In the Dojang
Because the beginner has not yet developed the proper technique required for breaking, students do not begin board breaking until they have attained the rank of blue belt.
The only materials allowed for breaking are plastic practice boards and pine (or spruce) boards that are 1 x 12 cut 10" wide.
At a Tournament
Brown and black belts may enter the breaking division at tournaments. Brown and black belts compete separately as do men and women. (Junior divisions may be grouped at the tournament director's discretion.) Competitors must enter with a single technique. The exception is for techniques executed while in the air. All breaks performed while both of the competitor's feet are off the ground will be judged as a single entry. Simultaneous techniques must be executed in the air to be considered a single entry. (A folllow-through technique, i.e. breaking separated boards, is considered a single technique.) Competitors are allowed 1 attempt to break. If any boards should remain unbroken, the judges must award a score of less than 1 point. Competitors are scored on a scale of 0 to 10 based on the following guidelines: Power, Difficulty, Confidence, Concentration and Technique.
Tournament competitors supply their own wood boards. (1 x 12 pine or spruce cut 10" wide) These boards must be free of cracks or "center-core" (A "center-core" board has a brown, pulpy material following the direction of the grain, weakening the board. This material often runs "inside" the board. Therefore, a diligent breaking competitor will also observe the cut ends of boards for a soft, brown spot.)