Color Belt Divisions

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Color Belt Divisions

In trying to promote color belt competition at regional events and provide them with a positive experience color belt rings will be either classified as Novice or Competitive.

Novice Division Guidelines

The Masters Council has approved a novice division starting in the 2012-2013 tournament season for all ATA sanctioned regional tournaments. The purpose of the novice division is to give an inexperienced student the option to gain tournament experience before moving into the competitive divisions.
The following guidelines apply for a novice division:

  • Novice divisions are for junior and adult color belt students only.
  • The choice to compete in the novice division is made by the competitor and their instructor on a tournament-by-tournament basis.
  • A competitor may elect to compete in the novice division at a tournament even if they have previously competed in a competitive division.
  • The choice to compete as a novice applies to the entire tournament. i.e. A competitor may not compete in the novice division in some events and the competitive division in others.
  • Novice competitors may compete in forms, traditional weapons, sparring/one-steps and combat weapons, but are not required to compete in any specific event.
  • Novice competitors may compete in creative and xtreme events. This competition will take place in their traditional ring after the traditional events have been completed. A novice competitor must remain in their traditional white uniform for creative and extreme events.
  • Novice divisions are required at all sanctioned regional tournaments and must be advertised accordingly.
  • In Novice divisions traditional forms competition, the competitors are not required, but may perform a complete form. Judges will base their score according to what the competitor demonstrates based on their traditional judging assignments. A competitor will not be penalized by any judge for an incomplete form nor will a competitor be given extra consideration for completing the entire form.
  • For traditional weapons competitions, the novice division will run exactly as the competitive divisions.
  • For sparring/one-step and combat weapons competitions, the novice division will run exactly as the competitive division.
  • No State or World Championship points awarded in a novice division. (even if one competes in the event by mistake).

Dividing Novice Color Belts Divisions

  • Novice rings will be split if there are 11 competitors or more.
  • If there are 10 or fewer competitors, the ring will not be split.
  • If a ring of 10 has been sent to the competition floor (on deck) and an additional competitor arrives, the ring will not be further split at that time.

Competitive Divisions Guidelines

Competitive divisions are available for the student who wishes to compete at a higher level and possibly earn points for the State Top Ten standings.

Dividing Competitive Color Belt Divisions

Due to the vast difference from region to region of the number of competitors at each event, it is not feasible to issue comprehensive rules concerning how the color belt divisions will be formed. Regional Tournament Team Leaders will try whenever possible to follow the black belt junior and adult divisions for color belt competitions. They may at their discretion combine or alter color belt divisions to facilitate competition. However, All Adult color belt rings will not be split unless there are more than 16 in the ring regardless of height. Adults have a better understanding of the concept of competition and in general want more competition. Junior Color belt rings will be combined to facilitate competition. The combination guidelines are handled by the RTTL of the event.