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WKF Kumite Rules

     1. The competition area must be flat and devoid of hazard.
     2. The competition area will be a matted square, of a WKF approved type, with sides of eight metres (measured from the outside) with an additional two metres on all sides as a safety area. There will be a clear safety area of two metres on each side.
     3. A line half a metre long must be drawn two metres from the centre of the competition area for positioning the Referee.
     4. Two parallel lines each one metre long and at right angles to the Referee's line, must be drawn at a distance of one and a half metres from the centre of the competition area for positioning the competitors.
     5. Each judge will be seated at the corners on the mat in the safety area. The referee may move around the entire tatami, including the safety area where the judges are seated. Each judge will be equipped with a red and a blue flag.
     6. The Match Supervisor will be seated just outside the safety area, behind, and to the left or right of the Referee. He will be equipped with a red flag or sign, and a whistle.
     7. The score-supervisor will be seated at the official score table, between the scorekeeper and the timekeeper.
     8. Coaches will be seated outside the safety area, on their respective sides at the side of the tatami towards the official table. Where the tatami area is elevated, the coaches will be placed outside the elevated area.
     9. The one metre border should be in a different colour from the rest of the matted area
     I. There must be no advertisement hoardings, walls, pillars etc. within one metre of the safety area's outer perimeter.


     1. Contestants and their coaches must wear the official uniform as herein defined.
     2. The Referee Commission may disbar any official or competitor who does not comply with this regulation.

     1. Referees and Judges must wear the official uniform designated by the Referee Commission. This uniform must be worn at all tournaments and courses.
     2. The official uniform will be as follows:
          A single breasted navy blue blazer bearing two silver buttons.
          A white shirt with short sleeves.
          An official tie, worn without tiepin.
          Plain light-grey trousers without turn-ups. (Appendix 9).
          Plain dark blue or black socks and black slip-on shoes for use on the match area.
          Female Referees and Judges may wear a hairclip.

     1. Contestants must wear a white karate gi without stripes, piping or personal embroidery. The national emblem or flag of the country will be worn on the left breast of the jacket and may not exceed an overall size of 12cm by 8cm (see Appendix 7). Only the original manufacturer’s labels may be displayed on the gi. In addition, identification issued by the Organising Committee will be worn on the back. One contestant must wear a red belt and the other a blue belt. The red and blue belts must be around five centimetres wide and of a length sufficient to allow fifteen centimetres free on each side of the knot. The belts are to be of plain red and blue colour, without any personal embroideries or advertising or markings other than the customary label from the manufacturer.
     2. Notwithstanding paragraph 1 above, the Executive Committee may authorise the display of special labels or trademarks of approved sponsors.
     3. The jacket, when tightened around the waist with the belt, must be of a minimum length that covers the hips, but must not be more than three-quarters thigh length. Female competitors may wear a plain white T-shirt beneath the Karate jacket.
     4. The maximum length of the jacket sleeves must be no longer then the bend of the wrist and no shorter than halfway down the forearm. Jacket sleeves may not be rolled up.
     5. The trousers must be long enough to cover at least two thirds of the shin and must not reach below the anklebone. Trouser legs may not be rolled up.
     6. Contestants must keep their hair clean and cut to a length that does not obstruct smooth bout conduct. Hachimaki (headband) will not be allowed. Should the Referee consider any contestant's hair too long and/or unclean, he may disbar the contestant from the bout. Hair slides are prohibited, as are metal hairgrips. Ribbons, beads and other decorations are prohibited. A discreet rubber band or pony tail retainer is permitted. Female competitors may wear a WKF homologated black plain fabric head scarf covering the hair, but not the throat area.
     7. Contestants must have short fingernails and must not wear metallic or other objects, which might injure their opponents. The use of metallic teeth braces must be approved by the Referee and the Official Doctor. The contestant accepts full responsibility for any injury.
     8. The following protective equipment is compulsory:
          8.1. WKF approved mitts, one contestant wearing red and the other wearing blue.
          8.2. Gum shield.
          8.3. WKF approved body protection (for all athletes) plus chest protector for female athletes.
          8.4. The shin pads approved by the WKF, one contestant wearing red and the other wearing blue.
          8.5. The foot protection approved by the WKF, one contestant wearing red and the other wearing blue.
          8.6. Cadets will, in addition to the above, also wear the WKF approved face mask. Groin Guards are not mandatory but if worn must be of approved WKF type.
     9. Glasses are forbidden. Soft contact lenses can be worn at the contestant's own risk.
     10. The wearing of unauthorised apparel, clothing or equipment is forbidden.
     11. All protective equipment must be WKF homologated.
     12. It is the duty of the Match Supervisor (Kansa) to ensure before each match or bout that the competitors are wearing the approved equipment. (In the case of Continental Union, International, or National Federation Championships it should be noted that WKF approved equipment, must be accepted and cannot be refused).
     13. The use of bandages, padding, or supports because of injury must be approved by the Referee on the advice of the Tournament Doctor.

     1. Coaches shall at all times during the tournament, wear the official tracksuit of their National Federation and display their official identification. 
     I. The contestant must wear a single belt. This will be red for AKA and blue for AO. Belts of grade should not be worn during the bout.
     II. Gum shields must fit properly.
     III. If a contestant comes into the area inappropriately dressed, he or she will not be immediately disqualified; instead they will be given one minute to remedy matters.
     IV. If the Referee Commission agrees, Refereeing Officials may be allowed to remove their blazers.


     1. A Karate tournament may comprise Kumite competition and/or Kata competition. The Kumite competition may be further divided into the team match and the individual match. The individual match may be further divided into age and weight divisions. Weight divisions are divided ultimately into bouts. The term “bout” also describes the individual Kumite competitions between opposing pairs of team members.
     2. No contestant may be replaced by another in an individual title match.
     3. Individual contestants or teams that do not present themselves when called will be disqualified (KIKEN) from that category. In team matches the score for the bout not taking place will then be set to 8-0 in favour of the other team.
     4. Male teams comprise seven members with five competing in a round. Female teams comprise four members with three competing in a round.
     5. The contestants are all members of the team. There are no fixed reserves. 
     6. Before each match, a team representative must hand into the official table, an official form defining the names and fighting order of the competing team members. The participants drawn from the full team of seven, or four members, and their fighting order, can be changed for each round provided the new fighting order is notified first, but once notified, it cannot then be changed until that round is completed.
     7. A team will be disqualified if any of its members or its coach changes the team's composition or fighting order without written notification prior to the round.
     8. In team matches where an individual looses on account of receiving Hansoku or Shikkaku, any score for the disqualified contestant will be set to nil, and a score of 8-0 will be recorded for that bout in favour of the other team. 

     I. A “round” is a discrete stage in a competition leading to the eventual identification of finalists. In an elimination Kumite competition, a round eliminates fifty percent of contestants within it, counting byes as contestants. In this context, the round can apply equally to a stage in either primary elimination or repechage. In a matrix, or “round robin” competition, a round allows all contestants in a pool to fight once.
     II. The use of contestants' names causes problems of pronunciation and identification. Tournament numbers should be allotted and used.
     III. When lining up before a match, a team will present the actual fighters. The unused fighter(s) and the Coach will not be included and shall sit in an area set aside for them.
     IV. In order to compete male teams must present at least three competitors and female teams must present at least two competitors. A team with less than the required number of competitors will forfeit the match (Kiken).
     V. The fighting order form can be presented by the Coach or a nominated contestant from the team. If the Coach hands in the form, he must be clearly identifiable as such; otherwise, it may be rejected. The list must include the name of the country or club the belt colour allotted to the team for that match and the fighting order of the team members. Both the competitor’s names and their tournament numbers must be included and the form signed by the coach, or a nominated person.
     VI. Coaches must present their accreditation together with that of their competitor or team to the official table. The coach must sit in the chair provided and must not interfere with the smooth running of the match by word or deed.
     VII. If, through an error in charting, the wrong contestants compete, then regardless of the outcome, that bout/match is declared null and void. To reduce such errors the winner of each bout/match must confirm victory with the control table before leaving the area.


     1. The Refereeing Panel for each match shall consist of one Referee (SHUSHIN), four Judges (FUKUSHIN), and one Match Supervisor (KANSA).
     2. The Referee and Judges of a Kumite bout must not have the nationality of either of the participants.
     3. In addition, for facilitating the operation of matches, several timekeepers, caller announcers, record keepers, and score supervisors shall be appointed.

     I. At the start of a Kumite match, the Referee stands on the outside edge of the match area. On the Referee’s left stand Judges numbers 1 and 2, and on the right stands Judge numbers 3 and 4.
     II. After the formal exchange of bows by contestants and the referee panel, the Referee takes a step back, the Judges and the Referee turn inwards, and all bow together. All then take up their positions.
     III. When changing the Judges, the departing Officials, except the Match Supervisor, take up position as at the start of the bout or match, bow to each other, and then leave the area together.
     IV. When individual Judges change, the incoming Judge goes to the outgoing Judge, they bow together and change positions.
     V. In team matches provided that the entire panel holds the required qualification, the positions of referee and judges may be rotated between each bout.

     1. Duration of the Kumite bout is defined as three minutes for Senior Male Kumite (both teams and individuals) and four minutes in the individual bouts for medals. Senior Female bouts will be two minutes and three minutes in the individual bouts for medals. Under 21 years is 3 minutes for the Male category and 2 minutes for the Female category (no additional minute for medal bouts). Cadet and Junior bouts will be two minutes (no additional minute for medal bouts).
     2. The timing of the bout starts when the Referee gives the signal to start, and stops each time the Referee calls “YAME”. 
     3. The timekeeper shall give signals by a clearly audible gong, or buzzer, indicating “10 seconds to go” and “time up”. The “time up” signal marks the end of the bout. 

     1. Scores are as follows: 
          a) IPPON Three points 
          b) WAZA-ARI Two points 
          c) YUKO One point 
     2. A score is awarded when a technique is performed according to the following criteria to a scoring area:
          a) Good form
          b) Sporting attitude
          c) Vigorous application
          d) Awareness (ZANSHIN)
          e) Good timing
          f) Correct distance
     3. IPPON is awarded for:
          a) Jodan kicks. 
          b) Any scoring technique delivered on a thrown or fallen opponent.
     4. WAZA-ARI is awarded for:
          a) Chudan kicks. 
     5. YUKO is awarded for: 
          a) Chudan or Jodan Tsuki. 
          b) Jodan or Chudan Uchi.
     6. Attacks are limited to the following areas: 
          a) Head 
          b) Face 
          c) Neck 
          d) Abdomen 
          e) Chest 
          f) Back 
          g) Side
     7. An effective technique delivered at the same time that the end of the bout is signalled, is considered valid. A technique even if effective, delivered after an order to suspend or stop the bout shall not be scored and may result in a penalty being imposed on the offender.
     8. No technique, even if technically correct, will be scored if it is delivered when the two contestants are outside the competition area. However, if one of the contestants delivers an effective technique while still inside the competition area and before the Referee calls “YAME”, the technique will be scored.

In order to score, a technique must be applied to a scoring area as defined in paragraph 6 above. The technique must be appropriately controlled with regard to the area being attacked and must satisfy all six scoring criteria in paragraph 2 above.
     I. For reasons of safety, throws where the opponent is grabbed below the waist, thrown without being held onto, or thrown dangerously, or where the pivot point is above belt level, are prohibited and will incur a warning or penalty. Exceptions are conventional karate leg sweeping techniques, which do not require the opponent to be held while executing the sweep such as de ashi-barai, ko uchi gari, kani waza etc. After a throw has been executed the Referee will allow the contestant two seconds in which to attempt a scoring technique.
     II. When a contestant is thrown according to the rules, slips, falls, or is otherwise off their feet and is scored upon by the opponent the score will be IPPON.
     III. A technique with “Good Form” is said to have characteristics conferring probable effectiveness within the framework of traditional Karate concepts.
     IV. Sporting Attitude is a component of good form and refers to a non-malicious attitude of great concentration obvious during delivery of the scoring technique.
     V. Vigorous Application defines the power and speed of the technique and the palpable will for it to succeed.
     VI. Zanshin is that criterion most often missed when a score is assessed. It is the state of continued commitment in which the contestant maintains total concentration, observation, and awareness of the opponent's potentiality to counter-attack. He does not turn his face away during delivery of the technique, and remains facing the opponent afterwards.
     VII. Good Timing means delivering a technique when it will have the greatest potential effect.
     VIII. Correct Distance similarly means delivering a technique at the precise distance where it will have the greatest potential effect. Thus if the technique is delivered on an opponent who is rapidly moving away, the potential effect of that blow is reduced.
     IX. Distancing also relates to the point at which the completed technique comes to rest on or near the target. A punch or kick that comes somewhere between skin touch and 5 centimetres from the face, head, or neck may be said to have the correct distance. However, Jodan techniques, which come within 5 centimetres distance of the target and which the opponent makes no attempt to block or avoid will be scored, provided the technique meets the other criteria. In Cadet and Junior competition no contact to the head, face, or neck, (or the face mask) is allowed other than a very light touch (previously known as a “skin touch”) for Jodan kicks and the scoring distance is increased up to 10 centimetres.
     X. A worthless technique is a worthless technique —- regardless of where and how it is delivered. A technique, which is badly deficient in good form, or lacking power, will score nothing.
     XI. Techniques, which land below the belt, may score, as long as they are above the pubic bone. The neck is a target area and so is the throat. However, no contact to the throat is permitted, although a score may be awarded for a properly controlled technique, which does not touch.
     XII. A technique, which lands upon the shoulder blades, may score. The non-scoring part of the shoulder is the junction of the upper bone of the arm with the shoulder blades and collarbones.
     XIII. The time-up bell signals the end of scoring possibilities in that bout, even though the Referee may inadvertently not halt the bout immediately. The time-up bell does not however mean that penalties cannot be imposed. Penalties can be imposed by the Refereeing Panel up to the point where the contestants leave that area after the bout's conclusion. Penalties can be imposed after that, but then only by the Referee Commission or the Disciplinary and Legal Commission.
     XIV. If two contestants hit each other at the exact same time, the scoring criterion of “good timing” has by definition not been met, and the correct judgement is to not award a point. Both contestants may however receive points for their respective scores if they each have two flags in their favour, and the scores both happen before “yame” – and the time signal.
     XV. If a contestant scores with more than one consecutive technique before the bout has been stopped, the contestant will be awarded the successful scoring technique of the higher point value, regardless of in which sequence the techniques scored. Example: If a kick followed a successful punch, the points for the kick would be awarded regardless if the punch scored first - as the kick has a higher point value.

The result of a bout is determined by a contestant obtaining a clear lead of eight points, or at time-up, having the highest number of points, obtaining a decision (HANTEI), or by a HANSOKU, SHIKKAKU, or KIKEN, imposed against a contestant.
     1. No individual bout can be declared a tie. Only in team competition, when a bout ends with equal scores, or no scores, will the Referee announce a tie (HIKIWAKE).
     2. In individual bouts, if after full time there are no scores, or scores are equal, the decision will be made by a final vote of the four Judges and the Referee, each casting their vote. A decision in favour of one or the other competitor is obligatory and is taken on the basis of the following criteria: 
          a) The attitude, fighting spirit, and strength demonstrated by the contestants. 
          b) The superiority of tactics and techniques displayed. 
          c) Which of the contestants has initiated the majority of the actions. 
     3. The winning team is the one with the most bout victories. Should the two teams have the same number of bout victories then the winning team will be the one with the most points, taking both winning and losing bouts into account. The maximum point’s difference or lead recorded in any bout will be eight.
     4. If the two teams have the same number of bout victories and points, then a deciding bout will be held. Each team may nominate any one contestant of their team for purpose of fighting the extra bout, regardless if that person already has fought in a previous bout between the two teams. If the extra bout does not produce a winner based on superiority on points, the extra bout will be decided based on HANTEI according to the same procedure as for individual bouts. The result of the HANTEI for the extra bout will then also determine the result of the team match.
     5. In team matches when a team has won sufficient bout victories or scored sufficient points as to be the established winner then the match is declared over and no further bouts will take place.

There are two categories of prohibited behaviour, Category 1 and Category 2.
     1. Techniques which make excessive contact, having regard to the scoring area attacked, and techniques which make contact with the throat.
     2. Attacks to the arms or legs, groin, joints, or instep.
     3. Attacks to the face with open hand techniques.
     4. Dangerous or forbidden throwing techniques.

     1. Feigning, or exaggerating injury.
     2. Exit from the competition area (JOGAI) not caused by the opponent.
     3. Self-endangerment by indulging in behaviour, which exposes the contestant to injury by the opponent, or failing to take adequate measures for self-protection, (MUBOBI).
     4. Avoiding combat as a means of preventing the opponent having the opportunity to score. 
     5. Passivity – not attempting to engage in combat.
     6. Clinching, wrestling, pushing, seizing or standing chest to chest, without attempting a throw or other technique.
     7. Techniques, which by their nature, cannot be controlled for the safety of the opponent and dangerous and uncontrolled attacks.
     8. Simulated attacks with the head, knees, or elbows.
     9. Talking to, or goading the opponent, failing to obey the orders of the Referee, discourteous behaviour towards the Refereeing officials, or other breaches of etiquette.

     I. Karate competition is a sport, and for that reason some of the most dangerous techniques are banned and all techniques must be controlled. Trained adult competitors can absorb relatively powerful blows on muscled areas such as the abdomen, but the fact remains that the head, face, neck, groin and joints are particularly susceptible to injury. Therefore any technique, which results in injury, may be penalised unless caused by the recipient. The contestants must perform all techniques with control and good form. If they cannot, then 
regardless of the technique misused, a warning or penalty must be imposed. Particular care must be exercised in Cadet and Junior competition.
     II. FACE CONTACT — SENIORS: For Senior competitors, non-injurious, light, controlled “touch” contact to the face, head, and neck is allowed (but not to the throat). Where contact is deemed by the Referee to be too strong, but does not diminish the competitor’s chances of winning, a warning (CHUKOKU) may be given. A second contact under the same circumstances will result in KEIKOKU. A further offence will result in HANSOKU CHUI. Any further contact, although not significant enough to influence the opponent’s chances of winning, will still result in HANSOKU.
     III. FACE CONTACT — CADETS AND JUNIORS: For Cadet and Junior competitors no contact to the head, face, or neck, (including the face mask) is allowed with hand techniques. Any contact, no matter how light, will be penalised, as in paragraph II above, unless caused by the recipient (MUBOBI). Jodan kicks may make the lightest touch (“skin touch”) and still score. Any more than a skin touch will require a warning or penalty unless caused by the recipient (MUBOBI).
     IV. The Referee must constantly observe the injured contestant. A short delay in giving a Judgement allows injury symptoms such as a nosebleed to develop. Observation will also reveal any efforts by the contestant to aggravate slight injury for tactical advantage. Examples of this are blowing violently through an injured nose, or rubbing the face roughly.
     V. Pre-existing injury can produce symptoms out of all proportion to the degree of contact used and Referees must take this into account when considering penalties for seemingly excessive contact. For example, what appears to be a relatively light contact could result in a competitor being unable to continue due to the cumulative effect of injury sustained in an earlier bout. Before the start of a match or bout, the Tatami Manager must examine the medical cards and ensure that the contestants are fit to fight. The Referee must be informed if a contestant has been treated for injury.
     VI. Contestants who over-react to light contact, in an effort to have the Referee penalise their opponent, such as holding the face and staggering about, or falling unnecessarily, will be immediately penalised themselves.
     VII. Feigning an injury, which does not exist, is a serious infraction of the rules. SHIKKAKU will be imposed on the contestant feigning injury i.e., when such things as collapse and rolling about on the floor are not supported by evidence of commensurate injury as reported by a neutral doctor.
     VIII. Exaggerating the effect of an actual injury is less serious but still regarded as unacceptable behaviour and therefore the first instance of exaggeration will receive a minimum warning of HANSOKU CHUI. More serious exaggeration such as staggering around, falling on the floor, standing up and falling down again and so on may receive HANSOKU directly depending on the severity of the offence.
     IX. Competitors, who receive SHIKKAKU for feigning injury will be taken from the competition area and put directly into the hands of the WKF Medical Commission, who will carry out an immediate examination of the competitor. The Medical Commission will submit its report before the end of the Championship, for the consideration of the Referee Commission. Competitors who feign injury will be subject to the strongest penalties, up to and including suspension for life for repeated offences.
     X. The throat is a particularly vulnerable area and even the slightest contact will be warned or penalised, unless it is the recipient’s own fault.
     XII. Open hand techniques to the face are forbidden due to the danger to the contestant’s sight.
     XIII. JOGAI relates to a situation where a contestant's foot, or any other part of the body, touches the floor outside of the match area. An exception is when the contestant is physically pushed or thrown from the area by the opponent. Note that a warning must be extended for the first instance of JOGAI. The definition for JOGAI is no longer “repeated exits”, but merely “exit not caused by the opponent”. If however, there is less than ten seconds to go, the Referee will, as a minimum, directly impose HANSOKU CHUI on the offender.
     XIV. A contestant who delivers a scoring technique and then exits the area before the Referee calls “YAME” will be given the value of the score and Jogai will not be imposed. If the contestant’s attempt to score is unsuccessful the exit will be recorded as a Jogai.
     XV. If AO exits just after AKA scores with a successful attack, then “YAME” will occur immediately on the score and AO's exit will not be recorded. If AO exits, or has exited as AKA's score is made (with AKA remaining within the area), then both AKA's score will be awarded and AO's Jogai penalty will be imposed.

     1. KIKEN or forfeiture is the decision given, when a contestant or contestants fail to present themselves when called, are unable to continue, abandon the bout, or are withdrawn on the order of the Referee. The grounds for abandonment may include injury not ascribable to the opponent's actions.
     2. If two contestants injure each other, or are suffering from the effects of previously incurred injury, and are declared by the Tournament Doctor to be unable to continue, the bout is awarded to the contestant who has amassed the most points. In Individual Matches if the points score is equal, then a vote (HANTEI) will decide the outcome of the bout. In Team Matches the Referee will announce a tie (HIKIWAKE). Should the situation occur in an extra bout for deciding a Team Match, then a vote (HANTEI) will determine the outcome.
     3. An injured contestant who has been declared unfit to fight by the tournament doctor cannot fight again in that competition.
     4. An injured contestant who wins a bout through disqualification due to injury is not allowed to fight again in the competition without permission from the doctor. If he is injured, he may win a second bout by disqualification but is immediately withdrawn from further Kumite competition in that tournament.
     5. When a contestant is injured, the Referee shall at once halt the bout and call the doctor. The doctor is authorised to diagnose and treat injury only.
     6. A competitor who is injured during a bout in progress and requires medical treatment will be allowed three minutes in which to receive it. If treatment is not completed within the time allowed, the Referee will decide if the competitor shall be declared unfit to fight (Article 13, Paragraph 8d), or whether an extension of treatment time shall be given.
     7. Any competitor who falls, is thrown, or knocked down, and does not fully regain his or her feet within ten seconds, is considered unfit to continue fighting and will be automatically withdrawn from all Kumite events in that tournament. In the event that a competitor falls, is thrown, or knocked down and does not regain his or her feet immediately, the Referee will signal to the timekeeper to start the ten second count-down by a blast on his whistle and raising his hand and then calling out for the doctor as per point 5 above. The timekeeper will stop the clock when the Referee raises his arm. In all cases where the 10 second clock has been started the doctor will be asked to examine the contestant. For incidents falling under this 10 second rule, the contestant may be examined on the mat.

     I. When the doctor declares the contestant unfit, the appropriate entry must be made on the contestant's monitoring card. The extent of unfitness must be made clear to other Refereeing Panels.
     II. A contestant may win through disqualification of the opponent for accumulated minor Category 1 infractions. Perhaps the winner has sustained no significant injury. A second win on the same grounds must lead to withdrawal, even though the contestant may be physically able to continue.
     III. The Referee should call the doctor when a contestant is injured and needs medical treatment by raising his hand and verbally call out “doctor”.
      IV. If physically able to do so, the injured contestant should be directed off the mat for examination and treatment by the doctor.
     V. The doctor is obliged to make safety recommendations only as they relate to the proper medical management of that particular injured contestant
     VI. When applying the “Ten Second Rule” the time will be kept by a timekeeper appointed for this specific purpose. A warning will be sounded at seven seconds followed by the final bell at ten seconds. The timekeeper will start the clock only on the Referee’s signal. The timekeeper will stop the clock when the competitor stands fully upright and the Referee raises his arm.
     VII. The Judges will decide the winner on the basis of HANSOKU, KIKEN, or SHIKKAKU as the case may be.
     VIII. In team matches, should a team member receive KIKEN, or be disqualified (HANSOKU or SHIKKAKU), their score for that bout, if any, will be zeroed and the opponent’s score will be set at eight points.

     1. No one may protest about a Judgement to the members of the Refereeing Panel.
     2. If a Refereeing procedure appears to contravene the rules, the President of the Federation or its official representative is the only one allowed to make a protest.
     3. The protest will take the form of a written report submitted immediately after the bout in which the protest was generated. (The sole exception is when the protest concerns an administrative malfunction. The Tatami Manager should be notified immediately the administrative malfunction is detected).
     4. The protest must be submitted to a representative of the Appeals Jury. In due course the Jury will review the circumstances leading to the protested decision. Having considered all the facts available, they will produce a report, and shall be empowered to take such action as may be called for.
     5. Any protest concerning application of the rules must be made in accordance with the complaints procedure defined by the WKF EC. It must be submitted in writing and signed by the official representative of the team or contestant(s).
     6. The complainant must deposit a Protest Fee as agreed by the WKF EC, and this, together with the protest must be lodged with a representative of the Appeals Jury.
     7. Composition of the Appeals Panel
The Appeals Jury is comprised of three Senior Referee representatives appointed by the Referee Commission (RC). No two members may be appointed from the same National Federation. The RC should also appoint three additional members with designated numbering from 1 to 3 that automatically will replace any of the originally appointed Appeals Jury members in a conflict of interest situation where the jury member is of the same nationality or have a family relationship by blood or as an In-Law with any of the parties involved in the protested incident, including all members of the Refereeing panel involved in the protested incident.
     8. Appeals Evaluation Process 
It is the responsibility of the party receiving the protest to convene the Appeals Jury and deposit the protest sum with the Treasurer. 
Once convened, the Appeals Jury will immediately make such inquiries and investigations, as they deem necessary to substantiate the merit of the protest. Each of the three members is obliged to give his/her verdict as to the validity of the protest. Abstentions are not acceptable.
     9. Declined Protests
If a protest is found invalid, the Appeals Jury will appoint one of its members to verbally notify the protester that the protest has been declined, mark the original document with the word “DECLINED”, and have it signed by each of the members of the Appeals Jury, before depositing the protest with the Treasurer, who in turn will forward it to the Secretary General.
     10. Accepted Protests
If a protest is accepted, the appeals Jury will liaise with the Organizing Commission (OC) and Referee Commission to take such measures as can be practically carried out to remedy the situation including the possibilities of:
          - Reversing previous judgments that contravene the rules
          - Voiding results of the affected matches in the pool from the point previous to the incident
          - Redoing such matches that have been affected by the incident
          - Issuing a recommendation to the RC that involved Referees are evaluated for sanction
The responsibility rests with the Appeals Jury to exercise restraint and sound judgment in taking actions that will disturb the program of the event in any significant manner. Reversing the process of the eliminations is a last option to secure a fair outcome.
The Appeals Jury will appoint one of its members who will verbally notify the protester that the protest has been accepted, mark the original document with the word “ACCEPTED”, and have it signed by each of the members of the Appeals Jury, before depositing the protest with the Treasurer, who will return the deposited amount to the protestor, and in turn forward the protest document to the Secretary General.
     11. Incident Report
Subsequent to handling the incident in the above prescribed manner, the Jury Panel will reconvene and elaborate a simple protest incident report, describing their findings and state their reason(s) for accepting or rejecting the protest. The report should be signed by all three members of the Appeals Jury and submitted to the Secretary General.
     12. Power and Constraints
The decision of the Appeals Jury is final, and can only be overruled by a decision of the Executive Committee.
The Appeals Jury may not impose sanctions or penalties. Their function is to pass judgment on the merit of the protest and instigate required actions from the RC and OC to take remedial action to rectify any Refereeing procedure found to contravene the rules. 

     I. The protest must give the names of the contestants, the Judges officiating, and the precise details of what is being protested. No general claims about overall standards will be accepted as a legitimate protest. The burden of proving the validity of the protest lies with the complainant.
     II. The protest will be reviewed by the Appeals Jury and as part of this review, the Jury will study the evidence submitted in support of the protest. The Jury may also study videos and question Officials, in an effort to objectively examine the protest's validity. 
     III. If the protest is held by the Appeals Jury to be valid, the appropriate action will be taken. In addition, all such measures will be taken to avoid a recurrence in future competitions. The deposit paid will be refunded by the Treasury.
     IV. If the protest is held by the Appeals Jury to be invalid, it will be rejected and the deposit forfeited to WKF.
     V. Ensuing matches or bouts will not be delayed, even if an official protest is being prepared. It is the responsibility of the Match Supervisor, to ensure that the match has been conducted in accordance with the Rules of Competition.
     VI. In case of an administrative malfunction during a match in progress, the Coach can notify the Tatami Manager directly. In turn, the Tatami Manager will notify the Referee. 


The Referee Commission’s powers and duties shall be as follows:
     1. To ensure the correct preparation for each given tournament in consultation with the Organising Commission, with regard to competition area arrangement, the provision and deployment of all equipment and necessary facilities, match operation and supervision, safety precautions, etc.
     2. To appoint and deploy the Tatami Managers (Chief Referees) to their respective areas and to act upon and take such action as may be required by the reports of the Tatami Managers.
     3. To supervise and co-ordinate the overall performance of the Refereeing officials.
     4. To nominate substitute officials where such are required.
     5. To pass the final Judgement on matters of a technical nature which may arise during a given match and for which there are no stipulations in the rules.

The Tatami Managers powers and duties shall be as follows:
     1. To delegate, appoint, and supervise the Referees and Judges, for all matches in areas under their control.
     2. To oversee the performance of the Referees and Judges in their areas, and to ensure that the Officials appointed are capable of the tasks allotted them.
     3. To order the Referee to halt the match when the Match Supervisor signals a contravention of the Rules of Competition.
     4. To prepare a daily, written report, on the performance of each official under their supervision, together with their recommendations, if any, to the Referee Commission.

The Referee's powers shall be as follows:
     1. The Referee (“SHUSHIN”) shall have the power to conduct matches including announcing the start, the suspension, and the end of the match.
     2. To award points based on the decision of the judges.
     3. To stop the match when it in the Referee’s opinion has been a point scored, a foul committed, or to ensure the safety of the contestants.
     4. To request confirmation of the judges’ verdict in instances where there may, in the referee’s opinion, be grounds for the judges to re-evaluate their call for warning or penalty.
     5. To explain to the Tatami Manager, Referee Commission, or Appeals Jury, if necessary, the basis for giving a Judgement.
     6. To impose penalties and to issue warnings.
     7. To obtain and act upon the opinion(s) of the Judges.
     8. To announce and start an extra bout when required in team matches.
     9. To conduct voting of the Judges, including his own vote, (HANTEI) and announce the result. 
     10. To resolve ties.
     11. To announce the winner.
     12. The authority of the Referee is not confined solely to the competition area but also to all of its immediate perimeter.
     13. The Referee shall give all commands and make all announcements.

The Judges (FUKUSHIN) powers shall be as follows:
     1. To signal points scored warnings and penalties.
     2. To exercise their right to vote on any decision to be taken.
The Judges shall carefully observe the actions of the contestants and signal to the Referee an opinion in the following cases:
     a) When a score is observed.
     b) When a contestant has committed a prohibited act and/or techniques. 
     c) When an injury, illness or inability of a contestant to continue is noticed. 
     d) When both or either of the contestants have moved out of the competition area (JOGAI). 
     e) In other cases when it is deemed necessary to call the attention of the Referee. 

     I. The Match Supervisor (KANSA) will assist the Tatami Manager by overseeing the match or bout in progress. Should decisions of the Referee and/or Judges, not be in accordance with the Rules of Competition, the Match Supervisor will immediately raise the red flag and blow his whistle. The Tatami Manager will instruct the Referee to halt the match or bout and correct the irregularity. Records kept of the match shall become official records subject to the approval of the Match Supervisor. Before the start of each match or bout the Match Supervisor will ensure that the contestants are wearing approved equipment. The match Supervisor will not rotate during Team matches.
The Score Supervisor will keep a separate record of the scores awarded by the Referee and at the same time oversee the actions of the appointed timekeepers and scorekeepers.
     I. When two or more Judges give the same signal, or indicate a score for the same competitor, the Referee will stop the bout and render the decision accordingly. Should the Referee fail to stop the bout the Match Supervisor will raise the red flag and blow his whistle.
     II. When two or more Judges give the same signal, or indicate a score for the same competitor, the Referee must stop the bout and announce the decision taken by the judges.
     III. When the Referee decides to halt the bout for any other reason than a signal given by two, or more, of the judges he will call “YAME” at the same time use the required hand signal. The Judges will then signal their opinions and the Referee will render the decisions for which there is agreement between two or more judges
     IV. In the event that both contestants have a score, warning or penalty indicated by two or more judges, both contestants will be awarded their respective points, warnings or penalties.
     V. If one contestant has a score, warning or penalty indicated by more than one judge and the score or penalty is different between the judges, the lower score, warning or penalty, will be applied if there is not a majority for one level of score, warning or penalty.
     VI. If there is majority, but dissent, among the judges for one level of score, warning or penalty, the majority opinion will overrule the principle of applying the lowest score, warning or penalty.
     VII. At HANTEI the four Judges and the Referee each have one vote.
     VIII. The role of the Match Supervisor is to ensure that the match or bout is conducted in accordance with the Rules of Competition. He is not there as an additional Judge. He has no vote, nor has he any authority in matters of Judgement, such as whether a score was valid or if JOGAI occurred. His sole responsibility is in matters of procedure. The match Supervisor will not rotate during Team matches.
     IX. In the event that the Referee does not hear the time-up bell, the Score-Supervisor will blow his whistle.
     X. When explaining the basis for a Judgement after the match, the Judges may speak to the Tatami Manager, the Referee Commission, or the Appeals Jury. They will explain themselves to no one else.

     1. The terms and gestures to be used by the Referee and Judges in the operation of a match shall be as specified in Appendices 1 and 2.
     2. The Referee and Judges shall take up their prescribed positions and following an exchange of bows between the contestants; the Referee will announce “SHOBU HAJIME!” and the bout will commence.
     3. The Referee will stop the bout by announcing “YAME”. If necessary, the Referee will order the contestants to take up their original positions (MOTO NO ICHI).
     4. When the Referee returns to his position, the Judges will indicate their opinion by means of a signal. In the case of a score to be awarded the Referee identifies the contestant (AKA or AO), the area attacked, and then awards the relevant score using the prescribed gesture. The Referee then restarts the bout by calling “TSUZUKETE HAJIME”.
     5. When a contestant has established a clear lead of eight points during a bout, the Referee shall call “YAME” and order the contestants back to their starting lines as he returns to his. The winner is then declared and indicated by the Referee raising a hand on the side of the winner and declaring “AO (AKA) NO KACHI”. The bout is ended at this point.
     6. When time is up, the contestant who has the most points is declared the winner, indicated by the Referee raising a hand on the side of the winner, and declaring “AO (AKA) NO KACHI”. The bout is ended at this point.
     7. In the event of a tied vote at the end of an inconclusive bout the Referee Panel (the Referee and the four Judges) will decide the match by HANTEI.
     8. When faced with the following situations, the Referee will call “YAME!” and halt the bout temporarily.
          a. When either or both contestants are out of the match area.
          b. When the Referee orders the contestant to adjust the karate-gi or protective equipment.
          c. When a contestant has contravened the rules.
          d. When the Referee considers that one or both of the contestants cannot continue with the bout owing to injuries, illness, or other causes. Heeding the tournament doctor's opinion, the Referee will decide whether the bout should be continued.
          e. When a contestant seizes the opponent and does not perform an immediate technique, or throw within two seconds.
          f. When one or both contestants fall or are thrown and no effective techniques are made within two seconds.
          g. When both competitors seize or clinch with each other without attempting a throw or technique within two seconds.
          h. When both competitors stand chest to chest without attempting a throw or other technique within two seconds.
          i. When both contestants are off their feet following a fall or attempted throw and begin to wrestle.
          j. When a score or foul is indicted by two or more judges for the same competitor.
          k. When, in the opinion of the Referee, there has been a point scored or foul committed – or the situation calls for halting the match for safety reasons.
          l. When requested to do so by the Tatami Manager.

     I. When beginning a bout, the Referee first calls the contestants to their starting lines. If a contestant enters the area prematurely, they must be motioned off. The contestants must bow properly to each other — a quick nod is both discourteous and insufficient. The Referee can call for a bow where none is volunteered by motioning as shown in Appendix 2 of the rules.
     II. When restarting the bout, the Referee should check that both contestants are on their lines and properly composed. Contestants jumping up and down or otherwise fidgeting must be stilled before combat can recommence. The Referee must restart the bout with the minimum of delay.
     III. Contestants will bow to each other at the start and end of each bout.

Only the WKF Sports Commission with the approval of the WKF Executive Committee can alter or modify these rules.

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