ComBATON was originally called Baton but the name was changed shortly after the patent was issued in 1998. The name was derived by combining the words combat and baton due to common letters. It is a combat game with the baton as the focal point.
The first practice was staged on November 20th, 2004 in Lake Mary, Florida. The inventor and patent holder, Steve Blanton, was looking for someone to find someone to help develop the game when he met David Turnbull.
David Turnbull, president of Florida A.A.U. Tae Kwon Do Association and owner of two schools in the Lake Mary area, understood Steve's vision. "It was like striking a vein of gold", according to Steve. David had an unusually large lot of young black belts, some with 2nd and 3rd degrees, that were willing to play the game and help develop it.
There were 10 or 11 players that showed up for that first practice. Only a few basic rules were discussed before the players took to the field. David was also a player as well as taking over the coaching chores while Steve officiated. "It was amazing to see how instinctive the players interacted in a team concept," Steve later said. "They took to it naturally."
From that day forward, David has been a prominent force in the development of the sport. Another team formed in Spring Hill, Florida under the supervision of Brian Schneider, an owner and operator of a school there known as TaeKwonDo America. Paul and Ginger Allen got involved with their school at the RDV sports complex in Maitland, Florida. Other schools began to join in as well.
It is the League's goal to become an international sport with a world playoff system. The league's mission is to bring the martial arts community together under one roof and to be a positive example of cooperation between disciplines. Respect for others, courtesy, discipline, and honor are essential parts of the code of sportsmanship comBATON holds dear. Are you game enough to play?