IBJJF Announces Changes to Their Close-Out Rules… Your Thoughts?

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Comment on of you think the new close-out rule will help or hurt the BJJ community

IBJJF Close-Out Announcement

IBJJF Announces Changes to Their Close-Out Rules… Your Thoughts?

Comment on of you think the new close-out rule will help or hurt the BJJ community

Location: Kennedy Space Center, FL.

Estimated reading time: 2 minutes

Photo by: IBJJF

The International Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Federation (IBJJF) is making changes to discourage close-outs. A very explosive and controversial topic in Brazilian jiu-jitsu (BJJ) that needs to be addressed. See their announcement below:

What is a Close-Out?

A close-out occurs when two competitors, typically from the same team, agree not to grapple against each other in the finals of a tournament, awarding one competitor the gold by default.

Under this new IBJJF close-out ruleset, the penalty is twofold. Competitors who choose to close out their divisions will not receive the cash prize, and two will not be awarded points toward their ranking. Two BIG incentives to keep the grappling flowing. This newfound crackdown on close-outs will be in effect for the 2022 Worlds this June 1-5 in Long Beach, CA., at the iconic Walter Pyramid.

The financial impact 

Looking at the financial side of this new rule, Adult black belt competitors generally or can earn up to $7,000 for winning their division and up to $10,000 for winning the absolute division at Worlds… not a bad few days of work and a lot of fun too for upwards of 10K. 

Surprising… well, not really

In recent years as team associations have grown larger and larger and top talent has been more consolidated in those large teams, close-outs have become a bit of the norm at most major IBJJF tournaments. This adaptive rule change comes just after the 2022 Pans, where 4 out of the 10 male adult black belt finals ended in close-outs…. Not great for ticket sales. So, looking at the whole, this new close-out rule doesn’t seem that bad an idea so long as competitors continue to increasingly choose not to grapple in the most anticipated matches. Nonetheless, the rule is still highly controversial.

The Ruotolo brothers

That said, two competitors that will be undoubtedly thrilled by this announcement are the Ruotolo brothers. Before the 2021 IBJJF Worlds, the twins announced that if they met in the brown belt finals, they would not close-out and compete against each other head to head. And they did not disappoint, with Tye ultimately taking the victory that day. 

Check out the video here:

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