JUDGING LEVELS and CERTIFICATIONS
Judging Certification Levels
The ATA takes great pride in the training of black belts to be judges at regional, national, and world tournaments. Black belts are trained over a period of time to be qualified as a Level 1 Corner Judge, a Level 2 Center Judge, or a Level 3 Chief Judge. Each competition ring (except ATA Tiger rings) will have three qualified black belts to judge the competitors. All certifications are valid for one year. This requirement is mandatory for all ranks 1st through 9th Degree Black Belt. Permission to test will be withheld for those whose judging chevrons are not current.
Note: Judges age 17 or younger may not judge any division that contains competitors older than their age.
The following rules and guidelines apply to a Level 1 judge:
- Must be at least 14 years of age, and a 1st Degree Black Belt Decided or higher.
- May corner judge color belt competitions.
- Must know all the following material:
- All color belt form techniques.
- One-steps for white, orange and yellow belt ranks.
- Be familiar with all the weapons allowed for traditional color belt weapons competition.
- It is highly recommended that any person who desires to certify as a Level 1 Judge have prior tournament experience as a time and score keeper.
A Level 1 judging chevron is a 1-inch wide blue chevron to be put on the right sleeve of the uniform jacket. The chevron should be centered (on a diagonal) on the crease in the right edge 4 inches from the sleeve bottom and on the left edge (as you look at the uniform) 2 inches from the bottom of the sleeve.
The following rules and guidelines apply to a Level 2 judge:
- Must be at least 16 years of age and a 1st Degree Black Belt Decided or higher.
- May corner judge or center judge for color belt rings.
- May corner judge for black belt rings up to his/her current rank.
- Must know all material required for a Level 1 judge, plus all color belt forms.
- Must know the black belt forms up to and including his/her current rank.
- Must be knowledgeable in the weapons included in the association’s black belt curriculum for the ranks they are judging.
- It is highly recommended that any person who desires to certify as a Level 2 Judge have prior tournament experience as a Level 1 judge.
A level 2 judging chevron is 1-inch wide red chevron to be placed on the right sleeve of the uniform jacket. This chevron should be placed 1/4 inch above the blue chevron.
The following rules and guidelines apply to a Level 3 judge:
- Must be at least 18 years of age and a 2nd Degree Black Belt Decided or higher.
- May corner judge or center judge for color belt rings.
- May corner judge black belt rings up to his/her current rank.
- May center judge black belt rings up to one rank lower than his/her current rank.
- Must know all material required for a Level 2 judge.
- It is highly recommends that any person who desires to certify as a Level 3 judge have prior tournament experience as a Level 2 judge.
The level 3 judging chervon is 1-inch wide black chevron to be placed on the right sleeve of the uniform jacket. This chevron should be placed 1/4 inch above the red chevron.
Obtaining Judging Certifications
The requirements to certify or recertify for any level of judging chevron are the same.
- Read the rules.
- Receive practical training from their instructor.
- Students must take and pass with a score of 90% or better, an online test for the appropriate judging certification level.(visit http://www.atatesting.com for the online exam)
- Have your instructors signature verifying that the students have the curriculum knowledge required for that judging level.
- Attend and participate in a judging clinic which emphasises the practical application of the rules and is taught by an RTTL or the person designated to fill that role. Please, bring a copy of the result sheet from the online test with your instructor's signature which verifies your curriculum knowledge.
At the completion of the clinic, the RTTL will forward all passing scores via mail, fax or email to the tournament department at International Headquarters. At that time, the student may order, through their instructor, the appropriate chevron. The RTTL will not be responsible for collecting money or ordering chevrons for judges. All judging chevron clinics are at no cost to the student.
- Instructors may go to this link for judging videos to facilitate training of their students.
- Attending the black belt meeting the morning of a tournament will not fulfill the judging clinic attendance requirement for certification or recertification.
- No black belt or Senior should ask or imply that a RTTL should certify or re-certify a judge for any level without that person attending a seminar and taking the test regardless of rank or experience.
- Any student, regardless of rank, who, with their instructor’s permission, desires to attend a regional judging certification clinic for practical application of rules is permitted to participate.
- All level of recertification must attend a clinic.
- Current Level 3 chevrons are required for all persons requesting to test for 4th degree and above.
Responsibilities of the Judges
During competition, judges will:
- Remain at their assignment or assigned ring until relieved or replaced by the RTTL or their assistant.
- Refrain from showing prejudice regardless of the students' school or region.
- Recognize that small differences in form technique demonstrated by students from other schools and regions are natural and to be expected.
- Be courteous and respectful to all competitors in both word and deed.
- Ensure the safety and positive experience of every competitor.
- Insure that each competitor abides by the official tournament rules.
- Conduct each aspect of competition in the proper order. (Order of Events)
- Award the correct winners in each division his/her tournament award (trophy or medal). (Awards for Competition)
- Complete the required paperwork for each completed division, and returning that signed paperwork to the Regional Tournament Team Leader or their assigns.
- Be responsible for the areas surrounding their ring. In the interest of safety, the judges should make sure that spectators allow ample room around each ring for competition to progress unimpeded. Judgment as to what determines ample room is based on the type of competition taking place.
- Judges who find difficulty in resolving a given problem should ask the Regional Tournament Team Leader or his/her assigns for rulings.
At any ATA tournament, demonstrations of prejudice, lack of attentiveness in the ring, etc., shall be cause for warnings and reprimands from higher officials and the International Chairman of Tournaments. Use of cell phones, blue-tooth devices, etc. used for the purpose of communication such as sending and receiving text messages, receiving calls, etc. is strictly prohibited for judges as well as scorekeepers and timekeepers during the running of their ring. Failure to follow this rule will subject the offender to immediate disciplinary action. A judge’s focus should be entirely on the competitors in their ring. Any such warnings shall become part of the judge’s permanent record. Three warnings within one year’s time shall bring a mandatory suspension from all official activities, including judging, participating in tournaments or testing for two years.