Point Sparring is a fun and safe martial arts event that is common at most martial arts competitions and in most martial arts schools. While it is impossible to develop a set of rules that everyone will agree with completely, the point sparring rules for the Martial Arts Showdown are common and generally accepted.
Point Sparring Rules
- Legal targets include the front and sides of the torso and the head. Body contact is allowed in all divisions. Light, controlled head contact is permitted in all divisions. Intentional face contact is not permitted in any division.
- A strike is considered a point if it meets the following criteria a) it is a legitimate or sport variant of a martial arts technique that, if used in a real-life combat situation, would cause injury b) the strike is made in such a way that it makes contact (body) or could have made contact (face)
- No open hand strikes, head butts, biting, scratching, clawing, stomping, intentional strikes to illegal targets, grabbing, sweeping, malicious contact, disrespectful conduct, dangerous movement or using “the force.” 🙂
- All attacks must be made from an upright position. No ground attacks, rolls, cartwheels, etc.
- All calls are by majority rule – the head referee may not overrule a call.
- Calls that judges may make – point, no call, warning, out of bounds & clash. A judge may make a call on each participant, except for calling a point for each (which would be a clash). Example: fighter 1 scores a point at the same time fighter two sweeps the leg. Judges may award fighter one a point and issue a warning to fighter two.
- The first (majority rule) warning results in a point awarded to the opponent. The second warning is immediate disqualification.
- No late calls are permitted – the head referee must call at same time as corner judges.
- No time limits are placed on divisions. Colored belt sparring is a 3 point match, black belts 5 points, grand championships 7 points.
- All techniques worth one point – no two-point kicks, etc.
- A participant may request a time-out for a) correcting an equipment or uniform issue or b) minor injury. The time-out may be granted at the discretion of the head referee.
- Proper sparring gear is required. This includes foam-dipped gloves, boots and helmet as well as a mouth guard. Shin guards, chest protectors and face shields are optional. All men must wear a protective groin cup. All jewelry must be removed. No hard-style equipment, including Ringstar-brand shoes, will be permitted. Of course, if you’re in need of sparring gear, we know where you can purchase some.
- Out of bounds – can’t score if one foot is out of bounds. Sparring and travelling out of bounds is acceptable. Travelling out of bounds to avoid the match is not.
- Coaching is only permitted in adult black-belt divisions, including grand championships. Coaches shall never enter the ring or communicate with referees, except in the situation where their fighter is injured.
- Any disrespectful action will result in immediate disqualification. Threats or excessive action will result in ejection from the venue, per the decision of the promoter or arbitrator(s).
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