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HOW THE NBL WORKS
The National Blackbelt League (NBL) is the only international sport karate league based upon a series of open tournaments that rank and qualify blackbelt (and some underbelt) level players to become the official sport karate world champions at the year-end championship at “Super Grands World Games”. NBL rankings are free (no membership fee) to all players who attend and place in NBL divisions at NBL tournaments. NBL tournaments have divisions for all belt ranks however, and every NBL tournament is also sanctioned “AAA” with Sport Karate International (SKIL). (SKIL ranks both blackbelts and under blackbelts), so all belt ranks following SKIL can get the most points by competing in NBL tournaments.The NBL season is January 1 to September 30 and SKIL season is July 1 to June 30.

The NBL ensures true world championship status to players of the sport with a unique system of conference competition leading up to the Super Grands (SG) to crown each year’s world champions. Each NBL Regional Conference generally consists of tournaments within short driving distances and may have up to one (1) tournament per month during the season for a maximum of six (6) tournaments per conference per season. There are also National Conferences that consist of up to six (6) of the Regional Conferences’ largest tournaments. These National Conferences are for individuals and teams that want a variety of competition by traveling longer distances to different areas, instead of just one regional area, and for those who want to earn a higher seeded (preferred) position for SG. The competition in each of the conferences is a points race within that conference that ranks competitors in our website by conference during the competition season.

An NBL Conference Commissioner attends each conference tournament to represent the NBL, evaluate the tournament and process the players’ results. An NBL Rules Arbitrator also attends each tournament to conduct the rules meeting, direct the Center Referees and render all final decisions regarding rules of play and penalties according to Sport Karate Int’l Tournament Alliance (SKITA) rules of play.
As a player, your participation in the NBL will provide the best recognition at an affordable cost to achieve true sport karate world championship status. We hope to see you as part of NBL this season.


2016 NBL DIVISIONS

HOW TO QUALIFY FOR THE NBL
SUPER GRANDS WORLD GAMES
Super Grands World Games Info
1. TOURNAMENT SEASON -The NBL season to earn ranking points and qualify for SG runs from January through September (October). (See SKIL information for SKIL season July 1 to June 30).

2. GETTING RANKED - When you compete in NBL tournaments you will automatically receive points for any NBL divisional win up to 8th place [4th place for NBL 10 point sanctioned tournaments]. These points will count toward the corresponding standard 120 NBL ranked division(s) however these points will only count in the rankings of the NBL conference(s) that the tournament is part of. Rankings are published on our website (nblskil.com) starting June 1 each year. At the end of the NBL season competitors placing within the top five (5) NBL ranked positions in any of the NBL standard 120 divisions of any conference will automatically qualify to compete at and be seeded according to this placement at the Super Grands World Games in those corresponding divisions. The higher a competitors’ ranking, the higher their seeded positioning in the double eliminations at SG. National conference ranked players get preferred placement (forms) or byes (sparring), if any, in each round. (See Appendix O and P of a SKITA Handbook). A competitor can enter the SG as a seeded player representing any conference(s) that he/she is ranked in at the end of the season. He/she may compete in as many divisions at SG that he/she qualifies for (Also see “Wild Card Seeding” below). Qualifying competitors will be notified by mail in early November and their names shall appear in the final rankings that will be posted on our website in early November.
3. DIVISIONS - The NBL has 120 official divisions for juniors, adults and seniors, as listed below. The Super Grands has the same 120 divisions to determine the world champions of each division. All NBL National and some Regional Conference tournaments have all the official 120 divisions. Some of the Regional Conference tournament have a scaled down version of 65 or more divisions. Players may
compete in as many different divisions at an NBL tournament as they qualify for.
4. RATINGS VERIFICATION / ERRORS - Errors in prior published rankings and verification of final rankings to be announced in early October must be done by point chart and must be received by the NBL between September 1 and October 10 (or within one week after the last NBL tournament). A player that wants any errors corrected after that date will be charged $25 per change. (See SKIL/NBL point chart in website (nblskil.com).
5. WILD CARD SEEDING - The SG also offers wild card seeding for each title division. This is a run-off between all non-ranked players who elect to compete in a pre run-off at SG immediately before each division starts. This is open competition for any player. The winner earns a fifth place seed (lowest ranked placement) for SG eliminations play, which immediately follows the wild card run-off.
6. COMPETITORS’ AGES - Competitors can only compete in their proper age division. NBL players must enter divisions based upon the age they were on January 1 at 12:00 am at all NBL tournaments and the SG excepting that players who will be turning 18, 35 or 45 during the circuit season are allowed to move up and compete in those divisions starting at the beginning of the season, or may compete at the same age all season that they were on the first day the season started - see SKITA Rulebook V.B.4.
7. RULES - The SG and most NBL tournaments follow Sport Karate International Tournament Alliance Rules. (See the latest edition of the SKITA Handbook or “Rules at a Glance” on our website (nblskil.com) and click on SKITA.)
8. SUPER GRANDS WORLD GAMES - The SG is a six (6) day tournament held in November, December or January in a different world class location each year. It is held simultaneously with the Sport Karate Amateur Internationals, which is the final championship for Sport Karate International (SKIL) ranked players for both blackbelts and under blackbelts. The SG is a closed competition that is only open to seeded players (players with a ranking), or those players winning a wild card position at the tournament. Championship awards in each division include the NBL World Championship blackbelts and the coveted specially-struck world champion rings. Over-sized certificate plaques are awarded for the Sport Karate Amateur Internationals champions. The Super Grands World Games/Sport Karate Amateur Internationals ends with the NBL and Sport Karate International Awards Banquet. The NBL Super Grands World Games champions and Sport Karate Amateur Internationals champions are featured on our website each year.

NBL HALL OF FAME AWARDS
1. SUPER GRANDS HALL OF FAME AWARDS - The NBL Super Grands Hall of Fame players’ awards are determined by the most points obtained in SG competition by a player that competes in NBL divisions. Players receive 3 points for 1st place, 2 points for 2nd place, 1 point for 3rd. The awards categories include junior male and female competitor of the year (2), adult male and female competitor of the year (2), and team of the year and runner-up team of the year (2). An adult HOF can be won by either an adult (18+) player or a senior (35+ or 45+) player, but seniors will only have adult (18+) divisional placements used toward their total. However a senior’s point total from their wins will have substituted any senior (35+ or 45+ divisional wins for any single equivalent adult division if their placement was higher in the senior division. The team award does not include points from team sparring, unless the sparring team was registered with their team name. If that is the case and if the team places in the top three (3) positions, then the team gets 3, 2 or 1 point toward its tally, depending upon the place it took. Ties are broken, first by 4th to 8th place wins, second by person with the most 1st places, 2nd places, etc. Winners’ notifications and Hall of Fame plaques are sent by mail.
2. EXECUTIVE HALL OF FAME AWARDS - HOF awards for executives are chosen by the NBL executive office based upon dedication to the NBL. These awards may include: promoter, tournament, commissioner, arbitrator, official, woman, man, photo-journalist and conference of the year. They receive their award plaques at the Sport Karate International Banquet at the Super Grands.

WORLD’S TOP 25 SPORT KARATE SCHOOLS AWARDS
Based upon a schools’ students wins at both the Super Grands World Games and Sport Karate Amateur Internationals, the top 25 sport karate schools are tabulated and announced every year. Each of the winning schools will receive an official letter from the Sport Karate International executive offices verifying their accomplishment. This letter can be submitted to various media in their area for exposure and due recognition. The point structure in determining the world’s top 25 schools is as follows. Super Grands and Amateur Internationals: 1st place - 3 points, 2nd - 2, 3rd - 1. The school award tallies do not include points from team competition. Only students who are members of and train at a single school’s location, and who legitimately indicate the school and one of the instructors at that school location on the front side of their players’ card for Super Grands/Amateur Internationals registration will count toward that school’s tally of points. The top schools will be sent a Hall of Fame plaque after the Super Grands. Different school locations cannot be combined together as one school for points or awards. Additional rules and regulations governing NBL Hall of Fame Awards. NO EXCEPTIONS.
1. Verification of Awards - Submission of points is not required, but any verification of points requested for the "HOF" or “Top 25 School Awards” must be received within two weeks after the last day of the SG. We will not be responsible for verification that is not received.
2. Phone Calls - Absolutely no phone calls will be accepted, excepting return phone calls from the NBL executive offices.
3. Changes after publicizing - Reserving the right of a rare exception, NBL will not change awards after being announced or published even if an error is found.