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From the first year I started to teach Taekwondo in Burlington Vermont, getting my students (and other Blue Wave Students) to tournaments has been a problem. We host one tournament a year, all the rest of our tournaments are several hours away, and typically a night in a hotel room. Most families are not interested in making this kind of commitment.
A few years ago, several Vermont Taekwondo schools joined the USSSA (U Triple S, A) A multi-sport organizations with over 5 million athletes combined. Similar to the AAU, they offer both Olympic Style Sparring and (continuous) point sparring. Initially the USSSA tournaments in this area were all point sparring, which meant if we attended these tournamets the divisions would be thin. However a couple of schools have now switched over to Olympic, and there is now some additional competition for us.
For our recreational students who want to try out competition, this is a great fit. For our more serious athletes, we continue to attend AAU events (including nationals) as well as USAT events when possible. Being involved with 3 different organizations is a hassle, but necessary given where we live, and various needs of the students.
This last Saturday we held an officials seminar with Master Steve Barrett of the USSSA, and followed it up with match games. This let the officials get some practice in, and the athletes get some matches with the electronic scoring.
There were about 20 participants in the officials seminar, and about 30 in the match games. The photos above were taken by one of my students fathers.