Sparring Info & Divisions

Sparring Rules For Competitors Age 4-11 Years Old All Belts/ Age 12-17 Years Old Color Belts (No Head Contact)


Age / Rank Duration  Quantity   Rules
Age 11 & Under
(All Color / Black Belts)
 1 min. 2 Rounds   No Head Contact
 Age 12 – 17 (All Color Belts)  1 min.  2 Rounds  No Head Contact

Sparring competitors, ages 4 -11 years old All Belts & ages 12-17 Color Blets, may not make head contact at any time during the competition. A competitor who executes a technique to the head area will be subject to one of the following actions:

  • Any technique attempted to the head area but does not make contact, will be given a warning by the referee (Kyong-go).
  • Any technique which makes any contact with the head area will result in a one-point deduction by the referee (Gamjeom).
  • If the competitor cannot continue because of contact to the head area, the attacker will be disqualified.
  • Inability to continue competition because of fright, crying, or loss of will following a legal kick to the body, does not constitute grounds for disqualification of the attacker.



 Sparring Rules For Competitors Age 12-14 Years Old   USAT Junior Safety Rules (Cadet Black Belts)


Age / Rank Duration  Quantity   Rules
 Age 12 – 14 (All Color Belts)  1 min.  2 Rounds USAT Junior Safety Rules
(Cadet Black Belts)

JSR: No head kicks with any turning kicks (spin hook kicks, back kick, turning round house kick, etc.)


  • The competitor is encouraged to attempt kicks to the facial area, however absolute control must be exercised or the appropriate penalty shall be invoked.
  • The competitor who executes a successful technique (light contact without causing injury) shall be awarded one point.
  • The competitor who executes a kick to the face or neck, which results in a minor injury, shall receive a one-point deduction. A minor injury is defined as an abrasion or bleeding caused by excessive contact.
  • The competitor who executes a kick to the face or neck, which results in the inability of the opponent to continue because of injury, shall be disqualified. The jury, referee, and judges, after consultation with the tournament physician, if necessary, shall make this determination. (Note: Inability to continue because of fright, crying or loss of will, following a legal kick to the head, does not constitute grounds for disqualification of the attacker).
    However, if referee and judges feel an injury was due to a malicious attack (with anger or the intent to injure), the attacker will be disqualified.



 15-17 Year Old Black Belts   World Class Black Belt divisions will follow Adult Rules


Age / Rank Duration  Quantity   Rules
Age 15 – 17 (All Black Belts) 90 Sec. 3 Rounds WTF (Full Contact)

World Class Division will be refereed by WTF International Referees. Full head contact is allowed for 15-17 YEAR OLD BLACK BELTS ONLY with three points being awarded for legal head contact or 4 point for any spinning techniques 

Excessive contact to the facial or head area: Even in the absence of visible injury, such as slight bleeding or abrasion, the referee may deem the contact to be excessive, and declare the appropriate penalty.
The current W.T.F. competition rules will govern this championship. The Organizing Committee may modify some rules according to the local conditions. It also reserves the right to combine or divide weight categories depending on the size of the group. Head kicks for the juniors (light contact only) will be allowed in addition to head kicks for senior divisions.




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Special “A-Match” Competitions:
Black Belts Only
Junior 15 – 17 years





**Certain rules and/or regulations are subject to change at the discretion of the tournament director.**


All contestants shall wear an approved trunk protector, head protector, groin guard, forearm protector, shin-instep protector, and a mouth protector. (Gloves are mandatory for the World Class Division; all other divisions are optional)

Jewelry is to be removed and finger/toenails are to be neatly trimmed.



Legal Scoring Area

  • Body : The blue or red colored area of the body protector
  • Head : The area above the collar bone (i.e. whole part of the head including both ears and the back of the head)


 The valid points are divided as follows:

  • One (1) point : Valid attack on the trunk protector
  • Three (3) points : Valid turning kick to the trunk protector
  • Three (3) points : Valid kick to the head
  • Four (4) points : Valid turning kick to the head
  • One(1) point : Awarded for every two Kyung-gos or every one Gam-jeom given to the opposing contestant


Warnings (Kyong-go)
Two Kyong-go shall be counted as a deduction of one (1) point. However, the odd Kyong-go shall not be counted in the grand total 
Lifting the knee to block or/and impede the opponent’s kicking attack, or lifting a leg for more than 3 seconds, without execution of any attacking technique, to impede opponent’s attacking movements
  • Crossing the Boundary Line
  • Falling down
  • Avoiding or delaying the match
  • Grabbing, holding or pushing the opponent
  • Kicking below the waist
  • Attacking the opponent after “Kal-yeo”
  • Hitting the opponent’s head with the hand
  • Butting or attacking with the knee
  • Attacking the fallen opponent
  • Misconduct of contestant or coach
Deduction (Gam-Jeom) A Gam-Jeom shall be counted as minus one (1) point
  • Not complying with the referee’s command or decision
  • Inappropriate protesting or criticizing of officials’ decisions
  • Inappropriate attempts to disturb or influence the outcome of the match
  • Fleeing from the competition area to avoid normal technical exchange. If a contestant attempts to avoid a normal technical exchanges by behavior such as crossing the boundary line or intentionally falling down in repeated manner, the referee may give a Gam-jeom, after a Kyong-go
  • Provoking or insulting the opposing contestant or coach
  • Only accredited team doctor/physician are allowed to be seated in the doctor’s position. Unaccredited doctor/physicians or other team officials found to be seated in the doctors position shall be ordered to leave the FOP, and the athlete shall be penalized with a “Gam-jeom”
  • Any other severe misconduct or unsportsmanlike conduct from a contestant or coach
  •  Clear intentional punch to the opponent’s face
  • Clear intentional attack the opponent after “kal-yeo”
  • Clear intentional attack to a fallen opponent
  • Clear intentional attack below the waist 
  • Total of 5 Points Deductions (10 warnings)
  • Competitor or coach intentionally disobeys the referee, the competition rules, displays unsportsmanlike Conduct, or does not show up in time for the match
  • Heavy contact to the head with the hand or foot that results in an injury, or injuring any opponent and rendering him or her unable to continue. (Junior Safety Rules)
  • Foul (Profanity) language by coach/player/ parent; bad conduct/behavior; verbal abuse
*Tournament director may modify individual Sports Poomsae rules according to the local condition*

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