Point System in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Competitions: A Comprehensive Guide

Understanding the point system in BJJ competitions is essential. While BJJ is primarily submission-based, points play a crucial role in determining the outcome of matches. Whether you’re a competitor or a passionate spectator, having a solid grasp of the point system adds a new layer of excitement and appreciation for the art. In this guide, we’ll break down the point system in BJJ competitions, explore how points are earned, and understand their significance in match outcomes.

    The Purpose of the Point System

    The point system in BJJ competitions serves multiple purposes. Firstly, it encourages competitors to pursue dominant positions and submission attempts rather than stalling or defensive strategies. It rewards effective technique execution, control, and submission attempts. Additionally, points help referees and judges assess the progression and dominance of a match, ensuring fair and objective decision-making.


    Points for Positions and Transitions

    The point system assigns specific values to various positions and transitions in BJJ. For example, achieving the mount position awards 4 points, back control earns 4 points, taking the opponent down from standing grants 2 points, and sweeping from the bottom position results in 2 points. These positional points reflect the level of control and dominance over the opponent.

    Takedown from standing2
    Sweep from bottom position2
    Knee on belly2
    Passing guard3
    Full mount4
    Back control4
    Advantages and Penalties

    Apart from positional points, BJJ competitions also consider advantages and penalties. Advantages are awarded for near submissions, close calls, or notable positional advancements that fall short of earning points. They signify a competitive advantage without meeting the criteria for full points. Conversely, penalties may be given for actions like stalling, disengaging from the match, or engaging in unsportsmanlike behavior. Penalties deduct points from a competitor’s score, potentially influencing the match outcome.


    Utilizing Points in Strategy

    Understanding the point system can influence a competitor’s strategic approach. While pursuing submissions remains paramount, points can act as guideposts for decision-making. For example, a competitor in a dominant position may choose to prioritize maintaining control and earning points rather than immediately going for a risky submission. Conversely, a competitor trailing in points may become more aggressive in pursuit of a submission or a positional advantage to equalize or surpass the score.


    Interpreting Match Outcomes

    At the end of a BJJ match, the total accumulated points determine the winner. If there is a tie in points, advantages, and penalties, the referee may consider other factors such as aggression, submission attempts, and overall dominance to determine the winner. In some cases, matches may result in a draw if neither competitor can secure a decisive advantage in points or submissions.


    Navigating the Point System as a Spectator

    As a spectator, understanding the point system enhances your viewing experience. Observing the positional dominance, submission attempts, and point accumulation allows you to evaluate the competitiveness of a match. It helps you appreciate the technical aspects of BJJ, the strategies employed by competitors, and the significance of each positional transition.


    Becoming Familiar with Competition Rules

    It’s important to note that the point system may vary slightly between different BJJ competition federations and rule sets. Familiarize yourself with the specific rules of the competition you’re watching or participating in to ensure accurate understanding and interpretation of points.