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:
- That an event risk assessment is available on request and that it is strictly applied at the event.
- That competition rules and regulations are published in advance, are readily available and comprehensive.
- 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.
- That the total number of medical and first aid support staff is determined in proportion to the number of concurrent matches taking place. Our medical staffing formula is determined in consultation with experienced medical professionals in this sector.
- That qualified and equipped medics are present, leading their team throughout the event at courtside.
- We require such sparring competitions have as standard an Emergency Medicine Practitioner / Paramedic / FPoSi / Advanced Emergency Aid and Trauma Management in Sport qualified medic available for every six courts (1+ courts requiring one medic, 6 courts requiring two medics, etc.,).
- That qualified and equipped first-aiders supporting the lead medical staff are present throughout the event at courtside.
- We require as standard one first-aider per court along with and in support of the event medic(s).
- Also note 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.
- 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.
- That a dedicated treatment area is available courtside for medics and first-aiders.
- 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 and match days for reassessment.
- 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.
- That no ungraded (“10th kup”) students are permitted to take part in sparring disciplines.
- That suitable weight and grade (experience) divisions are in place.
- That competitions are run according to the rules of an established international federation to ensure that scoring, penalties, and mandatory safety equipment requirements are applied consistently.
- That only trained officials referee matches.
- That competition areas and spectator areas are separated, and that entry and exit between these areas is strictly managed.
- That athletes, coaches, officials and volunteers receive an accreditation (ID card) on registration which determines access to competition areas.
- 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.
- 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 random testing, nutrition and weight management, and the health risks associated with rapid weight loss and dehydration.