Explanation of the Rules
The unique rule set in this tournament aims at encouraging competitors to take risks, push the action and go for submissions. This creates an exciting and viewer friendly event that is pleasing to watch even for the non-practitioner.
The rules intend to increase viewership and provide quality entertainment while remaining true as possible to the spirit of grappling: control in ways that lead to a submission.
We set out to promote the entertainment interest of submission grappling. The purest form of competition would be a no time-limit submission format. But it is not fan-friendly for it has the potential to last too long and the competitors will have to slow the pace down to avoid exhaustion. This can lead to long and slow matches.
The matches in this event have five three-minute rounds. There is a 60-second break in between rounds. Putting a time limit on the match quickens the pace and provides a sense of urgency. The break allows the competitors to rest and adjust their strategy in order to keep the match competitive.
The competitor does not get points for takedowns or sweeps. This will discourage a battle of transitions with no threat of a submission. It also discourages stalling, excessive circling, and avoidance of engagement.
There’s a 10 second stalling rule and a penalty if you back step for four or more steps.
1 point is awarded for base control. Base control is when a competitor lifts his opponent completely off the mat for three second. This includes standing up in an opponent’s guard, and when an opponent has your back. This is to reward competitors for putting their opponent in a position to be slammed.
2 points will be awarded for side control position regardless of the method the competitor uses to get there. A guard pass is not necessary to score. Points are awarded for stabilizing the dominant position, not for passing guard.
Knee-on-belly and north/south positions are considered types of side control. The competitor will not be awarded extra points for transitioning to these positions from traditional side control.
3 points are awarded for full mount.
4 points for back mount. The reason more points are awarded for back mount is because it provides opportunities for higher percentage submissions.
There are no advantage points in order to put an emphasis on scoring points and submissions with clean techniques.
The competitor with the most points in a round will win that round. A submission will end the match. In the case of a tie after round five, it will go into overtime.
There are three overtime rounds. A competitor will begin in one of two attacking positions, the back mount or the armbar position. A coin toss will determine who goes first. The back begins with full seatbelt grip and both hooks. The armbar position starts with hooking both the arm that is being attacked and a leg. Both competitors will take turns in a dominant position. If neither submits, the process repeats in the next round. If only one competitor submits, he win the match. If both competitors get a submission, whoever got it the fastest wins.
Escape times are only relevant if all overtime rounds end in a tie. In this case, the competitor with the fasted combined escape time wins.
If the defending competitor submits the competitor who starts in an attacking position. The match is over.
What constitutes an escape? Back to side control or mount is an escape. If a submission is in place it’s live. It’s live as long as your seatbelt (over/under grip) is in place, even if you lose you hooks. Armbar position to back is still live because it’s a transition to a superior position. It is live as long as the defender is threatened with a submission.
The overtime period forces the competitors to demonstrate submission skills rather than the positional skills that led to the tie. The fact that it forces a winner to every match increases overall spectator appeal.
All competitors must wear long sleeve rash guards and spats (leggings). Shorts are allowed to be worn over the spats. This way the event will be recognized as a submission grappling event at first glance. The uniform also creates a higher probability of a submission by absorbing sweat and creating more friction. This makes it more difficult to slip out of holds.
This event offers higher entertainment value and will be a success if the non-practitioner can enjoy watching it.