Article VII. SPARRING
Section 7.01 ORDER OF COMPETITION
Once the final call for the sparring division is made at ringside, the division is ready to be set up.
- (a) Competitors / Teams cannot pick whom they want or do not want to fight.
- (b) Matches are always selected by random draw.
- (c) In all divisions with only 3 sparring competitors, a round-robin style match will be held so thatcompetitors will have to compete more than once in order to compete for 1st and 2nd place.
- (d) Allowances may be given to competitors from the same school or team that are matched up in thefirst round of competition. They may be separated randomly from each other in the first round, if possible.
Section 7.02 LENGTH OF MATCH – DIVISION / INDIVIDUAL
The length of a match will be two minutes running-time unless a competitor is seven points ahead (Seven Point Spread Rule) before time has expired.
- (a) If a match is tied at the end of two minutes, a sudden victory (first person to score a point) overtime period will determine the winner.
- (b) At the 1 minute 45 second mark of a sparring match, the timekeeper will shout out “FIFTEEN SECONDS”.
- (c) All Divisional Grand Championship matches are 1 two-minute round, but a competitor must win by 2 points.
- (d) Overall Grand Championship matches are two, two-minute rounds.
NOTE – All team matches are 90 seconds running time.
Section 7.03 WHAT IS A SPARRING POINT?
A point is a sport karate technique that is scored by a competitor in-bounds and up-right (not considered down) without time being called that strikes a competitor with the allowable amount of focused touch contact and focused control to a legal target area.
(a) Focused Touch Contact: the legal amount of contact allowed to certain scoring areas.
(b) Focused Control: an amount of controlled force that would have incapacitated the opponent, at least momentarily, if the technique had not been controlled.
Therefore, only sport karate techniques that would have incapacitated the opponent, at least momentarily, if the technique had not been controlled, are considered points. (Ex. A front hand to the body that does not have “focused control” is not considered a proper sport karate scoring technique.)
Any contact that incapacitates the opponent resulting in a knockout will be deemed as Hard Contact and will be an automatic disqualification.
Any contact that incapacitated the opponent; i.e. causes a concussion, or the opponent cannot continue, will be deemed as Hard Contact and will be deemed a penalty/illegal technique, unless it is deemed, by a majority of judges as a No-Fault contact.
Section 7.04 NO-FAULT CONTACT
Unintentional contact can occur, that injures a competitor, which can be classified as no-fault on any competitor part. It will be a majority of judges vote to ascertain if the penalty was a penalty or if one or both competitors unintentionally caused the injuries. The injury can be only declared No-Fault by the majority vote of judges.
Section 7.05 GENERAL RULES
- (a) All regular Light touch point calling rules will apply.
- (b) Out of Bounds, falling down or excessive running (as determined by the head official) around the ringwill be considered an attempt to avoid competition and the other competitor will be awarded a point.
- (c) A competitor is considered out of bound when they have both feet off the sparring area (mat). If thecompetitor is out of bounds without being kicked out or physically pushed out of bounds, theiropponent will receive 1 point.
- (d) If a competitor goes out of bounds while the other competitor is kicking or punching, near thecompetitor WITHOUT actually touching the competitor, the competitor will be considered leaving the sparring area to avoid competition and the other competitor will receive a point. A fighter must stay engaged in the match if he goes out of bounds not to be penalized.
- (e) If the out-of-bound competitor is scored on, with a legal technique, before the center official calls STOP, then the in-bounds competitor can receive a score for the technique and the penalty point from the other competitor going out of bounds to avoid fighting.
- (f) If a fighter touches the ground/mat with, with any part of their body, except their feet or 1 hand, they are considered down.
- (g) A point cannot be scored on a down competitor and a downed competitor cannot score a point. If an upright competitor strikes a down competitor or they can be penalized.
- (h) A competitor who leaves their feet while in-bounds, must land with at least one foot in-bounds to score a point.
Section 7.06 CONSECUTIVE MATCHES
Any competitor who must engage in consecutive (back to back) matches have the option to receive a 2- minute rest between each match. The exception is in overall Grands where there is a one-minute rest period.
Section 7.07 DOWNED COMPETITOR
(a) A competitor is considered down when they have any part of their body touching the sparring surface or outside the sparring surface except the bottom of their feet or 1 hand.
(b) If an upright competitor strikes a downed competitor, the upright competitor can be penalized.(c) A downed competitor, can be penalized, if they strike an upright competitor.
Section 7.08 POINT VALUES AND WINNER DETERMINATION
(a) All legal hand techniques that score will be awarded one (1) point.
(b) All legal kicking techniques to the body that score will be awarded one (1) point.
(c) All legal kicking techniques to the head that score will be awarded two (2) points.
(d) All jump spinning kicks to the head will be awarded (3) points.
(e) All penalty points will be awarded one (1) point or more points.
(f) Thecompetitorwhoisaheadby7points(7-pointspreadrule)beforetheendofthetwo-minutetimeperiod is automatically declared the winner or whoever is ahead at the end of the two minutes isdeclared the winner.
(g) All Divisional grand championship matches have a two-minute running time with a 10 Point SpreadRule, but must be won by 2 points.
(h) In Black Belt team fighting, each opening round is a 10-point spread. The last round is total points.
(i) All Black Belt Grand Championship and Overall Grand Championship matches, competitors must win by two points.
Section 7.09 MAJORITY OF VOTES
Points are awarded by a majority vote of all judges. The majority of judges do not have to agree on the same technique being scored, only that a point was scored. A majority of the judges calling the point must call a two (2)-point kick before two points can be awarded. Otherwise, only one point is awarded
Section 7.10 LEGAL, ILLEGAL, AND NON-TARGET AREAS
(a) Legal Target Areas: Entire head and face, ribs, chest, abdomen, collarbone, and kidneys.
(b) Illegal Target Areas: Spine, back of neck, throat, sides of the neck, groin, legs, knees, and back.(c) Non-Target Areas: Hips, shoulders, buttocks, arms, and feet.
Section 7.11 LEGAL & ILLEGAL TECHNIQUES
(a) Legal Techniques are all controlled sport karate techniques, except those listed as illegal.
(b) Illegal Techniques include head butts, hair pulls, bites, scratches, elbows, knees, eye attacks of any kind, take downs on a hard surface floor, ground fighting, any stomps or kicks to the head of a downed competitor, slapping, grabbing for more than one second, uncontrolled blind techniques, any uncontrolled throws, takedowns or sweeps and any other uncontrolled dangerous techniques that are deemed unsafe in sport karate.
Section 7.12 GRABBING
A competitor may grab the uniform top of his/her opponent in an attempt to score with a sport karate technique for only one second (immediately), after which time he/she must release the uniform. Likewise, the uniform pants may be grabbed for one second to an upright opponent in an attempt to score.
Section 7.13 SWEEPS, TAKEDOWNS, AND GROUND FIGHTING
Sweeps are not meant to take down an opponent, but only to obstruct the balance so as to follow up with a sport karate technique and can only be executed to the back of the front leg at mid-calf or below.
- (a) A sweep must be deemed a proper sweep and not a kick, to be legal.
- (b) Controlled takedowns and sweeps that are meant to take down an opponent are not allowed.
- (c) A point is awarded only when the legal sweep or takedown is followed up effectively legallyand immediately with an appropriate sport karate technique.
Section 7.14 LIGHT TOUCH CONTACT
Light Touch Contact means there is no penetration or visible movement of the competitor because of the contact. A light touch is required to all legal target areas in all black belt sparring divisions. The face shield of a headgear along with the headgear is a legal target area.
Section 7.15 MODERATE TOUCH CONTACT
Moderate Touch Contact is defined as slight penetration or slight target movement. Moderate touch contact may be made to all legal target areas except the headgear, face shield, and face.
Section 7.16 OUT-OF-BOUNDS
A competitor is out-of-bounds as soon as he/she does not have at least one foot touching inside or on the boundary line. An out of bounds competitor cannot score a point while out of bounds. In bounds competitor, can score on an out of bounds competitor if the center referee has not called stop.
Section 7.17 SPARRING WARNINGS AND PENALTIES
- (a) NO WARNINGS are issued in PROMAC Black Belt Sparring. Penalty points are issued immediately for breaking the rules.
- (b) In Under Black Belts one (1) warning may be issued.
- (c) A competitor cannot be penalized and still receive a point on the same call.
- (d) A competitor can receive a point for a proper technique and another point from a penalty call againsthis/her competitor.
- (e) If, in the opinion of the medical personnel, a competitor cannot continue because of an injury causedby an illegal penalized attack, executed by the opponent, the offending competitor shall beautomatically disqualified.
- (f) Theinjuredcompetitorcannotcontinuetocompete.
(g) A penalty point(s) will be issued if a competitor, as determined by the center official:
- Missing or improper equipment
- Goes out of bounds to avoid competition;
- Falling down to avoid competition;
- Runs around the ring to avoid competition;
- Stalling and/or not attempting to engage the other competitor;
- Excessive contact, as deemed by the center official;
- Pushing a competitor out of bound, as deemed by the center official;
- Attacking illegal and non-target areas;
- Using illegal techniques;
- Blind, negligent or reckless attacks;
- Uncontrolled techniques;
- Unsportsmanlike behavior by the competitor, his/her coaches, friends, etc.;
- A coach stands up or leaves the coach’s chair during the match;
- If a coach(s) and/or team member(s) enters the ring, during a match;
- A competitor arrives at the ring without the proper equipment;
- A sparring match is ready to start, and the competitor is delaying his / her entry into the ring; Competitor refuses to leave the immediate sparring area an additional penalty point may be issued;
- Late strikes after call to stop;
- Retaliation strike from a competitor;
- Competitor’s equipment is incorrectly fitted or improperly secured and continues to fall off or requires adjustment. This penalty will start on the 2nd occurrence of the equipment failure;
- At the discretion of the center official, a penalty point may be issued immediately, if the center official believes the competitor is delaying without a valid reason;
- A penalty point will be issued for each minute the competitor is not properly ready to compete. Delay of Time – Sparring
- A competitor purposely removes their equipment.
- A competitor, coach, or team member uses profanity;
- More than 1 coach or maximum team members are represented at start of a match;
- Punching a downed competitor in the head or face;
- Kicking a downed competitor, to the body, will result in a 2-point penalty or a disqualification for kicking the downed competitor in the head or face. Disqualification required a majority vote;
- A downed competitor kicks an upright competitor to the body;
- A downed competitor kicks an upright competitor will result in a 2-point penalty or a disqualification for kicking the upright competitor in the head or face. Disqualification required a majority vote;
- A one (1) point, per minute, penalty if competitor fails to weigh-in prior to the division being called;
- Protest penalty – losing the protest;
- Continuing to protest, after decision has been made; and
- No competitor, team member or coach may make physical contact with officials.
(g) If a competitor, coach or teammate violates more than one (1) rule, at the discretion of the center official, multiple penalty points can be issued. For example, Coach leaves their chair and continues to use profanity. Otherwise, the individual maximum penalty will apply.
(h) If multiple individuals violate one (1) or more rules, penalty points can be issued for each individual.
(i) Once a competitor receives three (3) penalty points they are disqualified.
(j) If a penalty is called on one or both competitors, the penalty point(s) must be issued to thecompetitor(s). This ensures the penalties are counted to determine an automatic disqualification. For example; both competitors continue to spar after STOP is called. The Center Official calls a penalty on both competitors, a one-point penalty should be issued to both competitors.
Section 7.18 OTHER CAUSES OF PENALIZATION
Any grabbing or pushing an official may cause the competitor to be disqualified. Striking an official may cause the competitor, coaches(s) or team member(s) to be disqualified and suspended from future PROMAC events.
Section 7.19 DISQUALIFICATION
Requires a majority vote by all officials, unless it is an automatic disqualification.
(a) Non-Competing Penalty: If in the majority opinion of the officials, it is considered that one or both competitors are not making an obvious attempt to compete in the sparring match in the true spirit of competition, one or both competitors will be penalized and if it continues, will be disqualified.
(b) Wrong Division: If any competitor competes in a division he/she does not qualify to compete in due to age, weight, rank, gender, style, etc., he/she will be disqualified.
(c) Team Disqualification
- Loses all points they have earned in the match.
- If during the final match, his/her team cannot win, the opposing team will be declared the winner.
- Any competitor who injures a competitor with an illegal technique.
- Any competitor, team member, or coach who enters the sparring area, in the event an altercationhappens, and accelerate the altercation / does not attempt to control their competitor, will be disqualified. (EXAMPLE – A fight between 2 competitors, if any the above enters the sparring area and throws a punch or kick, they will immediately be disqualified.)
- If anyone refuses to leave, security will be called and a suspension and/or tournament disqualification (Tournament Disqualification is where the disqualified person(s) must leave the tournament site) would be given to that individual or individuals.
- If 2 or more members, of any team, are disqualified in one match, the team is automatically disqualified and cannot continue.
- A disqualified competitor cannot be used in any remaining matches in a tournament team event.
- In the event that a team sparring competitor continues to fight after the match is called to stop, itis the responsibility of the Center Official and Corner Judges to control the competitors. If a coach(s) and/or team member(s) come into the ring during this time and restrict the officials from following through on their responsibility of controlling the competitors, the team or teams can be disqualified.
Section 7.20 COACHING
The luxury of having a coach is something that most competitors do not have access to. Therefore, it sometimes can become an unfair advantage over a competitor who does not have a coach. The rules are made and enforced so no one competitor has an advantage or disadvantage over another competitor. Therefore, coaching is allowed but only under the following guidelines:
- (a) A Coach is defined as anyone who is trying to help one competitor in any way. A coach could be but is not limited to a friend, parent, teammate, or an official coach. Competitors or teams may have a coach or coaches but only one designated coach at a time.
- (b) Only the designated coach at the time of a protest and arbitration can speak on behalf of the player.
- (c) Coaches may be changed from one fight to another but if a change is made the Center Official mustbe notified of the change for it to be official.
- (d) The designated coach must stay seated in the designated coaching chair anytime a match is inprogress.
- (e) A coach may stand before a match is started, between rounds, during timeouts and once the sparringmatch is over.
- (f) Coaching Penalty: If a coach leaves his/her chair, during a sparring match, a penalty point will beawarded to the opposing competitor/team for the first, second and third time it occurs. A flag or othertool will be provided, at the coach’s chair, to throw into the ring to call for a judgment or protest. However, if the center official has ruled a judge’s call was late and therefore not considered,arbitration cannot be requested. On the 3rd occurrence in any one round the coach and coach’scompetitor will be disqualified.
- (g) Penalty points on coaches are issued on the coach’s player. In team events, the penalty point does notcontinue to the next team member.
- (h) Since the coach and player are considered the same as far as penalties go, if a player already has a penalty point and the coach receives 2 penalty points for standing, etc. the player is automatically disqualified because 3 penalty points were received in one round.
- (i) Just like a player, coaches can be penalized or disqualified for unsportsmanlike behavior. If a coach is disqualified they can be replaced.
- (j) Never, at any time, can a coach enter the ring without the referee’s permission;
- (k) No abusive, violent, unsportsmanlike or overzealous coaching;
- (l) Coaches can never, at any time, interfere with the proper running of the ring or the decisions of thejudges. The center official can issue a penalty to a competitor for each time his/her coach is interfering with a match or disrupting fair play between contestants. A referee can ask for a disqualification of a competitor but, requires a majority vote of all judges.
- (m)If a coach’s chair is provided, the coach must stay in the chair during the match. A coach’s player can be penalized during a match if they leave the chair without permission of the head judge. The head judge determines the severity of the penalty base on the coach’s conduct.
Section 7.21 INJURED COMPETITOR
- (a) The medic has the final determination if a competitor may NOT continue, with NO exceptions.
- (b) Everyone except the medic, competitor, the center official and 1 coach will be removed from theimmediate area to allow the medic to determine the extent of the injury;
- (c) No one may discuss the injury with the medic, except the competitor. It is the responsibility of thecenter official to control the other/outside conversation and may issue a penalty if:
- Team member(s) or coach(s) will not leave the immediate area;
- Attempts to discuss the competitors’ injury or ability to continue, with the medic, unless the input is requested by the medic.
- (d) If a medic determines a competition cannot continue; either immediately or in a post-injury review, the following steps are mandatory:
- Competitor and Coach is informed the competitor cannot continue;
- Tournament Promoter and staff are notified competitor cannot continue and why; and
- If an online system capability is available, competitor entry into other events, at the tournament is pulled or flagged / indicator in the system set. Once the indicator is set, the competitor cannot continue at the event or register for future events until the competitor has submitted documentation that has been cleared by a medical individual.
- If a manual system is being used, all rings, where the competitor can compete, must be notified the competitor is eligible to compete.
- (e) A competitor is injured, not due to a penalty, they are allowed 4 minutes to determine if they can continue, the time starts immediately. The time may be extended two additional minutes, once the medic reaches the competitor. It is the center official’s responsibility to communicate with the medicand determine if additional time will be allowed. The center official must then inform the scorekeeper who is keeping up with the time of the delay. A medic can always request an extension time to properly determine if the competitor can continue.
- The maximum time that can be allocated to determine if a competitor can continue is 8 minutes. If the medic requests an extended length of time, due to an injury and is officially allowed, it is recommended, if possible, to move to the next match while the injured competitor is recuperating.
- The timekeeper must record the score and time remaining to properly restart the match.
- (f) If it is determined the injured competitor cannot continue, due to a penalty, as determined by centerreferee and judges, the following applies:
- The uninjured competitor is disqualified;
- The injured competitor cannot continue to compete; and
- If the match was for the 1st and 2nd place (or any Grand level), the uninjured will be declaredthe winner.
- (g) If a competitor cannot continue because of an injury, where there is no penalty call, the uninjuredcompetitor will be declared the winner.
If something happens in any PROMAC sparring competition that cannot be answered by the rules stated,the “Fairness Rule” will come into play. As an example – the failure of a tournament medic to arrive prior, to the expiration of the 4-minute rule.
Section 7.22 EXCESSIVE INJURIES
On the third request for an injury timeout, the competitor will NOT be allowed to continue. The Referee andJudges will follow normal protocol to see if the injury was the results of an illegal technique.
Section 7.23 TIME-OUTS
- (a) A request to stop the time can only be requested by the competitor in the ring. A coach may NOT request the timeout and can be penalized.
- (b) The center official, at their discretion, may allow a timeout or elect to disregard the request.
- (c) A flag or other tool will be provided, at the coach’s chair, to throw into the ring, to call for a judgmentor protest.
- (d) If the center official has ruled a judge’s call was late and therefore not considered, arbitration cannotbe requested.
Section 7.23 MISCELLANEOUS
(a) All rated sparring divisions will fight for 3rd and 4th place.
(b) Any rated sparring division with only 3 competitors will compete in a round robin style match in place
of a single elimination bracket.
Article VIII. TEAM SPARRING SPECIFIC RULESSection 8.01 TEAM DIVISIONS
Team divisions are not rated by PROMAC and are offered only at the discretion of the promoter. However, when team divisions are offered at a PROMAC tournament, the following rules are to be followed.
Section 8.02 ADULT TEAMS
When teams are called to the sparring surface (mat), only the 3 or 4 male competitors and 1 coach or 2 or 3 women competitors and 1 coach can appear on the mat. All other team members and coaches must remain off the mat and/or sparring area. It is a penalty to bring extra competitors or coaches.
A team may only declare 3 or 4 male team competitors per event/tournament or 2 or 3 female team competitors. A team may declare a team member who has not arrived. A team may not declare a 5thcompetitor for men or a 4th for women at any event/tournament.
If Team Sparring is an event at the night-time final or moved to a new ring during eliminations, it is the Promoter responsibility to ensure each team card, of the teams competing, is moved to the new ring and/or with the documentation for the night-time finals.
Competitors must be 18 years old or older (PROMAC Age Rule). No youth competitor can participate in Adult sparring competition.
- (a) Teams must submit a roster for their team to PROMAC at the time of registration. The roster can be any numbers of competitors.
- (b) During an event, teams cannot pick-up a new member(s) after the sparring brackets have been finalized.
- (c) After the bracket is set, team members cannot be changed
- (d) Pick up teams are allowed.
- (e) A team may have multiple coaches but only one coach can be designated to coach at one time. Thecoach will be required to sit in a chair and follow the rules for coaching.)
- (f) All teams must submit their roster at registration in Uventex and declare who will participate in theevent/tournament.
- (g) All team competitors, 3 or 4 for men, 2 or 3 for women, must be listed in the Uventex electronicscoring system and submitted at the ring prior to the start of the division.
- (h) When teams are called to the sparring surface (mat), only the 3 or 4 male competitors and 1 coach or 2or 3 women competitors and 1 coach can appear on the mat. All other team members and coaches must remain off the mat and/or sparring area.
Section 8.03 TEAM MEMBERS
Since there are only 3 individual team rounds for men and 2 individual team rounds for women, a men’s team that has 4 members and a women’s team that has 3 members have an additional member. The additional member can be used at any time.
Any player on a 4-man team or a 3-woman team can be used equally but can only fight once in a team round (Exception: see ties and overtime period).
The additional member can be used as a strategy in any round during a match, but the 4 men team members and 3 women team members must be declared when the teams are called to the mat, prior to the start of the first team round. The competitors/members must match the names presented on the team card, at the start of the competition.
After the start of the team’s first round, only the team members that are declared can be used in any additional rounds at a single tournament. A specific member does not have to be named as the substitute since any 4 members on men’s teams and any 3 members on women’s teams can be used equally in the 3men fights and 2 women fights.
Section 8.04 SENIOR AND JUNIOR SPARRING TEAMS
A coin flip will determine which team will send an initial competitor and the other team must send a matching age competitor.
Where ages are different, the appropriate ages must be matched together (Exceptions below.)
- (a) Junior 3-Boy Sparring Teams and Junior 2-Girl Sparring TeamsA younger age category competitor can compete up 1 age category older (EXAMPLE – A 13 & younger age category can compete up into the 14-15 age category and/or a 14-15 age category competitor can compete up into the 16-17 team age category). Same for Girl’s age categories as well.
- (b) Senior Sparring Teams
An older age category competitor can compete down in a younger age category, but a younger age category competitor cannot compete up into an older age category.
Section 8.05 TEAM MATCH RULES
- (a) A flip of a coin will determine who sends out the first competitor. The winner of the coin flip can decide to send the first competitor or have the other team send out first. After the first competitors, the teams then alternate who must send out a fighter first to be matched by the other team.
- (b) All matches are 90 seconds long.
- (c) The competitors who earn a 10-point spread or is ahead at the end of 90 seconds is declared thewinner of the first 2 matches (first match only in 2 –women teams). If either or both of the first 2 matches end in a tie, they remained tied. No run-off, of ties, in the first 2 matches (or match 1 of 2- women)
- (d) The final match is total points match using the full 90 seconds.
- (e) The team with the most accumulated points wins, but the accumulated score is a must win by 2points.
- (f) If at the end of the final match the accumulated score is a tie, or 1 point separates the teams, overtime is required to determine the winner.
- (g) In overtime, a coin toss will determine who will send out a fighter to finish the match. The winner of the coin flip can decide to send out first or have the other team send out first.
Section 8.06 TEAM COACHESRefer to the Coaches section.
Section 8.07 INJURY TO TEAM MEMBER(s)
Standard injury protocol as defined in Sections Injured Competitor and Excessive Injuries apply.
Any declared Team Member, who has not completed during the match, can replace an injured competitor that cannot continue during a match. If this happens, the injured competitor cannot be used again in the team event at that tournament. (If it is considered by the officials, with great certainty, that a fighter is faking an injury for any reason the fighter can be disqualified). See Section – Disqualified Competitors).
- (a) If the competitor cannot continue due to a penalty, the injured competitor will receive 10 points as a result of the disqualification. The competitor who committed the violation will get 0 points for that round.
- (b) If a competitor cannot continue, because of an injury where there is no penalty call, and they do not have an alternate to continue the match, the uninjured competitor will receive a ten-point spread unless it is the last match. If the injury happens, in the last match, the other team will be declared the winner even if they have fewer points at that time.
- (c) If a competitor is disqualified in the last match the other team automatically will be declared the winner of that team match.
- (d) If two or more competitors are injured, the team could win the match, but will NOT be allowed to continue in future matches at the tournament.
- (e) Once a competitor is injured and replaced by the alternate, the injured competitor cannot compete for the remainder of the team sparring competition.
If something happens in the team sparring competition that cannot be answered by the rules stated, the“Fairness Rule” will come into play.
Section 3.10 FAIRNESS RULE
If a question arises that is not completely covered by this rule book, the official rules arbitrator may at his/her discretion, overrule, modify or change a delineated rule if he/she believes that enforcing such a rule would result in an inherent unfair outcome to a competitor. However, the rules arbitrator should overrule, modify, or change a delineated rule only in extreme cases.