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Tournament Conduct Rules:

All competitors upon registering will receive the rules for all the events. We ask that you familiarize yourself with the rules and regulations of the events you are registered in. Competitors are expected to follow all instructions given to them by all Tournament Official concerning the starting, competing, and finishing of all events. These rules will also hold you responsible for your conduct between events. Horseplay will not be tolerated, children under 14 must be chaperoned at all times. By not following these rules participants can be disqualified from the entire tournament and all Awards forfeited. 

Spectators Conduct:

No spectator or parent can interfere with the running of any event or step into any ring without the permission of the Referee. The spectator must remain in the area designated for them. If you have any questions, comments, or concerns about the tournament contact a tournament official and they will assist you.

Competitor’s rules and responsibilities

1. It is each competitor’s responsibility to know the rules and to be ready for competition when he or she is called on.

2. Three calls will be made for all competitors at their time of competition at the ring their designated to compete in if there is no         response from that competitor the competitor will be disqualified.

3. All competitors must follow the referee’s instructions. Failure to do so will result in immediate disqualification and removal from the tournament.

4. Competitors must be in proper attire for competition (see Uniforms).

5. No negative cross-talk between anyone will be allowed in any event. The penalty for negative cross-talk between competitors is immediate disqualification and removal from the tournament.

6. If a competitor leaves the competition area after the event has started without the referee’s permission, he or she will be disqualified.

7. Competitors must wear AMA approved safety equipment (see Safety Equipment).

8. If a competitor is found to be under the influence of alcohol or drugs he/she will be immediately removed from the tournament grounds. 

9. No jewelry, body piercings or any other objects that the referee feels might endanger either competitor will be worn during competition. 

10. Finger and toenails must be properly trimmed prior to the tournament.

11. Competitors must keep a positive attitude in victory or defeat; this includes leaving the ring or tournament area. No exhibitions of disgust or dissatisfaction with the outcome of the events will be tolerated. A competitor must go through the proper procedure in filing a grievance against a tournament official (See Filing a Protest).

12. A competitor cannot receive coaching or instruction during any type of competition, only before the event begins or during rest periods.

13. In the Sparring Division competitors are only allowed three-time outs approved by the referee.

14. The competitor must keep their hair clean and cut to a length that does not obstruct smooth bout conduct. Headbands or bandannas of any kind will not be allowed. Should the Referee consider any competitor's hair too long and/or unclean, he may disqualify the competitor from the bout.  Hair slides are prohibited, as are metal or plastic hairgrips. Ribbons, beads and other decorations are prohibited. A discreet rubber band or ponytail retainer is permitted. Female competitors may use religiously mandated head-wear of a type approved by the AMA.

15. Glasses are forbidden in sparring divisions. Soft contact lenses can be worn at the competitor's own risk.

16. All-female competitors must wear a t-shirt under their uniform top. (see Uniforms).

17.  In individual competition, no contestant may be replaced by another.

18.  Competitors cannot pick whom they want or do not want to fight.

19.  Shoving and/or pushing a competitor down or out of bounds is not allowed and the guilty competitor can be penalized.

20. Each Competitor with an existing medical condition must fill out an Emergency Medical Form.


Medical History:

It is your responsibility as a competitor or instructor's responsibility to inform an AMA Tournament Official when registering with present medical conditions for example; (Heart Disease, Diabetes, High Blood Pressure, Seizures .......). This is why every participant with an existing medical condition must fill out an Emergency Medical Form. The AMA does not take medical issues lightly. This is for your benefit. We ask that you are truthful when filling out this form so that our officials can inform the Medical Personnel of an existing condition should an emergency arise. 

Coaching Conduct:

  • Coaching can only be done before or between rounds, never doing timeouts or while the match is in progress.

  • An instructor, team-mate or parent can never enter the ring without the referee permission, entering the ring without permission will be taken as a sign of that competitor’s forfeiture.

  • While competition is in progress the Competitor’s Instructor, Corner men, or teammate must stay in the area designated for them and remain seated.

  • No abusive, violent, negative Language, overzealous unsportsmanlike coaching allowed.

  • A coach or instructor cannot interfere with the proper running of a ring or event.

  • A coach or an instructor can never ask for a timeout (only the competitor can request that).

  • A coach or an instructor cannot interfere with the decisions of any Tournament Official.

  • Coaches must present their accreditation together with that of their competitor to the official table. The coach must sit in the chair provided and must not interfere with the running of the match by word or deed. 


Fairness and Impartial Rule:

If an incident or dispute occurs that is not covered by the rules and regulations that govern an AMA Tournament, the Arbitrator or the Tournament Director along with their appointed officials can overrule, modify, or change a rule for the fairness of a competitor. This can only be done in extreme circumstances for example, handicapped or disabled individuals.

Competition categorized according to:

  1. Male or Female                                              1.  Little Dragons Division

  2. Age                                                                   2.  Junior Division

  3. Belt Color/Experience                                   3.  Adult Division

  4. Weight division                                               4.  Senior Division

In the youth division, the competitors should be lined up by height (shortest to the tallest) and split into short and tall divisions if required.  Determining short and tall divisions is for safety reasons, not just to split the division equally. Once the tall and short divisions are determined, that will determine who fights whom by random draw.  Consideration should be given to competitors who are from the same school or team that have been drawn to fight each other in the first round.

Belt Rank Information

All color belts must compete at the highest belt rank they have earned. Regardless of the current rank. Rank information must be checked in order to compete in Regional, State or World Championships matches. Black belts will compete together regardless of degree. If a competitor is found to be in violation of this rule, the competitor will be

immediately disqualified. And all Awards


Match Times/7-10 Point Lead Rule

Sparring times are 2 minutes preliminary rounds 3 minutes all championship rounds unless a competitor earns enough points to be declared the winner before the scheduled time is up Tournament Director Reserves the right to shorten the time of rounds. (7 Point Lead Rule)  A competitor must have a 7 point lead in preliminary matches or a 10 point lead in all championship matches to automatically be declared the winner.


In the sparring division, a competitor is allowed three-time outs approved by the referee. While in the timeout competitors cannot talk or receive coaching of any kind from anyone. If this happens the offending party will receive a No Coaching warning, if the coaching continues, that competitor will receive penalty points then disqualification.

Late Entries:

All participants are preregistered. It is the responsibility of the competitor to arrive at his/her ring before the start of that event. Once that event has started (the first competitor begins) no one can be added to that event. In order for the tournament to run in an orderly fashion, there will be no exceptions made Please be on time!!!

Time Delay:

A warning or disqualification will be given to any competitor in any event for not being ready to compete at the time he/she is called. Three calls will be made for any absent competitor, if there is no response from that competitor, he/she will be disqualified. For having an improper uniform, unsafe or missing equipment and the problem is not immediately corrected the referee or judge can issue deduction points. You can be given three deduction points, each deduction point will be given 30 seconds apart. 

Merging Divisions & Competing in Sparring Divisions:

The Tournament Director reserves the right to merge or split divisions by age, rank, number of competitors, weight, and height of competitors. Competitors may not compete in more than one form of a sparring division.

The Competition Ring:

Ring dimensions for the competition will be square and should measure in the range of 16-20 feet per side depending on the division (Little Dragon, Junior or Adult Division).

-Each Ring will have

  • Clearly marked boundary lines.

  • Starting lines that are five feet apart for sparring competitions.

  • Each ring must be numbered visible to competitors, officials, and medical personnel.

  • The rings must be marked by tape or a puzzle mat will be used.

The mats used should be non-slip where they contact the floor properly, they should not be as thick as Judo mats since these impede competitive movement.

In Case of a Draw

A draw is when a fight is even in the score. In the event of a draw, the referee will announce a one minute extension time until the first point is scored or one minute is up. If no point is scored another extension time (one minute) will be granted. If still no point is scored the referee and judges will determine the winner by ring generalship. Ring generalship is when a competitor controls the pace of a fight and throws more legal techniques whether they score or not.

The criteria for ring generalship:

  • The attitude, fighting spirit, and strength demonstrated by the contestants.

  • The superiority of tactics and techniques displayed.

  • Which of the contestants has initiated the majority of the actions?

No Activity Rule/Avoiding Contact (Stalling)

When a competitor refuses to fight by means of running out of the ring, or inactivity between both fighters by making an obvious attempt not to fight in the true spirit of competition, the (No Activity Rule) will apply, which means no two competitors can face off for more than 5 seconds with no activity, It is important to understand that “Avoiding Combat” refers to a situation where a competitor attempts to prevent the opponent having the opportunity to score by using time-wasting behavior. The contestant who constantly retreats without an effective counter, who holds, clinches, or exits the area rather than allow the opponent an opportunity to score must be warned or penalized. A legal technique must be thrown by one or the other, however, the Referee must ensure that the competitive behavior is not a defensive measure due to the opponent acting in a reckless or dangerous manner, in which case the attacker should be warned or penalized. Failure to do so will result in:

1. The referee will issue a No Activity Warning

2. Penalty points

3. Disqualification


Forfeiture is when a fighter voluntarily gives up. 

1. A competitor can forfeit a match by a verbal statement.

2. Any gesture representing submission.

3. Turning your back, and leaving the ring while the match is in session.

4. Instructor or Corner-man entering the ring without permission.

The referee will ask if he or she sees one of these gestures (are you forfeiting?), based on the competitor's answer the referee will stop or continue the match. False signals of forfeiture will lead to immediate disqualification.

Removal of an official:

A competitor may file a protest for the removal of an official with a good reason in any division before that division begins. In the Sparring Events, a competitor may file a protest at any time before or while the competition is in progress. All protests must be made in an Orderly Manner. If a competitor wants to file a protest against a Ring Official he/she should file the protest immediately with the referee. The Referee will summon the Tournament Director or the Arbitrator and he/she will determine whether the official will be removed.

Filing a Protest:

A competitor has the right to protest an infraction of the rules or if a possible mistake was made (not a judgment call). If a competitor wishes to protest, he/she should first let the Referee know he/she believes there has been an infraction of the rules or a mistake has been made. The referee will notify the proper officials so that the protest can be filed. All protests must be made immediately. Protests are not allowed once the competition has resumed. A competitor may be penalized or even disqualified if he/she is protesting improperly or without proper cause. Even filling a protest we expect sportsmanlike conduct.


State/ Regional/ World Championships

Tournament Year

The AMAs tournament year will begin on February 1st and ends on November 1st. The last event of the year will be the AMAs

Awards banquet.

All AMA’s competition divisions shall be governed by the above rules and regulations. All competitions will be supervised by trained AMA tournament officials. The rules listed above must be respected, applied and adhered to. The Competitors, Instructors or any other agents must follow all rules and regulations pertaining to their conduct at the tournament or event. Failure to do so will result in immediate expulsion from the event and all awards forfeited.

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