Sparing Rules



The current USAT & WTF competition rules will govern this championship. The tournament director may modify some rules according to the local conditions. They also reserve the right to combine or divide weight categories depending on the size of the group.

There is absolutely no head contact for competitors Age 7 & Under (All Belts) and 11 & Under (Color Belt Divisions)





Junior Safety Rules will be applied to 8 – 11 YEARS OLD BLACK BELT, 12 – 14 YEAR OLD BLACK BELT, 12 & OVER ALL COLOR BELT, and 33 & OVER BLACK BELT DIVISIONS. A head contact producing a minor injury (bruising, abrasion, or bleeding) will result in a one point deduction for the attacker. Excessive head contact resulting in the inability to continue will disqualify the attacker at the discretion of the referee.







World Class Division will be refereed by WTF International Referees. Full head contact is allowed for 15 ~32 YEAR OLD BLACK BELTS ONLY with three points being awarded for legal head contact or 4 point for any spinning techniques. JSR: No head kicks with any turning kicks (spin hook kicks, back kick, turning round house kick, etc.)

Important Notes: the sparring division for 15-17 and 18-32 year old black belts will be using the Daedo PSS System. Athletes in these age divisions are required to bring their own E-foot gear.





Safety Equipment 
Weigh-ins: World class sparring divisions only. From 11:00-12:00 pm at the tournament site staging area. 

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 point for a valid punch to the trunk protector
  • Two points for a valid kick to the trunk protector
  • Three points for a turning kick to the trunk protector
  • Three points for a valid kick to the head
  • Four points for a valid turning kick to the head
  • One point for every Gam-jeom given to the opponent

Gam-jeom Penalties (No More Kyung-gos!)

  1. Gam-jeom penalty (Full-Point Deduction) — results in a single point being added to the opponent’s score.
  • Gam-jeoms are counted in the total score of the three rounds.
  • If a player receives 10 “Gam-jeom” penalties, that player is declared loser by Referee’s Punitive Declaration (PUN).
  • Gam-jeom is not given if the prohibited act occurs after the referee declares Kal-yeo (except “attack after Kal-yeo” or misconduct).
  1. In the event of a really flagrant, deliberate violation, you don’t have to wait for the penalties to add up to disqualify the competitor.
  1. When an infraction occurs during the rest period, the referee immediately declares the penalty, and it’s applied in the next round.

Gam-jeom Penalties

  1. Crossing the Boundary Line
  2. Falling
  3. Avoiding or delaying the match
  4. Grabbing or pushing the opponent
  5. Lifting the leg to block or/and kicking the opponent’s leg to impede the opponent’s kicking attack, or lifting a leg or kicking in the air for more than 3 seconds to impede the opponent’s potential attacking movements, or aiming a kick below the waist
  6. Kicking below the waist
  7. Attacking the opponent after “Kal-yeo”
  8. Hitting the opponent’s head with the hand
  9. Butting or attacking with the knee
  10. Attacking the fallen opponent
  11. Following misconducts of contestant or coach:
  • Not complying with the referee’s command or decision
  • Inappropriate protesting of officials’ decisions
  • Inappropriate attempts to disturb or influence the outcome of the match
  • Provoking or insulting the opposing contestant or coach
  • Unaccredited doctor/physicians or other team officials found to be seated in the doctor’s position
  • Any other severe misconduct or unsportsmanlike conduct on the part of a contestant or coach

Golden Point Round

  • In the event the winner cannot be decided after 3 rounds, a 4th “Golden Point” round will be conducted.
  • The duration of this round shall be one (1) minute.
  • The first contestant to score a point (or points), or whose opponent receives two “Gam-jeoms” in the Golden Point round shall be declared the winner.
  • In this case, the first “Gam-jeom” does not affect the score

In the event that neither contestant has scored a point after the Golden Point round, the winner shall be decided by superiority based the following criteria:

  • The contestant who achieved a higher number of hits registered by the PSS during the Golden Point round
  • If number of hits registered by the PSS is tied, the contestant who won more rounds in the first three rounds
  • If the number of rounds won is tied, the contestant who received fewer “Gamjeom” penalties during all four rounds

Procedure for Superiority

  • At the end of the overtime round, the referee takes two steps back, and says “Woo-se ki-rok.”
  • The corner judges complete their cards, and present them to the referee.
  • The referee completes his/her own card, records the result, confirms the result with the T.A., and declares the winner.
  • With three corner judges, if there is a 2-2 tie, whichever player the the referee voted for is the winner.
  • The referee turns the cards over to the T.A.


  • Total of 10 Gam-jeom penalty.
  • 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.

Weigh-ins: World class sparring divisions only. From 11:30-12:30 pm at the tournament site staging area. (Brackets will be posted on staging wall by 12:30 pm)

Note: Weight Division: Please see Sparring division page attached

Awards: 1st, 2nd, and two 3rd place winners in each division will be awarded medals, presented in the ring immediately following that division’s final match.

  • All World class division: all winners will get a medal after game over.
  • All 11 years old and under will get medals.

Coach’s Dress code: Coaches are prohibited from wearing jeans, shorts, tank-tops, hat/cap, or slippers while on the arena floor or coaching a competitor. Please follow the official USAT dress code for more details.

NOTE: The tournament director may modify some rules according to the local conditions. They also reserve the right to combine or divide weight categories depending on the size of the group.