Monday, March 19, 2018

IBJJF Referees rules meeting/course 2 April 2016 - 25 March 2017 - updated 17 Mar 2018


Updates made at the rules meeting on 17th March 2018 are in bold. The notes here are not designed to replace the rule book. I only note issues which I feel were discussed or explained at a level of detail not available from the rule book.

The leader for the meeting in 2016/2017 was named Gabriel. In 2018 it was run by Eduardo. In 2018, a test was given after the discussion, consisting of twenty multiple choice questions. As far as I know no one failed and everyone attending got a certificate.

Eduardo stated that there are scheduled to be changes to the rules after the 2018 IBJJF worlds. He was not at liberty to discuss them, but did say that changes around half guard were likely.


Referee Duties: General


The referee and athletes should not speak unless the referee is issuing one of the four verbal commands (COMBATE, PAROU, LUTE, FALTA) or for the athlete to communicate a medical issue or problem with his uniform. We do not wish to "break the wall". You do not have to ask or require the athletes to bow, shake hands, fist bump, etc. My coach Anthony Lange recommended to me a long time ago that if one athlete wants to shake your hand or bows to you, you should return the favour and then treat the other athlete exactly the same, to avoid any impression of favouritism.

If both athletes stand after a LUTE or FALTA command where the rules do not require it, call PAROU so that one does not get an unfair drop on the other. then COMBATE. You can do this in a number of situations, including reorienting the athletes if they look to be on their way out of bounds.

Positions are expected to be achieved in ascending order of dominance (and points). Thus voluntarily moving from mount to kneeride will not attract the 2 points for kneeride. If the opponent escapes mount to some sort of scramble and then is put back in kneeride, then the 2 points should be applied.

Similarly, no additional points should be awarded from voluntarily switching in kneeride from one side to the other, as no positional advantage has been achieved. Were the athlete to have kneeride on one side, the opponent push him off into a scramble from which he then regains kneeride on either side, he would then be entitled to the extra two kneeride points after 3 seconds of stabilisation, as he has had had to claw back the positional advantage.

The referee is expected to consider the age and rank of the athletes when considering whether to stop the fight because of possible or actual injury. A straight arm in an armbar might be enough to stop a kids' or adult white belt match, while an adult brown or black belt would be expected to know when to tap to avoid injury in any circumstance.

You can attempt to warn kids if they look to be about to do something illegal, but if they ignore the warning then you must disqualify them. DQ'ing a kid is something we want to avoid if possible.

Adults are expected to know the rules. We are not coaches, we are referees.

If an athlete appears to have suffered an injury but does not withdraw or verbally submit, you should stop the match at an appropriate point and ask the medical staff to decide whether or not the competitor is fit to continue. It is not our decision to make. We are not doctors, we are referees. IIRC Jacare won the Worlds or similar one year with an obviously broken arm.

If an athlete is bleeding while applying or in a submission hold so that the match needs to be stopped for the bleeding to be attended to, 2 points should be awarded to the submitter and the match restarted if/when the bleeding has been dealt with. Separate bleeding injuries are each entitled to two attempts by the medics to stop the bleeding.

The rule book says that the athletes should not communicate with the referee unless reporting a medical issue or a problem with their uniform, but we should use common sense for other situations. For example, if one of the athletes notices the scoreboard is not working or the clock not started, and reports it, that is a benefit to the competition and a penalty would be inappropriate.

If a competitor vomits (or has similar problems) during a match, he is deemed to have lost the match. If the competitor submits his opponent, or the time limit expires, and then he vomits, that has no bearing on the result. The match was over. If he got the submission or points, or the ref chose him if points were tied, his spewing is of no consequence to the result.

If the match finishes and one of the competitors runs off the mat to vomit in a more acceptable place like in a trashcan or on his towel, etc., it would be inappropriate for him to be penalised for exiting the match area before the result is announced. He is trying to assist the competition. be sensible. (I had a kid vomit on the mat once after winning a match, after I had raised his hand. He couldn't help it, but cleaning it up under time pressure wasn't easy. It would have been much better if he had managed to exit the mat first. As I say, not his fault.)

In the event of the scores being tied and both athletes showing similar levels of action and aggression, variance the number of submission attempts was recommended as a tiebreaker. Ultimately, though, the decision is that of the referee alone.

Referee Duties: Keep athletes within the match area

The takedown must start on blue (inside the match area). If the athlete starts with both feet on blue and takes it out to yellow (safety area), and stabilises in the safety area, the athlete can get the points. Then, PAROU, move them back onto blue, same position.

The athlete may start on blue, go out on yellow during the takedown and finish on blue. No need to stop or move them then.

If the opponent flees the match area to avoid a takedown or sweep: PAROU (stop the match), bring them back to the centre, apply a penalty to the one running away, and give 2 points to the athlete performing the takedown or sweep. Restart standing.

In the above case, if it is the second or third penalty recorded against the infractor, only the two points will be given to the opponent, not the additional advantage (for second penalty) or additional two points (for the third penalty). The penalty will be recorded against the infractor as any other.

A single leg takedown attempt where the opponent is forced out of the match area earns an advantage for the athlete attempting the takedown, no matter whether this was done accidentally or intentionally by either athlete. We were told this rule is likely to be changed.

Four situations where the action exits the match area while athlete 1 has athlete 2 caught in a submission:
  1. Athlete 2 deliberately exits the match area to avoid submitting to a legal hold - athlete 2 DQed.
  2. The athletes go out of bounds because athlete 2's movements are a legitimate defence to the submission - athlete 1 awarded 2 points, restart standing.
  3. Athlete 1 deliberately exits the match area in a attempt to get the 2 points - penalty to athlete 1, restart standing.
  4. The athletes go out of bounds accidentally - possible advantage to athlete 1, restart standing.

(I'd say case 2 would be more common than case 4).

Takedowns


The takedown must start on blue (inside the match area). If the athlete starts with both feet on blue and takes it out to yellow (safety area), and stabilises in the safety area, the athlete can get the points. Then, PAROU, move them back onto blue, same position.

The athlete may start on blue, go out on yellow during the takedown and finish on blue. No need to stop or move them then.

Takedowns that start from the knees in a continuous movement will not be awarded points. The takedown must start from a standing position. The opponent must be in a position to be taken down for takedown points to be awarded, i.e. at least one of his feet must be on the ground.

Pulling someone on top of you is not a takedown.

Takedowns are valid if the opponent is on one or both knees, provided you start from the feet.

If the opponent flees the match area to avoid a takedown or sweep: PAROU (stop the match), bring them back to the centre, apply a penalty to the one running away, and give 2 points to the athlete performing the takedown or sweep. Restart standing.

In the above case, if it is the second or third penalty recorded against the infractor, only the two points will be given to the opponent, not the additional advantage (for second penalty) or additional two points (for the third penalty). The penalty will be recorded against the infractor as any other.

A single leg takedown attempt where the opponent is forced out of the match area earns an advantage for the athlete attempting the takedown, no matter whether this was done accidentally or intentionally by either athlete. We were told this rule is likely to be changed.

On a takedown or sweep where the opponent ends up on his knees, a full back clinch is not necessary, but you must keep control with at least one knee on the mat, and be behind the line of the opponent's shoulders to get the points.

If the opponent goes to his knees or turtle of his own volition, this will not be regarded as a takedown. The athlete must force the opponent down himself to be awarded the takedown points.

If athlete 1 takes athlete 2 down and athlete 2 immediately performs a counter takedown, athlete 1 gets no points, athlete 2 gets 2 points for the counter takedown if he can stabilise for 3 seconds.

If athlete 1 takes athlete 2 down landing in guard or half guard and athlete 2 immediately sweeps athlete 1, athlete 1 will get an advantage for the takedown and athlete 2 will get two points for the sweep, if he can stabilise for 3 seconds.

If athlete 1 takes athlete 2 down landing in side control (or front control, mount, kneeride?) and athlete 2 rolls athlete 1 to attain the top position, athlete 1 will get an advantage for the takedown and athlete 2 will receive nether points nor and advantage.

A takedown landing in top half guard and stabilised for three seconds will receive 2 points for the takedown plus an advantage for the half guard.


Guard Passing


If an athlete attempts to pull guard, messes it up and the opponent makes some sort of passing move to a stabilised position, the opponent can earn 3 points for a guard pass.

The athlete must be presented with some sort of guard to pass, and the opponent have a chance to sweep, to be awarded guard pass points.

A guard pass should finish with the opponent on his back, in side control, front control, kneeride or mount. The double underhook flip to put the guy on his knees is not regarded as a passing attempt. If an athlete in his opponent's guard gets double underhooks under the legs and flips the opponent straight back in the air onto his knees, this does NOT constitute a guard pass. Neither 3 points nor an advantage should be awarded.

The advantage for the opponent going to his knees is given only when the opponent is forced to go to his knees to prevent his guard being passed. An advantage should not be given if the opponent goes to his knees when no passing pressure is applied.

A guard pass that ends up in a kneeride on the opponent's back will be awarded the 3 points  for the pass (plus 2 for kneeride?), provided the opponent is stabilised for the required 3 seconds.

A guard pass that ends up in reverse kneeride (facing the legs) or reverse mount and held for 3 seconds will accrue the 3 points for a guard pass. There will of course be no additional kneeride or mount points.

If an athlete has a lasso guard in place, but the opponent passes the guard to kneeride and stabilises it, the guard pass and kneeride points should be awarded. The lasso in its own does not constitute a guard.

If the the athlete has a spider guard foot on the bicep and keeps his leg extended and keeps the opponent away from him, and the opponent gets to kneeride but does not remove the foot on bicep, this is NOT treated as a guard pass or kneeride. If the athlete has a foot on the bicep but allows the leg to bend and the opponent to come to side control with chest contact, this WILL be treated as a guard pass and the 3 points awarded after 3 seconds of stabilisation.


Knee on Belly (Kneeride)


A guard pass that ends up in a kneeride on the opponent's back will be awarded the 3 points  for the pass (plus 2 for kneeride?), provided the opponent is stabilised for the required 3 seconds.



Mount and Back Mount


Mount, back mount, and back control (with hooks) are all separate positions, and achieving each from any of the others with a 3 second control will incur an additional four points.

If you have back mount held for 3 seconds and got 4 points, and the opponent then gets to his knees and you get back control from there with both hooks in and can hold for three seconds, you will get an additional 4 points for the back control.

If you get sidemount, the opponent on his side, first up, this is counted as a mount after 3 seconds. If he goes belly down or face up from there, do not treat that as an additional mount. If he then goes from face down to face up, or face up to face down, and you hold that mount or back mount for 3 seconds, that is an additional 4 points.

If he goes from underneath mount to sidemount, then back to mount, treat it as only one mount.

Stepping the foot over from side control and immediately pulling the opponent into back control does not constitute a sidemount or a mount.

If the bottom athlete has one arm under a leg in mount, but the opponent's knee is above his shoulder - this can be an advantage. WAIT to see if he gets his leg down below the shoulder for the points before giving the advantage. Similarly if the opponent has both arms under the legs (advantage) but there is a possibility of the top guy getting one leg back under for the 4 points.

No points for a mounted triangle, you must unlock the legs and get to a proper mount for points, or close to for an advantage. A mounted triangle will probably deserve a submission attempt advantage in any case.

Sitting on the opponents' chest with both legs out straight above his head is not a mount. No points or advantages.


Back Control


Mount, back mount, and back control (with hooks) are all separate positions, and achieving each from any of the others with a 3 second control will incur an additional four points.

If you have back mount held for 3 seconds and got 4 points, and the opponent then gets to his knees and you get back control from there with both hooks in and can hold for three seconds, you will get an additional 4 points for the back control.

Removing and then replacing hooks in back control does not accrue additional points or advantages.

A sweep which ends up on top of the kneeling opponent's back with both hooks in could be treated as a sweep followed by back control (2 + 4 points).

A sweep or arm drag which ends up on top on the opponent's back with one hook in could be treated as a sweep (2 points) plus an advantage for the incomplete back control (wait to see if he gets the second hook in for 4 points before awarding the advantage!)


Sweep


A sweep which ends up on top of the kneeling opponent's back with both hooks in could be treated as a sweep followed by back control (2 + 4 points).

A sweep or arm drag which ends up on top on the opponent's back with one hook in could be treated as a sweep (2 points) plus an advantage for the incomplete back control (wait to see if he gets the second hook in for 4 points before awarding the advantage!)

To get an advantage for a sweep, you must get on top for a moment at least. If you looked at it frame by frame as in a video, there must be a frame where you are on top to get the advantage. Knocking him over but remaining seated is insufficient.


Advantages


You never EARN or ACHIEVE an advantage. Advantages are for point scoring moves or submission attempts that fail and/or are incomplete. Getting to half guard with 3 seconds of control is the only exception.

Advantages given for failed submission attempts should only be applied when in your judgement the sub is taken close to its limit, but there is no tap and the opponent escapes, or similar.

Facial expressions are not a yardstick for how close the submission comes to the limit. Whether or not the opponent defends the submission attempt is not a consideration.

Multiple different submission attempts within the same position could incur multiple advantages if they place the opponent in real danger. You could try a bow and arrow choke, then switch to a RNC, then an armbar from back control and incur an advantage for each. Similarly for armbar, figure 4 and wristlock while the  opponent is caught in your triangle.

Do not award advantages until there is NO chance of the athlete achieving the position, pass, sweep, etc. If an athlete gets a hook in in back control, he is entitled to an advantage. But do not award it yet! He may still get the other hook in eventually and then earn the points. The example was given where a guy got a hook in from the back, switched off and performed a twister roll, and then got proper back control with both hooks. That should be 4 points. No advantage should have been given for the initial hook, as it was treated as only the prelude to the full back take. Mistakes here might be understandable.

Getting top position when the opponent gets deep half guard, reverse half guard or Z guard will not be awarded an advantage. It should be chest to chest control or half mount with both knees free and on the mat to gain an advantage.  An incomplete knee slice pass is insufficient. Who has control? Is the criterion.

If an athlete pulls regular half guard and the opponent stabilises in the top position, the opponent is entitled to an advantage.

If one gets an advantage for half guard on one side and after a scramble, etc., ends up in half guard on the other side and stabilises, a second advantage should be awarded.


Fouls and Penalties


The Baratoplata can be performed as like either a kimura (legal at all levels) or as a bicep crush (legal only at brown and black belt).


Baratoplata

The (Victor) Estima footlock can be performed as either a straight ankle lock (legal for 16-17 years and all adults) or a toe hold (legal only at brown and black belt).


Estima lock

(In both cases, telling them apart can be difficult and possibly contentious)

One can be awarded cumulative points for successive point scoring moves ending in a stabilised position, e.g. guard pass to mount gets 7 points. They are also entitled to cumulative advantages if the final position is not held for the full 3 seconds - 2 advantages in that example.

If an athlete's gi is rendered unusable, give him a time limit, say 5 minutes, but give him more time if he is actively trying to find a replacement gi. We do not want to DQ an athlete who is sincerely trying to find a replacement gi.

For illegal grips - the action should be stopped, the perpetrator penalised, and the athletes restarted in the position that occurred before the illegal grip was applied. If the illegal grip resulted in a sweep before the action was stopped, the sweep should be disallowed and the action restarted in the position that occurred before the sweep. The illegal grip should not be replaced by a legal grip. You should restart without the grip in place. To do otherwise would give the infractor an unfair advantage - he may have just managed to get that illegal grip, and to give him a legal one will put him in a better position, unfairly.

If an athlete is caught in a submission hold and uses an illegal grip to release himself from the submission hold. the athlete must be DQ'ed. We cannot restart a match with an athlete caught in a submission, so the DQ is the only option.

Stepping on the inside of the skirt of the opponent's gi is treated as passing a limb inside the gi, and incurs a penalty. Similarly, stepping inside the collar behind the opponent's neck to hold him down on the mat is illegal and incurs a penalty.

Any grip on the opponent's uniform or your own uniform in nogi matches is illegal and incurs a penalty.

20 seconds are allowed for an athlete to retie a belt, 20 + 20 seconds if they are also wearing the green and yellow belt and need to retie both belts.

An athlete deliberately turning toward the other leg while applying a straight footlock should be DQed, as this is illegal. However, if the other athlete initiates the turn while attempting to escape, that is fine. There may be point where such a move could be regarded as a deliberate attempt to put the footlocker in an illegal position, which would result in the person being footlocked getting DQed. If the guy is already on his side when you apply the footlock to the top leg that is OK. Only rolling when the footlock is already in place is contentious.

Knee reaping


Knee reaping - if neither athlete has a submission in place, the DQ should not occur unless the foot passes across the outside line of the body - they should still receive a penalty if the foot crosses the body's midline and have their position reset.

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. A match can never be restarted with an athlete caught in a submission, so we cannot move the offending foot to a legal position and restart. Thus a DQ is the only option.

Knee reaping - You should stop the fight (PAROU), apply the penalty, return the foot to the position it was the moment before the reap, and then restart the fight (COMBATE).

Knee reaping - always try to stop at a penalty stage before a DQ position is reached. If they have a submission in place, this will not be possible, and the immediate DQ applies once the foot crosses the midline, or the foot gets stuck.

Before the 2017 seminar, I thought knee reaping was a lot more cut and dried than I do now. I had thought that any movement with the legs towards inside ashi garami or the saddle / 411 / honey hole would be an automatic DQ. But such positions are fine provided that the lower part of the "reaped" leg is not stuck between armpit and hip. If it is above the shoulder line or the arm, or the foot is free or held in front of the chest, there is no reap.

Legbars and toeholds from the saddle on the near leg would be legal as well, provided the near leg does not get caught between your hip and shoulder. If you legbar from here and shove the foot under your armpit, that may be a DQ if the knees stays reaped and the foot is then trapped between shoulder and hip.

Following this logic, the Texas Cloverleaf from the saddle, and Danaher's "Double Trouble" control from the saddle where the far leg is overhooked but not the near, could be legal. Unless you regard it as being trapped there by the other leg, or temporarily trapped during the transition. Not 100% sure about this.




Texas Cloverleaf AKA American Knot. I had the Saddle/411 on March's left leg, but his left foot was never trapped between my shoulder and hip, unless you regard it as being trapped there by his other leg. I had trapped his right leg there by overhooking it with my left arm, but that is not illegal. Legal hold at brown/black belt level? Wouldn't bank on every ref recognising that in the heat of battle.

The rabbit hole here runs pretty deep. Any notion that you don't need to know all the cool leglocks because they are IBJJF-illegal doesn't stack up. If anything, you have to understand them better than you might otherwise to be able to adjudicate about them correctly.


Stephan Kesting and Rob Berniacki go through IBJJF legal leglocks. Still some grey areas here


Penalty for a hand or foot on the face - face is regarded as area containing eyes, nose and mouth. There should be no penalty for such contact with the chin, forehead, of side of the head.

White belts - kids and adults - are not permitted to jump to closed guard. Flying armbars and triangles are also considered as jumping closed guard and are similarly proscribed for white belts. All coloured belts, both kids and adults, are allowed to jump closed guard with no penalty.

Upon applying the fourth penalty to an athlete, do not bother applying the penalty, just PAROU and signal the disqualification - unless there are three referees.

If one of the penalties was for exiting the match area to avoid a takedown or sweep, incurring a penalty and two points to the opponent, this is treated as part of the standard ascending hierarchy of penalties. In thar particular case, the additional advantage or 2 points to the non-infractor for the second and third penalties would not be awarded.

An example:

First penalty, for an illegal grip - penalty only.

Second penalty, for exiting the match area to avoid a takedown - for other serious fouls, this would incur a penalty and advantage to the opponent. But this specific foul incurs a penalty and two points (no additional advantage).

Third penalty - stalling - the usual step in the hierarchy, penalty and two points to the opponent.

Fourth penalty - disqualification. You could signal a fourth penalty before the DQ, but it is redundant.

Stalling is not considered when the athlete is in a correct scoring mount, back mount, or back control. However, if from back control with hooks in, then moves to a body triangle or crosses their feet or another non-scoring back control position, and stalls (no attacks) from those positions for 20 seconds, they can be penalised for stalling.

An athlete should not be penalised for stalling while caught in a submission hold.

Do not set the timer on your watch or similar to start the 20 second count for stalling. The staller or their coach may notice this and use it to their advantage.

A "double guard pull" does not occur unless both athletes pull guard simultaneously. If they pull guard simultaneously, whoever gets top position first will get an advantage.

If athlete A pulls guard, then athlete B pulls guard as well in response, this is not a double guard pull. In this situation, were athlete A to come on top and stabilise, he would be awarded 2 points for a sweep. Were athlete B to come on top, he would get neither points nor an advantage.

If there is a double guard pull, and one athlete stands up and then sits back down, the double guard pull and the associated 20 second period no longer apply. The example discussed at the course were if one athlete stood up to apply a footlock on the other.

If both remain sitting after a double guard pull while a footlock is being applied, and the opponent eventually escapes the footlock but both remain sitting for the full 20 seconds, the standup and penalty to both will then apply. An advantage may be given for the footlock submission attempt.




2017 group - some significant Jiu Jitsu talent here


2018 Certificate - Yes, that's 10 out of 10 for the test :)


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