Definitive changes on the WTF Rules starting next january

International - 2016/11/14 - The proposed agenda for the WTF Executive Board meeting to be held in Burnaby, Canada details the new changes as well as new proposals for the Taekwondo Rules.



MasTKD took the time to summarize some of the most important points, but it is worthy to recognize the exhaustive work the WTF put on the new changes showing its interest in the preparation for Tokyo 2020.

MasTKD recognizes that the amendment proposed will help all MNAs to follow the same rules, statutes, bylaws and codes under the WTF. It is noticed the change on the wording, making more specific and clear these rules, which will help to understand (among other points) the disciplinary actions and appeals.

All MNA’s shall implement the World Taekwondo Global Membership System.

Also all MNA’s shall incorporate Para-Taekwondo under the umbrella of their organization. All these points expressed with detail under the Enactment Proposal.

MasTKD took special attention over the WTF Competition Rules and Interpretation, and we will share the main rules proposed that will help to make better our sport:

  • All competitors promoted, organized or recognized by the WTF shall observe the WTF Statutes, Bylaws, Dispute Resolution and Disciplinary actions and all other pertinent rules and regulations.
  • All competitors recognized by WTF and/or each Continental Union and/or MNA shall abide by the WTF Medical Code and the WTF Anti-Doping Rules.


Valid Points

  • One (1) point for a valid punch attack on the trunk protector.
  • Two (2) points for a valid kick attack on trunk protector.
  • Three (3) points for a valid turning 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 head.
  • One (1) point awarded for every one gam-jeom given to the opponent contestant.


 Scoring and publication

  • If head PSS is not employed, scoring for kicking techniques to the head shall be made by judges using the manual scoring devices.
  • If a referee perceives a contestant to be staggering or knocked down by a kick to the head, and so begins counting, but the attack was not scored by the head PSS the referee may request IVR to make the decision.


Prohibited acts and Penalties

  • Change from Kyon-go to Gam-jeom
  • Crossing the boundary line
  • Falling down
  • Avoiding or delaying the match
  • Grabbing or pushing the opponent
  • Lifting the leg to block or kicking the opponent leg to impede the opponent’s kicking attack, or lifting the leg or kicking in the air for more than 3 seconds to impede the opponent’s potential attacking, or kick was aiming to below the waist.
  • Kicking below the waist.
  • Attacking opponent after “Kal-yeo”.
  • Hitting the opponent head with the hand.
  • Butting or attacking with the knee.
  • Attacking the fallen opponent.
  • Following misconduct of contestant or coach; such as
  • Not complying with the referee decision
  • Inappropriate protesting behavior to officials’ decisions.
  • Inappropriate attempts to disturb/influence the outcome of the match.
  • Provoking or insulting the opposing contestant or coach.
  • Unaccredited doctor/ physicians or other team officials seated in the doctor’s position.
  • Any other severe misconduct or unsportsmanlike conduct from contestant or coach.
  • When a contestant receives ten (10) Gam-jeoms, referee declares the contestant loser by PUN (Referee Punitive Declaration). Also when a contestant manipulates the scoring system or refuses to follow the referee’s commands.




Golden Point and Decision of Superiority

  • After the 3 rounds if the winner cannot be decided, a 4th round will be conducted in One minute round.
  • The first contestant to score a point(s) or whose opponent receives two gam-jeoms shall be declared the winner.
  • If no score on the 4th round, the criteria will be:
  • The contestant who achieved a higher number of hits registered by the PSS during the 4th round.
  • If number of hits registered is tied, the contestant who won more rounds in first three rounds.
  • If this is tied too, then will be by the contestant who received less number of gam-jeoms during all 4 rounds.
  • If the two above criteria are the same, then will be referee and judges’ decision.



  • Point gap will be 20 points difference.
  • Win by point gap won’t be applied in semi-finals and finals in senior division by the outline tournament.


Instant Video Replay

This section stayed the same as the rules used at the President’s Cup in Portland, Oregon.

Creating more equal and fare ranking for everyone, the proposal for each International competition and the maximum points obtained. Also explained for Junior, Senior and Para Taekwondo as is now included for the next Olympic Games in Tokyo 2020.

Poomsae has some proposed changes that relates to the number of divisions for competition from 5 to 3 divisions (Junior, under 30 and under 40), for Poomsae Championships, Multi-sport Games or any WTF organized event.

We are enthusiastic to see these changes approved and start being in use this December for the Grand Prix in Azerbaijan, as they will create more active and exciting Taekwondo.


Lisethe Salcido, MasTKD

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