Polaris Judging System for Exhibition Bouts and Superfights

Bout Duration: 15 minutes (1o minutes for preliminary matches)
Method of victory: Submission or Judges’ Decision

The ruleset is designed to allow the athletes to use the skills they have obtained in their chosen grappling art, to bring excitement to the audience and showcase grappling in the most dynamic and interesting way possible, and to determine a winner in cases where there is no submission victory.

Three judges decide the winner of the bout based on the following guidelines, positive and negative.

The categories are in descending order of importance with A being the most important and carrying the most weight.

A) Effective Attacks and Aggression

  • Legitimate submission attempts that cause the opponent to apply effort to escape
  • Pushing the pace of the bout
  • Initiating exciting exchanges
  • Taking risks in an attempt to gain a takedown, advantageous position or submission attempt

Note on submission attempts:
The definition of a legitimate hold is that the opponent has to apply effort or take a risk in order to escape. If a fighter uses a submission attempt as a positional stalling tactic (e.g. holding on indefinitely to a submission that they are not able to finish) then this would not be looked upon favourably.

B) Escalating Positional Control

  • Takedowns
  • Sweeps
  • Improving position in order to set up a submission

C) Effective counter attacks and dynamic escapes

  • Effectively countering takedowns
  • Reversals
  • Spectacular escapes

D) Stalling and Passivity

  • Not capitalising on good positions
  • Constantly moving backwards
  • Exiting the competition area
  • Being overly defensive and unwilling to take risks
  • Not attempting to advance position

E) Poor sportsmanship / fouls

  • Attempting illegal submissions or manoeuvres
  • Striking
  • Any other breach of the rules
  • In extreme cases the referee may disqualify or indicate that the judges are to mark a fighter down, at his discretion

The judge is encouraged to always look upon the aggressor / attacker more favourably than the defensive fighter.

The judges are to base their opinion on the bout in five-minute stanzas, with consistent effort across all criteria required to swing the score in the direction of one of the fighters.

Each five minutes (or one third of the match), the judge must decide which fighter is winning according to the criteria and note it on the score card with a mark on the side of the winner of that stanza.

Stalling and passivity are strongly discouraged and the judges should score appropriately, penalising any kind of stalling tactic that slows down the action.

If there is no submission the bout will be decided by judges’ decision. The bout will either be a “Unanimous Decision” if all three judges give the same fighter as the winner, or a “Majority Decision” if not all judges agree on the winner.

Where a fighter sustains an accidental injury during the match, they will be given up to 5 minutes to recover. The timekeeper will stop the time during this. If the fighter indicates they are able to continue before the 5 minutes is up then the match can resume.

If the player is unable to recover during the 5 minutes then the match will be declared no contest and the injured fighter will receive medical assistance off-stage.

If medical intervention is necessary then the judges and referee can confer with the medic to decide if the bout can continue.

If the injury is sustained via an illegal manoeuvre, a negative point will be given to the perpetrator and the fighter given up to 8 minutes to recover. The timekeeper will stop the time during this. If the fighter cannot recover then the bout will be declared a win for the injured fighter.

Poor sportsmanship / fouls
Upon an infraction, the referee will pause the bout, warning the fighter (s) and pointing to the fighter (s) who is receiving a warning, and then the three judges one by one.

After two infractions, or at the referee’s discretion, the match can end, with the fighter committing the offences being declared the loser, and the opponent the winner.

Illegal Methods / Movements

Eye gouging or fish hooking
Grabbing fingers, ears, hair, toes, or other extremity
No posting on faces / one-handed windpipe grip
Slamming from above the knee height of the person doing the lifting to escape a submission or position (high amplitude throws / takedowns will not be penalised)
Legal Techniques

Chokes (except using fingers to crush windpipe)
Joint locks involving shoulder, elbow, wrist, knee, ankle. Neck cranks are legal in no-gi bouts.
Illegal in gi bouts: Spine / neck locks, heel hooks
General Rules
Winner is signified via tapout (at least two rapid taps on the opponent or mat), verbal submission (voluntary or involuntary), or being unable to continue the bout due to injury.

In no-gi bouts the athletes must not grip any clothing

Referee will be on stage to officiate the bout, ensure rules are followed and advise fighters when they get too near the edge of the mat, in which case they will be paused and returned to the centre of the mat in the same position. If no agreement on positioning can be made the athletes will be stood up at the centre of the ring

Overall a high standard of sportsmanship is required before, during and after the fights.