2013 USAT Events News and Update

Jan. 04, 2013, 7:18 p.m. (ET)

2013 USA Taekwondo State and National Championships News and Updates

On Dec. 26, 2012 the WTF changed the age divisions for both poomsae and sparring. Because the USA Taekwondo is the recognized WTF Governing body in the United States, USA Taekwondo will be adopting these new divisions.

USA Taekwondo is currently working with its Rules Committee and Board of Directors to make the appropriate changes.

The Poomsae changes are as follows:

Changed Divisions:

  • Junior individual poomsae divisions (male and female) changed from 14-17 years old to 15-17 years old.
  • 1st pairs division changed from 14-29 to 18-29 years old.
  • 1st team (male and female) divisions changed from 14-29 to 18-29 years old.

New divisions added:

  • Junior co-ed pairs 15-17 years old (two members, one male, one female).
  • Junior male team 15-17 years old (three members, all male).
  • Junior female team 15-17 years old (three members, all female).
  • Cadet (12-14) Individual poomsae.

**In 2013, USAT State Championships can choose to run Cadet, or younger, Pairs or Team divisions, as the WTF has not yet adopted rules for these divisions and any ruling will not take place until April. States may choose to use the USAT rules regarding pairs and teams.

The WTF has yet to determine if there will be poomsae competition at a TBD 2013 Cadet World Championships. This announcement is not likely until April. USAT is working diligently to determine the best route for the poomsae program.

Freestyle Poomsae:

USAT applauds the success of the 2012 U.S. freestyle team at the recent World Championships and encourages all interested poomsae competitors to work for greater successes as the sport develops.

WTF has indicated that freestyle judging and standards are likely to be modified in the next several months and as soon as USAT is informed of the changes, it will make an announcement to the membership. Until the changes are made, USAT will not require freestyle poomsae qualification at State Championships or other USAT sanctioned competitions for Nationals or Team Trials. However, USAT encourages all promoters of USAT sanctioned events, including State Championships to offer freestyle poomsae competition under current rules. Such competitions will not be qualifiers for Nationals. When USAT receives the necessary information from WTF, it will be posted.

It is USAT's intention to hold an open National freestyle championship competition at the 2013 USAT National Championships in Chicago. However, these plans are tentative. Final decision will depend on the timing and nature of the rule changes.

USAT apologizes for this uncertainty. We will make every effort to keep our membership informed of developments and changes as soon as we receive notice.

The Sparring changes are as follows:

Changed Divisions:

  • Senior divisions are now classified as 17 and older.
  • Junior divisions are now classified as 15-17 year olds.

**Athletes must turn 17 by December 31, 2013 in order to compete in the Senior division at any 2013 USAT State Championship or National Championships. 17 year olds can compete in both Junior and Senior divisions.

**USAT uses the date December 31 of the given year (December 31, 2013) to determine the age of all competitors. Example: an athlete turns 14 on October 26, 2013 they would compete as a 14 year old in 2013, even though they are 13 years old at the time of the event.**

**Athletes cannot compete “up” or “down” in age divisions.

New divisions added:

  • Cadet divisions are now classified as 12-14 and the new weight categories are below.

Male Divisions

Female Divisions


Weight Category (kg)


Not exceeding 33kg

Not exceeding 29kg


Over 33kg & Not exceeding 37kg

Over 29kg & Not exceeding 33kg


Over 37kg & Not exceeding 41kg

Over 33kg & Not exceeding 37kg


Over 41kg & Not exceeding 45kg

Over 37kg & Not exceeding 41kg


Over 45kg & Not exceeding 49kg

Over 41kg & Not exceeding 44kg


Over 49kg & Not exceeding 53kg

Over 44kg & Not exceeding 47kg

Lt. Middle

Over 53kg & Not exceeding 57kg

Over 47kg & Not exceeding 51kg


Over 57kg & Not exceeding 61kg

Over 51kg & Not exceeding 55kg

Lt. Heavy

Over 61kg & Not exceeding 65kg

Over 55kg & Not exceeding 59kg


          Over 65kg

         Over 59kg


Because the Cadet divisions were just created by the WTF with no special rules for those divisions, the USAT will continue to follow Junior Safety rules for the time being. We will establish a task force to evaluate the original purpose of Junior Safety Rules, and the current efficacy and future role of special rules for this age group.

Miscellaneous Information:

The WTF has yet to determine if there will be a 2013 Cadet World Championships. An announcement is not likely until April 2013. USAT High Performance Department is working diligently to determine the best route for our Cadet program, and we are very excited by these new opportunities for our athlete pipeline.

For questions please contact USA Taekwondo directly, by email, Director of Events Travis Oosthoek (travis.oosthoek@usa-taekwondo.us)