From 2018 ATA Rules
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Permission / Eligibility to Compete


To compete in any sanctioned Songahm Taekwondo event, a competitor must comply with all three of the following requirements:

  1. Be a member in good standing of the ATA. In good standing means that any member regardless of rank belt or leadership collar, must have a current membership with the organization. A Certified Instructor must also have a current instructor’s certification.
  2. Be a member and train regularly at an ATA licensed school or club.
  3. Have his/her Instructor’s permission to attend and compete.

Failure to comply with any of the three requirements listed above will result in the competitor being denied the opportunity to compete, or if discovered after the completion of the event, any points or place winnings will be nullified. The eligibility requirement is applicable for all competition divisions including Traditional Forms, Traditional One-Step Sparring, Traditional Point Sparring, Traditional Weapons, ATA-Xtreme Forms, ATA-Xtreme Weapons, Creative Forms, Creative Weapons, Combat Weapons Sparring, Team Synchronized Forms, Team Demo Competitions and Team Sparring Competitions. This rule will apply to all future competition divisions as well.

Competition Rank

All Rank Competitors:
A student is considered to have earned their rank when either of the following criteria have been met:

  • Rank testing is submitted and processed by the ATA School Licensing Department.
  • The student is given his/her new rank belt by their instructor.

Color Belt Competitors:
Color belt competitors must wear the proper belt and compete in the division for the rank that they currently hold regardless of how long they have held that rank. A student should take pride in what they have earned and be honored to wear the correct belt. If the student has been awarded a rank at their school, they should wear that belt even if the instructor has not “officially” sent in the results to headquarters. 1st Degree Rec Black Belts are considered color belts for tournament competition and may NOT compete with black belts. (Some licensees use plain solid black belts to indicate the rank of recommended black belts. These competitors are considered color belts and will compete in the color belt rings.
Example #1: A new camo belt is not comfortable with free-sparring; he/she may choose to only compete in the form and/or weapons portion of the competition. He/She should not wear their yellow belt.

Black Belts Competitors:
Competitiors of 1st Degree Decided Black Belt rank or higher who are planning to test for a higher rank during the current tournament season, MAY opt to compete in the next higher rank division. See State and World Champion programs for additional information.

District Competition has specific rank rules and dates. Please, see District Championship section for exact information

Competition Age

A competitior's competition age is determined by their age as of 11:59 pm, December 31st of the tournament season. The age that they are at that time will indicate the division in which they should compete in throughout the entire tournament season.

General Procedure for Creating Divisions

Division breakdowns are handled by the Regional Tournament Team Leader or his/her assigns. The one rule that is standard is that divisions will be limited to no more than 16 competitors.
The following procedure will be followed to divide divisions for regional tournaments.

  • The competitors will be called to the “staging area” or a specific ring. This area is usually separate from the main competition floor.
  • The divisions will be made according to the number of competitors in each of the age and rank groups.
  • NO ONE (Competitors, Parents, ATA Seniors, or Spectators) will attempt to influence the Regional Tournament Team Leader (or his/her assigns) in the forming of divisions.