Olympics Taekwondo

What are the rules and regulations for Olympic Tae Kwon Do events?

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October 05, 2009 6:23AM

There are lots of rules. They were developed by the World Taekwondo Federation (WTF). You can read all of them over at www.wtf.org. Below is a summary:

The competition area must measure 8 meters by 8 meters. It may or may not have a platform. If it does have a platform, the platform must not been more than 1 meter high with and include a slope of no more than 30 degrees.


Contestants must be nationals of the team they represent and they must hold a black belt certificate from the kukkiwon. Contestants must wear a trunk protector, head protector, groin guard, forearm guards, shin guards, hand protectors and mouthpiece. Contestants must not use performance enhancing drugs.


Qualifying tournaments must be conducted with the proper weight classes. At least four countries must participate with at least four contestants in each weight class.


The contest shall be divided into three rounds of two minutes each.


Contestants must weigh in the day before the contest. If they fail to make weight, they may weigh in a second time on the same day.


Contestants enter the competition area with their head gear under their arm. They put on their head gear after bowing to each other. At the end of the contest, they remove their head gear before bowing to each other again.


Permitted techniques include delivering a punch with a tightly clenched fist and delivering a kick with any part of the foot below the ankle. Permitted areas include the trunk protector (not the spine) and the head (only with the foot).


Points are awarded when permitted techniques are delivered powerfully and accurately to the permitted areas. One point for an attack to the trunk protector. Two points for a valid turning kick to the truck protector. Three points for a successful attack to the head. Match score will include all points from three rounds. Points are null if scored during an attack which includes prohibited techniques or attacks to prohibited areas.


Points will be scored by at least four judges or electronic scoring equipment.


Two warnings results in a penalty. Penalties are counted as extra points to the opponent. The following acts require warnings: stepping out of bounds, turning your back, falling down, grabbing, pushing, holding, attacking the groin or legs, pretending injury, knee strikes, punches to the head and knee blocks. The following acts require a penalty: attacking after the ref calls stop, attacking a fallen opponent, throwing, attacking the face with hand, interrupting and violent remarks. Four penalties (or eight warnings) end the match.


If there is tie after three rounds, then a fourth round will begin. The first contestant to score will win the match. If no one scores, then the judges will declare a winner based on perceived superiority of skill.


There are six ways to win a match: by knock out, by referee stops (similar to knock out), by final score, by withdrawal (injury), by disqualification (weight or drugs), or by referee's punitive declaration (penalties).


Referees must hold international referee certificates registered by the World Taekwondo Federation. Referee will not score points, but he will break a tie if the four judges cannot decide.