| WASO Continuous Sparring
Competition - Rules
1. Organisation of the Match
2. Conduct of the Match
3. Legal target Areas
4. Legal Techniques
5. Illegal Techniques and Actions
Awarding Warnings and Penalties
Stopping the Match
Judges (Three judges per match, a senior to act as chief judge)
Uniforms and Equipment
Appendix 1 The WASO Continuous Sparring scoring system
COPYRIGHT © V 6.3 October 2008
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Organisation of the Match
1.1 The sparring area, called the ring, shall be clean, flat and free of all hazards.
1.2 The size of the ring shall be 6 X 6 metres of competition area. (In the case of a matted area there must be a one-metre safety zone making a total matted area of 8 x 8 metres.)
1.3 The ring should be either;
a) A padded surface, or
Outlined with adhesive tape or other marking around the perimeter.
Note: If a raised surface is used there must be sufficient space around the ring to act as a safety zone between the ring and the edge.
1.4 Competitions may be categorised according to;
- a) Gender (male and/or female)
- b) Age
- c) Grade/experience
- d) Weight division
1.5 Matches will comprise one, two or three or more rounds of sparring in line with the official WASO draw. Each round comprises a series of bouts where individuals are paired against each other. The draw sheet will allocate one contestant to the red side and another to the white side.
1.6 Each bout will be one minute and thirty seconds of continuous sparring time or such other time as the Tournament Director decides.
1.7 The WASO bowing formality for officials will be as follows. Standing upright with heels together and feet at a 45-degree angle, hands flat to the sides, the official will bend from the waist 10 to 15 degrees only.
Note: Formal bowing may become very uncoordinated due to the different bowing forms adopted by different systems, styles and nationalities. Imagine a line up of officials with one bowing as if to a monarch, another performs the Kyokushin Oos form (Japanese), another places open hand on closed first (Kempo) and yet another adopts a cat stance and places an open hand over a clenched fist (King Fu), etc. Seeing the different variations from Indonesia, Philippines, Northern China, Southern China, Korea, and so on performed at as part of an official line up at a tournament would looked dreadful. This standardised formality, which is NOT part of the preparation for competition (on the part of the officials) aims to keep the bowing simple and uniform.
1.8 All WASO officials are to be addressed as Mr., Mrs. Miss or Ms whilst officiating at WASO tournaments.
Note: Because we have so many systems, styles, clubs etc. in WASO all have different formal titles that relate to their position/rank within their own organisation/club. Addressing all officials by the title Mr or Mrs or Miss or Ms avoids confusion, embarrassment (no mistakes) and it also engenders a greater community of spirit in the officials. It removes the seniority or subservience to higher grades that, whilst integral to the practice of the martial arts is inappropriate to the officiating of the sporting event. We must remember that after all a high grade in a martial art could be a WASO Level 1 whilst a lower grade could be a WASO Level 2. This in no way interferes or denigrates the martial arts grading system. In the sporting context it is an attempt to, amongst other things, remove the follow-the-leader mentality where one official is intimidated or influenced by another. (That is, it seeks greater objectivity and independence.)
2.1 Match officials comprise one referee, two judges and one chief judge. A scorekeeper and timekeeper assist these officials. Arbitrators/Marshals are appointed to oversee the smooth conduct of the competition.
Note: Only the judges have power to allocate scores. The referee is charged with controlling the competition and talking to the competitors in order to minimise the likelihood of any rule contravention. The scorekeeper maintains a tally of penalties, displays the relevant penalty flip cards and deducts these from the final scores allocated by the judges.
2.2 The chief judge is seated in front of the official table where the scorekeeper and timekeeper are located. The other two judges are seated on the outside of the ring perimeter at each corner furthest from the official table, to the left and the right side. The chief judge is charged with confirming or rejecting the referees major penalty calls (red card decisions), overseeing the recording of penalties, controlling the stopping and starting of the time clock, and coordinating the judges' decision regarding victory or defeat.
2.3 The referee faces the official table at which is seated the table officials. Thus the red side is to the referee’s right.
Note: The referee faces the official table in order that she/he has good vision of the chief judge and the timekeeper. It does not matter that the referee’s back may be turned to the audience.
2.4 The nearest corner judge is responsible for inspecting the competitor in relation to the proper attire and safety equipment prior to commencement of the bout.
2.5 All competitors will stand at the designated coloured side (Red or White side) of the ring, as they have been allocated/advised by the ring officials. They will remain there unless they are advised by the ring officials to change sides.
2.6 After the competitor has been checked, he/she will wait for the referee to indicate for the competitors to bow (to the referee) and then enter the ring. On the command of the referee, the competitors will bow to each other and after assuming ready position, wait for the command, “Start” from the referee.
Note: This procedure is reversed at the end of the bout. ie on the command of the referee the competitors bow to each other, leave the ring then turn and, on command, bow to the referee.
2.7 Prior to the referee starting the bout he/she checks that the judges and the timekeeper are ready to commence.
Note: The chief judge checks the readiness of the other two judges and then acknowledges the referee's inquiry.
2.8 During a bout, the timekeeper does not suspend the time when the referee calls “Stop”. Referee or another official may specifically call for time to be suspended in certain circumstances e.g. due to injury or equipment replacement. Time recording is resumed on the command “Start”.
Note: Under normal circumstances only the referee may ask time to be stopped. However, the judges and/or an Arbitrator/Marshal may call for time to be stopped if they observe an injury or other incident likely to cause a discontinuity of the time and the referee has not signaled the timekeeper to suspend time.
2.9 The referee may interrupt the bout by calling “Stop” for the following reasons;
a) To move the competitors back into the ring proper if they stray outside the competition area.
b) To prevent injury.
c) To issue a penalty or an official warning in relation to an infraction of the rules.
d) To adjust a competitors safety equipment or uniform.
e) For any other reason connected to the smooth operation or administration of the match.
Note: - If the competitors are still engaged when they leave the ring the referee simply instructs them back into the ring (not necessarily the center) and recommences the bout. This does not require a formal "Stop" and restart i.e. there is no stoppage of time.
- During straight line sparring, clashing is not uncommon. The expectation in point sparring is for the referee to stop the contest and separate the contestants. This does not happen in continuous sparring. Continuous sparring is premised on a lesser interference from the referee. Because 'points' are not awarded for a particular attack and the referee will not stop the action a competitor is able to:
- Absorb one blow in order to deliver two of his/her own
- Maneuver to outwit or infiltrate an opponents guard at the cost of receiving a blow
- More effectively employ the total ring area (circular tactics rather than linear movement) to tie up an opponent
- Use the full one and a half minutes of sparring time to test an opponent's stamina, endurance and sparring ability.
2.9 Coaches’ conduct during the event must be in line with the WASO code of behaviour. During a bout the coach of the competing competitor will sit in the designated areas (as set by the State Director).
3.1 The following are the legal target areas for WASO continuous sparring competition.
a) The head, including the face, side, forehead, neck and back of the head.
b) The torso above the belt, including the front, the side and the back.
c) The inside and outside of the thigh area and the leg below the knee.
d) The thigh and lower legs are valid target areas joints are not target areas.
Note: Excessive contact to lower part of body, legs, inside thighs, ankle and shins will incur penalty
4.1 All martial art techniques are valid in WASO competitions with the following exceptions;
a) Open finger techniques. (These are techniques that use the fingers as weapons rather than the heel of the palm or the side of the hand.)
b) Grappling or wrestling techniques extending more than two seconds.
c) Stomping on a fallen opponent.
d) Elbow and knee techniques.
e) Head butts.
f) Takedown throwing techniques are prohibited in all divisions (exception male/female advanced divisions)
g) Male & Female advanced divisions are permitted to do take downs these MUST be controlled & followed up with a legal hand technique) If safety mats not in use (take downs are not permitted).
h) Throws (or other techniques) that involve whole-of-body effort or which place the opponent in danger (because he/she cannot land safely) are categorically prohibited. Spinning reverse sweeps using the heel are prohibited.
i) Elbows and knees are considered too powerful and too difficult to control under competitive circumstances to be included as legal techniques.
Note: - Sweeping techniques are distinguished from throwing techniques. Their main purpose is to destabilise the opponent. Example; sweeping the ankle to break the competitor’s balance or techniques that trap or capture an opponent's leg or arm must be immediately followed up with a hand technique.
Illegal Techniques and Actions when contact is made
5.1 The following techniques are illegal which will incur penalties/ disqualification;
a) Techniques that make contact and cause injury especially to the head, neck or body.
b) Uncontrolled, excessive attacks directed to the joints includes, thighs, inside thighs, shin and ankle
c) Attacks directed towards the groin, including fake kicks.
d) Wrestling or grappling.
e) Other dangerous or uncontrolled techniques, such as an uncontrolled spinning back fist, uncontrolled hook kick, uncontrolled spinning hook or axe kick, spinning reverse sweeps using the heel.
f) Attacking an official whether inside or outside the ring.
- All attacks or attempted attacks to joints are prohibited. This includes high sweeps to the knee region or attacks to the ankle that are intended (or that is adjudged likely) to injure rather than destabilize.
- Attacks to the inside or outside of the legs (thighs only) that do not injure or impede the capability of an opponent are permissible. The imposition of a penalty in relation to thigh kicks is a difficult area. However, part of the consideration underpinning an illegal thigh kick contemplates the cumulative affect of multiple kicks or a single ‘heavy’ kick that is likely to result in an escalation of the intensity from the opponent. (That is a heavier kick in response.)
- An illegal technique does not need to make contact in order to be penalised. It is sufficient that the illegal technique was attempted.
- Injury, whether severe or superficial, can result from uncontrolled techniques, deliberate acts or from clashing (simultaneously executed techniques by each competitor) when strikes, kicks, blocks or other martial maneuvers collide with an opponent. It is not necessary for the action to be deliberate for it to be illegal.
- In instances where injury results from an accident the referee may confer with the chief judge in order to reach a decision regarding penalties.
- The referee will ensure that there are minimum injuries by strictly enforcing safety requirements to protect the competitors in relation to attacks directed at the head or body in junior and novice divisions. There may be a less stringent application of the interpretation regarding superficial injury, especially to the body, in adult advanced competitions
- One measure of the degree of damage or injury caused by a technique is its ability to reduce a competitor’s capability to continue unimpeded. This applies to both intentional and unintentional contact. In assessing the degree of damage the officials must consider:
- Whether the damage was caused in part by the injured competitor.
- Whether there was a failure to defend.
- Whether the injury was carried forward from a previous bout or was pre-existing.
5.2 The following actions are illegal;
a) Deliberate traveling outside the perimeter of the ring to avoid the contest.
b) Disregard for personal safety.
c) Unsporting conduct including abusive language, swearing, offensive gestures/behavior or threatening language towards Officials/ competitor
d) Pretending injury in order to gain time or influence the official decision.
Note: - Traveling is not illegal if it involves a momentary exit whilst maneuvering.
- Traveling is also not illegal if a competitor is pushed, thrown, kicked or knocked from the ring.
- Traveling is not illegal if the contestants are blocking, attacking, maneuvering or otherwise engaged in the sparring contest.
- Disregard for safety includes 'leading with the chin', failure to attempt to block an attack, looking away whilst attacking, closing the eyes whilst attacking, purposely turning the back on an opponent in order to avoid the contest, voluntarily exiting the ring so as to avoid the contest. This last category is not simply 'travelling' because the referee should usher the contestants back into the ring to resume the bout under normal circumstances. Rather, this applies when a contestant is retreating but without a strategy or defensive capability. In other words, the contestant is not pressured out of the ring by an opponent's punches and kicks notwithstanding that she/he may be defending.
6.1 When evaluating the continuous sparring bout the judges will take account of the general combative skills demonstrated by the contestants. The contestants are evaluated on the following:
- a) Effective attacking techniques
- b) Control of techniques
- c) Controlling the flow of the bout
- d) Ringcraft
- e) Evasion
- f) Timing
- g) Blocking
Note: - The sheer quantity of attacks executed during a bout is not the determining factor in superiority. It is important, for example, that judges pay careful attention to the effectiveness of all attacks in order to evaluate whether they are truly effective or merely part of a choreographed routine. Nevertheless the volume of work of the contestant does contribute to the judge's evaluation.
- Techniques that are a blur or that by dint of trajectory or distance or timing would not cause the opponent to evade/block or fear the attack should not be scored.
- An instructive example is provided by the boxing style of the great Mohammed Ali. Two of his tactics involved allowing his opponent to throw myriad punches. There would be little or no response from Ali but only rarely did the punches land/score.
• Ali would taunt and tempt his opponent enticing him to throw punches. He would then duck, weave, sway, deflect and generally evade all the attacks, sometimes only by millimetres, in order to frustrate and tire his opponent. Sometimes he would counter and score, often with devastating effect.
• Ali would lie on the ropes and cover up, bobbing and weaving to elude his opponents. We often observe a great deal of leather being thrown at Ali but most of it did not hit its target.
Example: 1 As stated, the volume of 'points' scored, as one may aggregate scores in a point sparring bout does not decide superiority in continuous sparring. Nor does overpowering an opponent determinant of superiority as this normally involves higher levels of contact and a diminished level of skill. Hence, the most aggressive competitor is not always superior. Aggression and fighting spirit differ markedly. Let us consider two scenarios to illustrate.
Example: 2 In the first scenario a smaller competitor continually attacks a larger opponent and the larger person retreats. The retreating competitor is always defending and countering and keeps just out of range of the smaller contestant. Due to the ferocious attack of the smaller competitor the larger person would need to use excessive force to stop the forward momentum or clash with the aggressor. (This scenario ignores for the moment the fact that the smaller opponent would bear some responsibility if the larger person did clash or make 'contact'.) The better option is for the larger person to move around the ring, perhaps backing away, but always displaying defensive manoeuvres, skilled footwork, counterattacks, and judgement (control). The task for the WASO judge is to identify valid attacks, effective blocks, and skilful counterattacks and assess the ringcraft and overall control aspects of the contest.
Example: 3 The second scenario pits a large, strong competitor against a smaller competitor. The larger person charges an, naturally, has a significant height and reach advantage. In order to survive the smaller person should not try and match the power of the larger person 'toe to toe'. It is necessary for the smaller person to constantly move - backwards, sideways, etc but not actually run away - and to defend. Counterattacks are more likely in this situation. Although it is reasonable to expect the larger person will always be appear to be moving forward we should not conclude that on this basis alone the aggressor is the more spirited or the superior competitor.
The judges’ evaluation must avoid a mere superficial understanding and look to reward the total combat skills and strategies of the contestants.
Defensive manoeuvres, blocks etc. may be deemed by judges to be more effective than attacks even though some attacks penetrate a competitor’s defensive perimeter.
“Effective attacking techniques” and "control" has the same basic meaning as outlined in the WASO point sparring rules. It is not required that punches and kicks make contact with an opponent in order for the judges to consider them effective. Under WASO rules an effective technique demonstrates superior control because it does not make contact.
6.2 The WASO system for scoring continuous sparring requires the judges to decide a walkover, a win or a draw. This is outlined in detail in Appendix 1.
Note: Judges are only required to score the contest. They do not award penalties and nor do they take penalties into account when deciding their score. The referee will decide the winner of the bout in the event of a second draw.
6.3 In order to evaluate the criteria over the entire course of the bout judges should evaluate each exchange (attack/evasion sequence) separately as they occur and maintain a progressive tally of the superiority demonstrated by each competitor.
Note: An exchange will generally be defined as competitors coming together and one or both competitors executing or attempting to execute one or more offensive and defensive techniques. Following this there may be a lull, a separating of competitors or evasive tactics leading to a pause in the exchange of techniques. These exchanges will generally last from 1 - 10 seconds, however an exchange may last much longer.
6.4 The judges, taking account of the general combative skills demonstrated by the contestants will evaluate each exchange. If one competitor is judged “superior” in the exchange, she/he will be awarded points by the judge. The superior competitor will generally be awarded one point. If the superior competitor is judged to have been exceptional in the exchange, then she/he may be awarded more than one point. Likewise if the exchange proceeds for a relatively long period of time then the superior competitor may be awarded more than one point.
Note: Judges do not award one point per technique, as is the case in point sparring. Evasive tactics may be deemed superior in a particular exchange notwithstanding that one or more attacking techniques manage to penetrate the defence at some stage. To decide if the superior competitor in an exchange should be credited with a point or points, all aspects of ring craft should be considered. The following are examples of aspects that should lead to extra points:
- A skilled evasive manoeuvre leaving the aggressor totally thwarted;
- A well controlled spinning kick combination unblocked by opponent;
- A series of punches and blocks that demonstrate one competitor to be in control and unthreatened by the opponent’s efforts.
What this means is that points are awarded, for example, for defensive tactics as well as offensive tactics if they contribute to a contestant’s superiority.
If an exchange continues for an extended period of time then a judge may elect to score parts of the exchange but should avoid simply awarding points for single techniques as is done with point sparring.
6.5 At the end of the bout the judges will consider the number of points awarded to each competitor throughout the match to decide the winner. Judges decide the winner based on the superiority of the contestants and allocate 10, 9 or 8 points to each competitor. At the conclusion of the bout each judge uses a flipchart to communicate the 10, 9, 8 score for red and white. If the scores are even the judge will declare a draw 10-10. If one competitor was awarded more points than the other competitor the judge will issue a score of 10 to the superior competitor and 9 to the inferior contestant. If the superior competitor was awarded more than twice the points of the other, the inferior competitor should be awarded a score of 8 (a walkover).
Note: In deciding if a contest is a walkover the judge does not need to calculate exactly if one competitor has twice the score of the other. But the margin by which one competitor dominates another should be of a significant magnitude for her/him to be awarded a walkover.
6.7 In scoring the match the judge will rely solely on her/his scoring of the exchanges. The judges do not take into account penalties issued. They indicate only their 10-9-8 decision to the scorekeeper who records these and then deducts any penalties issued before announcing the winner to the chief judge.
6.8 One competitor must be declared the winner by the referee when
- a) At the expiration of time the judges reach a decision as to who is the superior contestant and advise the referee.
- b) One competitor is disqualified.
- c) One competitor fails to attend, withdraws or is declared unfit.
Note: In evaluating the contest the judges take into account the criteria outlined in rule 6.1. This means that the judges continuously evaluate the contestant's performance throughout the duration of the bout. In addition the scorekeeper will deduct points at the end of the bout to reflect the penalties issued by the referee. The deduction will be one point for a yellow card and two points for a red card. Each judge will make a decision in accordance with the WASO system outlined in Appendix 1 and display their decision via flip cards.
7.1 Penalties must be applied in relation to any illegal technique or action.
7.2 The scale of penalties is as follows:
Minor rule infraction. Verbal warning.
A more serious/ second infraction Yellow card held up to the offender.
A serious infraction Red card held up to the offender.
A major rule infraction Instant disqualification
[A yellow card carries a one-point penalty deduction. The referee issues the yellow card for a minor rule infraction. (Maximum of four yellow cards.) A red card is a two-point deduction. The referee must obtain confirmation from the chief judge before issuing a red card. A maximum of three penalty points can be awarded. A fourth penalty point results in disqualification.]
Note: - The referee may issue as many verbal warnings as she/he sees fit and thinks necessary to control the contest. The judges play no part in this process. These verbal warnings differ from the constant coaching of the referee designed to aid the smooth flow of the contest and it is necessary that the contestant is clearly aware that a verbal warning has been issued.
- - The card system is designed to give the referee discretion but also it is a scale that permits the referee to select the penalty appropriate to the rule infraction. Thus a yellow card (one point deduction) is issued for a minor rule infraction, or for ignoring a verbal warning, or repetition of an infraction, etc. (For example, constantly grabbing in defiance of the referee’s advice.) A red card (two point deduction) is issued for a very major rule infraction such as loss of temper or attacking an illegal area. There may be up to four yellow cards issued. A significant rule infraction such as serious/deliberate injury or a kick to the knee joint can earn an instant disqualification. A total of four penalty points comprising any combination of yellow and/or red cards earns a disqualification.
- The minimum sequence of penalties is therefore as follows.
- Verbal warning (multiple)
- Yellow card (four maximum)
- Red card (two maximum)
7.3 The referee must seek confirmation of a major penalty (red card) from the chief judge.
Note: - The chief judge affirms the referee decision regarding a major penalty (red card) by holding out her/his corresponding arm straight out to the side with a clenched fist. If the chief judge is unsighted he/she crosses his/her hands in front of his face and then seeks the confirmation of one or another judge. If the chief judge disagrees with the referee she/he will cross her/his arms and bring them down (palms open and facing inwards) at a 45-degree angle in front of her/his knees to indicate no confirmation. She/he is not obliged to confer with the other judges.
7.4 If the chief judge considers that there is excessive contact or dangerous techniques and the referee is not picking it up, she/he may interrupt the contest by blowing a whistle and advise that referee.
7.5 A competitor who fails to conform to all the WASO rules as outlined in this document will not be allowed to participate in the competition.
7.5 Acceptable conduct for Coaches, Instructors during match & penalties:
a/ At no time are coaches permitted to engage in disrespectful conduct of any sort including profanity, sledging, offensive gestures, offensive remarks, trash-talking, taunting or other actions that are demeaning to Officials
b/ 1st infringement – official warning to coach; Competitor is at risk of being disqualified.
2nd infringement- competitor will be disqualified and Coach, Instructor will be asked to leave the competition area for duration of competition
c/ Once a competitor is disqualified due to the coach’s breach of the WASO code of behaviour, the coach and/or club may be at risk of suspension from any WASO event for period of time or indefinitely.
Note! Recognize that all Officials and referees are volunteers who give up their time to provide their services. Treat them with the utmost respect
Awarding Warnings and Penalties
8.1 If the referee sees actions that he/she considers is a rule infraction the referee will command “Stop”. The referee then issues the appropriate verbal warning or penalty.
Note: The judges may not stop the contest to award a penalty/warning. The judges do not have flags or whistles. Only the chief judge has a whistle.
8.2 When issuing a verbal warning or bringing the contestants back into the ring proper it is not necessary for the referee to return the contestants to the centre of the ring.
8.3 The scorekeeper turns flip cards to publicly display penalty points recorded for each contestant.
9.1 A referee uses the following hand signals and terminology when announcing his/her decisions.
a) To indicate a winner the referee holds his/her corresponding open hand (red or white) diagonally to the side at a 45 degree angle above the head with the palm facing outward. The referee announces "red (or white) side, winner.”
b) To issue a minor violation (yellow card) the referee turns to the appropriate contestant and holds the yellow card up in the palm of her/his hand at shoulder height and announces "red (or white) side, foul" and names the rule infringement.
c) To issue a major penalty the referee first takes the red card from her/his pocket and holds it down below her/his waist at a 45-degree angle. If the chief judge confirms the decision the referee then turns to face the offending contestant, holds the red card in the palm of her/his hand at shoulder height and names the violation saying "red (or white) side, foul" and naming the rule infringement.
d) The referee makes the following announcements in relation to all major and minor rule infractions
Excessive contact (Injury)
Lack of defence
Interference/disrupting the bout.
Note: - The competitors remain facing each other when the referee announces the decision.
- The referee does not have to seek confirmation from the chief judge in order to issue a yellow card penalty.
- If the chief judge does not confirm the issue of a major penalty (red card) the referee must turn the card over and issue a minor penalty (yellow card).
10.1 Only the referee has the power to stop the bout. A competitor stops only on the referee’s command. A competitor may request a time out to check an injury or to check his/her equipment.
Note: The referee does not have to grant time out if he/she feels it would take away the advantage of the other competitor or if it is a deliberate ploy to regain breath or disrupt the flow of the bout. Time outs should be kept to a minimum. If the referee feels the competitor is using time outs to rest or prevent the other competitor from scoring, a verbal warning shall be issued for the delay of the match. A second offence may incur a penalty.
10.2 Only the Arbitrator/Marshal or an appointed representative may interrupt the bout from outside the ring. They must first attract the attention of the referee who shall then call “Stop.” The chief judge may interrupt the match in accordance with rule 7.4.
10.3 Timeout is not generally called to issue penalties. The referee should always do this quickly to ensure each competitor the benefit of the complete fighting time allowed for the bout. The referee returns to the centre of the ring to issue a warning or a penalty.
10.4 The Arbitrator or Marshal may replace referees and/or judges who are not proficient in administering the bout quickly and fairly.
10.5 Protests: If a coach wishes to lodge a complaint or protest, he/she shall notify Head table person, directly after bout who will then advise Chief Arbitrator/ Marshal
Note: Arbitrator/ Marshal will over-see all protests. After council with coach, senior referee and individual judges, he will make decision. The maximum time available to resolve a protest is 5 minutes
11.1 In the case of an injury to one of the competitors, the bout shall only be stopped long enough for the First Aid Officer to decide whether or not the competitor can continue.
11.2 Once the FAO arrives at the ring, he/she has only one minute to decide if the injury requires treatment. All treatment must be done at the ring and must be completed within two minutes from the referee's announcement to "Stop" the bout.
11.3 If the injury is so serious that the above rule cannot be complied with, the bout must be terminated.
11.4 If a competitor falls, is pushed, swept, thrown or knocked to the mat and the referee does not consider a time stoppage is warranted due to injury, faking injury or for medical or other assistance, the competitor must stand, unassisted within 10 seconds and resume the engagement. If a competitor fails to comply with this “10 second rule” he/she will be deemed unfit to continue and withdrawn from the competition.
Note: In other words, if the referee considers that the competitor has been injured a Medical Officer will be called and the bout will be halted. If the referee considers that the competitors equipment is faulty and must be replaced an appropriate directive will be issued by the referee. In any other circumstance the competitor has 10 seconds to re-engage
11.5 If the bout is terminated because of injury the officials must decide;
- a) The cause of the injury.
- b) Whether or not it was an intentional injury.
- c) Whether or not the injured competitor contributed to the injury.
11.6 If there were no rules violated by the uninjured competitor, then that competitor wins by forfeiture.
11.7 If the uninjured competitor violated rules and this infraction caused or is the major contributing factor to the injury, then the injured competitor wins by disqualification.
11.8 If the injured competitor is declared fit to continue by the FAO, then the bout shall resume.
11.9 A competitor who has been knocked out is prohibited from competing in the remainder of the competition.
Note: This prohibition covers all events including demonstrations and forms.
12.1 The Australian Referee Board is responsible for the administration of the WASO rules.
a) The Technical Director or his/her delegate will act as the Chief Referees of the State under the Chairman of the ARB
b) Under each Chief Referee are the Arbitrator/Marshals and senior WASO referees assigned to the various courts.
- Together with the Chief Referee they will control the rings where Continuous Sparring is being conducted.
- They are empowered to interrupt the bout to answer or deal with protests.
- They are empowered to interrupt the bout if he/she feels the rules are not being applied correctly.
- They will act as Arbitrators for Continuous Sparring.
- They are empowered to remove officials who are not performing at an acceptable standard.
c) The Chief Referee may appoint Arbitrator/Marshals as his/her delegate to oversee the general conduct of the officials.
d) The Referee Commission is formed to consider protests and other major problem areas and comprises the Chief Referee, the ring referee and one or more marshals/referees selected by the Chief Referee.
13.1 The power of the referee is as follows;
a) The Technical Director shall appoint the referee & judges.
b) The referee will be empowered to control the ring and the competitors.
c) The referee’s first responsibility is the safety of competitors.
d) The referee may stop the bout to award warnings or penalties and to ensure the smooth running of the bout.
e) The referee is the only person empowered to stop the bout.
f) The referee may issue unofficial (verbal) warnings and official penalties (yellow or red cards) in the following circumstances.
• Techniques that cause injury.
• Attacking an illegal target area.
• Disregard for safety of self or opponent.
• Abusive language.
• Bad sportsmanship.
• Dangerous techniques.
• Uncontrolled techniques.
• Attacking (physically or verbally) an official.
• Interference, abuse, disruption to the bout, or bad sportsmanship on the part of the contestant’s coach/supporters/parents.
g) The referee shall not impose official major penalties (red card or disqualification) without the affirmation of the chief judge.
h) All commands must be in English.
i) The referee will be responsible for the enforcement of the rules throughout the competition and to ensure that all warnings and penalties are recorded.
14.1 Arbitrator/Marshals are appointed to assist the administration of the competition, to oversee the conduct of the officials and to ensure the rules are applied correctly.
14.2 Arbitrator/Marshals may intervene to;
- a) Ensure the smooth operation of the match.
- b) Ensure that the rules are applied correctly and fairly.
- c) Ensure that the rules are applied uniformly and consistently.
- d) Protect the safety of the competitor.
- e) Uphold the standard of the refereeing and judging.
- f) Clarify the application or the interpretation of the rules.
14.3 The types of intervention by the Arbitrator/Marshals are as follows;
a) Arbitrator/ Marshal will oversee all protests, time allowed – 5 minutes
b) Halting the bout and asking an official for an explanation.
c) Halting a bout to counsel an official
d) Halting a bout and asking an official to reconsider a decision where a rule is infringed and or over-ruling a decision
e) Removing an official who is not performing satisfactorily.
Judges (Three judges per match)
15.1 Judges are responsible for the following:
a) The judges shall check the competitors before each match to ensure proper safety equipment is being used.
b) If the referee is preoccupied the judge may call for time to be suspended in the case of injury or other incident likely to disrupt the continuity of the bout.
c) The judges are responsible for awarding scores to each competitor in accordance with these rules and notifying the scorekeeper of their decision in writing at the conclusion of the bout.
15.2 The chief judge will oversee the recording of all penalties and will approve the final score adjustment (the deduction of penalties from the judges scores) prior to the scorekeeper announcing the result to the referee. The chief judge will also confirm or reject the referee's decision in relation to major penalties.
Note: When the chief judge approves the final score she/he will communicate the decision to the referee in the following manner.
- - The chief judge extending the appropriate hand down at a 45-degree angle (palm outwards) indicates a winner. That is, left hand for red side victory, right hand for white side victory.
- - Crossing both hands in front of the chest and bringing them down to the sides at 45 degrees, palms outwards, indicates a draw.
Note: Regional tournaments - In the event of lack of officials, the Technical Director may put in the following.
(a) One judge seated near the table the other judge seated to the left either-side corner of the ring
(b) the referee will assume the role of the 3rd judge, whilst acting as the referee of the bout.
(c) At the end of the bout the two judges seated will display their scores (chest height).
(d) The referee will approach the chair of the 3rd judge and submit his/her score. The referee will then return to the centre of the ring and wait to be advised by the table the winner of the match.
16.1 The timekeeper will be in charge of the clock.
16.2 The timekeeper will normally stop and start the time only on the command of the referee. However, at certain times the Arbitrator/ marshal or judges may delegate for the referee and call for time to be stopped.
16.3 At the exact moment time has run out the timekeeper calls “time” and throws the sponge into the ring.
17.1 The scorekeeper is responsible for recording all penalties and warnings issued by the referee.
17.2 At the conclusion of the bout the referee will request (via a first whistle) the judges to display their scores facing the table (chest height), the chief judge will display his/her score to the table (shoulder height) for the scorekeeper to tally the score. At that stage the scorekeeper shall deduct the appropriate penalty points from each competitor and advise the chief judge of the winning side.
Note: Scores will not be displayed to the public at any time.
18.1 The ring assistant shall organise the competitors so that there will be no delay between fights.
Uniforms and Equipment
19.1 All competitors must comply with the following:
a) Each competitor must wear his/her traditional martial arts school uniform, pertaining to his or her school and in good condition. NO STREET CLOTHES are permitted. Further, hakama or other loose fitting clothing such as gowns or dresses are not permitted nor are any loose or swinging accessories/apparel such as scarves, cords or long sleeves.
b) Sponsors advertising or logo’s may, subject to prior approval of the Technical Director, be worn on the uniform in the following manner;
- Top of the upper sleeve, shoulder. The area must not be larger than 4 X 4 inches approximately 100mm.
- Pants, on the side between the knee and the hip area.
- If the promoter’s sponsors do not want the competitors to wear advertising other than belonging to the official sponsor, then the promoter and the official sponsors must be prepared to provide equal sponsorship to the competitors. (The official sponsors' rights will always take precedence over other sponsorship arrangements where a conflict of interest arises.)
c) The safety gloves (open hand type) must have padding of no more than 2.5 centimetres when measured at the knuckle, be of robust construction and be manufactured from soft materials. All gloves must conform to ‘The WASO policy on Competition Gloves’, which provides guidance on the type of gloves that are acceptable and those that are not acceptable. For example, contestants may not wear boxing gloves, hard surface gloves, bag mitts or gloves in a dilapidated condition.
d) Foot protectors must have padding that will not slip and must be large enough to cover 75% of the instep.
e) Shin/instep guards are compulsory and must not contain any reinforcing (hard components such as plastic, metal, wood, or bamboo).
f) Under no circumstances will competitors be permitted to wear footwear in WASO competitions.
g) All competitors must wear Mouthguards.
h) Male competitors must wear groin guards. All groin guards must be worn under the uniform pants.
i) Safety gear may not have any buckles, straps or tape that might in any way cause injury during the bout.
j) All competitors must have short (and safe) fingernails and toenails.
k) All jewellery must be removed before a competitor enters the ring. This includes, but is not limited to, necklaces, bracelets, anklets, finger rings, nose rings, earrings, etc. Any metal or other rigid/sharp materials, for instance attached to belts or sleeves, must be removed.
l) The Chief Referee must approve non-compulsory safety equipment, such as headgear, bandaging, prosthetic limbs, or splints.
m) Optical glasses are not permitted to be worn during competition for safety reasons; only contact lenses or optical goggles are permitted.
n) Adult female competitors are encouraged to wear an approved chest protector. Junior competitors are encouraged to wear an approved chest protector. Groin guards are optional for female competitors.
o) Hair must be arranged appropriately so that it cannot cause injury to the contestant or her/his opponent eg by swinging into the eyes. Hair clips bobby pins and other ornaments are not permitted. If a headband is worn it must be safe so that it cannot swing into the eyes of either competitor.
p) The Chief Referee must be advised in advance of any physical or other medical conditions (including handicaps), which may inhibit or impact the performance of either competitor or the smooth running of the competition. For example, illness, disease, impaired hearing, artificial limb, etc. The Chief Referee will decide whether it is appropriate/safe to for the competition to proceed.
q) Officials must wear the official WASO uniform. That is, black trousers; white long sleeved shirt, official WASO tie, black socks and WASO approved footwear eg black kung fu slippers (canvas sole). Street shoes must be removed when officiating on the mat.
r)At all times Officials must abide by the WASO code of behaviour and are not permitted to hold positions as coaches within their own Organisations while officiating with the WASO, also while not officiating must not be seen, heard slandering, sledging or degrading other WASO Officials
Note: WASO Officials; non-regulation attire must not be worn on the ring (eg bum bags) nor as a substitute for the official uniform eg white sports/running shoes. If a long sleeve shirt is standard uniform the sleeves must not be rolled up. If clothing is worn under the white shirt is must be plain white without logos, advertising, pictures or other designs. Coloured singlets, undershirts or bras are not permitted.
Age of competitors will be determined as of the 1st January in the current competition year.
Contaminated mitts and uniform/clothing must be changed (not taped over) to ensure no possible contamination to any other person results.
The WASO Continuous Sparring scoring system
Before the contest, each competitor has a total of 10 points. Deductions are made in accordance with the progressive tally used by the judge to evaluate the relative superiority of the contestants.
The WASO 10-9-8 system for judges to make a decision is simple to apply. That is, 10-10 indicates a draw, 10-9 a win, 10-8 a walkover. Where a penalty has been imposed a full point is deducted for a yellow card and two full points are deducted for a red card. A lower score than 8 is a sign that that fight should have been stopped. The following are some sample scores to demonstrate how this works in practice.
Example A. This is a clear match where one judge awards a walk over and two judges award a win. There is one major penalty and one minor penalty to be considered.
In this case red still wins, despite having the maximum penalties before disqualification. However, if no judge had awarded a walkover the bout would have been tied and it would go into extended time.
Example B. This is a close match where one minor penalty is awarded.
In this case red still wins. But if she/he received another minor penalty then the bout would result in a draw. If red had both a red and yellow card (the maximum before disqualification) then white would be the winner.
Example C. This is a split decision with one major penalty involved.
In this case red loses despite two judges giving her/him the decision. This is due to the loss of two points for the red card penalty. Had it only been a minor infraction then an extension would have been required and had there been no penalties then red would have won.
On balance, this system weights fairly the penalties against the score awarded for the contest. The penalties are a significant factor, but not overwhelming.
Extensions of the bout
(1 minute duration)
In an extension all scores, excluding penalty points, are set back to zero. That is, only penalties incurred during the extension are taken into account in scoring the extension. However, because it the same bout (only the time limit is extended) a competitor still carries these warnings in regard to being disqualified during an extension.
For example, consider if a competitor received one yellow card during the initial bout and the bout then went to an extension. If that competitor then received another yellow card it would mean a deduction of one point. However, if that competitor went on to receive a red card also she/he would be disqualified.
All penalties incurred from the initial bout will be carried forward in the extension bout. However penalty points will not be carried forward into the extension bout.
To carry forward points for penalties would be a double penalty for the competitor but by the same token the competitor must be disqualified if they make repeated infractions over the course of the same bout. (The bout includes and any extension.)
The referee will decide the winner of the bout in the event of a second draw.
© Chairman NAS/WASO
WASO Referee Board
V 6.3 October 2008