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General Information

The following are the guidelines for the 2017-2018 District Championships. District boundaries will be evaluated annually and may change in subsequent years. The district boundaries are based upon the number of competitors in each state's Top Ten for 2016-2017 and the anticipated travel distance and time for competitors and judges was also taken into consideration. See the District page at ataonline.com for details of the states comprising each district.

Eligibilty Guidelines

Any student, color belt or black belt, who is listed in their state as a “State Top Ten” competitor for one or more of the 8 types of competitions is eligible to compete in the District Championships. When the final State Top Ten points are posted on the ATA official website, students listed in each competition category become eligible in that category with the following provisions:
To compete in this event, an eligible competitor must:

  1. Be enrolled in an official Leadership program with ATA International Headquarters and a student in good standing, training regularly in a licensed ATA School or Club.
  2. Obtain his/her instructor’s permission to compete in this event. Permission to compete in previous competitions does not automatically apply to the District Championship Tournament.
  3. Have a current ATA membership.
  4. Be listed in his/her state’s top ten for the event in which he/she tries to register.
    • Example: A student eligible in Traditional Forms may not be qualified to compete in Traditional Weapons, and would not be allowed to compete in Traditional Weapons at Districts.
  5. Be listed as a Camo Belt or higher in rank by May 15th in the ATA database kept current by the testing department of the ATA International Headquarters. It is highly recommended that all licensees have any May testing results delivered to HQ by May 15th to assure that all belt ranks are current in the ATA database to ensure that their students can complete the online registration process by the deadline. These belt ranks will be auto-checked by the online registration process. The registration process will not be complete for any competitor who does not meet the appropriate belt requirement. The information in the ATA HQ database is the information that will apply to eligibility for district championships.
  6. Registration will be online only. See ataonline.com for the registration window. Onsite registrations will NOT be allowed. All registration fees are the responsibility of the competitor.
    • SPECIAL NOTE: Once the online registration is complete, the competitor will not be allowed to change the decision regarding which rank to compete. The assumption will be that the competitor did, in fact, consult with his/her instructor prior to registration. If an instructor informs headquarters that the student did not have his/her permission to compete before registration, the competitor will be disqualified from that year’s District Championship Tournament.
  7. If a competitor cancels his/her registration prior to Cancellation deadline date, a full refund will be sent to the person whose credit/debit card paid for the event. This is not an "automatic” refund from the registration site. A check will be cut from ATA Headquarters accounting department after the District Championships are completed. Refunds will not be given after the cancellation deadline date.
  8. Ring assignments, divisions, brackets etc. will be announced, posted online, and emailed to registered competitors by announcement date.

Additional Guidelines and Exceptions Applying to District Competition Only

The rules and regulations for the regular tournament season will be enforced with the following additional guideline and changes uniquely in place for District Championships.

1st Degree Decided Black Belt Guidelines

1st Degree Recommended Black Belts, who have earned the rank of 1st Degree Black Belt Decided, pose some possible unique situations. The following rules only apply to those 1st Degree Recommended Black Belts competing in the District Championships:

  • A) 1st Degree Decided Black Belt students who attain their rank ON OR BEFORE March 30th, but have qualified for the Districts on the Color Belt State Top Ten list WILL NOT be able to compete as a color belt at District Championships. Those individuals will be allowed to compete at the Districts ONLY IF they earn enough points to qualify as a First Degree Decided Black Belt.
  • B) 1st Degree Decided Black Belt students who attain their rank AFTER MARCH 30th, and have qualified for the Districts as a color belt,WILL BE allowed to compete in the color belt division of Districts. However, if this competitor wins District Champion in a color belt division, he/she WILL NOT be eligible to compete in the Tournament of Champions.
  • C) It is possible for a 1st Degree Decided Black Belt, who attains their rank after March 30th to qualify both in a color belt and black belt divisions for the Districts. Only in this scenario, would the final decision, regarding in which division the student should compete, rest solely with the Instructor of that competitor. The instructor is the most qualified person to determine the competition level of the student in this situation. (ATA International Headquarters will not “over ride” the decision made by the competitor’s Instructor.) If the decision, made by the competitor’s instructor in this scenario, is for the student to compete as a color belt, then the student may only compete as a color belt. If the decision is to compete as a black belt, then the student may only compete as a black belt. It is not the intention of this guideline to infer that an instructor may always choose for a competitor to compete “up or down” in a belt rank. This scenario is unique only to the district championships and may not be used in any other tournament throughout the year.

Example #1: At the District Championships, a 1st Degree Decided Black Belt may compete with Chung Jung 2 (red belt) material in a 1st Degree division provided he/she has not been a 1st Degree Decided longer than 6 months.
Example #2: Mr. John Competitor, who attained his rank on April 1st of the current tournament year, qualifies in forms and sparring as both a Color Belt and a Black Belt. Mr. Competitor must either compete as a Black Belt or a Color Belt for the Districts. He may not compete in both at that tournament. His/her instructor will make that decision as he trains his student. The student may NOT compete in forms as a color belt and in sparring as a black belt.

2nd Degree Recommended Black Belts and Higher Competitors

District Championships will follow the “regular season” rules regarding which material black belts may use for competition. See admissible competition forms

Competitor Qualifies in two Different Divisions

  • A competitor WILL NOT be allowed to compete in one rank/belt division for one type of event, such as forms or sparring, etc., and a different rank/belt division for another type of event.
  • If a Black Belt becomes eligible for the same event in two different rank divisions, he/she must compete at the higher rank for the day. In this case , it is not a decision made by his/her instructor, the competitor, or his/her guardian.

Example #1: A person who qualifies as a 1st Degree in Forms, but as a 2nd Degree in Sparring, may not compete in both. He/She, in consultation with his/her instructor, must choose, prior to registering for the Districts, whether to be a 1st Degree competitor or a 2nd Degree Competitor for this tournament.
Example #2: A person qualifies as a 1st degree in Forms and as a 2nd/3rd degree in Forms. Their only option is to compete in the 2nd/3rd-degree division.

District Tournament Procedures

  • The order of competitors at the District Championships will be done by random draw, and generated by the program currently in place at ATA Headquarters. A competitors “State Top Ten” placement will have no bearing in determining which competitor name is called first or last.
  • In both Traditional Sparring and Combat Weapons Sparring if it is necessary to award one or more BYES, then the byes will be awarded in a random fashion as well. If a competitor has been given a bye, and then does not show up for his/her competition, the bracket WILL NOT be redrawn. It is possible in this case, where there are multiple “no shows”, for a competitor to reach the finals without ever actually sparring an opponent.

In order to produce one District Champion per age/rank division in each event, the following will occur:
For traditional form, traditional weapon, all creative and extreme events the division will be divided in the following way:

  • 2 preliminary rings: 17-32 competitors
  • 3 preliminary rings: 33-48 competitors
  • 4 preliminary rings: 49-64 competitors

The winner of each preliminary ring in that division will go to a separate ring, not one of the same rings, for the sole purpose to determine who between those “Ring Winners” is to be named the “District Champion”. Each "Ring Winner" will perform his/her material one time for these judges, and the judges will “point” to the winner. No scores will be given in this situation. The winner will be given the 1st place medal and awarded the title of District Champion. 2nd and 3rd places will be awarded in the following way;

  • If there were 2 preliminary rings: the runners-up in preliminary ring will be award 3rd place (finalist compete for 1st & 2nd place)
  • If there were 3 & 4 preliminary rings: no awards given in preliminary ring (finalist compete for 1st, 2nd & 3rd place).

For Traditional Sparring and Combat Weapons Sparring events the division will be divided in the following way:

  • 2 preliminary rings: 17-32 competitors
  • 4 preliminary rings: 33-64 competitors

The winner of each preliminary ring in that division will go to a separate ring, not one of the same rings, for the sole purpose to determine who between those “Ring Winners” is to be named the “District Champion”. The “Ring Winners” will spar additional matches in the new ring to determine the District Champion. The matches will be run using regular ATA tournament sparring bracket that is drawn randomly. The winner will be given the 1st Place medal and awarded the title of District Champion. If there are 4 preliminary rings, the non-advancing semifinalist will compete for 3rd place before the finalist compete. If there are 2 preliminary rings, the runners-up in the preliminary rings will compete for 3rd place before the finalist compete.

District Tournament Awards

There will be one gold medal winner, one silver medal winner, and one bronze medal winner in each division for Traditional Forms, Traditional Weapons, ATA-Xtreme Forms, ATA-Xtreme Weapons, Creative Forms, Creative Weapons, and Traditional Point Sparring and Combat Weapons Sparring competition. The only exception in awarding 2nd and 3rd place medals would be for divisions that have multiple preliminary rings. The competitor who wins the District tournament will gain the title of District Champion in his/her division and can wear a special lettered uniform making this distinction. This uniform is ordered through the student’s instructor from World Martial Arts and is done so at the student’s expense.
Black Belts, who win the title of District Champion, are eligible for the current tournament year's Tournament of Champions (TOC) for that competitive event.