IBJJF announces changes to close-out rules

The IBJJF is making changes to discourage close-outs. One of the more controversial topics in Brazilian jiu-jitsu, a close-out occurs when two competitors, typically from the same team, agree not to fight each other in the final of a tournament, awarding one competitor the gold by default.

Under the new IBJJF rules, competitors that close-out their divisions will not receive the cash prize or be awarded points toward their ranking.

The IBJJF would like to officially announce the new rules regarding closing out fights for the 2022 World Championships. There will be no cash prizes allocated to any athlete that closes out in their finals match of the World Championships. Furthermore, the athletes who close out will also forfeit their rank points for the event. Please keep in mind that the IBJJF has a disciplinary penalty already implemented regarding immediate double DQ. Here is article 6.1.5 in Disciplinary Penalties:When one or both of the athlete’s disregard the seriousness of the competition or perform actions simulating a fake combat.⁠

The rule change will be in effect for the 2022 Worlds, scheduled for June 1-5.

Adult black belt competitors can win up to $7,000 for winning their division and up to $10,000 for winning the absolute division at Worlds.

As team associations have grown larger in recent years, and top talent has been more concentrated in those large teams, close-outs have become more prevalent at major IBJJF tournaments. The rule change comes on the heels of a 2022 Pans that saw four of the 10 male adult black belt finals end in close-outs.

Two competitors that will be undoubtedly pleased by this announcement are the Ruotolo brothers. Prior to the 2021 IBJJF Worlds, the twins announced that, if they met in the brown belt finals, they would compete against each other. They did just that, with Tye taking home the win.

Ben Coate

Ben has been involved with grappling, whether through wrestling or Brazilian jiu-jitsu, essentially his entire life. After wrestling throughout his childhood, Ben found Brazilian jiu-jitsu as a young adult and quickly fell in love. He has been training for over ten years and currently holds the rank of brown belt, and remains involved in both the MMA and BJJ scene. Ben has been writing about combat sports since 2017. He has interviewed and profiled some of MMA's biggest stars, including multiple UFC champions.

Ben Coate has 1190 posts and counting. See all posts by Ben Coate