The Impact of Rules Changes on the Health of Taekwondo Athletes - a Different Approach

Introduction: For a long  time, Taekwondo rules were established with regard to current trends, the competitors’ safety, and the organisation  of spectacular events with good sportsmanship. The substantial revision of rules in 2009 was expected to bring about changes in the sport as well as the athletes’ in-game behaviour.

Purpose: The purpose of the present study was to analyse the attacking behaviour of female Taekwondo athletes, before and after the implementation of the aforementioned changes. The additional objective was to examine whether or not this change affected the safety of athletes. Thus, our sample comprised female athletes who participated in the 2008 and 2012 Olympics.

Material and Method: The collection  of data was conducted  using the Sport Scout  software  and the following  parameters were analysed

1. Race (Olympic  games 2008, Olympic games 20012),  

2. Kick technique

3. Turning kicks,

4. Point of the kick Techniques,

5. Scoring points,

6. Reaction of the opponent athlete,

7. Avoid the much (waiting time between kicks),

8. Tactic,

9. Objection of the coach. The data were analysed using the crosstabs statistical analysis.

Results: According to the results, the athletes’ in-game behaviour was affected considerably by the rule changes of 2009. Athletes  became more competitive, increased dynamic hits (p=.000) and kicks to the head (p=.000). Also rule changes had a significant  effect on number of points (p=.001), on opponent’s  defence (p=.038),  on interval between  kicks (p=.000) and on objections of the coach, (p=.020).

Conclusions: None of these changes appeared to have a positive  effect as far as the security-health of the athletes is concerned, as extra points  were awarded to head kicks. Nevertheless, the sport experts proceeded with further Taekwondo regulation  changes  in 2015, thus raising more  questions as to their ultimate objective.