo Traditional Dobok, ATA Creative/Xtreme Black uniform ONLY
  • All team members must wear the same style of uniform
  • All competition items including uniforms, weapons, props, etc. must be shown proper respect at all times.
  • Slamming jackets or purposely breaking weapons is NOT allowed.

Weapons Requirements (if used):

  • Weapons used must be from within the Protech curriculum
  • Only weapons that comply with Traditional Weapons or ATA-Xtreme/Creative Competition may be used

Team Member Requirements:

Team members’ will NO LONGER be required to be from the same school/club. All members must have a current ATA membership. A competitor can only be a member or listed as an alternate team member for 1 team per competition season. Once a competitor is listed as a member or alternate member of a team, they CAN NOT change teams during the competition season. A team may only list 1 person as an alternate per competition season.

Required Time of Presentation:

  • No minimum time – Maximum time of 2 minutes (going longer results in DQ)o Competition will be started in the following manner:
  1. The team’s name is called
  2. The team enters the ring for traditional bow in. Time begins after their traditional bow in and is

indicated by the center judge saying “your time begins now”.

  1. The team may then adjust themselves within the ring, signal for music to start (if they are using

music) and begin their presentation. *There will be NO penalty for teams that announce their name during their performance once it has started.

Judging Criteria (in no particular order):

  • Special emphasis in this division is placed on how the form is synchronized. Members should be doing the same moves at the same time or in domino fashion for at least 75% of the form time.
  • Degree of Difficulty
  • Movements coincide with Music (if used, see below)
  • Weapons Usage (if used)
  • Kicks (judged on proper foot position, height, focus, balance, power, etc.)
  • Hand Techniques (judged on proper hand position, speed, power, focus, tension, etc.)o Balance (during stances, landing from jump kicks, any gymnastic moves)
  • ATA Attitude, Confidence, Eye Contact, Intensity

There will be 5 judges. Each of the judges will be judging the overall presentation based on the criteria listed above. None of the judges can have a team involved in the competition (cannot be an Instructor of the competitors or the owner of the school or club that the competitors train at or belong to) or have a team that has won an event during that tournament season. There may be alternative methods used during the World Championships competition.

Scores will run from 0 to 9

Unlike traditional forms and weapons competition where competitors are scored in direct relation to each other, this team competition will have set criteria that the judges will be watching for (see above). The judges will award their scores based on the overall performance and how each of the criteria are performed. The team with the highest total score will be the winner.

Ties: In the event of a tie, the team with the most members involved in the tie will win (more members are more difficult to synchronize). If the teams involved in the tie have the same number of members, the judges will vote for the outcome by pointing to the team they feel has the best performance. The teams will not perform again.

Music: The use of music is optional. If music is used, a digital music player (iPod, iPhone, MP3 player, etc) will be required to play team music. A team representative will be responsible to start, oversee and end music for their teams’ competition. No time allowance for malfunctions will be made unless it is found to be the fault of the house sound system. For the finals at the World Championships, the sound system of the arena will be used and the music must be supplied on CD in advance of the event (complete info will be provided to the teams). The music used must be all ages appropriate – any music/lyrics found inappropriate by ATA International Headquarters will result in DQ.

Registration fee for competition: $150.00 per team.

  • Registration: An online registration form is available to all teams
    • Refunds, minus $25, will be given for teams withdrawing 14 days prior to event
    • A 50% refund will be given for teams withdrawing 7 days prior to event
    • NO refunds will be given for teams withdrawing less than 7 days prior to the event.
  • Event name (Fall Nationals, Spring Nationals)
  • Competition event (Team Demo or Team Synchronized Form)
  • Team name, number of team members, members’ names, and member’s ATA number so Method of payment (credit card, credit on school account, check)
  • There will not be a registration fee for the final competition at the World Championships.

The ATA International Tournament Department will be using the online registration forms to create the order of competition. The team with the earliest registration will compete last and so on through all registrations. The registration fee must be paid in order for the team to be officially registered for competition. Teams will be notified of acceptance by return email (please make sure a valid email address is included with registration).

The winning team at each National event will earn the opportunity to compete at the upcoming Songahm Taekwondo World Championships against the winners from the other national events (Fall Nationals and Spring Nationals) as well as the teams representing countries outside the United States for Top Honors. 

Special note: For clarification, a school/club may have a Demo Team AND a Synchronized Team entered into competition and they may share members. Teams that compete at one event and don’t win are eligible to compete at other events during that tournament season. Teams that do win cannot compete at other national tournaments during that tournament season. The same school may register another team, but that team must contain all different members than the winning team. Winning Demo teams may change the number of members on the team and/or the actual team members in preparation for the final competition at World Championships as long as all other requirements are met (listed alternates, proper rank, same school, etc.). Winning Sync teams may also change members as long as they were listed as alternates. Winning teams are responsible for all of their own expenses incurred to participate at the World Championships including, but not limited to, airfare, lodging, meals, etc.

*The ATA reserves the right to make changes or adjustments to the rules & procedures as it sees fit during the competition season*

SECTION 22 – “BLACK BELT” TEAM DEMONSTRATION COMPETITION RULES

Required Number of Team Members:

4 or more (no limit to maximum number - no gender requirements or restrictions)

Required Rank of Members:

All team members must be at least 1st Decided Black Belts or higher and listed as such in the ATA

Membership files

Required Age of Members:

All ages are allowed

Uniform Requirements:

  • Songahm Taekwondo Traditional Dobok, ATA Creative/ Xtreme Black uniform ONLY
  • All team members must wear the same style of uniform.
  • All competition items including uniforms, weapons, props, etc. must be shown proper respect at all times.
  • Slamming jackets or purposely breaking weapons is NOT allowed.

Weapons Requirements (if used):

  • Weapons used must be from within the Protech curriculum
  • Only weapons that comply with Traditional Weapons or ATA-Xtreme/Creative Competition may be used

Other Requirements:

All members must have a current ATA membership

  • All members of the team must come from only one school/club.
    • A person’s state/school of record is attached to the state in which the school they train is located. If the school is located in a “border town” where it is possible for members whose address is in one state, but train in another, the state of the competitor should be where he/she trains. Students who train via “Skype” or other internet methods should be attached to the state in which he/she has his/her primary residence. The key words here are “Border Town”.  One should not assume that if they travel across states to train once a month, etc. that they may circumvent the spirit of this rule. The International Chairman has the final determination for any questions about the state in which a person trains.
  • Even for multi-school owners, team members cannot come from multiple schools
  • A list of team members and its alternates will be required along with ATA numbers to verify school affiliation School/clubs MAY register more than 1 team per competition but the teams may NOT share members

Special note: Members of a team for the Team Demonstration Competition must come from only one school/club. If it is found that a student(s) is moved from one school to another for the purpose of this competition, the entire team will be disqualified and the owner will not be able to enter any teams in future competitions.

Required Time of Presentation:

  • No minimum time – Maximum time of 3 minutes (going longer results in DQ)o Competition will be started in the following manner:
  1. The team’s name is called
  2. The team enters the ring for a traditional bow in. Time begins after their traditional bow in and is

indicated by the center judge saying “your time begins now”.

  1. The team may then adjust themselves within the ring, signal for music to start (if they are using music) and begin their presentation. * There will be NO penalty for teams that announce their team name during their performance once it has started.

Goal of Presentation:

  • To entertain the audience using multiple methods of demonstrating martial arts skill so
  • Presentation should be fast paced, high energy, exciting, dramatic, and fun to watch.
  • This IS NOT meant to be an informative presentation so an “MC” is not permitted to participate in the presentation of any team.

Methods Allowed (any or all can be included):

  • Any Songahm forms, segments, combinations of martial arts techniques
  • Any creative forms, segments, combinations of martial arts techniques
  • Any ATA-Xtreme forms, segments, combinations of martial arts techniques
  • Empty hand self-defense, Weapons, Weapons self-defense
  • Weapons used must be from the Protech curriculum
  • Only weapons that comply with Traditional Weapons or ATA-Xtreme Competition can be used
  • Board Breaking
  • Boards provided by team
  • Only plastic or wood allowed (no other materials permitted – bricks, concrete, etc.)
  • Because this is a “demo”, boards can be prepped (shaved, poppers, etc.)
  • Clean up to be done by team immediately after dismissal of team

Props: “Anything other than boards, ATA approved weapons and ATA approved uniforms. A request to use any and all props that wish to be used during competition must be submitted via email 30 days prior to competition for approval. (scott.skiles@ataonline.com)

Humor, Martial Arts “tricks” and/or Gymnastics movements and synchronization IS NOT required, but is allowed.

Judging Criteria:

Scoring will be based on overall team performance rather than individual performances with the primary criteria being showmanship, presentation and quality of execution.

There will be 5 judges. Each of the judges will be judging the overall presentation based on the criteria listed above. None of the judges can have a team involved in the competition (cannot be an Instructor of the competitors or the owner of the school or club that the competitors train at or belong to) or have a team that has won an event during that tournament season. There may be alternative methods used during the World Championships competition.

Scores will run from 0 to 9

Unlike traditional forms and weapons competition where competitors are scored in direct relation to each other, this team competition will have set criteria that the judges will be watching for (see above). The judges will award their scores based on the overall performance and how each of the criteria are performed. The team with the highest total score will be the winner.

Ties: In the event of a tie, the team with the most members involved in the tie will win (more members offer more opportunities for mistakes). If the teams involved in the tie have the same number of members, the judges will vote for the outcome by pointing to the team they feel has the best performance. The teams will not perform again.

Music: The use of music is optional. If music is used, a digital music player (iPod, iPhone, MP3 player, etc.) will be required to play team music. A team representative will be responsible to start, oversee & end music for their teams’ competition. No time allowance for malfunctions will be made unless it is found to be the fault of the house sound system. For the finals at the World Championships, the sound system of the arena will be used and the music must be supplied on CD in advance of the event (complete info will be provided to the teams). The music used must be all ages appropriate – any music/lyrics found inappropriate by ATA International Headquarters will result in DQ.

Registration fee for competition: $150.00 per team.

  • Registration: An online registration form is available to all teams
    • Full refunds will be given for teams withdrawing 14 days prior to event
    • 50% refund will be given for teams withdrawing 7 days prior to event
    • NO refunds will be given for teams withdrawing less than 7 days prior to event
  • Event name (Fall Nationals, Spring Nationals)
  • Competition event (Team Demo or Team Synchronized Form)
  • Team name, number of team members, members’ names, and member’s ATA number so Method of payment (credit card, credit on school account, check)
  • There will not be a registration fee for the final competition at the World Championships.

The ATA International Tournament Department will be using the online registration forms to create the order of competition. The team with the earliest registration will compete last and so on through all registrations. The registration fee must be paid in order for the team to be officially registered for competition. Teams will be notified of acceptance by return email (please make sure a valid email address is included with registration).

The winning team will earn the opportunity to compete at the upcoming Songahm Taekwondo World Championships Opening Ceremonies against the winners from the other national events (Fall Nationals and Spring Nationals) for Top Honors.

Special note: For clarification, a school/club may have a Demo Team AND a Synchronized Team entered into competition and they may share members. Teams that compete at one event and don’t win are eligible to compete at other events during that tournament season. Teams that do win cannot compete at other events during that tournament season. The same school may register another team, but that team must contain all different members than the winning team. Winning Demo teams may change the number of members on the team and/or the actual team members in preparation for the final competition at World Championships as long as all other requirements are met (listed alternates, proper rank, same school, etc.). Winning Sync teams may also change members as long as they were listed as alternates. Winning teams are responsible for all of their own expenses incurred to participate at the World Championships including, but not limited to, airfare, lodging, meals, etc.

SECTION 23 - MISCELLANEOUS INFORMATION

Opening Ceremony Agenda

The ATA Tournament Department has a proper agenda for the opening ceremonies of a regional tournament. It is crucial to follow this agenda and not deviate from it without prior authorization from the ATA Tournament Department or Grandmaster In Ho Lee. Below is that agenda:

  1. M.C. - Introduction of the Seniors (lowest to highest rank) and Guests. Announce position, city/state, rank, and then name (if applicable, other achievements such as World Champion, etc. may be included)
  2. M.C. - Announces “Ladies and gentlemen, please face the flags.”
  3. Korean National Anthem (either via tape, CD, or singer)
  4. American National Anthem (either via tape, CD, or singer)
  • M.C. waits for the “Seniors to face the Juniors” (Please make sure Seniors have had the opportunity to face the juniors before the M.C. or leading student starts the Songahm Spirit of Taekwondo.)
  1. M.C. Songahm Spirit of Taekwondo (notice there is no BOW to the flags. The bow is a method of showing respect, the playing of the anthems will represent this respect.)
  2. M.C. - Announces “Everyone, please be seated.”
  3. M.C. - Welcomes host of tournament
  4. If applicable, have special guest give speech
  5. Where appropriate, give out awards
  6. Highest ranking senior recognizes previous and current world, national and state champions present in the following order: State, District, & World
  7. If applicable, announce sponsors
  8. If applicable, begin demonstration
  9. Regional Tournament Team Leader - swears in judges
  10. Regional Tournament Team Leader - administers competitor’s oath
  11. Regional Tournament Team Leader - gives instructions and explains which divisions are in which rings
  12. Regional Tournament Team Leader - asks senior rank for permission to start the competition
  • It is imperative that the opening ceremonies for regional tournaments not exceed a 30 minute time frame (including demonstration). The demonstration should be held to 10 minutes or less.
  • At the conclusion of the tournament, there should be a bow-out ceremony. This would be conducted the same as the ending of a class including the reciting of the Songahm Spirit.

NOTE: ALL BLACK BELTS ARE EXPECTED TO STAY AT THE TOURNAMENT UNTIL THE OFFICIAL BOW OUT

Judges’ Oath

The judges’ oath will be administered by the International Tournament Chairman, the National Tournament Director or the Regional Chief of Tournaments to all personnel who will be judging. Although the association holds respect for certified judges’ integrity, the oath is a reminder of the great responsibility held by a judge who is seen by all others as representatives of the ATA. It is vital for judges to project a feeling of ATA unity and that all judges are interested in the growth and continued enjoyment of our martial art.

The administering official shall have all judges raise their right hands with the left hand in the support position, as he/she reads the oath:

“Do you swear that your judging of the Taekwondo students here present shall be without prejudice of school, region or other variant, and that your judging will be to the best of your ability in keeping with ATA policy and standards for the best interests of all competitors here involved?”

All judges shall answer: “I DO.”

Competitors’ Oath

In an effort to maintain the proper mental attitude of the competitors present, the proper official shall administer the following oath to all competitors.

The administering official shall have all competitors stand and raise their right hands with the left hand in the support position, as he/she reads the oath:

“Do you promise as a competitor in this ATA Regional Tournament, to compete in the spirit of Songahm Taekwondo, demonstrating safety, courtesy, and respect towards your fellow competitors, the judges, and the spectators? And will you always remember that “to compete is to win.”

All competitors shall answer: “I DO.”

Get Ready for 2021 Worlds!

Worlds will take place in Phoenix, AZ on July 27 - August 1, 2021