Project Description

BUCS Championships General Entry Information

Key Information

This section lists a brief summary of competition information; before submitting your entries take care to read all competition information.

  1. To enter a BUCS Taekwondo Championships Series event:
    • Every individual participant (student-athletes, coaches and volunteers) must first hold a BSTF account, have selected the correct BSTF pass type and received their BSTF ID code.
    • Each individual student-athlete must then login to the BUCS Play system and use their BSTF ID code every time they register for a BUCS Championships event.
    • A team captain or institution administrator must submit their team’s head-coach, assistant coaches and volunteers (registering sufficient volunteers to meet your team quota) by selecting the event via the BSTF entry portal and completing the coach & volunteer registrations (this is required whether or not the same coaches and volunteers have already registered as competitors via the BUCS Play system).
  2. Pass registrations must be approved by an BSTF administrator before an ID code is generated and so ID codes will take some time to populate (typically 24-72 hours) after registering your details. Please ensure that all of your student-athletes, coaches and volunteers are registered well in advance of an event entry to ensure their ID codes are available. Entries submitted without a valid BSTF ID code will not be accepted.
    • Individual account holders may find their BSTF ID code via the Manage Your Account page.
    • If you hold an Institution Administrator or Club Captain account you will find an additional Team tab on the Manage Your Account page which shows a full list of currently verified members’ accounts from your institution, including their BSTF ID codes.
  3. Now taekwondo has joined the BUCS full programme the entry system has changed from previous years where the IA/captain submitted the whole team. Each individual student-athlete competitor must submit their own entries via BUCS Play, while IAs/Captains submit your team’s combined coach and volunteer registration list via the BSTF Entry Portal. The total number of L4 qualified volunteers submitted must to meet your team’s total quota. Please co-ordinate with your team captain to select the correct disciplines and divisions, assistant coach role (if applicable) and volunteering role (if applicable) when submitting  your entry on BUCS Play.
    • Entries submitted on the BUCS Play site before the phase 1 deadline are charged at the standard rate. Entries submitted after the stage 1 deadline but before the stage 2 deadline are subject to an additional 20% fee. Entries submitted after the stage 2 deadline will not be accepted in any circumstances.
  4. Volunteers and coaches require a (free) Basic Pass or higher; all BUCS Championships competitors must have a Student-athlete Pass and this must be of the correct grade class for each student-athlete: A (Class-C), (Class-B) or (Class-A) Pass to enter the C, B or A class divisions respectively.
    • For detailed information on membership passes, event entry fees and frequently asked questions, see the registration guide.
    • When a student-athlete completes a grading and changes class they must login to the manage your account page and upgrade their pass (C->B or B->A), using the “upgrade” button on the Account tab, completing this before submitting their next event entry.
    • Institution Administrators and Club Captains can also upgrade their team members’ accounts from (free) Basic passes to (paid) Student-athlete passes in bulk. Please visit the institution administrator portal or club captain portal respectively.
  5. Competitors must meet full BUCS eligibility criteria, being current full time students internally registered at an institution of higher or further education, on courses equivalent to at least 60 credits per year (e.g., MSc, Degree or HND). Participants must be 18 or over. A current valid photo ID (e.g., driving licence) must be presented at registration. Competitors unable to produce valid photo ID will not be permitted to compete.
  6. BSTF events are independently insured and there are no requirements for additional 3rd party insurance (e.g., one(s) included with a 3rd party membership(s)) in order to enter. In submitting an entry all participants agree to the BSTF’s terms and conditions, including code of conduct, as well as all BUCS rules and regulations.
  7. Class divisions are determined by a competitor’s grade: C-class for 10th Kup – 7th Kup, B-class for 6th Kup – 3rd Kup, and A-class 2nd Kup+ (includes Dan grades. 10th Kup students may enter C-class patterns disciplines, but are not eligible to enter sparring disciplines.
  8. Team BUCS points and Individual BUCS points may be won in all disciplines and divisions, see the BUCS website for further information.
    • The top eight institutions by combined individual scores in all disciplines, classes (A, B and C) and divisions, across all three championships are awarded BUCS points
    • BUCS individual placements (1st – 4th) and points are awarded to the top four student-athletes in each A-class sparring and individual patterns division based on their final score across the series. Each student-athlete’s best two of three championships’ results are counted towards their final score, except to break a tie, where all three championships’ results are compared.
    • EUSA European Championships and Games qualification is based on an individual’s BUCS placement at the end of the series, not on the final tournament result alone as in previous years.
  9. Teams will be weighed-in in the order they arrive for a tournament’s registration and your team must arrive together during the advertised registration period. Please ensure student team members have their picture student ID cards ready for inspection.
  10. There will be a maximum -/+200 g allowance for players being under/over their weight division at the weigh-in which will be strictly applied. Sparring competitors who fail to meet their weight may change weight divisions at the cost of a £20 fee. We encourage club captains to monitor each of their team members’ weights and ensure the correct division is selected by each student-athlete.
  11. Teams are required to provide a quota of L4 qualified volunteers for each day of competitions attended. The quota number is a function of your total team WT rules sparring entries and ITF rules sparring entries that day, each discipline’s quota calculated separately, with one L4 per five student-athletes sparring that day required.
    • For example, a team entering 14 student-athletes in ITF rules sparring and 19 student-athletes in WT rules sparring on the first day of a tournament would need to submit a minimum of two ITF-L4 trained volunteers and three WT-L4 trained volunteers that day.
    • Volunteers may be student-athletes competing in patterns events only on the same day of the event, or sparring on a different day of a multi-day event. Volunteers may not be student-athletes entered into any sparring event on the same day.
    • Please see the University Umpires section for more information about L4 quotas and free umpire training courses available. We recommend clubs encourage as many current student, alumni and other potential volunteers complete the online test as possible to maximise your capacity. Failing to provide the full quota of volunteers will result in a club fine(s).
    • L4 certification exams are available online on demand, free for all BSTF pass holders. Please login to the Manage Your Account section and navigate to the Exams tab to complete your L4 certification exam. Submission will not be accepted from individuals who have not completed the L4 exam in advance of entry.
  12. Please familiarise yourself with all the competition information, including but not limited to the: entry process; entry deadlines; player eligibility; the participant code of conduct; L4 corner judges exams and quotas; weigh-in and accreditation information; and weight and class (grade) divisions in each discipline.

Student-athlete eligibility

Student-athletes competitors entering BUCS Taekwondo Championships Series events must meet current BUCS eligibility criteria on the date of the event i.e., be current students internally registered at an institution of Higher or Further Education, be registered on a credit rated course (e.g. MSc, Degree or HND), and be undertaking a study programme equivalent to at least 60 credits per year, or in the case of a postgraduate student be undertaking a study programme of no less than 50% of the full time student programme.

All competitors must be members of their university’s students’ union and be in good standing with them. All competitors must be aged 18 or over.

Student competitors must present a valid student photo ID card at registration. All cards must be of the most recent types issued by their universities (competitors may not use older versions where these have been retired by their university, regardless of the registration date indicated).

Grade Division Boundaries

  • 10th* – 7th Kup (Novice, C-Class)r
  • 6th – 3rd Kup (Mid, B-Class)
  • 2nd Kup + including Dan grades (Senior, A-Class)

*10th Kup (ungraded/ white belt) competitors may compete in the C-class patterns disciplines but are not eligible for sparring disciplines which are restricted to 9th Kup+.

Competitor Experience Levels

The BUCS Taekwondo Championships Series competition grade divisions i.e., C, B, and A classes are intended for participants with approximately <1.5, <2.5, >2.5 years of experience respectively. If a competitor’s Taekwondo grade does not match their actual level of experience (e.g., having prior martial art/ combat sport experience) you must bring this to the organiser’s attention when submitting your entries.

It is required competitors enter any discipline only after having received appropriate training in that discipline from a qualified coach. By submitting an entry the competitor thereby confirms they have received suitable prior training experience in the discipline(s) they are entering. 10th Kup (ungraded/white belt) students are not eligible to enter BUCS Taekwondo Championship Series sparring events, but may enter patterns competitions.

Competitors must compete in a same class division (A, B or C) in every discipline entered. If a competitor holds different taekwondo grades with different taekwondo organisations they must enter at their highest grade. Competitors must never enter a division lower than that of their highest taekwondo grade awarded.

Your team may request that a competitor be allowed to enter at a higher class division than their current grade in cases where their ability level is such they can effectively and more appropriately compete in the higher division. Competitors cannot be downgraded in future competitions once they have been promoted to a higher division. To do so the club’s contracted coach must endorse the division change to us via email, copying in your sport development officer/ principal union staff member.

Individual Membership Passes

Each individual participant must hold a British Student Taekwondo Federation (BSTF) membership pass to compete in BUCS Taekwondo competitions.

Individual membership passes are available online, including new memberships and renewals for student-athletes, volunteers and coaches.

  • Volunteers and assistant coaches should select a Basic pass
  • Student-athletes must obtain a Student-athlete pass which matches their level of competition entry (A, B or C-class pass) in order to enter Championships Series events.

Your BSTF ID code is required for entries on BUCS Play – this can be found on the Manage My Account page after registration. New pass registrations must be approved by a BSTF administrator before an ID code is generated and so ID codes will take some time to populate (typically 24-72 hours) after registering your details. Please ensure that all of your student-athletes, coaches and volunteers are registered well in advance of an event entry to ensure their ID codes are available.

Upgrading passes mid-season

Changing type: You can upgrade a Basic pass to a Student-athlete pass at any time by logging to the manage your account page and following instructions via the “upgrade” button on the Account tab.

Changing class: When a student-athlete completes a grading and changes class they must login to the manage your account page and upgrade their pass (C->B or B->A) using the “upgrade” button on the Account tab, always completing this before submitting an event entry.

Club Membership

If participants are members of an institution’s SU/Sports registered club then the club itself it is required to hold a club membership with the BSTF (there is a nominal one pound (£1) annual club fee for clubs to join the charity).

Student-athletes from universities without an existing taekwondo club are also eligible to enter BSTF events. These student-athletes should create an account as usual and also select “only athlete from my university” option from the drop-down list at registration.

Competition entry applications

Entry Process:

  1. Student-athletes, volunteers and coaches register for a membership pass on the BSTF website and record their BSTF ID code. Student-athletes must obtain a membership pass which matches their level of competition entry (A, B or C-class).
  2. Student-athletes each submit their competition application on BUCS Play, inputting their BSTF ID code* as indicated during registration.
  3. A team captain or institution administrator must submit their team’s head-coach, assistant coaches and volunteers (registering sufficient volunteers to meet your team quota**) by selecting the event via the BSTF entry portal and completing the coach & volunteer registrations (this is required whether or not the same coaches and volunteer have already registered as competitors via the BUCS Play system).
  4. Club captains and institution administrators may then review entries via the BUCS Play website; Institution administrator approves/denies entries.
  5. BUCS approves/denies entry into competition and publishes confirmed entry list.

*Your BSTF ID code can be found by logging in to manage your account (codes are generated ca. 24-72 hours after a new account is created and verified). Once your student-athletes, coaches and volunteers are registered your club captains and institution administrators may review a current list of their institution’s members, their pass types and BSTF ID codes via the captain’s portal and administrator’s portal respectively.

**The number of L4 qualified volunteers submitted must meet the quota detailed in the entry information.

Entry Fees

Once the institution administrator has approved each entry submitted and the confirmed entry list has been published by BUCS, an invoice will be created by BUCS addressed to the institution union/ sports department for payment. Individual student-athletes will not be asked to pay for their entries during the BUCS Play event registration process.

Stage 1 entry fees are as listed in the registration guide fees tables.

Should the competition allow more entries, a stage two entry window will open. Priority will be given to the entries received before the stage one entry closing date. Entries received in the stage two window and accepted into the competition will be charged an additional 20% fee per entry.

Entry Deadlines

BUCS Taekwondo ChampionshipsStage 1 entry windowStage 2 entry window
Autumn Championshipsn/a 2020-21n/a 2020-21
Winter ChampionshipsTBATBA
Spring ChampionshipsTBATBA

Withdrawals and changes

Competitor withdrawals must be made by a Institutional Administrators by emailing BUCS Play App Support.

  • Withdrawals before the stage 1 entry deadline will not be charged.
  • Withdrawals after the stage 2 entry deadline will still be charged the entry fee.

About student-athlete entries using BUCS Play

Every student-athlete entering taekwondo disciplines in a BUCS Taekwondo Championships event will need to use to the BUCS Play website to enter.

Queries relating to tournament operations may be directed to the BSTF. Queries regarding the BUCS Play student-athlete entry system should be directly to BUCS. BSTF staff and volunteers do not have access to the registration system – entry change requests should be made via your Institution Administrators/ Captains.

Amending existing entries on BUCS Play

It is possible for each student-athlete to continue to add, remove or change weight divisions of their own entries by logging in to BUCS Play and selecting their existing entries up until the entry deadline or when their Institution Administrator has approved them (if approved before the entry deadline).

Following the registration deadline there is a two working-day period in which Institution Administrators may approve/ reject and make final amendments to their team members’ entry details before submission to BUCS. If you require any changes during this period you must contact your Students’ Union/ Sports Department and speak with your Institution Administrator for taekwondo.

Learn more about BUCS Play

Here are some useful links if you have questions about using the BUCS Play system:

BUCS Play Example

Here is an example student-athlete entering a single discipline event via BUCS Play website (desktop). Please repeat this process for each individual taekwondo discipline entry (e.g., go through these steps to make your sparring entry, then repeat for you individual patterns entry, then again for your pairs/teams pattern entry):

1. Enter and join the sport they wish to enter

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2. Click on the events they wish to enter

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3. Click join/apply

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4. Find their institution, click join/apply & enter the discipline specific information (ensure it ticks all the boxes)

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Coach Registration

Each individual participant (student-athletes, coaches and volunteers) must first hold a BSTF account, have selected the correct pass type and received their BSTF ID code.

A team captain or institution administrator must submit their team’s head-coach, assistant coaches and volunteers (registering sufficient volunteers to meet your team quota) by selecting the event via the BSTF entry portal and completing the coach & volunteer registrations (this is required whether or not the same coaches and volunteer have already registered as competitors via the BUCS Play system).

Club captains or institution administrators may submit a maximum of one head-coach (maximum 1 per club); there is no cap on the number of participants who may be added as assistant coaches. All student-athletes must have a head/ assistant coach in their corner during their matches. Only head/ assistant coaches listed are permitted to coach student-athletes during the competition.

 Coaches may be employees of their university, player coaches, or other experienced practitioners. Coaches must wear sports clothing and trainers; player coaches must cover their doboks with sports jackets and wear trainers. Coaches are expected to set an example to their teams and are required to remain composed and show good sportsmanship at all times. Only a player’s coach may launch an official protest by the post-match protest mechanism provided. Coaches must not leave their coaching seat during the match or coach excessively.

Volunteer Registration and Quotas

Each individual participant (student-athletes, coaches and volunteers) must first hold a BSTF account, have selected the correct pass type and received their BSTF ID code.

A team captain or institution administrator must submit their team’s head-coach, assistant coaches and volunteers (registering sufficient volunteers to meet your team quota) by selecting the event via the BSTF entry portal and completing the coach & volunteer registrations (this is required whether or not the same coaches and volunteer have already registered as competitors via the BUCS Play system).

Each institution’s quota number is a function of your total team WT rules sparring entries and ITF rules sparring entries that day, each discipline’s quota calculated separately, with one assistant judge (they can be either L5, L4 or L3*) qualified volunteer per five student-athletes sparring that day required (your volunteer quota may therefore be different for each day of a multi-day championships).

*For a team to enter 15 or more student-athletes on any single day, one or more of their volunteer quota must hold an L3 trainee referee certification level (and therefore have completed the online exam, an online umpiring course and attended a weekend umpiring course).

  • For example, a team entering 14 student-athletes in ITF rules sparring and 19 student-athletes in WT rules sparring on the first day of a tournament would need to submit a minimum of two ITF rules L5 trained volunteers and three WT rules trained volunteers (two WT rules L5 trained volunteers + one WT rules L3 trained volunteer) that day.

Volunteer assistant judges provided by clubs towards their quota for BSTF tournaments must have completed and passed the online exam (for their L5 certification) before they may register themselves as a volunteer. Volunteers may be student-athletes competing in patterns events only on the same day of the event. L5 volunteers may be student-athletes who are sparring on a different day of a multi-day event. L5 volunteers may be current students, alumni members, or members of your wider taekwondo group(s).

All BSTF account holders are able to access L5 tests for free online – login to Manage My Account and go to the Exams tab to begin.

L5 volunteers may not be student-athletes entered into any sparring event on the same day. L5 volunteers may not coach sparring athletes on the same day of the event they are submitted as volunteers.

All volunteers must be available for the full duration that day’s events, including attendance of the briefing session(s) listed in the itinerary. Teams will be penalised £75 for each infraction if a nominated volunteer corner judge or trainee referee from your team’s quota is absent, late, indolent, or behaves in an unprofessional or unsportsmanlike manner. Attire is sport shoes and black trousers, and a fetching yellow t-shirt will be loaned to volunteers for the day and must be worn.

For further information about university umpires, training levels (L5, L4, L3, L2, L1), and our online training seminars and weekend training courses, please visit the university umpires page.

We highly recommend all clubs encourage as many current student, alumni and other potential volunteers complete the online test as far in advance of tournaments as possible to give clubs maximum flexibility in this regard.

Umpires

All national and international umpires (i.e., centre referees (L2 / L1) and patterns judges (L2 / L1) are kindly directed to nominate themselves for BUCS Taekwondo Championships Series umpire/ referee roles via the online Umpire Registration Portal. Umpires must be available for the full duration that day’s events, including attendance of the briefing session(s) listed in the itinerary. Umpire’s attire is sport shoes, black trousers, white shirt, dark tie and optional blazer.

This does not apply to L5/ L4/ L3 club volunteer being entered towards your volunteer quota. Volunteer entries must submitted by their team captain/ institution administrator via the BSTF Entry Portal and not via the Umpire Registration Portal. Please see the volunteering page for further information.

Section update pending

All itinerary are subject to change, check back here for live updates up to and including on event day(s).

We recommend building in plenty of contingency time for travel, and having a back-up travel option for smaller groups of student-athletes/ coaches in case they need to depart later than the bulk of your team.

[1] If you are both competing and volunteering in different sessions at the event you must attend both the student-athlete and volunteer accreditation stations.

[2] If you are an umpire recruited for both days at the event, or volunteering on both days at the event, you must attend to register at accreditation on both days or you may be marked as absent.

Section update pending

Each discipline is separated by sex, grade (C-class is 10th Kup – 7th Kup, B-class is 6th Kup – 3rd Kup, and A-class is 2nd Kup+), and also weight divisions for sparring disciplines. *10th Kup (ungraded/ white belt) competitors may compete in the C-class patterns disciplines but are not eligible for sparring disciplines which are restricted to 9th Kup+..

There is no limit on the number of disciplines an individual student-athlete may enter at each event – providing they confirm and doing so by entering – that they have received the requisite training in those disciplines.

If two or more disciplines are scheduled to take place during the the same period the organisers may, at their discretion and where the event is running ahead of schedule, make efforts to reschedule individual matches. The organisers do not guarantee any schedule modifications, changes to match orders or other adaptations to accommodate for competitors entering those concurrently scheduled disciplines, and student-athletes enter such disciplines at the risk of scheduling conflicts resulting in round/ match/ competition walkovers.

Kukkiwon Individual Patterns

Competitors are divided into 3 grade divisions A, B and C classes, each with male and female sub-divisions. Competitors perform their pattern individually, following the judge’s instructions.

Double elimination system: Competitors are matched as per elimination brackets, randomly and with competitors from the same institution separated in the first round. Matched competitors each perform one pattern, individually. The competitor with the higher score progresses to the next match in the upper bracket and towards the gold medal match. The loser drops down into the lower bracket at the point they were eliminated and progresses towards the bronze medal match. C-class and B-class competitors may select any pattern from the approved list for each match, and may repeat the same pattern between matches. For A-class matches both competitors will be asked to perform one pattern from the full prelim/ semi-final/ final patterns list below (i – iv). The pattern performed is not chosen by the competitors, both perform the same pattern as instructed by the judges. The order of patterns performed is determined by bracket size and will be announced at the team captain briefing.

Either a white dobok or a poomsae dobok may be worn. Competitors may only use flexible tape to affix clothing rather than pins and must not wear nail varnish or jewellery, including any kind of piercings jewellery. The organisers and their officials may disallow any equipment at their discretion.

A-class patterns competition is intended to challenge senior student athletes, with significant numbers of team points being awarded for each round progressed.

A-class competitors must perform the patterns designated for that round. If a student athlete does not know a required pattern then they may perform another pattern of their choice, but will receive a -1 point deduction from their score in each instance.

B-class and C-class competitors may perform any pattern from the approved list at all stages, and may repeat the same pattern more than once in any round and between rounds.

Competitors will be given an overall score out of 10.0 by each judge based on five criteria: accuracy of pattern; basic movements and balance; speed and power; strength and rhythm; expression of energy. Scoring begins as soon as competitors enter the competition area. The average score of the judges is recorded for each pattern. Scores are reset after each match/ round you progress through (i.e., your score is not aggregated across matches/ rounds). In the event of a tie competitors will be asked perform their last pattern again until the tie is broken.

Kukkiwon Patterns Table

Division → Patterns ↓C-class, 10th – 7th KupB-class, 6th – 3rd KupA-class, 2nd Kup +
iAny of Taegeuk 1 to 3Any of Taegeuk 4 to 7Chil-Jang (7)
iiAny of Taegeuk 1 to 3Any of Taegeuk 4 to 7Pal-Jang (8)
iiiAny of Taegeuk 1 to 3Any of Taegeuk 4 to 7Keumgang
ivAny of Taegeuk 1 to 3Any of Taegeuk 4 to 7Koryo

*For A-class matches, when using the double elimination system, both competitors will be asked to perform one pattern from the full prelim/ semi-final/ final patterns list for their match (both will perform the same pattern as instructed, the pattern is not chosen by the competitors).

Kukkiwon Pairs Patterns

Kukkiwon Pairs Patterns events are identical to the Individual Patterns event described above except for the following specific rules:

  • For the pairs event you must enter 2 athletes (one male and one female) per pair.
  • Both athletes must be of the same grade class.
  • Both athletes must be registered at the same institution
  • All athletes may only be a member of a single patterns pair per discipline, per competition.
  • Pairs competitors are scored by the additional criteria of harmony (synchronisation) of movements, timing, and strength.
  • Pairs competitors must enter and exit the competition area together.
  • Each team’s student-athlete’s must co-ordinate to select the matching pairs when selecting their respective entries e.g., for the first pair each selecting Team_1’s_Player(1of2), and Team_1’s_Player(2of2) respectively and so on.

Kukkiwon Team Patterns

Kukkiwon Team Patterns events are identical to the Individual Patterns event described above except for the following specific rules:

  • For the team patterns event you must enter three student-athletes per team.
  • All three student-athletes must be of the same grade class.
  • All three student-athletes must be registered at the same institution
  • All three student-athletes may only be a member of a single patterns-team per discipline, per competition.
  • Team Patterns competitors are scored by the additional criteria of harmony (synchronisation) of movements, timing, and strength.
  • Team Patterns competitors must enter and exit the competition area together.
  • Each team’s student-athlete’s must co-ordinate to select the matching pairs when selecting their respective entries e.g., for the first patterns-team each selecting Team_1’s_Player(1of3), Team_1’s_Player(2of3) and Team_1’s_Player(3of3) etc.

Chang-Hon Individual Patterns

Competitors are divided into 3 grade divisions A, B and C classes, each with male and female sub-divisions. Competitors perform their pattern individually, following the judge’s instructions.

Double elimination system: Competitors are matched as per elimination brackets, randomly and with competitors from the same institution separated in the first round. Matched competitors each perform one pattern, individually. The competitor with the higher score progresses to the next match in the upper bracket and towards the gold medal match. The loser drops down into the lower bracket at the point they were eliminated and progresses towards the bronze medal match. C-class and B-class competitors may select any pattern from the approved list for each match, and may repeat the same pattern between matches. For A-class matches both competitors will be asked to perform one pattern from the full prelim/ semi-final/ final patterns list below (i – iv). The pattern performed is not chosen by the competitors, both perform the same pattern as instructed by the judges. The order of patterns performed is determined by bracket size and will be announced at the team captain briefing.

A white dobok must be worn. Competitors may only use flexible tape to affix clothing rather than pins and must not wear nail varnish or jewellery, including any kind of piercings jewellery. The organisers and their officials may disallow any equipment at their discretion.

A-class patterns competition is intended to challenge senior student athletes, with significant numbers of team points being awarded for each round progressed.

A-class competitors must perform the pattern designated for that round. If a student athlete does not know a required pattern then they may perform another pattern of their choice, but will receive a -1 point deduction from their score in each instance.

B-class and C-class competitors may perform any pattern from the approved list at all stages, and may repeat the same pattern more than once in any round and between rounds.

Competitors will be given an overall score out of 10.0 by each judge based on five criteria: accuracy of pattern; basic movements and balance; speed and power; strength and rhythm; expression of energy. Scoring begins as soon as competitors enter the competition area. The average score of the judges is recorded for each pattern. Scores are reset after each match/ round you progress through (i.e., your score is not aggregated across matches/ rounds). In the event of a tie competitors will be asked perform their last pattern again until the tie is broken.

Chang-Hon Patterns Table

Division → Patterns ↓C-class, 10th – 7th KupB-class, 6th – 3rd KupA-class, 2nd Kup +
iAny of Saju-Jirugi & Chon-Ji (1) to Won-Hyo (4)Any of Won-Hyo (4) to Hwa-Rang (8)Joong-Gun (6)
iiAny of Saju-Jirugi & Chon-Ji (1) to Won-Hyo (4)Any of Won-Hyo (4) to Hwa-Rang (8)Toi-Gye (7)
iiiAny of Saju-Jirugi & Chon-Ji (1) to Won-Hyo (4)Any of Won-Hyo (4) to Hwa-Rang (8)Hwa-Rang (8)
ivAny of Saju-Jirugi & Chon-Ji (1) to Won-Hyo (4)Any of Won-Hyo (4) to Hwa-Rang (8)Choong-Moo (9)

*For A-class matches, using the double elimination system, both competitors will be asked to perform one pattern from the full prelim/ semi-final/ final patterns list for their match (both will perform the same pattern as instructed, the pattern is not chosen by the competitors).

Chang-Hon Pairs Patterns

Chang-Hon Pairs Patterns events are identical to the Individual Patterns event described above except for the following specific rules:

  • For the pairs event you must enter 2 athletes (one male and one female) per pair.
  • Both athletes must be of the same grade class.
  • Both athletes must be registered at the same institution
  • All athletes may only be a member of a single patterns pair per discipline, per competition.
  • Pairs competitors are scored by the additional criteria of harmony (synchronisation) of movements, timing, and strength.
  • Pairs competitors must enter and exit the competition area together.
  • Each team’s student-athlete’s must co-ordinate to select the matching pairs when selecting their respective entries e.g., for the first pair each selecting Team_1’s_Player(1of2), and Team_1’s_Player(2of2) respectively and so on.

Chang-Hon Team Patterns

Chang-Hon Team Patterns events are identical to the Individual Patterns event described above except for the following specific rules:

  • For the team patterns event you must enter three student-athletes per team.
  • All three student-athletes must be of the same grade class.
  • All three student-athletes must be registered at the same institution
  • All three student-athletes may only be a member of a single patterns-team per discipline, per competition.
  • Team Patterns competitors are scored by the additional criteria of harmony (synchronisation) of movements, timing, and strength.
  • Team Patterns competitors must enter and exit the competition area together.
  • Each team’s student-athlete’s must co-ordinate to select the matching pairs when selecting their respective entries e.g., for the first patterns-team each selecting Team_1’s_Player(1of3), Team_1’s_Player(2of3) and Team_1’s_Player(3of3) etc.

Freestyle patterns

Freestyle patterns are dynamic, complex, and gymnastic routines of Taekwondo techniques set to music. The routine’s design and music selection are chosen by and unique to each competitor.

In freestyle patterns competitors must reach both the required medal position and achieve a minimum qualification average score of 5.250 in order to qualify for EUSA Championships and Games.

Competitors must email their music to us in an mp3 format at least two weeks in advance of every tournament entered.

A white dobok of any type or poomsae dobok may be worn. Competitors may only use flexible tape to affix clothing rather than pins and must not wear nail varnish or jewellery, including any kind of piercings jewellery. The organisers and their officials may disallow any equipment at their discretion.

The full Freestyle patterns rules published by World Taekwondo are available online.

Scoring

Your performance must be a minimum of 60 and a maximum of 70 seconds, with deduction criteria set according to current WT freestyle patterns rules. Each performance is scored based on the various technical skills and presentation categories. The patterns must include a number of mandatory elements, which include stances (Hakdari Seogi {crane stance}, Beom Seogi {cat stance}, Dwitkubi {back stance}), and the following techniques must be worked into the routine and appear in this order: (1st) jumping side-kick, (2nd) jumping multiple front-kick, (3rd) spinning kick, (4th) 3-5 consecutive sparring kicks and (5th) acrobatic actions.

Jump kick scoring (1.0 Points): Depending on the balance, accuracy of execution and the height of the jumping sidekicks in comparison to body, face or over face, it is scored to 0.1 and 0.9 points. The middle of the height of the kick foot and the lowest part of the body are taken as a height of jump for the scoring. Only yopchagis with at least 80% knee extension are considered for the scoring. There is no scoring for kicks below belt height.

Number of kicks in a single jump – jumping front kicks (1.0 Points): 3 apchagis (0.1 – 0.3), 4 apchagis (0.4 – 0.6), 5 apchagis (0.7 – 0.9). There is no scoring for kicks below belt height. The apchagis can be performed body or face level, but a higher apchagi execution (over face level) has effect in terms of evaluation for higher presentation score. Only apchagis with at least 80% knee extension are considered for scoring.

Degrees of spinning kick (1.0 Points): 360° up to 540° (0.1 – 0.3), 540° up to 720° (0.4 – 0.6), 720° and over (0.7 – 0.9) No scoring for spin kicks of less than 360°. Spinning-Kicks can be performed body or face level, but a higher spinning-kick execution (over face level) are evaluated for a higher presentation score.

Performance level of the consecutive sparring kicks (1.0 Points): The Kicks should be performed in sparring style and represent a sparring competition. The main criteria are the quality and level of performance of the consecutive kicks. The numbers of consecutive sparring kicks are between 3 and 5. Scoring of the kicks is independent of their number (no matter whether these are 3, 4 or 5 kicks). No scoring for less than 3 consecutive kicks. It is mandatory to bounce 3 to 5 times before execution of consecutive sparring kicks. 0.1 Points deduction for additional bouncing up to 3 times (6 – 8) 0.3 Points deduction for additional bouncing more than 3 times (>8).

Acrobatic actions (1.0 Points): All acrobat actions must be performed with a TKD kick e.g., apchagi executions begin with bended knee). The kicks are performed in air and can be executed with swing or jumping leg. Depending upon degree of difficulty and accuracy of the execution up to 0.9 points are assigned. Performance of acrobatic actions without a taekwondo kick is not scored. Acrobatics actions are for example: Easy (0.1 – 0.3) aerial cartwheel, handspring forwards; Moderate (0.4 – 0.6) standing salto backwards, combination of the roundoff and salto backwards; Difficult (0.7 – 0.9) salto forwards, salto forwards with 180° (1/2) turning around the body longitudinal axis.

Other general scoring categories: Basic Movements and Practicability (1.0 Points); Creativity (1.0 Points); Harmony (1.0 Points); Expression of energy (1.0 Points); Music & Choreography (1.0 Points).

Specific deductions

For the execution of mandatory foot techniques (jumping side-kicks, jumping front kicks, spinning kicks and kicks with acrobatic action) contestants may run at most up to 5 steps. For every additional step 0.1 points are subtracted.

Mandatory stances are (1) Hakdari Seogi, (2) Beom Seogi, (3) Dwitkubi. 0.3 points deduction for each missed mandatory stances during performance.

Crossing the boundary line with both feet. 0.3 points deduction for each crossing of the boundary.

Restart Deduction for the restart is 0.6 Points (2*0.3= 0.6 as for recognised poomsae)

The duration of contest in all divisions is between 60 and 70 seconds. Deduction for performances outside of the allowed time is 0.3 points.

WT rules sparring

WT Rules Sparring events are double elimination tournaments. Competitors are divided into 3 grade divisions A, B and C classes, each with male and female sub-divisions and up to 8 weight divisions within each sub-division. Note that 10th Kup students are not eligible to enter sparring events. The events will apply the pertinent WT (Olympic) rules sparring rule-set, with modifications advertised during the team captains’ meeting. Matches will be contested on jigsaw matted rings.

The scoring system is:

  • One (1) point for a valid punch to the trunk protector
  • Two (2) points for a valid kick to the trunk protector
  • Three (3) points for a valid kick to the head
  • Four (4) points for a valid turning kick to the trunk protector
  • Five (5) points for a valid turning kick to the head

All WT rules sparring A-class divisions of the BUCS Championships Series competition will utilise KP&P Protector Scoring System (PSS) including chest protectors and e-headguards. The BSTF will provide PSS  systems, while A-class competitors must bring their own KP&P sensor socks.

The following personal protective equipment is mandatory for all sparring competitors: body protector (red/blue); arm guards; shin guards; head guard (red/blue or white); groin guard; gloves; and mouth guard which is clear or white only with no exceptions to ensure referees can easily spot any signs of blood. All applicable protective equipment must be worn beneath the dobok. Competitors may only use flexible tape to affix clothing rather than pins and must not wear nail varnish or jewellery, including any kind of piercings jewellery. The organisers and their officials may disallow any equipment at their discretion.

All gum shields must be clear or white. Competitors’ doboks must be white. Each sparring competitor must be accompanied by a coach which can be any nominated member of your club, including player-coaches. Coaches must bring a towel. Coaches must stay seated during the match and respect all competition rules. Coaches must wear sports clothing (or sports jackets covering doboks for player coaches).

Competitors must be above the minimum weight and below the maximum limit specified to achieve the required weight. Competitors who fail to meet their weight may have two further attempts within the scheduled period, or may change weight division; a category change fee will be applied. There will be a maximum -/+200 g allowance for athletes being under or over their weight at the weigh-in and this will be strictly applied (see accreditation and weigh-in rules for full details). The organisers may adjust weight and grade divisions, and athletes may be moved between dual brackets where required. Adjacent or ante adjacent weight categories will be combined if there are less than four competitors in a division. Athletes may only enter 1 weight division in each tournament bracket for each discipline.

Weight divisions

MaleFemale
-54 kg-46 kg
-58 kg-49 kg
-63 kg-53 kg
-68 kg-57 kg
-74 kg-62 kg
-80 kg-67 kg
-87 kg-73 kg
+87 kg+73 kg

ITF rules sparring

ITF Rules Sparring events use double elimination brackets. Competitors are divided into 3 grade divisions A, B and C classes, each with male and female sub-divisions and each with multiple weight divisions. Note that 10th Kup students are not eligible to enter sparring events. The events will apply the pertinent ITF rules sparring rule-set, with modifications advertised during the team captains’ meeting. Matches will comprise of continuous, semi-contact sparring bouts contested on jigsaw matted rings.

The scoring system is:

  • One (1) point: any valid hand technique to a target area, or foot technique to the mid-section area
  • Two (2) points: any valid jumping hand technique to the high-section area, jumping foot technique to the mid-section area, or foot technique to the high-section area
  • Three (3) points: any valid jumping foot technique to the high-section area
  • Scores will be recorded by each judge by ‘clicker’ and the majority judge’s decision based on final scores being revealed at the end of the match. Penalties are applied for fouls, including the use of excessive force or uncontrolled striking at the point of contact, and for combining more than 3 hand techniques without a valid follow up technique.

The following personal protective equipment is mandatory for all sparring competitors: ITF type foam hand and feet protectors (of any matching colour, though the organising committee recommends competitors wear all blue or all red protective equipment when assigned blue or red respectively in order to provide maximum clarity to the judges scoring the match); head guard (of any matching colour); mouth guard (clear or white only – no exceptions, this is to ensure referees can easily spot any sign of blood); and groin guard (male divisions only). The following protective equipment is optional: foam shin and forearm guards (male and female divisions), female breast protector and female groin guard (female divisions only). All applicable protective equipment must be worn beneath the dobok. Competitors may only use flexible tape to affix clothing rather than pins and must not wear nail varnish or jewellery, including any kind of piercings jewellery. The organisers and their officials may disallow any equipment at their discretion.

The organiser’s decision on equipment and wear permissible in the ring is final. Protective equipment colour choice is at the competitor’s discretion. Faux leather covered sponge protectors, rather than dipped foam pieces are recommended. All gum shields must be clear or white. Competitors’ doboks must be white. Each sparring competitor must be accompanied by a coach which can be any nominated member of your club, including player-coaches. Coaches must bring a towel. Coaches must stay seated during the match and respect all competition rules. Coaches must wear sports clothing (or sports jackets covering doboks for player coaches).

Competitors must be above the minimum weight and below the maximum limit specified to achieve the required weight. Competitors who fail to meet their weight may have two further attempts within the scheduled period, or may change weight division; a category change fee will be applied. There will be a maximum -/+200 g allowance for athletes being under or over their weight at the weigh-in and this will be strictly applied (see accreditation and weigh-in rules for full details). The organisers may adjust weight and grade divisions, and athletes may be moved between dual brackets where required. Adjacent or ante adjacent weight categories will be combined if there are less than four competitors in a division. Athletes may only enter 1 weight division in each tournament bracket for each discipline.

Weight divisions

MaleFemale
-52 kg-47 kg
-58 kg-52 kg
-64 kg-57 kg
-71 kg-62 kg
-78 kg-67 kg
-85 kg-72 kg
-92 kg-77 kg
+92 kg+77 kg

Double elimination

BUCS Taekwondo Championships Series competition disciplines utilise double elimination brackets when possible, where all competitors may be guaranteed at least two matches.

Advantages of double elimination

Two for one entries – it’s akin to two single elimination tournament entries for the price of one, staffing twice as many courts so we may run double the number of matches at each student championships!

Lower overall entry costs – by moving to double elimination vs. dual brackets we have been able to reduce the average total entry costs for the majority of competitors!

Reduced travel costs for competitors and administration for committees – so that each time your team travels it’s to attend much larger scale tournaments, with more opportunities to gain experience and secure medals and ranking points.

All student-athletes gain more match experience and progresses faster – with double elimination all competitors will have at least two matches and three quarters will play three matches or more; in a single-elimination tournament half of the competitors are eliminated after their first match, often those who might have benefited most from extra experience.

May the best player win – with single-elimination brackets, even seeded ones, it was common for two of the strongest players to meet in an early round and see one eliminated at that stage, reducing the team points a team could build and having talented student-athletes miss out on EUSA qualification; double-elimination greatly reduces result variance, helping both developing players to get more experience and high performance athletes to meet in medal matches.

Closer match-ups and better finals – double-elimination brackets tend towards self-sorting, with student-athletes closer in ability clustered into the upper and lower brackets as each round progresses, culminating in the best performing student-athletes meeting most often in the medal matches.

Our current double elimination format in detail

A double elimination format will utilised where court capacity permits and providing a valid bracket can be created from entries. Tournament brackets are generated randomly, with competitors from the same institution separated in the first round.

A double elimination bracket splits competitors into two sets of brackets: the upper bracket (where everyone starts) and the lower bracket (also known as the repechage). The upper bracket is conducted in the same manner as a typical single-elimination tournament draw, except that the losers of each round “drop down” into the lower bracket at the point they were eliminated.

There are several variations of double elimination bracket rules. In our current double elimination format the upper bracket winner will take gold directly, the loser of the upper bracket final taking silver, while the lower bracket competitors progress through the bracket to contest the single bronze medal (and third highest total individual and team points won). Once a player drops into the lower bracket they will exit the competition after the next match they lose, regardless of opponent and/or previous results. There are no further matches in any division’s bracket after the medal matches are completed.

For more information please review the double elimination instructional video. Note: this video includes an upper and lower bracket winners’ final, which may not be applied under our latest championships format.

Example of our double elimination format

European University Sports Association (EUSA) events are for universities that qualify from their domestic university competitions, and allow the top universities in BUCS (British Universities & Colleges Sport) competitions to compete against the best universities in Europe.

Please note that qualification is restricted to the BUCS Series overall individual champion medallists for specific disciplines, while  the number of qualifiers permitted is determined by a division’s average player population. Please visit the Qualification for European Universities Games page for further information.

BUCS Taekwondo Points

For further information regarding BUCS points attribution please visit the BUCS website.

The categories listed here are subject to change. Categories are only available according to the number of entries received and/or the number of competitors who attend the events in the series and as a result some may be cancelled or merged either pre-event or at an event, where entries allow to include A-Class, B-Class and C-Class divisions for all individual categories. All disciplines, classes and divisions contribute towards BUCS Team Points ranking, while BUCS Individual Champion’s Points are only available for the A-Class individual divisions based on final ranking.

BUCS points are at the end of the year and not per event; individual and team ranking points are awarded at each Championships Series event towards the final placements from which the BUCS points are awarded.

BUCS Taekwondo Team Championships Points

The overall team trophy is awarded to the institution with the highest overall team placement at the end of the BUCS Taekwondo Championships Series. The final team placement is determined by scores by all competitors, in all disciplines, classes and divisions, summed across all BUCS Taekwondo Championships Series events that academic year.

BUCS Team Points Scoring Disciplines:

  • WT rule sparring (A, B and C class)
  • ITF rules sparring (A, B and C class)
  • Kukkiwon Individual Patterns (A, B and C class)
  • Chang-Hon Individual Patterns (A, B and C class)
  • Kukkiwon Pairs Patterns (A, B and C class)
  • Chang-Hon Pairs Patterns (A, B and C class)
  • Kukkiwon Teams (3s) Patterns (A, B and C class)
  • Chang-Hon Teams (3s) Patterns (A, B and C class)
  • Freestyle Individual Patterns (A, B and C class)

Team ranking scores towards BUCS Team Points are awarded at every BUCS Taekwondo Championships Series event, with BUCS points then awarded at the end of the series based on the teams’ final combined totals.  The 8 institutions with the highest total score accumulated by all their registered student-athletes in all disciplines, classes and divisions across all three championships are awarded:

  • 1st place: 20 points
  • 2nd place: 14 points
  • 3rd place: 10 points
  • 4th place: 7 points
  • 5th place: 5 points
  • 6th place: 3 points
  • 7th place: 2 points
  • 8th place: 1 point

Team points rankings are calculated from the combined individual student-athlete scores at each event, which are scaled. Individual ranking points are comprised of one point for weighing in and additional points awarded for progression through each round of the division, calculated by converting final placement in a tournament bracket (see table for double elimination scoring). Hence, larger divisions, with a higher number of opponents and more rounds to progress through towards the gold medal offer the highest potential points pot toward your final ranking score. 

Double elimination ranking points

Double elimination ranking points

Individuals winning points towards their team’s score are weighted by a coefficient for each class division, with: x0.10 for each C-class win, x0.20 for each B-class win and x0.40 for each A-class win. Patterns and sparring disciplines are scaled proportionally by final placement towards team scoring calculations.

BUCS Taekwondo Individual Division Champions

At the end of the series a BUCS individual 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th placement is awarded to the top four student-athletes in each A-class sparring and individual patterns divisions based on final ranking. Student-athletes will accumulate up to three pots of points towards their final BUCS placement at each of the series. Competitors in each A-class division are ranked based on their total combined individual point pots across the series. Based on the final rankings at the end of the year, the top four finishers are awarded 12, 8, 6 and 4 BUCS points for their institution respectively.

At the conclusion of the series each student-athlete’s [two highest value points pots for a series of three events] are counted towards their final score for overall BUCS Individual Champion’s placement. Points ties will be broken by comparing: first, the sum of all championships event points pots; then, if a tie remains then their head to head match win record between tied competitors; then, if a tie remains the result is shared. 

Point pots are not transferable between disciplines, and are not transferable between weight divisions after an event. Where a student-athlete makes their weight but finds their division of entry is merged, then any points they win are attributed to their division of entry. Where a student-athlete fails to make weight and changes division at accreditation, any points they win points will be attributed to the weight division they have moved to compete in (even if that division is itself later merged).

BUCS Individual Champions Points Scoring Disciplines:

  • WT rule sparring (A-class)
  • ITF rules sparring (A-class)
  • Kukkiwon Individual Patterns (A-class)
  • Chang-Hon Individual Patterns (A-class)
  • Freestyle Individual Patterns (A-class)

BUCS Individual Champions Points are awarded at the end of the BUCS Taekwondo Championships Series based on total score and following any tie-breakers as described, not for each individual event.

WT – WT rules sparring (Olympic rules)
ITF – ITF rules sparring (semi-contact rules)
KW – Kukkiwon patterns
CH – Chang-Hon patterns
FS – Freestyle patterns

Men’s Individual BUCS Points

BUCS Mens Individual Divisions 2019-20

Women’s Individual BUCS Points

BUCS Womens Individual Divisions 2019-20.png

Team Overall Discipline Champion’s Shields

Team shields are awarded in each of the four core disciplines which make up their overall team championships scores and by the same calculation method. Final placements for the mini-shields and overall team champions can be found on the website’s results pages.

  • Chang-Hon Patterns Overall Team Champions
  • Kukkiwon Patterns Overall Team Champions
  • ITF rules Sparring Overall Team Champions
  • WT rules Sparring Overall Team Champions

Student Taekwondo Indomitable Team Trophy

The Indomitable Team Trophy, is contested throughout the year. The scoring is based on the sum of the average points per player for every series tournament each club enters 5 or more athletes, accruing points as with the overall championships but with no class modifiers, allowing teams large and small to compete together on a level playing field for the indomitable team title!

Individual Championship Medals

At each BUCS Taekwondo Championships event 1 bronze, 1 silver and 1 gold individual BSTF medals will be awarded per discipline and division.

At the conclusion of the BUCS Taekwondo Championships Series the top three A-class individual BUCS ranking student-athletes in each BUCS scoring division will be awarded 1 bronze, 1 silver and 1 gold based on their final placement respectively.

Section update pending

Weight-making practices in combat sports

Taekwondo is a weight segmented combat sport, and the reduction of body mass is considered an important aspect in order to gain advantages over opponents in terms of limb length and power to mass ratio [1].

There are numerous associated negative effects on both health and performance from reducing body mass. Chronic periods of calorie restriction which induce losses of body fat and muscle tissue can lead to a whole host of issues including those on immune function, bone structure and menstrual function in females [2]. This can also lead to eating related disorders including anorexia nervosa [3] whilst negatively effecting performance by not having enough available energy to compete despite a period of refeeding.

Dehydration (caused by exercise, saunas, diuretics etc.) can display negative effects through losses of as little as 2% of body mass which can decrease cognitive function [4], with losses of over 5% body mass effecting cardiovascular, liver and kidney function potentially leading to cardiac events and renal failure [5]. It should be noted that there have been associated deaths in combat sports over recent years and very recently in Taekwondo [6]. Were this to occur under a coaches supervision they may be legally culpable and this could lead to criminal prosecution.

Given the dangers associated with varying methods of reducing body mass in all instances student athletes should seek professional guidance from either a registered dietician or SENr registered sport nutritionist where possible. Coaches and athletes are highly encouraged to attend our Strength and Conditioning for Taekwondo Athletes Course which includes an athlete nutrition and weight-making module, where guidance is provided by our course leader Carl Langan-Evans, a researcher in the field of safe and effective body mass loss for combat sport athletes [7].

In all cases we recommend coaches and athletes adopt an evidence based approach, monitor their athletes’ weight over time and plan for competition well in advance. Penalty fees for weight division changes are in place at BUCS Taekwondo Championships Series events to encourage forward planning and discourage incautious weight division entries. It is our desire that club committees and contracted coaches improve weight monitoring and selection such that no division changes at weigh-in need occur.

[1] da Silva Santos JF, Takito MY, Artioli GG, Franchini E. Weight loss practices in Taekwondo athletes of different competitive levels. Journal of exercise rehabilitation. 2016;12(3):202-8. Epub 2016/07/16. PubMed PMID: 27419116; PubMed Central PMCID: PMCPmc4934965. [2] Mountjoy M, Sundgot-Borgen JK, Burke LM, Ackerman KE, Blauwet C, Constantini N, et al. IOC consensus statement on relative energy deficiency in sport (RED-S): 2018 update. Br J Sports Med. 2018;52(11):687-97. Epub 2018/05/19. doi: 10.1136/bjsports-2018-099193. PubMed PMID: 29773536. [3] Joy E, De Souza MJ, Nattiv A, Misra M, Williams NI, Mallinson RJ, et al. 2014 female athlete triad coalition consensus statement on treatment and return to play of the female athlete triad. Current sports medicine reports. 2014;13(4):219-32. Epub 2014/07/12. doi: 10.1249/jsr.0000000000000077. [4] Wittbrodt MT, Millard-Stafford M. Dehydration Impairs Cognitive Performance: A Meta-analysis. Medicine and science in sports and exercise. 2018. Epub 2018/06/23. doi: 10.1249/mss.0000000000001682. PubMed PMID: 29933347. [5] Kasper AM, Crighton B, Langan-Evans C, Riley P, Sharma A, Close GL, et al. Case Study: Extreme Weight Making Causes Relative Energy Deficiency, Dehydration and Acute Kidney Injury in a Male Mixed Martial Arts Athlete. International journal of sport nutrition and exercise metabolism. 2018:1-20. Epub 2018/07/11. doi: 10.1123/ijsnem.2018-0029. PubMed PMID: 29989458. [6] Forsyth L. Schoolboy collapses and dies during taekwondo fight as opponent celebrates ‘victory’ until he realises what’s happened. Daily Mirror. 2018. PubMed PMID: 25014387. [7] Langan-Evans C, Close GL, Morton JP. Making Weight in Combat Sports. Strength & Conditioning Journal. 2011;33(6):25-39. doi: 10.1519/SSC.0b013e318231bb64. PubMed PMID: 00126548-201112000-00005.

Risk Management

The BSTF strive to deliver unparalleled standards in all aspects of tournament management, including our operating procedures for the health and safety of participants. Like any contact sport, taekwondo presents a risk of injury which must be managed. Our policies have been designed to meet the specific needs of taekwondo competition, iterated across three decades of BSTF tournament delivery, and developed in consultation with emergency physicians and specialist sport medical providers.

Research suggests taekwondo holds no greater average risk of injury than other popular sports [1,2], that the most common injury type is haematoma and that injuries occur predominantly to the lower limb [3]. Total competition annual-injury-exposure risk is low since total match time is substantially shorter than that of most full contact team sport competition in length and lower in frequency, for example. Nevertheless, weight segmented combat sports like taekwondo present specific risks, including potentially harmful weight making practices and that head contact is an objective itself within competition rules, requiring specific precautions.

A tournament’s health and safety protocols and the fidelity of their implementation are critical to risk management. Inadequate provision of trained medical staff and equipment endangers athletes’ well-being and, in extreme cases, their lives. Sports managers and club captains should be aware that the policies and provision of third party tournament organisers in the UK (including, but not limited to individuals and small associations) vary significantly. The protocols described here cannot be taken for granted outside of BSTF events, hence we recommend that university sport officers and club captains implement, as part of your routine entry process, a stage to confirm an event’s protocols satisfy your institution’s requirements. A checklist of essential provisions is included in the last section here for reference.

BSTF Tournament Insurance

Events open to all university clubs to attend require special attention regarding insurance.  University club members may hold a third party insurance policy with one of a variety of different providers, however, member to member policies from a particular third party organisations may or may not be valid at open events where other participants hold different policies. Furthermore, it is not sufficient to rely on students to have obtained individual insurance policies, because:

  • the various participants’ insurance may not all be equivalent or sufficient for all activities
  • their policies may have expired between entry being submitted and their attending the event
  • and in the worse case a forged submission would put all participants at risk

Hence, BSTF events are independently insured under our own bespoke martial arts activities policy, ensuring coverage of all participants at our events.

BSTF Tournament Medical Provision

Provisions for the safety of participants are paramount to the organisation of combat sport and martial art competition. Typical coverage at a BSTF tournament includes a member of medical staff (FPoSi/ Paramedic / Advanced Emergency Aid and Trauma Management in Sport qualified), supported by several first aiders (Emergency First Aiders in Sport qualified) court-side, with a dedicated treatment area and trauma equipment available.

Our summary policy requirements are listed in more detail in the next section, including requirements for: rules and regulations; risk assessments; referee selection; medical and first aid staffing; head injury assessment protocols; medical equipment; tournament safety equipment; weight divisions; and athlete experience level divisions.

Management and treatment of concussion in combat sports must be more stringent than for non-combat sports counterparts. The BSTF implements a head injury assessment protocol for the safety of student-athletes. This protocol is complimented by robust mechanisms which allow us to track student athletes between matches and match days in case they have received an assessment for concussion or require a follow-up assessment.

The BSTF also deliver athlete and coach development courses to raise standards in other aspects of athlete health and safety including: strength and conditioning training; nutrition and weight management; the dangers associated with weight cutting and dehydration; anti-doping and testing; and other topics.

Taekwondo Tournament Health and Safety Provision Checklist

Outside of the BSTF Student National Taekwondo Championships Series there exist a variety of third party taekwondo events large and small which a university club’s members might also attend during the year. If your club plans to attend any taekwondo competition we recommend that sport department staff and club captains always discuss whether the following checklist of provisions are in place, indicative of responsible health and safety policy by a local organiser.

All of the provisions described in the following checklist are in place at BSTF Student National Taekwondo Championships Series tournaments:

  1. That an event risk assessment is available on request and that it is strictly applied at the event.
  2. That competition rules and regulations are published in advance, are readily available and comprehensive.
  3. That all participants are insured with a bespoke martial arts event policy for any tournament open to all university clubs, and that the policy details are available on request.
  4. That the total number of medical and first aid support staff is determined in proportion to the number of concurrent matches taking place.
  5. That qualified and equipped medics are present, leading their team throughout the event at courtside. 
    1. We require such sparring competitions have as standard an Emergency Medicine Practitioner / Paramedic / FPoSi / Advanced Emergency Aid trained medic available.
  6. That qualified and equipped first-aiders supporting the lead medical staff are present throughout the event at court-side.
    1. We require as standard one first-aider per court along with and in support of the event medic(s). 
    2. It may never be considered sufficient to rely on attending umpires or a venue’s general staff (with or without first aid qualifications) to provide first aid support to a taekwondo sparring competition; all first-aiders must be engaged solely in that role throughout the event. 
  7. That the necessary equipment for trauma treatment is available in case ever required, at that this include: O2, Entonox, airway management kit, automated external defibrillator, spinal board and full set of emergency drugs.
  8. That a dedicated treatment area is available court-side for medics and first-aiders.
  9. That a head injury assessment protocol is in place, where medical staff hold the independent authority to withdraw athletes, and that processes are in place to issue and withdraw athlete accreditation and to track athletes between matches for reassessment and any revocation of accreditation.
  10. That jigsaw matting is utilised for all competition areas to reduce the risk of injury from falls and that the total area per court be no smaller than 8×8 m.
  11. That no ungraded (“10th kup”) students are permitted to take part in sparring disciplines.
  12. That suitable weight and grade (experience) divisions are in place.
  13. That competitions are run according to the rules of an established international federation to ensure that the health and safety role of referees is clearly defined, and that legal scoring techniques and penalties and  are applied consistently.
  14. That only trained umpires referee matches. 
  15. That competition areas and spectator areas are separated, and that entry and exit between these areas is strictly managed.
  16. That athletes, coaches, officials and volunteers receive an accreditation (ID card) on registration which determines access to competition areas.
  17. That processes are in place to check athlete and coach accreditation, both on entry to a competition area and prior to the start of a match.
  18. That sports department and club captains must nominate their head coach and secondary coaches during the entry process, and that only those accredited individuals may coach athletes at the event.

We also recommend that coaches attend the Strength and Conditioning for Taekwondo Athletes course which includes training on anti-doping and testing, nutrition and weight management, and the health risks associated with rapid weight loss and dehydration.

[1] Boxing, Wrestling, and Martial Arts Related Injuries Treated in Emergency Departments in the United States, 2002-2005, J Sports Sci Med. 2007 Oct; 6(CSSI-2): 58–61. [2] Australian sports injury hospitalisations 2011-12 (full publication; 21 oct 2014 edition) (AIHW). [3] Lystad, Reidar. (2015). Epidemiology of injuries in full-contact combat sports. Australasian Epidemiologist. 22. 14-18.

Accreditation and Weigh-in

There are two types of accreditation area:

  • Registration desk location(s) (typically in main hall, see signage)
  • Accreditation and weigh-in location(s) (typically in changing rooms, see signage)

All head-coaches, volunteers and umpires must attend the registration desk on each day they are coaching/ volunteering/ umpiring (i.e., both mornings of a 2 day championships) and show their photo ID (e.g., driving licence).

Student-athletes must all attend accreditation and weigh-in and show their photo ID (e.g., driving licence). Student-athletes only need to attend accreditation and weigh-in once per competition, however, those student-athletes competing on one day and volunteering on other day(s) must also attend the registration desk to sign-in on each day they volunteer.

Teams will be accredited and weighed-in together in the order the teams arrived. Check the notice boards at the venue to determine which accreditation room to attend, as this will vary by university and gender.

All adult competitors shall weigh-in wearing only underwear (men – underpants; women – underpants and bra; may alternatively be nude if requested by the athlete). To protect the privacy of the competitors, weigh-ins will be conducted in closed rooms, and supervisors and assistants shall be of the same sex as the competitors. An additional privacy screen will be made available whenever possible to speed up the accreditation and weigh-in process. If privacy screens are unavailable a competitor may request the weigh-in room be emptied of all personnel except themselves and the weigh-in supervisors and assistants before completing their weigh-in. Competitors must not remove their clothing until they are in the weigh-in room; sports clothing, boxing style dressing gowns or similar may be worn while waiting for weigh-in but shall be removed before stepping on the scales. The event organisers reserve the right to modify the weigh-in protocol for all competitors only if it is deemed necessary, for example, due to extreme time constraints, with any event day change communicated to the team captains at the earliest opportunity.

The scales may not be moved from their set position by any distance, for any reason.

Student-athletes may attempt to make weight an unlimited number of times during the registration period(s), but must rejoin the queue for the weigh-in room each time. There will be a maximum -/+200 g variance allowance for players being under/over their weight division at the weigh-in which will be strictly applied. Sparring competitors who fail to meet their weight may change weight division at the cost of a £20 fee per discipline changed at registration.

BUCS Series Championships competition days are labelled day 1 and day 2 (day 2 is only applicable for events with two competition days), and day 0 refers to the preceding venue set-up day.

  • Typically there will be a single accreditation and weigh-in period for all competitors on the morning of day 1 for both one and two day championships events.
  • If a day 0 (i.e., during the afternoon or evening of the venue set-up day) accreditation and weigh-in is advertised then student-athletes competing on day 1 and/ or 2 may attend either/ both the day 0 or day 1 accreditation and weigh-in.
  • If a day 1 accreditation and weigh-in is advertised then student-athletes competing on day 1 or day 2 may attend that session.
  • If a day 1 accreditation and weigh-in is the only session advertised then student-athletes competing on day 1 or day 2 must attend that session.
  • If a day 2 accreditation and weigh-in is advertised (this is very rare) then only competitors competing on day 2 who did not attend/ or make weight at the day 0 or day 1 session may attend.

The number and time of accreditation and weigh-in sessions may change – always check the event itinerary leading up to an event and watch out for changes to the number and periods(s) of the accreditation and weigh-in session(s).

Essential briefings

Check the event itinerary for times and meeting locations for the following briefing sessions.

  • Volunteer briefing session for L5 /L4 / L3 volunteer quota volunteers (this includes registration and accreditation for volunteers)
  • Umpire briefing session for L2 / L1 centre referees and patterns judges (includes registration and accreditation for umpires)
  • Team captain briefing session (to be attended by all team captains and head-coaches)

Modifications to international rule-sets may be employed at the discretion of the organisers as listed on this website and/or announced at event’s team captain’s briefing session e.g., changes to the event schedule; changes to round lengths.

Volunteers failing to attend the briefing session will be marked as absent and their club fined according to the absent quota rules.

If you are attending the event in multiple roles then you must attend all associated briefing sessions.

Competition area check-in

All participants, competitors, coaches, volunteers and officials may only enter and exit the competition area via the check-in area. Competitors must present themselves to the check-in area 2 full matches in advance of each scheduled sparring bout or scheduled patterns round.

Your accreditation card must be presented every time when passing through check-in and to the court desk prior to each bout. Players must wait in the designated waiting areas at court-side. Only one sparring coach (required) and up to one physiotherapist or team doctor (optional) may accompany each player. Players and coaches must enter and then exit the competition area by the same route directly after their match is concluded.

Competition brackets will be displayed in the venue following registration. Live match numbers are shown on the court tables, the first number indicating the court number and the second two digits the match number e.g., 208 is the eighth match on court number two. Where a double elimination or dual tournament format is employed, the lower bracket/ second bracket will begin immediately after the completion of the first without any break. For example, if the final match number for an upper (1st) bracket is match 225, and your next match is the lower (2nd) bracket match 201, you must report to check-in during upper bracket match 224, ready for your match which will begin in two matches time.

Athletes and coaches must listen for announcements and track match numbers displayed on the courts throughout the day. Matches may be rescheduled to other courts during the event. When an individual athlete is called for over the PA system this indicate they have not arrived for their scheduled match and have 60 seconds remaining to arrive at their court, after which the match may be awarded immediately to their opponent.

The organising committee have an overriding duty to the health and safety of all participants and strive to complete tournaments by the scheduled finish time so that many hundreds of athletes’, coaches’, volunteers’ and officials’ can perform at their best and minimise the risk that teams’ travel plans may be adversely affected. Every delay has knock on effects, and it is necessary to apply exactly the same rules for every athlete and every team at every point during the event. Hence, athletes and coaches are strictly responsible for arriving to their designated matches on time, with no allowance given for late arrivals, delays caused by forgetting mandatory equipment at check-in, missing announcements, being occupied by ongoing matches if entering concurrent divisions, receiving medical treatment, their coaches being unavailable, or for any other reason.

Withdrawals during the competition

If an player withdraws from their competition bracket a team coach must arrive to the court before the start of the scheduled match to confirm to the court desk that the athlete has withdrawn. Time lost on courts waiting for athletes can cause considerable delays for many hundreds of other participants, therefore, the competition organisers may penalise a team’s points if their coaches fail to advise a court desk of a player’s withdrawal in a timely manner.

Protests

When no video replay service is in place no protests by a coach during the course of a match are permitted. No judgement(s) made by officials during a match, including scoring of points and application of penalties, may be protested by a coach during the course of a match. Coaches must abide by the competition rules at all times and may be subject to disciplinary action if we believe they have breached these rules.

When a video replay service is available on a court protests may only be made according to the competition rules governing the IVR protest system.

A competitor’s coach is permitted to launch a formal protest directly after the conclusion of a match if they believe an uncorrected technical error occurred that would have definitively reversed the final result of a match at the point it concluded. No other grounds for protest will be considered. A protest must be made immediately following the end of the contest to the head table, with a deposit of £75 must be paid in cash only for each protest, refundable only if the protest is upheld. Only written submissions made as instructed by the organisers will be accepted and no other form of communication or media will be accepted without the express instruction of the organisers. The organisers may investigate by any means they deem appropriate, within whatever time frame they choose. The organisers decision is final.

Spectators and minors

Spectators attendance may be either permitted or restricted depending on the Event, particularly regarding any government advice regarding events at that time. Please see the event calendar for Event specific information.

When events are open to spectators they are are welcome at no charge, but must stay in the spectator areas only and not enter the competition areas or official’s areas.

No under 18s may compete in BSTF events. Any under 18s attending the event must be accompanied by a parent or guardian throughout, and their care and well-being are the sole responsibility of those parents and guardians.

Injuries and insurance claims

All injuries must be reported to the medical staff and first aiders employed at the event. In the event of an insurance claim following an injury we require name of the claimant and the time of the incident to draw these records from our medical providers. Participants must contact the BSTF as soon as possible, and within a maximum of 7 days in all cases where they intend to initiate an insurance claim. Be aware, in the event of an injury or incident requiring investigation that a participants’ declaration forms will be submitted in evidence to all necessary authorities.

Participation declaration

By submitting an entry to a BSTF event all participants, thereby agree to abide by our terms and conditions, and the BSTF code of conduct.

BSTF Tournament Series