An Explanation of ADCC Rules And How They Differ To Other Events

The 2019 ADCC World Championships goes down on September 28-29 in Los Angeles, California. There are some significant differences in ADCC rules compered to other popular tournaments, so here is a primer so you know what to expect when Worlds rolls around. 

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Three major distinctions from other organizations are the source of much confusion for new ADCC fans: 

  1. There are no positive points in the first half of the match (which would be the first five minutes at the ADCC World Championships).  
  2. Pulling guard at any time is penalized with a negative point. 
  3. Negative points are not factored into the final sum of a player's score until the match ends.  

Example: A player with three points decides to pull guard is penalized one negative point. Let's say he earns a sweep and ends the match with five positive points. Once the match has ended the penalty points are factored in and our player finishes the match with a final total of four points. 

Watch Keenan Cornelius vs. Craig Jones - ADCC 2017 World Championships


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How To Score Points in ADCC

  • Passing the guard = 3 points
  • Knee on stomach = 2 points
  • Mount position = 2 points
  • Back mount with hooks = 3 points
  • Takedown (ends Guard or Half Guard) = 2 points
  • Clean Takedown (ends passed the guard) = 4 points
  • Sweeps (ends Guard or Half Guard) = 2 points
  • Clean Sweep (ends passed the guard) = 4 points

ADCC Penalty Points

  • When a fighter voluntarily jumps in the guard or goes from standing position to a non-standing position by any means and remains down for three seconds or more, he will be punished by a minus point.
  • When a fighter disengages from contact and starts backing up and avoids engaging again he will be punished by minus point.
  • A passive fighter will be warned twice and then will be punished by minus point. The referee will warn the passive player by the words “WARNING PASSIVITY” – after the first minus given there are not going to be any more warnings and the minus points will be given immediately if the fighter continues to be passive.
  • If a fighter is very passive during the first half of the regular fights when there are no minuses, the referees will still give him WARNINGs for passivity.

Permitted Techniques 

  • All leglocks 
  • All armlocks 
  • Slamming out of submissions 

Illegal Techniques 

  • Neck cranks, including the twister 
  • Picking up and slamming an opponent to break the guard 
  • No use of T-Shirt and no holding the shorts allowed

Important Notes

  • If the two competitors go out of bounds during a submission attack, the action will be allowed to continue until the submission is completed or the defender escapes. 
  • Competitors can choose to wear a gi or wrestling shoes if they wish
  • The mat area is 9x9 meters (30 feet x 30 feet) 

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