October 14 - The World Taekwondo Federation (WTF) has introduced new rules for the sport, including changes to the scoring system.
Under the new WTF Competition Rules, which will take effect immediately, four points will be awarded to an athlete for a valid turning kick to the head.
And in the case of a 12-point difference between competitors at the end of the second round, the referee will stop the contest and declare the winner.
Where there are four judges or three judges, valid points shall be those scored by at least two or more judges.
The protest system has also been removed, with the introduction of an instant video replay system.
At its meeting in Tashkent, Uzbekistan, the General Assembly unanimously approved the proposed amendment to the WTF Rules and Regulations, the proposed amendment to the WTF Competition Rules, and the proposed amendment to the Rules on Organisation and Operation of International Taekwondo Championships.
Among the major changes to the WTF Rules and Regulations, which will take effect immediately, are the change of the name of the WTF Rules and Regulations to the WTF Statutes, the deletion of the Executive Committee, and the increase in the number of WTF Council members from 32 to 35.
Under the new WTF Statutes, English is the only official language, while French, Korean and Spanish are auxiliary languages.
English is the controlling language of both the WTF Statues and the Competition Rules.
To date, Korean had been the controlling language for the Competition Rules.
Big changes were made in the Continental Union section in order to allow greater flexibility in the management of the overall WTF structure and for greater communications between the WTF and the Continental Unions.
Some additions were made concerning the WTF missions and objectivities, the WTF activities and resources, the intellectual property, the Host City Agreement, the sanctions and dispute resolution.
“The amendment is to rationalise the organisation and further clarify the definitions to make it easier for all member national associations to understand,” said WTF President Chungwon Choue.
“It is also to set the foundation for greater co-operation among the member national associations, Continental Unions and the WTF by providing for more structured channels for better communication in a comprehensive and coordinated way.
“After the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games, significant progress in taekwondo competition has been brought by introducing the protector and scoring system, the world ranking system, and the instant video replay system.
“Now we have stepped forward to improve again our sport through rule changes to meet the global standard as an Olympic sport.”
The WTF General Assembly received a presentation on the proposed WTF Global Membership System and the Mandatory International Athlete Licence, which will be implemented as early as next year.
“The General Assembly has been very fruitful,” said Choue.
“I believe the path the WTF is heading toward has been set and it will be of great success.
“There is no doubt that when our family come together as one, all things are possible to accomplish.
“s one, we must remain united in our endeavours to become a permanent fixture in the Olympic programme.
“Also, we have worked very hard to open our sport up to everyone, even those who have special physical needs.
“We must continue to hold our attention in giving those athletes a chance to have their moments in the Olympic light.
“We have accomplished so much together.
“We must continue to build on our achievements.
“There is so much that we have to offer the world, and they are in need of it.”
The World Taekwondo Federation approved New Caledonia as its 192nd member national association and, with the General Assembly’s approval, Burundi became a full member and Macau was granted a full member status in recognition of its contribution to the development of the WTF.