Rules & Judging

The tournament strives to provide fair, honest and reliable judging.

The tournament will follow the rules and judging outlines in The Tournament handbook. The handbook provides an overview of the rules for each category. Please read the handbook (see below).

Please continue scrolling for more information on tournament RULES and JUDGING.

Tournament Handbook

A PDF copy of the tournament handbook is available for download below:

Tournament Rules

A complete overview of the rules is covered in The Tournament handbook. Rules will be available online when the tournament registration website opens for registrations. We encourage all school owners, masters, instructors, competitors and parents to read the tournament handbook. It is important for everyone to have an overview of the rules, as some rules will be different than other tournaments.

  1. Courtesy & Respect – Be courteous, respectful, kind and practice good sportsmanship.
  2. Cleanup – Please remember to pick up your broken boards, trash, water bottles, papers etc.
  3. Language – No cursing or inappropriate language. Competitors can receive point deductions or be disqualified for cursing, using inappropriate language, trash talking and/or poor sportsmanship.
  4. NO Smoking – This is a NON SMOKING Tournament. There is no smoking in the convention center, including electronic cigarettes.
  5. Alcoholic Beverages – Alcoholic beverages are not permitted at The Tournament.
  6. NO Coolers – Coolers and glass bottles are not permitted in the convention center.
  7. Competition Area – The competition area includes the competition rings and surrounding space where athletes compete or wait to compete. Only authorized personnel are permitted in this area. Anyone in this area is required to have appropriate credentials.
  8. Competition Area Dress Code – Everyone in the competition area must follow the dress code including competitors, coaches, judges, volunteers and parent helpers.
    • Uniforms – All competitors must wear a clean and wrinkle free uniform. Competitors with a soiled and/or wrinkled uniform will receive a one (1) point deduction in the categories they compete. Competitors MUST be wearing a uniform at the time they are called to the ring. No shorts, tank tops, jeans, ripped clothing, etc. may be worn. If you have a question please see an official tournament representative before the start of your division.
    • NO Shorts or Jeans – Shorts and Jeans are not permitted in the competition area.
    • Shirts – All shirt must have a team/school logo
    • Judges – Judges must wear the judge’s shirt and badge at all times.
    • Coaches – Coaches have the option to wear a uniform, suit, collared shirt, or team/school warmup suit. Warmup suits must have a team or school logo. Coaches must wear their badge at all times.
  9. Practice & Warmups – The competition area will be available for practice and stretching before the competition begins. All practice and warmups before, during and after the tournament must be conducted in a safe manner. Please be careful and cautious of others around you.


The tournament strives to provide fair, honest and reliable judging.  The Tournament will follow the rules and judging outlined in The Tournament handbook.  Be respectful to the judges and referees.  Disrespectful verbal and or physical action(s) can result in point deductions and or disqualification of the competitor(s), coach(es) and or team(s).  

Each competitor ring will have four (4) officials.  There will be one (1) center ring official and three (3) table judges.  Pair and team categories may have a different number of officials.  There is one (1) arbitrator for The Tournament. 

  1. Arbitrator – The arbitrator overseas all of the judges and referees.  The arbitrator is responsible for assigning officials and judges to the rings.  If there are any discrepancies or disagreements that cannot be resolved by the center ring official, the arbitrator will be called to make the final decision. 
  2. Center Ring Official (CRO) – The CRO is the head ring judge or referee and promotes the safety of the competitors, enforces the rules and ensures fair play.  They provide the direction and leadership for the ring.  The CRO is in complete charge of the ring and the match.  To this end he or she starts and stops the competition, awards points, makes penalty decisions, administrates the voting of the other judges, communicates clearly with the score keeper and time keeper and announce in a loud, clear voice all official decisions and shall indicate with voice and gesture the competitor affected by the official decision and can overrule a majority call ONLY to issue a warning or penalty.  The CRO has the power to issue warnings and award penalty points without a majority decision.  The CRO can automatically disqualify competitors who receives three (3) penalty points.  Competitors can ask for a timeout but only the CRO that has the authority to issue the timeout.  Any concerns, challenges or issues should be addressed to the CRO.  If an issue cannot be handed by the CRO, the arbitrator can be consulted to resolve the issue.  Here are calls the CRO can make.
    • Stop & Stop the Match – When the CRO believes there has been a significant exchange of technique, or when signaled to do so by a corner judge, the CRO calls out STOP in a loud voice. The CRO shall then return the competitors to their starting marks and address the judges by saying JUDGES CALL all judges and center referee cast their votes simultaneously in the following manner.
    • Point is Scored – If flags are used a judge raises the appropriate color flag of the competitor who he or she feels scored the point (if the judge is calling for 2 point kick they will raise two fingers on the other hand at the same time.  If calling for 1 point, no fingers are raised).  If no flag is used the judge will point with their index finger at the competitor who they feel scored the point and point with their index and middle finger if a kick is being called.
    • No Point Scored – A judge crosses their flags or wrists at waist level to indicate that he or she believes no point was scored.
    • No See – The judge holds their hand over their eyes indicating that they could not see whether a point was scored or not. 
    • Clash – With or without flags a judge makes a motion as though they are hitting both fists together. This means both competitors scored at the same time, therefore no point.
    • Penalty – The judge wave’s flag color of the offending competitor in a circular motion. If no flags are being used, the judge waves hand in a circular motion as they point to the offending competitor. 
  3. Table Judges – The table judges sit at the ring table and provide competitor scoring and placement recognition for medals and trophies.  During the sparring category table judges may transition to corner judges and timekeepers.  The judges call points as they see them.  They may be consulted by the center ring official (CRO) to help in determining penalties or warnings, although the referee alone has the power to issue them.  They will be asked to vote on disqualification rulings.  It is the majority vote of the judges and CRO that determines a scoring point.
  4. Timekeeper – The timekeeper is the appointed helper to keep time.  They will start and stop time at the command of the center ring official (CRO) and will inform the CRO when the two (2) minutes for sparring or three (3) minutes for form have expired.  In sparring the timekeeper does not start or stop a match.  Their only duty is to keep time for the CRO.
  5. Score Keeper – The score keeper is the appointed to keep score.  They will write down the form scores from each judge, eliminate the high and low scores (if 5 or more judges are being used) and add the remaining scores to attain a total score.  The score keeper should check his or her addition a second time (calculators should be used).  In sparring the score keeper will write down or flip score cards at the command of the center ring official (CRO).  The score keeper should inform the CRO when a fighter gets the appropriate number of points to automatically win.  It is the score keeper’s duty to listen very closely to the CRO and keep score as the referee commands.  Any discrepancy or confusion of the score rests in the hands of the CRO, not the score keeper. The CRO will make the final score decision.  The Timekeeper and score keeper can be the same individual.  It may not be two (2) separate officials. 
  6. Arbitration and Protest Competitors who feel they received an unfair score may file an Official Protest by presenting their argument to the tournament director on site.  The protestor will present the case to the tournament director through the ring coordinator.  Any decision rendered by the tournament director will be final. If the tournament director finds in favor of the protestor, then the decision will be rectified.  Protests must be made before the end of their particular division.
  7. Warnings and Disqualification: Disruptive behavior, use of profanity, or other unsportsmanlike conduct by the competitor, coach, parent or family member etc. will result in a warning being issued. If the behavior is deemed by the Judges to be malicious, it will result in deduction of a point (as appropriate for the event) or disqualification.