2009 U.S. Open Update

Jan. 22, 2009, 12:54 p.m. (ET)

We are very excited to give you an update on the progress of the 2009 U.S. Open. This looks to be one of the more memorable USAT events in recent years. We currently have 1,000 Athletes, 245 Coaches and 50 International Referees. We expect this to at least double in the next two weeks.

We have over 40 different nations participating, at least five 2008 Beijing Olympians from Nepal, Greece, Canada, Sweden and the Dominican Republic. We also have at least 10 confirmed National Teams.

The registration deadline is a little over one week away with the early registration deadline concluding this Friday January 23 at 11:59 pm MST. If you have not registered, or your registration is not paid by this date, you will be assessed a $50 penalty. So get your registrations in and please complete them by the early deadline of the 23rd.

We have a couple of interesting new components to this event: a WTF International Referee seminar and refresher course, a Kukkiwon Dan testing, the use of electronic body protectors, and... the fact that we are at the historic Tropicana Hotel in the heart of the Vegas strip!

This will be the 62nd IR seminar held by the WTF and the 53rd IR Refresher course. We currently have 240 IR's and potential IR's registered. The seminar will be held at the Tropicana Hotel from February 7-10, 2009. Registration for this seminar has been closed. If you would like a schedule of the seminar go to http://www.usa-taekwondo.us/event/event/623. For more detailed information please contact Amanda Rubin, Amanda.rubin@usa-taekwondo.us or 719-866-4632.

The Kukkiwon has chosen the 2009 U.S. Open to launch a historic Dan test. This will be held on Sunday, February 15th at the Tropicana Hotel. There will be mandatory seminars for the testers on the 13th and 14th. Registration for this historic test will be available until the 26th of January. For a schedule of this historic testing, go to http://www.usa-taekwondo.us/event/event/623. For more details contact Becie Seals at becie.seals@usa-taekwondo.us or 719-866-4632.

For the first time in the history of the U.S. Open, USAT will use the LaJust Electronic Body Protectors as a scoring system. The EBP's will be used for the 14-17 and Adult (18-32) sparring divisions only. If you are in these divisions please bring WTF-approved headgear, forearm guards, shin guards, mouth guard and protective cup (required for male competitors).

Opening Ceremony and the March of Nations will be held on Thursday the 12th of February. We encourage all nations to participate in this exciting and entertaining procession. There will also be an entertaining 15-minute demo by the united taekwondo clubs of Las Vegas as well as a short performance by the Les Folies Bergere.

If you have registered you can be excited to be a part of one of the more memorable Open's in recent history. If you have not registered yet....... what are you waiting for? This will be one of the largest, most competitive, exciting tournaments USAT has ever hosted.

I look forward to seeing you at the 2009 U.S. Open. Viva Las Vegas!

Mark A. Kaufmann

Director, USAT Events