Taekwondo sparring disciplines are contact sports and martial arts that carry risk of injury to participants. The BSTF strive to deliver unparalleled standards in tournament management, including in our medical provision for the health and safety of participants. The following sections include information regarding the bespoke tournament insurance and medical provision at BSTF events, and a Taekwondo tournament provisions guide which includes red flags to identify 3rd party provider safety issues.
About BSTF Martial Arts Tournament Insurance
Events open to all university clubs to attend require special attention regarding insurance. Each university club typically holds a third party insurance policies with one of a variety of different providers however, member to member policies from a particular 3rd 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 obtain individual insurance policies as:
- the various participants’ insurance may not all be equivalent or sufficient for all activities
- policies may have expired between entry being submitted and attending the event
- and in a worse case scenario a forged submission would put all participants at risk
All BSTF events are independently insured under our own bespoke martial arts activities policy, ensuring coverage of all participants at our events.
About BSTF Tournament Medical Provision
Enhancing the safety of participants is paramount, and a fully staffed and equipped medical team a critical component for all Taekwondo events.
Typical coverage at BSTF events [Student National Taekwondo Championships 2017 figures] would include: two trauma trained medics (FPoSi and Paramedic / Advanced Emergency Aid and Trauma Management in Sport qualified), supported by eight or more first-aiders (Emergency First Aiders in Sport qualified), and a fully equipped treatment area (treatment beds; spinal board; airway management kit; defibrillator; etc.,).
What to look for in a Taekwondo Tournament
There are a variety of Taekwondo events large and small which university clubs might attend during the year. If a club plans to attend a Taekwondo competition we recommend that their university sport department first confirms the following checklist of provisions are in place, indicative of responsible health and safety management by the local organising committee:
- That full event information is published in advance, 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 – seeing an uninsured ‘open university event’ should be a red flag.
- That an event risk assessment is in place and available on request.
- That fully qualified and equipped medics / paramedics are present throughout the event at ringside.
- That a sufficient number of qualified and equipped first-aiders are present throughout the event at ringside. Due to the nature of the sport it is never sufficient to rely on first-aiders who are not dedicated to first aid support throughout the event, for example, a sport centre venue’s general staff with or without first aid qualifications is not sufficient.
- That a dedicated treatment area is available court side for medics and first-aiders.
- That the total number of medical and first aid support staff is increased in proportion to the number of concurrent sparring matches taking place.
- That jigsaw matting is utilised for all competition areas to reduce the risk of injury from falls.
- 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, safety equipment requirements and safety procedures are applied consistently.
- That experienced officials are recruited to officiate matches.
- Club presidents/captains, coaches and university sports department staff share a duty of care for their university teams. If you attend any external tournament where you suspect corners have been cut by the organisers, we urge you not put your team at risk and to walk away. We recommend all club committees contact their university sports department staff before entering any tournament to discuss the safety provisions in place.