Changes in the Poomsae Competition Rules

The Poomsae continues its way to gradually emerge to the top, bringing to Taekwondo the martial art injection this discipline requires.  Following we present the latest changes in the rules. masTaekwondo.com ESPAÑOL



Like any discipline in constant change, it is essential to update the rules so that progress is continuous and the discipline remains in the elite. MasTaekwondo.com presents to you the latest changes in the Poomsae Competition Rules.

The Contest Area was 10 x 10 meters for any competition, however now, the competition area for Team Free Style will be 12 x 12 meters.

The competition categories change:


In order for you to see the changes, we will first describe the categories before the changes:

•        Junior Division (15-17 years old)

•        Under 29 Division (18-29 years old)

•        Under 39 Division (30-39 years old)

•        Under 49 Division (40-49 years old)

•        Under 59 Division (50-59 years old)

•        Over 59 Division (60 years old or higher)


The new rules, states the following changes:

•        Cadet Division (12-14 years old)

•        Junior Division (15-17 years old)

•        Under 30 Division (18-30 years old)

•        Under 40 Division (31-40 years old)

•        Under 50 Division (41-50 years old)

•        Under 60 Division (51-60 years old)

•        Under 65 Division (61-65 years old)


Until recently, an athlete could compete in more than one division unless he/she was limited by age or gender. The current modification in the rules says that an athlete can participate in up to two categories unless limited by age or gender. Additionally, in the Free Style competition it will be allowed to have a substitute in case one athlete of the main team gets injured.

Previously, in the Free Style competition athletes over 15 years old could compete.  Now there are two divisions, under 17 and over 17 years old.

The recognized Poomsaes will be required for each division in any round.

For Free Style the requirements of a performance have been simplified, reducing the amount of movements (poom), 60% of kicking techniques and 40% hand techniques.

The qualification criteria for Free Style competition were rearranged synthesizing the 6 points of technical skills and the 4 points of presentation.  The main differences are the following:


•        Technical Skills

o        Level of difficulty of foot techniques – 3 points

o        Accuracy of movements – 1.5 points

o        Degree of completion of poomsae – 1.5 points


•        Presentation

o        Creativeness

o        Harmony

o        Expression of energy

o        Music and choreography



•        Technical Skills

o        Level of difficulty of foot techniques – 5 points

o        Basic movements and practicability – 1 point

•        Presentation

o        Creativeness

o        Harmnoy

o        Expression of energy

o        Music and choreography


The previous scoring methods were based on Kukkiwon Taekwondo Testbook.  As far as deductions of 0.1 and 0.3 are concerned, the amendment to this rule will be based on the Poomsae Competition Scoring Guidelines.

Since we’re on the subject of deductions, it is important to mention the 0.1 and the 0.3 deductions.  The new rules give a better explanation for these issues:

Deduction of 0.1 point per small mistake in accurate performance:  It shall be deducted whenever any of the foot postures or hand movements is not performed as explained in the Poomsae Competition Scoring Guidelines.

Deduction of 0.3 point per serious mistake in accuracy:   It shall be deducted when actions are not performed in accordance with the Poomsae Competition Scoring Guidelines o a wrong action is performed.

Some examples of the mistakes mentioned above:

•        Eolgul Makki is performed instead of Arae Makki

•        Dwit-gubi is performed instead of Juchum-Seogi

•        Kihap (yelling) is not make or Kihap at wrong moment

•        Temporary stop during movements (forgetting the next movement for three seconds or more)

•        Eyesight does not follow the side to which actions are made.

•        When the raised foot touches the ground in performing Hakdari-Seogi.

•        Starting and ending position varies by more than one foot allowance (kumgang, jitae exception)

•        Jittzikgi movement without enough power and sound

•        When the contestant makes loud breathing noises

•        When the contestant restarts his or her performance.


Regarding the decision and declaration of winner, we sometimes wonder what happens if there is a tie? In this case the winner is determined by who has more points in presentation (for Recognized Poomsae) or in technical skills (for Free Style Poomsae).  In case the score is till tied, then the contestant who has a higher total points (total points of all judges, including highest and lowest points) is the winner.   If it is still tied, then a rematch shall be conducted to determine the winner.  The referee will decide on the Poomsae to be performed.

For Recognized Poomsae and Free Style Poomsaes the performance should be executed in 90 seconds.

MasTaekwondo.com summarized for you the key issues in the rules amendments.  We will continue giving you important information before the 8th World Poomsae Championships to be held in Bali, Indonesia soon.


Alex Korram, Exclusive masTaekwondo.com




0 thoughts on “Changes in the Poomsae Competition Rules”

  1. These new rules/changes/admenments are subject to be in force from 01. Jan. 2014.

    There should also mention in the Freestyle poomsaes – There are obligational techniques and movements to be included.

  2. Hi^^
    Have above mentioned changes been decided already? Or are they only suggested, so that it is not definite yet, that they will be in force?
    Will the changes account for both ETU and WTF

    1. Where can the poomsae competition scoring guidelines document or book be obtained from. And will this make the Kukkiwon text book obsolete?

  3. Have the start finish rule`s been change for traditional poom or is it still within one foot lenght other than the 2 exeptions been jiti and kumgang

  4. Are these new rules different from the amendments of 26th Dec 2012 ?
    Is the new Poomsae Competition Rules PDF file available for download ?

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