John, this is once again a problem caused by the fracturing of ITF. anyway here are the rules I downloaded from www.itftaekwondo.com.
Warnings may be issued by the referee under the following circumstances;
1. Attack to an illegal target
2. Stepping completely out of the ring with both feet
3. Falling down, whether it be intentional or not
4. Holding / Grabbing / Pushing
6. Intentionally avoiding sparring
7. Pretending to be hurt
8. Turning your back to your opponent
9. Uncontrolled technique
10. Talking during the bout
Deduction of Points: For any three warnings that you receive, one point will be deducted, cumulative across the rounds
A foul will be given for any of the following offences;
1. Attacking a fallen opponent
2. Head butting, biting, scratching or clawing
3. Intentional attack after the stop of the bout
4. Making insulting remarks or gestures during the bout
5. Using the knee, elbow or forearm as an attacking tool
6. Excessive contact continuously.
Disqualification of a contestant will occur when;
1. Three fouls are awarded against a contestant during the contest.
2. The opponent is unable to continue due to illegal or excessive contact
3. The contestant disobeys the referee
4. The contestant leaves the ring before the announcement of the result
5. The contestant does not report to the ring marshal when called before the bout
6. Any contestant that enters the ring without all of the required safety protection, or where the equipment is not in good repair. A three minute time limit is awarded
7. Any contestant who fails an eight or ten count not due to an illegal or excessive attack
8. Any contestant who is unable to continue with the bout, or unable to defend themselves adequately as determined by the referee. The result will be awarded to the opponent
9. Any competitor suspected of being under the influence of alcohol or illegal substances
10. Any competitor who is deemed dangerous to the other competitor and highly likely to cause serious injury.
Anyway as I've said earlier despite competing in three national level competitions (and numerous regional and state). I've only seen people called for hitting to hard when its to an illegal area, not a TKD technique ,or kids are sparring (by kids I mean persons under twelve).
The knockout I saw was a back kick directly to the chin (first time ive ever seen this happen). As there was obviously no malicious intent and the technique was completely legal, he was not disqualified (even if there had been, the person managed to get up before the eight count, so he would not have been disqualified).
The reason I posted this is a lot of people such as yourself read a set of rules and think they can base there opinions on point sparring around that.
[This message has been edited by kiwi (edited 11-25-2003).]