US Open Continuous Sparring Rules

Definition Competition should be executed as its name implies, Light Contact Fighting in a Continuous Manner. Under no circumstances should light contact continuous fighting simulate full contact kickboxing. Utilizing well-controlled techniques, ring craftsmanship and combination skills, competitors should attempt to “outscore” rather than “overpower” their opponent.Competitors will fight continuously until the referee’s command to STOP. All techniques must be well controlled. Techniques should not “strike through” or “push through” the target. Striking with excessive contact, or uncontrolled striking of any kind will lead to disqualification. Emphasis must be placed on both punching and kicking techniques. Punching or “boxing” only, for an extended period of time without throwing kicks will downgrade the judge’s evaluation of your performance. Each match is carried out with running time. The center referee and two judges will evaluate the relative effectiveness of each fighter based on the number, quality and variety of scoring strikes, defense and conditioning. Rules violations (whether penalized by the referee or not) will downgrade the judges evaluation of the offending fighter. The three officials will determine the winner of each match by majority decision. Uniforms and Equipment
  • Safety equipment is for adult divisions (18 yrs. And above): head protection, mouth-guard, approved gloves for contact sports, groin protection, shin guards and foot protection. Youth divisions (17 yrs. And below) will have the same equipment requirement PLUS an approved face shield and chest protector.
  • Uniforms are: Traditional uniform top, V-neck top or Team T-shirt and long pants for male fighters, long pants, traditional uniform top, sport top, V neck top or Team T-shirts for female fighters. For both, belts indicating their grade are allowed. NOTE: For competitors who choose to wear T-shirts, they will need to be clearly and obviously part of a TEAM UNIFORM.
  • Each fighter must wear a clean uniform in good repair. The waist may be either a drawstring or elastic waistband.
Time and Rounds
  • Junior competitors (17 and below) will contest one, 90 second round. Adult competitors will contest one, two-minute round.
Weight Divisions and Weigh-in Procedures<ulstyle=”color:#000;”>
  • See ‘Divisions’ listing on website and in event program.
Hand Shaking Before and after a bout, the fighters will shake hands as a sign of pure sportsmanship and friendly rivalry, according to the fighting regulations. Hand shaking takes place before starting the first round and after the decision. Legal Target Areas The following parts of the body may be attacked using the authorized fighting techniques: · Head – front and side · Torso – front and side · Feet – only for sweeping Legal Techniques – Scoring Both hand and foot strikes should be used. In evaluating each fighter’s performance the judges will give more credit to the athlete that is effective with a balanced attack of kicks and punches thrown in combination. Punching or “boxing” only for an extended period of time without throwing kicks may be cause for penalization or may downgrade the judge’s evaluation of a fighter’s performance. The authorized striking area of the hand or foot may only make “Clean/ Controlled” Light contact. The fighter must be looking at the point of contact when executing the technique. All techniques must be well executed. Weak techniques or techniques that simply touch or brush or push an opponent will not be scored. Excessive contact, mauling, pushing or rough-housing will be grounds for penalization, downgrading in the judges evaluation and/or disqualification. If a fighter jumps in the air to attack, he must land inside the ring to score, and he must keep his balance (it is not allowed to touch the floor with any part of the body except the feet). HAND TECHNIQUES: The following hand techniques may be applied:
  • Ridge hand
  • All kind of fighting punches
  • Backfist (Not Spinning Back Fist )
  • Frontkick
  • Sidekick
  • Roundhouse kick
  • Heel kick (sole of the foot only)
  • Crescent kick
  • Axe kick (sole of the foot only)
  • Jumpkicks
  • Footsweeps (boots to boots – ankle/foot level only)
Illegal Target Areas, Prohibited Techniques and Prohibited Behavior Any technique not listed as legal above, or striking any target not listed as legal above, including, but not limited to the following It is prohibited to:
  • Attack the throat, lower abdomen, kidneys, back, legs, joints, groin and to the back of the head or neck.
  • Attack with the knee, elbow, knife-hand, head-butts, thumb and shoulder or a spinning hand strike.
  • Turn one’s the back to the opponent, run away, fall down, intentional clinching, blind techniques, wrestling and ducking below opponent’s waist.
  • Attack an opponent who is falling to the floor or is already on the floor, that is, as soon as one hand or knees touches the floor.
  • Leave the ring without any permission.
  • Continue after the command “stop” or “break” or the end of the round has been sounded.
  • Oil the face or body.
  • Striking below the belt, hooking, tripping, and hitting with knees or elbows.
  • Butting with the head, shoulders, forearms and elbows, strangling the opponent, crushing his face with arm or elbow and pushing back the opponent.
  • Hitting with open gloves, with the inside of the gloves or with a wrist.
  • Hitting the opponent’s back, particularly on the nape of his neck, head and kidneys.
  • Lying down, wrestling or not fighting at all.
  • Attacking an opponent who is on the floor on getting up.
  • Clinching without any reason.
  • Hitting while hooking the opponent, or pulling the opponent into the blow.
  • Hooking or holding opponent’s arm or putting an arm underneath the arm of the opponent.
  • Suddenly lowering one’s head below opponent’s belt in a way that would be dangerous for the latter.
  • Using artificial means for a passive defense and falling down intentionally, in order to avoid a blow.
  • “Spoiling”. Intentionally preventing your opponent from engaging you by moving around the ring or clinching your opponent in order to cut down on round time.
  • Using insulting and aggressive language during a round.
  • Refusing to withdraw after the order “BREAK”.
  • Trying to land a blow on the opponent immediately after a “BREAK” order and before withdrawing.
  • Assailing or insulting the referee at any time.
  • Exiting the ring during the fighting competition
o 1st violation or exit – Verbal caution o 2nd violation or exit – Official warning o 3rd violation or exit – Disqualification Violations of the rules and regulations will lead to cautions, warnings, and/or disqualification. Referees may warn penalize a competitor at their discretion depending upon the severity or repetitive nature of the rules violation. The Center Referee is the arbiter of the rules. If he perceives that a violation has occured he has the discretion to issue one of the following: A Caution A “Caution” may be issued without stopping the action of the fight. An Official Warning An “Official Warning” is issued by stopping action of the fight. The “Official Warning” indicates that if the referee has to stop the match again for the same or a similar infraction the offending athlete will be disqualified. A Disqualification A “Disqualification” awards the match to the offending fighter’s opponent. The referee has the discretion to use Cautions, Warnings and Disqualification according to the severity of the offense. A fighter does not have to be Cautioned in order to receive an Official Warning. Nor does he have to receive an Official Warning prior to being Disqualified. The following may lead to immediate disqualification:
  • Excessive contact resulting in an injury
  • Repeatedly striking with excessive contact
  • Uncontrolled or malicious attacks
  • Excessive or continuous hitting after “stop” command
  • Extreme unsportsmanlike conduct of a fighter such as insulting the referee or the opponent
Injuries The match should be interrupted if an injury occurs. In the event of injury, time may only be interrupted until the doctor decides on the seriousness of the injury, that is, whether or not the fight can continue or whether it must be stopped. Treatment of the injury can only be done in between rounds or after the match. If the injury needs to be treated, the match must be stopped. In any case, cuts cannot be taped. If the match is stopped due to injury, the officials must decide:
  • Who caused the injury?
  • Whether or not it was intentional.
  • Whether or not it was self-inflicted.
If the injury was not intentional and the injured fighter cannot continue fighting immediately, the uninjured fighter is declared the winner. If the injury is due to a violation of the rules, the responsible fighter may be disqualified. If the injury is due to his own fault, the uninjured fighter is declared the winner. Referees Powers and Responsibilities: The referee has the power to:
  • Stop a fight at any moment if he finds it to be too one-sided.
  • Stop a fight at any moment if one of the fighters has received an unauthorized blow or is wounded, or if he considers a fighter unable to continue.
  • Stop a fight at any moment if he finds the fighters behaving in an “unsportsman-like” manner. In such a case, he must disqualify one fighter.
  • Warn a fighter or stop the bout and give a minus point or warning to a fighter for an offence.
  • Disqualify a coach or a second who has broken the regulations or the fighter himself if his coach or the second fails to obey to his orders.
  • Disqualify, with or without a warning, a fighter who has committed an offence.
  • Interpret the rules as long as they are applicable or compatible with the fight that is taking place, or, at a special moment, decide on a move which does not appear in the rules.
  • If a fighter breaks the rules but does not necessarily deserve a disqualification, the referee must stop the fight and give a warning to the fighter of a foul. Before the warning, the referee must order the fighter to stop fighting. The warning must be given clearly, so that the fighter understands the reason and cause of the penalty. The referee must hand signal to each judge that a particular warning has been given and clearly show which fighter has been punished. After having given the warning, the referee orders the fighters to fight again. If a fighter has given three official warnings within the same bout, he is disqualified.
  • A referee may give a caution to a fighter. A caution means a warning given by a referee to a fighter for breaking the rule. In order to do this he doesn’t need to stop the fight, and may reprimand the fighter during the fight.
The referee has a responsibility to:
  • Check the safety equipment and clothes of the fighters
  • Make sure that the rules of fair play are strictly observed.
  • Supervise the whole bout.
  • Consider the merits of the two fighters and chose the winner according to the regulations.
  • At the end of a bout, call for the decision by show of hands.
  • The referee must not announce the winner by raising a fighter’s arm or in any other way before the official in charge announces the decision.
  • Each official must independently consider the merits of the two fighters and chose the winner according to the regulations.
  • During the match, he will not talk to fighter, other judges, or anybody else, with the exception of the referee. He may, if necessary at the end of a round, notify the referee about any incident that he has missed, for example telling him about the misbehaviour of a second, etc.
Judges Scoring System Every round is separately evaluated by each of the judges according to a positive criteria that will gain a fighter points and negative criteria that will deduct points: Positive Judges Criteria (That Will Earn a Fighter Credit towards Victory)
  • clean and controlled scoring strikes
  • the demonstration of effective combination striking
  • the effectiveness of the fighters defense
  • the variety of strikes used (hands and feet)
  • excellent physical condition
Negative Judges Criteria (That Will Reduce a Fighters Credit towards Victory)
  • Rules Violations whether cautioned or warned by the referee or not
  • Cautions and/or Warning by the referee for rules violations
  • “bulling”, or any effort to overpower an opponent rather than demonstrate superior skill
  • lack of combination striking
  • lack of variety in strikes (hands and feet)
  • poor physical condition