Taekwondo competitions during the Tokyo Games will take place at Makuhari Messe Hall. The convention center, located in the Chiba prefecture, will also host fencing and wrestling events for the Olympics.
Field of play
The 2016 Rio Olympics featured a brand-new mat design for taekwondo competitions - instead of the traditional square shape, the combat area will now take place within an octagon. The octagonal design, which reduces the area of the play, is intended to create more continuous action. (Previously, defensive fighters were able to use the corners of the square combat area to stall the match and delay engaging their opponent.)
The mat itself will be square shaped, with dimensions no smaller than 10 meters by 10 meters (roughly 33 feet by 33 feet) and no larger than 12 meters by 12 meters (39 feet by 39 feet). The octagonal combat area within the center of the mat is approximately 8 meters (26 feet) in diameter, with each side of the octagon having a length of approximately 3.3 meters (11 feet). The safety area is the space between the boundary line of the combat area and the outer line of the mat, and is required to be a different color than the combat area.
If a contestant steps across the boundary line (leaving the combat area), the referee stops the match. If the contestant unintentionally crossed the boundary line, the referee will declare "joo-eui," or a verbal warning. The second time this occurs, "kyong-go," or a half-point penalty, is declared.
The surface of a taekwondo mat is similar to that of a wrestling mat, and the color scheme must avoid giving a harsh reflection or tiring the eyesight of the athletes or the spectators.