1. Scores are as follows:
a) IPPON — Three points
b) WAZA-ARI — Two points
c) YUKO — One point

2. A score is awarded when a technique is performed according to the following criteria to a scoring area:
a) Good form
b) Sporting attitude
c) Vigorous application
d) Awareness (ZANSHIN)
e) Good timing
f) Correct distance

3. IPPON is awarded for:
a) Jodan kicks.
b) Any scoring technique delivered on a thrown or fallen opponent.

4. WAZA-ARI is awarded for:
a) Chudan kicks.

5. YUKO is awarded for:
a) Chudan or Jodan Tsuki.
b) Jodan or Chudan Uchi. 

6. Attacks are limited to the following areas:
a) Head
b) Face
c) Neck
d) Abdomen
e) Chest
f) Back
g) Side

7. An effective technique, delivered at the same time that the end of the bout is signalled, is considered valid. A technique even if effective, delivered after an order to suspend or stop the bout shall not be scored and may result in a penalty being imposed on the offender.

8. No technique, even if technically correct, will be scored if it is delivered when the two Competitors are outside the competition area. However, if one of the Competitors delivers an effective technique while still inside the competition area and before the Referee calls “YAME”, the technique will be scored.


In order to score, a technique must be applied to a scoring area as defined in paragraph 6 above. The technique must be appropriately controlled with regard to the area being attacked and must satisfy all six scoring criteria in paragraph 2 above. 

Ippon (3 points) is awarded for:
1. Jodan kicks. Jodan being defined as the face, head and neck.
2. Any scoring technique which is delivered on an opponent who has been thrown, has fallen of their own accord, or is otherwise off their feet.

Waza-Ari (2 points) is awarded for:
Chudan kicks. Chudan being defined as the abdomen, chest, back and side.

Yuko (1 point) is awarded for:
1. Any punch (Tsuki) delivered to any of the seven scoring areas.
2. Any strike (Uchi) delivered to any of the seven scoring areas.

I. For reasons of safety, throws where the opponent is grabbed below the waist, thrown without being held onto, or thrown dangerously, or where the pivot point is above hip level, are prohibited and will incur a warning or penalty. Exceptions are conventional karate leg sweeping techniques, which do not require the opponent to be held while executing the sweep such as de ashi-barai, ko uchi gari, kani waza etc. After a throw has been executed the Competitor must immediately attempt a scoring technique for a score to be valid.

II. When a Competitor is thrown according to the rules, slips, falls, or for other reason have the torso of the body touching the mat and is then scored upon by the opponent the score will be IPPON.

III. A technique with “Good Form” is said to have characteristics conferring probable effectiveness within the framework of traditional Karate concepts.

IV. Sporting Attitude is a component of good form and refers to a non-malicious attitude of great concentration, obvious during delivery of the scoring technique.

V. Vigorous Application defines the power and speed of the technique and the palpable will for it to succeed.

VI. Zanshin is that criterion most often missed when a score is assessed. It is the state of continued commitment in which the Competitor maintains awareness of the opponent's potentiality to counter-attack. I.e.: He/she does not turn his/her face away during delivery of the technique, and remains facing the opponent afterwards.

VII. Good Timing means delivering a technique when it will have the greatest potential effect.

VIII. Correct Distance similarly means delivering a technique at the precise distance where it will have the greatest potential effect. Thus, if the technique is delivered on an opponent who is rapidly moving away, the potential effect of that blow is reduced.

IX. Distancing also relates to the point at which the completed technique comes to rest on or near the target. A punch or kick that comes somewhere between skin touch and 5 centimetres from the face, head, or neck may be said to have the correct distance. However, Jodan techniques, which come within 5 centimetres distance of the target and which the opponent makes no attempt to block or avoid will be scored, provided the technique meets the other criteria. In Cadet and Junior competition no contact to the head, face, or neck, is allowed other than a very light touch (previously known as a “skin touch”) for Jodan kicks and the scoring distance is increased up to 10 centimetres.

X. A worthless technique is a worthless technique — regardless of where and how it is delivered. A technique, which is badly deficient in good form, or lacking power, will score nothing.

XI. Techniques, which land below the belt, may score, as long as they are above the pubic bone. The neck is a target area and so is the throat. However, no contact to the throat is permitted, although a score may be awarded for a properly controlled technique, which does not touch.

XII. A technique, which lands upon the shoulder blades, may score. The non-scoring part of the shoulder is the junction of the upper bone of the arm with the shoulder blades and collarbones.

XIII. The time-up bell signals the end of scoring possibilities in that bout, even though the Referee may inadvertently not halt the bout immediately. The time-up bell does not however mean that penalties cannot be imposed. Penalties can be imposed by the Refereeing Panel up to the point where the Competitors leave that area after the bout's conclusion. Penalties can be imposed after that, but then only by the Disciplinary and Legal Commission.

XIV. If two Competitors hit each other at the exact same time, the scoring criterion of “good timing” has by definition not been met, and the correct judgement is to not award a point. Both Competitors may however receive points for their respective scores if they each have two flags in their favour, and the scores both happen before “Yame” – and the time signal.

XV. If a Competitor scores with more than one consecutive technique before the bout has been stopped, the Competitor will be awarded the successful scoring technique of the higher point value, regardless of in which sequence the techniques scored. Example: If a kick followed a successful punch, the points for the kick would be awarded regardless if the punch scored first — as the kick has a higher point value.