The Rules of BJJ & Grappling Competitions

Andrew Raynor
Andrew Raynor Dover NH

This is a pretty good summary – a few details missing but that’s understandable considering the normal IBJJF rules meeting goes for about 3 hours.

I have been refereeing for eight years – being a ref obligates one to also be a total pedant where the rules are concerned.

Full length spats are NOT legal for no gi in IBJJF. shorts must be higher than the knee. I’ve seen several competitors made to change because of this.

The knee reaping rules are more complicated than the presentation indicates. Some violations involve only a penalty, others an immediate DQ.

From my notes from the 2016 IBJJF rules meeting I attended:

Knee reaping – if neither athlete has a submission in place, the DQ should not occur unless the foot passes across the far outside line of the body – they should still receive a penalty if the foot crosses the body’s midline, and have their position reset. You should stop the fight (PAROU), apply the penalty, fix the errant foot OFF the hip, and then restart the fight (COMBATE).

Knee reaping – if either athlete has a submission in place, crossing the foot over the midline of the body results in disqualification for the perpetrator. This applies to both the athlete applying the submission and the athlete caught in it.

If your opponent deliberately puts your foot in an illegal position, he, not you, will be DQ’ed. If it happens unintentionally, he will be penalised.

It is important to note that the first serious foul gets a penalty as well as a warning, and this goes on the scoreboard. This is important because if the two athletes have the same number of points and advantages, the winner will be the athlete with the lower number of penalties. The second penalty will get another penalty point plus an advantage given to the other athlete, etc.

Please do not construe my comments as trashing this fine effort. While not sufficiently detailed for referees, this is an excellent guideline for competitors. I would encourage all to read the latest version of the rules in fine detail to get a full understanding.

Andrew Raynor
Andrew Raynor

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