Is WTF TKD the Worst Sport for Changing Rules?

Gwai Lo Dan

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It occurred to me the other day that I can't think of a sport that changes its point structure more than WTF TKD.

In basketball, a layup, dunk and "close" shot are all 2 points. A "far" shot is 3 points. A free throw is 1 point. The NBA doesn't change this every year or two.

Is TKD the worst for continuously changing the rules and point structure? Will it ever figure out what it wants :) ?
 

BuckerooBonzai

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KKW WTF TKD seems so wrapped up in making sure it stays an Olympic sport that, to me, it is loosing all sense of history and perspective.

I am NOT a fan of all the changes just to please the Olympic committee. Seems that the art that I love should not be selling out to anybody, esp an organization like the IOC.
 

TrueJim

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I am NOT a fan of all the changes just to please the Olympic committee.

I think the IOC is interested in only one thing: ticket-paying butts-in-seats. Sports federations change the rules not to please the IOC, but to put butts-in-seats. Remember that even Greco-Roman Wrestling almost got tossed out of this last Olympics because it wasn't selling enough tickets! Greco-Roman Wrestling! That's been in the modern Olympics since the very beginning!

So it's not that the WTF changes the rules to please the IOC. It's that the WTF changes the rules (rightly or wrongly) to increase ticket-sales.
 

TrueJim

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In basketball, a layup, dunk and "close" shot are all 2 points. A "far" shot is 3 points. A free throw is 1 point. The NBA doesn't change this every year or two...

Very true. Though of course, it does change sometimes in basketball, just far less frequently. The NBA didn't adopt the 3-point shot until 1979. I remember the controversy. :)
 

JR 137

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It occurred to me the other day that I can't think of a sport that changes its point structure more than WTF TKD.

In basketball, a layup, dunk and "close" shot are all 2 points. A "far" shot is 3 points. A free throw is 1 point. The NBA doesn't change this every year or two.

Is TKD the worst for continuously changing the rules and point structure? Will it ever figure out what it wants :) ?

The NBA, NFL, NHL, et al all make changes. They could be minor, sometimes they're major. Major ones don't happen very often; but you really have to define major changes.

Take the NFL - instant replay coming in, going out, coming back; kickoffs and extra points being pushed back; 2 point conversion. I look at those as major changes. Then there's the changes to protect the athletes - helmet to helmet hits, chop blocking, horse collaring, etc. Then there's the changes we don't hear much about - administration rules.

Every sport has them. I don't know about TKD as I'm not a practitioner nor spectator. Since TKD doesn't have the fan base the major sports do, it's easier to make changes.
 

BuckerooBonzai

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So it's not that the WTF changes the rules to please the IOC. It's that the WTF changes the rules (rightly or wrongly) to increase ticket-sales.

I'm not sure that I agree. You said that the IOC is only interested in selling tickets (which I agree with) but that the WTF is changing the rules to try to increase sales, not to please the IOC. While the end point is similar, I do not think that the WTF really thinks that it has a huge money maker on the fight/arena aspect of TKD outside of the Olympics. I think that they are much more worried about TKD losing its Olympic status than about filling paid seats outside the IOC and Olympic forum.

In my opinion (which could easily be incorrect) WTF wants to please the IOC so that WTF stays THE Olympic variant of TKD so that they can market the KKW WTF TKD as the Olympic sport and draw more practitioners into it through that sales model.
 
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WaterGal

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WTF wants to promote TKD competition sparring generally. They want it to be relatively safe for kids so lots of people do it, but they also want it to look interesting and exciting to viewers, and also like it exists somewhere in the same galaxy as practical self-defense. But any time you have rules, people will train to the rules to increase their chance of winning, which distorts the sport away from self-defense. So they just keep tweaking this and that to try to find that balance of safe, exciting and realistic by trial and error.
 

CB Jones

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Hasn't TKD been removed from olympics and Karate put in for 2020.

After 2020, who knows, maybe they bring it back, maybe not.
 

JR 137

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Hasn't TKD been removed from olympics and Karate put in for 2020.

After 2020, who knows, maybe they bring it back, maybe not.

No. They'll both compete. Karate is an exhibition sport (I can't remember the exact term). Every host country gets to add a few of them. If they do well, they may be added permanently, possibly replacing a poorly performing ($$$) sport. Karate isn't permanent nor does it replace anything other than the exhibition sports Brazil had during the last Olympics. Japan added a few other sports as exhibition- baseball, I think skateboarding and rock climbing, and a few others. Whoever hosts 2024 will replace those with whatever they want.
 

paitingman

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There have been a lot of rule changes in the past decade.

Rather than seeing it as rules changing again, and again, and again, I see that we are still in a state of metamorphosis that's been going on for the past ten years and who knows how much longer.

I am not a fan of most of the changes, but let's face it. Olympic tkd, while more dynamic in the 90s and 2000s, had hit a plateau, and taken a nosedive in popularity as a spectator sport.

There were amazing athletes in that era that stood out, and this one as well, but generally people will always find a way to cheat the system and do the least risky, most efficient techniques in order to win.

Before it was a patient roundhouse kick contest; now it's a leg checking/foot fencing game.
 

Archtkd

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I think the IOC is interested in only one thing: ticket-paying butts-in-seats. Sports federations change the rules not to please the IOC, but to put butts-in-seats. Remember that even Greco-Roman Wrestling almost got tossed out of this last Olympics because it wasn't selling enough tickets! Greco-Roman Wrestling! That's been in the modern Olympics since the very beginning!

So it's not that the WTF changes the rules to please the IOC. It's that the WTF changes the rules (rightly or wrongly) to increase ticket-sales.

Truejim: I'm surprised someone with your knowledge and interest in Kukki taekwondo can state the above. What ticket sales have increased because of the changes the WTF has made? Did you watch the last 2016 WTF Grandprix in Baku. The WTF's top fighters -- who won medals at the 2016 Olympics -- were competing in an empty stadium. The fighting was for the most part so boring, even hardcore taekwondo enthusiasts had a hard time staying awake.
 

TrueJim

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What ticket sales have increased because of the changes the WTF has made...

Agreed. I think they make all these changes hoping that it will increase ticket sales, but I don't think they've succeeded in accomplishing that.
 

andyjeffries

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Maybe I'm the only one, but I think the changes have been well reasoned and good. The change to EBP was to counter the judges inherent (subconscious maybe) bias. The change to video replays was to counter that head shots were getting missed. Then players started clinching more or kicking and falling to the floor to avoid counters. So they became penalties.

As we get high profile unfair results, the rules need changing. As players find ways within the rules to score more at the expensive of making the games interesting to watch, the rules need changing.

It's not just about bums on seats (or ticket revenue in pockets), it's also about those of us that have been in the art/sport a long time. We don't want to watching boring foot fencing matches, so the rules have to change.
 

Tez3

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The Olympic Committee has been putting pressure on Dressage for a while to make it more appealing to sell to the media. I love dressage but am the first to admit that is can be very boring for the non horsey, non dressage people and doesn't sell well to the television companies who want fireworks for those with short attention spans. Dressage is kata for horses, the origin is martial where horses were trained for battle, the dancing type moves are all evasions of the enemy, along with actual strikes but frankly if you aren't interested you aren't interested, no amount of tweaking will make it so to lay people. The compromise so far is 'musical dressage', doing a dressage test to music. It has proved quite popular among lay people and experts alike so fingers crossed that will keep the Olympic Committee happy in their search for money making sports. I think TKD gets tweaked so often because it has the potential (?) to be as I said a 'firework' sport for those with short attention spans, wham bam it's over,next fight please instead of something all martial artists AND the public can enjoy.
 

TrueJim

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...Dressage is kata for horses...

Brilliant analogy!

I think TKD gets tweaked so often because it has the potential (?) to be as I said a 'firework' sport for those with short attention spans, wham bam it's over, next fight please instead of something all martial artists AND the public can enjoy.

I think this is really key for any sport that aspires to thrive. It has to be fun for non-athletes to watch. This is why (after much consideration) I've become a huge fan of the new Kukkiwon competition poomsae -- they are ridiculously difficult, and that will make them fun to watch even for non-taekwondoins. My initial reaction was "Why didn't they make the new poomsae be twice as difficult, instead of ten times as difficult?" Now after having thought about it a lot more, ten-times-as-difficult is definitely the way to go (in my opinion) -- it's that insane difficulty that will make them fun to watch for NON-taekwondoins.

I agree, the rule changes for sparring and the new poomsae are all about the same thing: putting some sizzle on the steak, especially for non-taekwondoin audience members.
 

JP3

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It occurred to me the other day that I can't think of a sport that changes its point structure more than WTF TKD.

In basketball, a layup, dunk and "close" shot are all 2 points. A "far" shot is 3 points. A free throw is 1 point. The NBA doesn't change this every year or two.

Is TKD the worst for continuously changing the rules and point structure? Will it ever figure out what it wants :) ?
I don't know... the International Judo Federation, which controls Olympic judo, thus the rules for national level judo across the world, seems to have been changing the rules on what seemed like a monthly basis for quite a while.

First, it seemed like they were doing it because the Russian-style overhand grip was becoming dominant, so some things got changed.
Then it seeme dlike the points for certain throwing actions kept being redefined, the stated purpose was to streamline and cause the sport to be more spectator-friendly.
Then, with the advent of wrestlers and other guys who used lots of single-leg and double-leg takedowns to get into naewaza, they took that completely out... removing any aspect of realism.

In the end, the judo regularly practiced hardly resembles what is now called its own thing, "tournament judo." It's not so good.
 
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Gwai Lo Dan

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I just recalled this article, where in an April 2017 UFC fight, even the UFC did not know the rules regarding instant replays. So maybe TKD is not the worst; maybe MMA is where rules change according to local regulations.

NYSAC: Instant replay legally used at UFC 210

"The veteran referee spoke to the outside referee, John McCarthy, who consulted instant replay and deemed the knee to be legal. After a delay and some interaction with doctors, the fight was waived off and Mousasi was awarded a TKO win. The major problem with this though was that on the UFC broadcast, UFC head of regulations Marc Ratner said that instant replay could not be used in New York, which muddied up the situation to a huge degree.

Well, it seems that Ratner was wrong and that New York can use instant replay after all. The New York State Athletic Commission issued a statement to MMA Fighting, stating that the referees did the right thing in the situation."
 

Archtkd

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Maybe I'm the only one, but I think the changes have been well reasoned and good. The change to EBP was to counter the judges inherent (subconscious maybe) bias. The change to video replays was to counter that head shots were getting missed. Then players started clinching more or kicking and falling to the floor to avoid counters. So they became penalties.
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You are not the only one Andy. There used to be lots of "noise" scoring in the so called glorious 80s and 90s of taekwondo. Blocks that made loud sounds were earning points and so were lots of celebratory gestures. People often remember the old days with lots of foggy glasses and forget that electronics were brought in because of too many errors in manual scoring. I think you and I can agree Ivorian Cheick Sallah Cisse would not have earned his gold against Britain's Lutalo Muhammad in the 80kg final at the Rio Olympics if it were not for the accuracy of electronic scoring. Of course some will forever argue whether Cisse's last milli-second kick was a real kick.
 
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