Rules for Grappling

General Rules

  • There Is No Age Limit for Grappling Competitors.
  • Prohibited Techniques: striking of any kind (standing or on the ground), body slam, and small joint manipulation. No hair pulling, scratching, fish hooking, etc. Nails must be trimmed.
  • Contact is not continuous; punching and kicking with light to medium force only.
  • If there are less than 2 competitors in an age group, the judges reserve the right to combine age groups.
  • If there are less than 2 competitors in a weight class, the judges reserve the right to combine weight classes.

Level Specific Rules

  • Beginner Level: Only upperbody submission techniques are allowed. No cranks or spine attacks; Straight ankle locks only.
  • Immediate Leve: All upperbody submission techniques are allowed, and addition, straight leg lock and slicers are also allowed.
  • Advanced Level: All submission techniques are allowed.

Scoring Points

  • Takedowns – 2 points
  • Throws where you elevate over the hips – 3 points
  • Foot sweeps – 3 points
  • Any takedown that lands you in side control – 4 points
  • Passing guard – 3 points (You cannot turtle to avoid/prevent the guard pass)
  • A pin from dominant position (mount, side control, n/s, scarf holds) – 2 points for one time (Must hold for 10 seconds)
  • Knee on belly – 2 points
  • Mount/back mount – 4 points
  • All positions must be secured for 3 seconds

The Winner of the Bout is Determined By

  • At the end of the bout, unless the bout was stopped prior to the end of the scheduled rounds (TKO, DQ, etc.), the competitor with the highest score wins.
  • If the competitor becomes disqualified by the judge, his/her opponent wins the bout.
  • Forfeit by a competitor or his/her coach results in an automatic win for the competitor’s opponent.
  • To forfeit, the competitor has to raise one hand and then verbally tell the referee that he/she is forfeiting this bout.
  • The competitor’s coach can also make the decision to forfeit by throwing in a white towel.


  • Using excessive force with the intention to injure the opponent.
  • Using “Prohibited Techniques” against the opponent.
  • Using performance-enhancing drugs prior to or during the bout.
  • Disrespecting the referee, judges, or the opponent.
  • Disregards the instructions of the referee and the judges.
  • The referee has the right to disqualify a competitor from the bout or competition if:
    • The competitor receives 1 or more warnings from the referee.
    • The competitor engages in unsportsmanlike conducts.
    • The competitor injures his/her opponent using prohibited techniques, depending on the seriousness of the injury.
  • The referee has the right to stop the contest if:
    • There is a big gap in the skill level between the 2 competitors. The competitor with the skill advantage wins the bout.
    • A competitor is injured as a result of a legal maneuver, depending on the seriousness of the injury. The opponent wins the bout.
  • Courtesy Rule: Salute to the judges first and then competitors salute to each other before the bout begins. After the bout finishes, salute to the judges again and then competitors salute to each other.
  • Weight Classes
    • Men’s Featherweight: (145 lbs & Under)
    • Men’s Lightweight: (146 – 155 lbs)
    • Men’s Welterweight: (156 – 170 lbs)
    • Men’s Middleweight: (171 – 185 lbs)
    • Men’s Light Heavyweight: (186 – 205 lbs)
    • Men’s Heavyweight: (206 lbs & Above)
    • Women’s Lightweight: (125 lbs & Under)
    • Women’s Welterweight: (126 – 135 lbs)
    • Women’s Middleweight: (136 – 145 lbs)
    • Women’s Light Heavyweight: (146 lbs & above)
    • Youth groups 17 yrs & under are not categorized by weight.
    • If there are less than 2 competitors in a weight class, the judge reserves the right to combine weight classes.