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How do Judges do their Job and Judge?

ELITE MMA Referee School

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How do you Judge an MMA Fight?

Judges use the following regulations to judge pro-MMA fights.* In most cases, especially if the MMA fighter competing at an event is a professional, they will not only know these rules already, but the rules and any variation of them due to state restrictions or requirements are covered with the fighters by the Head Referee, in the pre-fight Rules Meeting - BEFORE THE FIGHT. That's what the Rules Meeting is for - meaning that when they go into a fight, the competitors pretty much know what techniques they're being scored on, and why.


1. Validation of results
-- A. There are usually three judges used to evaluate each fight.

 

-- B. Judges use the 10-Point Must System; it serves as the standard system of scoring a bout.
---- 1. The 10-Point Must System is the standard system of scoring a bout. Under the 10-Point Must Scoring System, 10 points must be awarded to the winner of the round and nine points or less must be awarded to the loser, except for a rare even round, which is scored (10-10).

 

-- C. The following techniques are used to evaluate each fight.
---- 1. Judges shall judge each fight based on a variety of mixed martial arts techniques used by the fighters, such as effective striking, effective grappling (as in take downs), control of the fighting area, effective aggressiveness and defense (as in sprawling and resisting take downs.)

 

-- D. Judges evaluate each fight on the following:
---- 1. Evaluations are made in the order in which the techniques appear in the C.1. above, giving the most weight in scoring to effective striking, effective grappling, control of the fighting area and effective aggressiveness and defense. 

 

-- E. Striking is judged and determined effective based on the following.
---- 1. Effective striking is judged by determining the total number of legal heavy strikes landed by a contestant.

 

-- F. Grappling is judged effective based on the following.
---- 1. Effective grappling is judged by considering the amount of successful executions of a legal takedown and reversals. Examples of factors to consider are take downs from standing position to mount position, passing the guard to mount position, and bottom position fighters using an active, threatening guard.

 

-- G. The following determines control of the fighting area and how this is pertinent to the results of the fight.
---- 1. Fighting area control is judged by determining who is dictating the pace, location and position of the bout. Examples of factors to consider are countering a grappler’s attempt at takedown by remaining standing and legally striking; taking down an opponent to force a ground fight; creating threatening submission attempts, passing the guard to achieve mount, and creating striking opportunities.


2. Score cards and recording results.
-- A. The following prescribed method of recording results of a competition, including the handling and procedures associated with official score cards, are usually followed.

---- 1. The judges score each round and the winner of each receives ten points, the loser nine points or less.

---- 2. If the round is even, both fighters receive ten points.

---- 3. In some states, the fewest points a fighter can receive is 7, and in other states by custom, no fighter receives less than seven.

---- 4. Decision via score cards: a) Unanimous: When all three judges score the bout for the same contestant; and b) Split Decision: When two judges score the bout for one contestant and one judge scores for the opponent; or c) Majority Decision: When two judges score the bout for the same contestant and one judge scores a draw.

---- 5. Draws: a) Unanimous – When all three judges score the bout a draw; b) Majority – When two judges score the bout a draw; or c) Split – When all three judges score differently and the score total results in a draw.

 


3. Scoring Criteria
-- A. The following 4 (four) objective scoring criteria are usually utilized by the judges when scoring a round:

---- 1. A round is to be scored as a 10-10 Round when both contestants appear to be fighting evenly and neither contestant shows clear dominance in a round;

---- 2. A round is to be scored as a 10-9 Round when a contestant wins by a close margin, landing the greater number of effective legal strikes, grappling and other maneuvers;

---- 3. A round is to be scored as a 10-8 Round when a contestant overwhelmingly dominates by striking or grappling in a round.

---- 4. A round is to be scored as a 10-7 Round when a contestant totally dominates by striking or grappling in a round.

 


4. The sliding scale and each substandard is used by the judges to ascertain the length of time fighters are either standing or on the ground.


-- A. If the mixed martial artists spent a majority of a round on the canvas, then the following should apply:

---- 1. Effective grappling is weighed first; and

---- 2. Effective striking is then weighed.



-- B. If the mixed martial artists spent a majority of a round standing, then the following should apply:


---- 1. Effective striking is weighed first; and

---- 2. Effective grappling is then weighed.


-- C. If a round ends with a relatively even amount of standing and canvas fighting, striking and grappling are weighed equally.


5. The following details some examples of those techniques which could give the most weight in scoring to effective striking, effective grappling, control of the fighting area and effective aggressiveness and defense.


-- A. Judges shall evaluate mixed martial arts techniques, such as effective striking, effective grappling, control of the fighting area, effective aggressiveness and defense.

-- B. Evaluations shall be made in the order in which the techniques appear per the above, giving the most weight in scoring to effective striking, effective grappling, control of the fighting area and effective aggressiveness and defense.

 


6. The following is an example of how effective striking is judged.


-- A. Effective striking is judged by determining the total number of legal heavy strikes landed by a contestant.


7. These are some factors one must consider to judge effective grappling during a fight.

-- A. Effective grappling is judged by considering the amount of successful executions of a legal takedown and reversals. Examples of factors to consider are take downs from standing position to mount position, passing the guard to mount position, and bottom position fighters using an active, threatening guard.

 


8. Factors to consider when judging control of a fighting area.

-- A. Fighting area control is judged by determining who is dictating the pace, location and position of the bout. Examples of factors to consider are countering a grappler’s attempt at takedown by remaining standing and legally striking; taking down an opponent to force a ground fight; creating threatening submission attempts, passing the guard to achieve mount, and creating striking opportunities.



9. The following is an example of effective aggressiveness during a fight.

-- A. Effective aggressiveness means moving forward and landing a legal strike.


10. The following examples show effective defenses during a fight.

-- A. Effective defense means avoiding being struck, taken down or reversed while countering with offensive attacks.


*This is an excerpt from the ELITE MMA Referee Online Workshop training program.

 





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