A new scoring system incorporating the use of head-gear will be used for the first time at the World Taekwondo Federation (WTF) Grand Prix in Manchester starting tomorrow.
The new system will further develop the Protection Scoring System (PSS) introduced at the London 2012 Olympic Games, consisting of body armour fitted with electronic body protector sensors that register kicks and punches if applied with sufficient force.
The introduction of PSS was in reaction to numerous controversies in the scoring system.
It marked a move away from subjective decision making towards a more objective and inclusive system, not solely relying on the opinions of a select few officials.
Taekwondo's place at the Olympics had been under threat following heavy criticism after Beijing 2008, when one incident in particular highlighted problems.
At the end of a women's over 67 kilogram quarter-final, home fighter Chen Zhong was declared winner against Great Britain's Sarah Stevenson before British officials protested, claiming referees missed a scoring kick by Stevenson, a claim supported by video footage.
Chen's victory was rescinded and Stevenson advanced to the semi-final, in what marked the first time in Olympic taekwondo history that a result was changed.
The PSS system has been in use in major WTF events since and has been widely regarded as a major success.
Now the system is being extended to incorporate sensors on the head-gear which will automatically register contact to the face and head area.
It has been heavily tested during 2014 at a number of open and cadet level events, but this is the first time it will be used at a senior WTF world-level competition.
The WTF is also introducing a better Field of Play (FOP) environment to enhance the visual experience for spectators and television audiences.
Only two athletes and a centre referee will be allowed on the competition mat for the first time ever, while three corner judges and two coaches will be seated just behind A-boards set up just outside the mat.
"The introduction of electronic headgear is timely as it allows judges to be moved further away from the action as their role reduces, with critical decisions on contact made by machines," international referee Ian Leafe, also GB Taekwondo's Event Director for the Manchester Grand Prix, said.
"The ambition is to create an open and clean field of play that focuses all attention on the action, rather than the match process around it."
A total of 10 past and present Olympic champions will be battling it out in the third Grand Prix of the year, including home favourite and London 2012 gold medal winner Jade Jones.
Jones controversially lost out to Spaniard Eva Calvo Gomez in the final of the women's under 57kg division in Manchester last year after judges ruled that a head-kick late in the bout had not landed sufficiently to score any points.
The competition at the Manchester Central Convention Complex begins tomorrow and continues until Sunday (October 26).
It will feature 237 competitors from 59 countries.
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October 2014: Ten Olympic champions headline line-up for World Taekwondo Grand Prix in Manchester
December 2013: Jones has to settle for silver after controversial final at World Taekwondo Grand Prix
August 2012: New scoring system removes controversy from taekwondo, claims WTF President
October 2010: New rules for taekwondo take immediate effect