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See also: Submission Only Rules and Frequently Asked Questions


General Rules

1) No unsportsmanlike conduct will be allowed.  You may be disqualified or ejected for unsportsmanlike conduct. The referees will be shown maximum respect at all times.  Their decisions are final and will not be overturned.
2) No striking, biting, eye gouging (includes chin to eye), head butting, small joint manipulation (finger or toe locks), hair pulling, grabbing the windpipe, or ear pulling will be permitted.
3) No slamming allowed. Illegal slamming will be defined as slamming your opponent to escape submissions and/or to pass the guard; or standing from the guard and/or jumping from a standing position to slam your opponent. Slamming will result in an automatic DQ. There are no exceptions to this rule. Takedowns are NOT considered slams, but you must deliver your opponent safely to the mat.
4) No infectious skin diseases (such as ringworm, staph, and MRSA) or open wounds will be permitted.  No lubricants, oils, or lotions of any kind will be permitted on any part of the body or clothing.
5) Competitors will be allowed to continue grappling anywhere on the matted area, provided they don’t interfere with another match.  If the competitors near the edge of the mat, they will be restarted from the same position, unless the referee is unable to duplicate the position for any reason.  In case the referee is unable to duplicate the position, the competitors will restart from a standing position.
6) If a competitor flees the ring when a submission is locked in and the competitor is obviously fleeing to avoid submission, he or she will be automatically disqualified.
7) Women will not be permitted to compete in Men’s divisions. Men will not be permitted to compete in Women’s divisions. Teens (13+) may compete in Men’s or Women’s divisions with permission from their parent or coach. Men over age 30 are eligible to compete in the 30+ divisions, but may also compete in the Men’s divisions.
8) In Juvenile (ages 4-17) matches, the referee has the discretion to call a match if the referee believes that a submission will cause immediate damage or injury, especially in the beginner divisions.

Note: U.S. Grappling reserves the right to expand or combine divisions to accommodate competitors.


Brazilian Jiu Jitsu (Gi) Rules

1) The only submission below the waist that is legal for white, blue, and purple belts are straight ankle locks (AKA straight footlock).
2) Kneebars, figure-four toeholds, and compression locks (AKA “slicers”, “crushers”) are legal in brown and black belt divisions only.
3) Heel hooks, reaping the knee, twisting knee locks, “flying scissor” takedowns, and neck cranks are never legal in gi matches.
4) All adult competitors must compete using the rank awarded to them by their Brazilian Jiu Jitsu instructor. Competitors will not be permitted to compete at a higher belt level than their current belt.
5) Wristlocks and any submissions below the waist are illegal in all Juvenile divisions.
6) BJJ divisions require a clean, properly fitted Jiu Jitsu or Judo Gi. Mouthpiece and groin protection are optional, but recommended.

Match Lengths

Men, 30+, and Women Gi Divisions

  • White Belt: 5 minutes
  • Blue Belt: 6 minutes
  • Purple Belt: 7 minutes
  • Brown Belt: 8 minutes
  • Black Belt: 10 minutes
Juvenile (4-17) Gi Divisions

  • Beginner: 4 Minutes
  • Intermediate: 4 Minutes
  • Advanced: 4 Minutes
  • Teen Blue Belt: 6 Minutes
Super Fights and Pro Divisions Finals

  • 10 Minutes

Submission Grappling (No Gi) Rules

1) The only submissions below the waist legal for novice, beginner, intermediate, and 30+ divisions are straight ankle locks (AKA straight footlock) and kneebars.
2) All submissions are allowed in Advanced Men’s and Women’s no-gi divisions. Neck cranks, spine locks, bicep/calf slicers (crushers), and flying scissors takedowns are legal ONLY in Advanced Men’s and Women’s no-gi divisions.
3) No grabbing of any clothing, including your own, will be permitted.
4) Anyone who is a blue belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu MUST compete in intermediate or higher, and anyone who is a purple belt or higher in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu MUST compete in the advanced division. There will be no exceptions to this rule.
5) Wristlocks and any submissions below the waist are illegal in all Juvenile divisions.
6) Gis are optional for submission grappling divisions. Mouthpiece and groin protection are optional, but recommended. Shirts must be tight fitting; rashguards are recommended.

Match Lengths

Men, 30+, and Women No Gi Divisions

  • Novice: 4 minutes
  • Beginner: 4 minutes
  • Intermediate: 5 minutes
  • Advanced: 6 minutes
Juvenile (4-17) No Gi Divisions

  • Beginner: 4 Minutes
  • Intermediate: 4 Minutes
  • Advanced: 4 Minutes
Super Fights and Pro Divisions Finals

  • 10 Minutes


Scoring

  • Takedown or Throw = 2 points
  • Sweep = 2 points
  • Pass opponent’s guard = 3 points
  • Mounted position = 4 points
  • Back Mount with Hooks in = 4 points
  • Back Mount knees on ground, opponent flat on stomach = 4 points (Additional 4 points are scored by putting the hooks in from this position)
  • Body triangle from the back = 4 points
  • Knee on stomach = 2 points

1) To gain points for a position, the competitor must show clear control for 3 seconds (including takedowns and throws).
2) Advantages are used as a tiebreaker.  The referee will score advantages in the event of a near submission or score (near takedown, near guard pass, etc).
3) No Stalling: Referee will issue warnings for the 1st offense of stalling (i.e. backing out of the guard without engaging, hugging the opponent’s hips inside the guard, backing away from the opponent out of bounds, etc). A 2nd offense will result in an advantage for the staller’s opponent. A 3rd offense will result in a 2 point deduction. A 4th offense will result in a disqualification.
4) If a competitor flees the ring to avoid a takedown and it is obvious that the competitor is going to be taken down, his or her opponent will be awarded two points.
5) There are no points for reversals. It is a person’s obligation to escape a bad position (mount, rear mount, or side control). No points are awarded for these escapes.


Adult Weight Classes

Men / 30+

  • Rooster: Up to 122.5
  • Super Feather: 122.6 – 135.5
  • Feather: 135.6 – 149.0
  • Light: 149.1 – 162.0
  • Middle: 162.1 – 175.5
  • Medium Heavy: 175.6 – 188.5
  • Heavy: 188.6 – 202.0
  • Super Heavy: 202.1 – 215.0
  • Ultra Heavy: Over 215.0
Women

  • Super Feather: Up to 113.50
  • Feather: 113.6 – 124.5
  • Light: 124.6 – 135.5
  • Middle: 135.6 – 147.0
  • Medium Heavy: 147.1 – 158.0
  • Heavy: Over 158.0

All adult and 30+ belt and skill divisions offer absolute (open weight) classes. There are no absolute (open weight) classes for juveniles.


Adult and 30+ No Gi Skill Levels

Skill levels are determined by time spent training in any comparable grappling art. Any wrestler with extensive experience (3 or more years in high school, or any collegiate experience) must enter at least intermediate no-gi. Judo, Sambo, and MMA experience count the same as BJJ.

Adult Divisions (Men and Women)
Novice: Up to 9 months (white belts only).
Beginner: Up to 2 years (white belts only).
Intermediate: 2 – 5 years, or blue belt.
Advanced: Over 5 years, or purple belt and above.

30+ Men
Beginner: Up to 2 years (white belts only).
Intermediate: 2 – 5 years, or blue belt.
Advanced: Over 5 years, or purple belt and above.


Juvenile (ages 4-17) Weight Classes

Brackets for competitors aged 4-17 are made using the Madison Bracketing System. There are no preset weight classes for children and teens.  At the end of weigh ins, the children and teens will be sorted by weight.  Brackets will then be made by grouping them into sets of 4 or 8 (depending on turnout).  Juveniles will be divided by weight, experience, and age (whenever possible). Using the Madison system means children and teens will no longer cut weight since they won’t know the weight classes in advance.


Juvenile (ages 4-17) Skill Levels

Beginners: Up to one year of training any grappling art.
Intermediate: Up to three years of training any grappling art.
Advanced: Over three years training any grappling art.

Any Juvenile that has been awarded a blue belt (adult level) must compete in the Juvenile Advanced skill level, regardless of time training.  Juvenile blue belts can also compete in the adult blue belt and adult intermediate or advanced no gi divisions.

Juvenile division skill levels are commonly combined.  US Grappling manually creates juvenile divisions, and sorts competitors by age and weight, and then by skill to ensure that matches are safe for all competitors.


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Some Rights Reserved.  Last Update: December 17, 2013