Event Rules

UPDATES (January 1, 2014):

to assist with Sandbagging and to Prevent Injury
Beginner are No Submissions, Points Only (see rules below)
Intermediate are Only Above the Waist Submissions (see rules below)
Advanced include Submissions Plus Straight Leg locks (see rules below)
NOTE: If you registered for the wrong category during registration, you can easily fix this when you check in and fill out your mandatory physical signature on the application when you check in


All weigh-ins are conducted without the KIMONO (for BJJ or No-Gi Divisions). A 1 pound allowance is given to all competitors to allow for undergarments (underwear, bra, etc.). Weigh-ins are usually conducted at the venue, unless otherwise specified on the individual event page.


1. NO SLAMMING ALLOWED. *NOTE Takedowns are not considered slamming, unless intent to injure is determined by the referee. This is to avoid slamming to escape the guard and various submissions from the guard and to prevent any major injury.

2. you must deliver your opponent safely to the mat, meaning, if you take your opponent down, you must come down with your opponent. This prevents “pro wrestling” type dangerous slams. Anyone violating this rule will be immediately disqualified.

3. No Infectious Diseases Allowed: Competitors with any of the following infectious diseases will NoT be allowed to compete including: Herpes (active cold sores), Fungal infections (ringworm), and any form of Staph or viral (Chicken Pox, etc.)

4. General Cleanliness: Come to the event clean with trimmed toe and finger nails. Competitors with offensive odors before the event starts will be refunded and kindly asked to leave the tournament. We are looking to create a safe, clean and friendly environment


6. Scoring Points: To gain points for any move or position, the competitor (aggressor) must show clear control for a 3 second count by the referee – this is the key in point scoring for Grapplers Quest – TOTAL CONTROL FOR 3 COUNT TO EARN POINTS

7. Injury Time: if either competitor is bleeding, the match will be stopped immediately. The mat will be cleaned to ensure cleanliness. Competitor is entitled to a total of 3 minutes to stop any bleeding. if the same competitors begins to bleed again, the match will be stopped immediately and their opponent will win by “injury Default”. All other injuries, including cramps, muscle pulls, crying (in Kid’s Divisions), screaming or yelping will signify as a verbal submission and end the match.

8. NO DISRESPECTING REFEREES/TABLE WORKERS: We also will be enforcing fully, the zero tolerance rule of disrespecting, threatening with physical or verbally abusing staff. if any coach, parent, or competitor threatens or abuses the referee in any shape or form, their competitor will be disqualified and they will be escorted out of the building by security.

9. All Referee Decisions are 100% FINAL – all of the referees are paid professionals and have many hours of professional training in the arts of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, Wrestling and Submission Grappling, amongst other ground fighting and stand-up arts. They are to be respected at ALL TIMES will have a threat-free and pressure-free environment.

10. WRIST LOCKS: All wrist locks are legal in ALL Adult Divisions, but ILLEGAL in ALL Children’s and Teen’s Division

11. PENALTIES (resulting in the warnings and point deductions listed below):
a. Stalling– The referee will issue warnings for the following:
b. Backing out of the guard without engaging, butt scooting, fleeing the ring to avoid takedown
c. No Clothing Grabbing in No-Gi Submission Grappling Divisions Note: No points or positional changes will be allowed if illegally grabbed
d. No covering of the mouth or “muffler” techniques to smother your opponent
e. No smashing the face, eyes or nose with any part of your body allowed

***Penalty System of Negative Scoring Against Rules Above:

1st offense of stalling = official Warning

2nd offense of stalling will result in a 2 Point deduction

3rd offense of stalling will result in a 3 point deduction

4th offense will result in a disqualification

12. DISQUALIFICATIONS for any of the following techniques that cause submission or injury:
NOTE: Grapplers Quest reserves the right to suspend them from one year to indefinitely from competition for a blatant attempt at injuring an opponent or acting in a disrespectful manner after a DQ.

a. NO COMPRESSION LOCKS ALLOWED including Bicep, Calf Crunchers or Compression Knee Locks) in any divisions, EXCEPT Men’s/ Women’s Advanced, Professional and Brown & Black Belt Divisions.

b. LEG LOCK INFRACTIONS (see # 10 below in No-Gi rules) causing injury or submission

c. NO NECK CRANKS, AND NO CERVICAL LOCKS in all divisions except Men’s & Women’s Advanced as well as Professional Divisions.


e. MISSING YOUR MATCH after your name has been called over the loud speaker Three Times – No Refunds for Missed Divisions

f. REFEREE DISCRETION: If a competitor breaks any of the rules after officially being warned or blatantly attempts to hurt their opponent, Bad Sportsmanship or harassment of referees, coaches or attendees will not be tolerated and result in DQ.

g. FLEEING THE RING TO AVOID SUBMISSION (Leg Lock rollout escapes will be at the referees full discretion)

13. Competition Area Boundaries: if the competitors near the edge, the referee will wait until a resting period and or until he/she feels the competitor might be in danger and re-start the competitors in the same position in the center. if a competitor scramble takes place near the edge, the referee will yell SToP and restart the competitors in the center of the ring in the standing position, unless the takedown is achieved in bounds to determine level of control for a 2 or 3 point takedown.

14. No points or advantages for takedowns will be scored out of bounds for safety of competitors and spectators alike.

15. POSITIONAL CHANGE FROM LEG LOCK SUBMISSION ATTEMPTS which result in positional change after a Advantage is earned for leg lock will NoT earn points (i.e. Fighter A drops back from Fighter B’s open Guard for a Leg Lock, he/she locks in for 3 count & earns advantage, then Fighter B escapes and comes up on top - No Points, only the ‘Fighter A’ advantage would be scored.

16. ANTI-SANDBAGGING RULES: Grapplers Quest registers all competitors with rATED, The World Grappling League which tracks their accurate Belt and Skill Levels. WRESTLERS: All wrestlers with (2+ years in high school or any collegiate experience) must enter at least Beginner or higher in Submission Grappling Divisions. Wrestlers entering Novice divisions will be disqualified. Sambo or Judo training experience will count the same as BJJ or any other ground fighting art training time to determine skill level.


a. Takedown or Throw ending on Top in Guard or Half Guard = 2 points
b. Takedown or Throw ending on Top in Side Mount or Full Mount = 3 Points
Note: Points will be awarded separately for Full Mount after an additional 3 count of control.

c. Sweep with Legs (from Half Guard or Full Guard) = 2 points

d. Arm Drag from open Guard to Turtle = 2 points (must hold for 3 count to be awarded).
NOTE: inversions or power rolls from side, Full or North/South are not considered Sweeps & will not awarded any points or advantages

e. Passing the Guard (open or closed) = 3 points (must hold for 3 count to be awarded points) and both arms and legs must be clear from the guard

f. Mounted position (both knees on the ground) = 4 points (must hold for 3 count to be awarded)

g. Back Mount with Leg Hooks (or Knees on the Ground with opponent Flat on his Stomach) = 4 points (must hold for 3 count to be awarded)

18. ADVANTAGE SCORING SYSTEM: - referee will signal verbally (i.e. Advantage red) and with his/her arm by moving it in a horizontal motion for the following: Submission attempts that posed a real threat to the other fighter for 3 Count will be awarded an advantage. Also near takedowns (must make opponent have contact with ground), near sweep, and near guard passes forcing the competitor to defend and or reposition. If both competitors Jump Guard at the same time, the competitor who comes up on top would receive the advantage. HALF-GUArD: Advantages will also be scored for a competitor passing from their opponent’s Full Guard to a Secure Half Guard

NOTE: Competitors to actively jump half guard will not be penalized (i.e. their opponent will not receive an advantage) Head Snap Down to rear Control – The Competitor who initiated snap down will receive 1 advantage Turtle Position: Forcing a competitor to defend a sweep or guard pass into the Turtle Position will be awarded an advantage NOTE: No Positional scoring will be made from the Turtle position once help for 3 Count (including jumping full or half guard). Advantages will only be used in the case of a tie with points.

19. Match Lengths:
4 Minutes: All Children/Teen’s, Women’s Beginner, Men’s Novice & Men’s Beginner Matches
5 Minutes: Men’s Intermediate, Women's Intermediate & Men’s Executive & Masters
6 minutes: Men’s/Women’s Advanced
NOTE: All Absolutes will have the same time as regular divisions

20. OVERTIME (OT): In Case of a tie with points and advantages, competitors will compete in one overtime (1/2 time of regulation match) and then the referee will make a decision based upon effective aggressiveness.

21. Ways to Win a Match at Grapplers Quest: TapouT Submission: Ends match immediately when you signal referee to give up verbally: if you cannot tap or yell during a submission, the referee has the authority to stop the match if he/she believes you are in danger. Points: your score is tracked via two large point flippers or scoreboards. Advantages: if the score is tied, the referee will award the match to the competitor who has recorded the most Advantages. Ref Stoppage/Injury Default: if a competitor cannot continue due to injury or if the referee determines the submission has caused unconsciousness or another serious injury

22. LEG LOCK RULES (please read carefully for your division to avoid Disqualification):
NOTE: Securing a Leg Lock (and earning an advantage for 3 Count) will nullify (no scoring) a positional change (including sweeps):

Children’s and Teen’s Divisions Beginner and Intermediate = No Leg Locks or Lower Body Attacks are allowed

Children’s and Teen’s Divisions Advanced (more than one year) = only Straight Ankle Locks and Knee bars allowed (No Toe Holds)

NOTE: No Twisting Leg Locks are permitted in ANY Children’s or Teen’s Divisions (including No Toe/Figure Four Holds allowed)

Executive/Masters: only Straight Leg Locks (Ankle Locks and Knee Bars) are permitted – No Toe Hold Ankle Locks Permitted.

Men’s Novice, Beginner & Intermediate: Straight Leg Locks (Ankle Locks and Knee Bars) are permitted – No Figure Four Ankle Locks Permitted.

Men’s and Women's Advanced: All leg locks are permitted (heel hooks, figure four toe holds, knee bars, etc.)

Women’s Beginner: only Straight Leg Locks (Ankle Locks and Knee Bars) are permitted – No Figure Four Ankle Locks Permitted

23. REAPING THE KNEE: No reaping (using feet to angle the knee in a dangerous position, similar to heel hook position) in all divisions, except Men’s & Women’s Advanced and Professional Divisions

24. Uniform for No-Gi: Rashguard on Top with Board Shorts, Lycra Shorts, or Kimono Pants on the bottom. Please make sure all pants have a drawstring and or another way to keep them secured at your waist during the match without any pockets, zippers or buttons. Shorts and rashguards are available for sale at every show nationwide and online here: http://www.grapplersquest.com/catalog


1. Takedowns or Throws: Land on Top in Guard, Half Guard or Side Mount 2 points

2. Sweep with Legs (from Half Guard or Full Guard) 2 points

3. Knee on Belly – 2 Points –must show proper posture with one leg fully posted on the “belly” and one stretched out with foot on the ground

4. Pass Guard/Half Guard Fully to Side Mount 3 points – Must fully clear legs and arms and have opponent on back

5. Mounted position (both knees on the ground) 4 points

6. Back Mount with Leg Hooks (or Knees on the Ground with opponent Flat on his Stomach) 4 points

7. Points will be accumulated during the entire length of the match.

8. Advantages: described as submission attempts that posed a real threat to the other fighter, near takedowns, near sweep, near passes etc.). The referee will signal verbally (i.e. Advantage red) and with his/her arm by moving it in a horizontal motion.

9. Advantages will only be used in the case of a tie with points.

10. referee will signal all Points verbally (i.e. 2 Points Green) and by signaling with his/her color coded wristbands and fingers as points are tallied – to ensure points/advantages are properly counted.

11. Match Durations:

Kid’s/Teen’s: 4 minutes

All White Belts: 5 minutes

All Blue Belt: 6 minutes

Purple-Belt: 7 minutes

Brown-Belts: 8 minutes

Black-Belt: 10 minutes

12. No Overtime: In the BJJ divisions, there is no Overtime. The effective aggressor most likely wins if no points are scored. Do not leave it up to the referee and please respect their decision either way.

a. All Men’s, Women’s and Master’s White, Blue, and Purple Belts: Straight Ankle Locks and Kneebars are Allowed, No Twisting Leg Locks or Figure Fours are Permitted

b. All Men’s, Women’s and Master’s Brown/Black Belt Divisions: Straight Ankle Locks, Kneebars and Figure Four Ankle Locks are Allowed

14. No Reaping of the Knee (using feet to angle the knee in a dangerous position, similar to heel hook position) –

15. No Heel Hooks or Calf Crushers

16. Required Uniform for BJJ: A Clean Kimono (any brand) with sleeves no shorter than four fingers width from the wrist, Any Color Kimono is acceptable, but the bottom and top must match. Competitors weigh in without their Kimono. MEN NO T-SHIRTS OR RASHGUARDS UNDER KIMONOS (females can wear sports bra or support tank top).

* NOTE: Cash prizes will not be awarded for uncontested titles. A competitor MUST win at least one match against a non-Team member to earn a cash prize.

REFUND POLICY: Grapplers Quest competitor pre-registration fees are non-refundable and non-transferrable. In case of injury, a credit will pass to the next event in the area, but has no cash value after the registration credit has been issued. Train hard and stay healthy!