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IBJJF rules can be confusing and open to interpretation. There are a lot of inconsistencies and how the rules are applied varies wildly from referee to referee. There are some indisputable rules that hold true for all competitors, regardless of who you are, and one of those is you don't talk to the referee while you're competing– ever.
It's not often you see somebody as professional as #4-ranked Isaac Doederlein make such a huge mistake as he did last Saturday at the IBJJF Houston Open, and it demands a closer look to see just what went down.
Battling the tough and technical Richar Nogueira in the featherweight final, Doederlein got ahead on the scoreboard and scored an advantage in the last 30 seconds of the match. Victory was his, although he didn't realize it and read the scoreboard wrong.
Believing himself to be down he began protesting and petitioning the referee for an advantage. Talking to the referee is an instant penalty, and it's important to note that penalties can be issued even when the bout is over.
The scoreboard as this happened read 0-0, 2-1 adv and 2-1 penalties with Isaac leading. The third penalty automatically gave Nogueira two points, making the final result 2-0, 1-2 adv and 1-3 penalties and gifting Nogueira the gold medal.
Disappointed isn't nearly strong enough a word to describe how Doederlein felt after the match. I caught up with him shortly after and this is what he had to say.
"I didn't see the ref give me the advantage. I think the scoreboard said it but with the adrenaline I was a little confused. What I saw was I didn't have any advantage."
"It's hard. After Pans I went straight back to work and I felt I made a lot of improvements in my game, and results aside I felt the best I've ever felt today. It is what it is, I won't let it bug me and I've just got to keep on going, that's it."
Confusion And Disappointment For Isaac Doederlein Who Takes Silver Via Technicality