Kids and BJJ: The Anxiety of Reffing Their Matches

We had an in-house tournament this past Saturday, and I was in charge of reffing a number of matches, including the children’s division.

arm bar

My face in this photo basically sums up the anxiety I felt during most of the matches, particularly when it came down to a submission attempt by one of the (tiny, adorable) competitors.

It’s a little nerve wracking sometimes, trying to discern if they are in pain, or they are just trying really hard. These kids know how to tap, but still, I worry (as is apparent in the photo) and tend to err on the side of caution when it comes to reffing matches.

On the other hand however you should let them try to go as long as possible, within reason of course- it’s a fine line between letting them fight out of something, attempt a submission, and stopping a match to make sure no one gets hurt.

I’m sure there are people out there who ref waaay more kids matches than I and have this down to a science, but it’s still sort of nerve wracking, personally.

Have you reffed a match before? How about specifically a kids match? Let me know your experience & thoughts: otherwise, have a great day everyone!


Filed under bjj

2 responses to “Kids and BJJ: The Anxiety of Reffing Their Matches

  1. I’ve reffed kids matches at small tournaments for 4 or 5 years. I try to follow this rule with kids doing submissions. 2 Seconds for arms and 6 seconds for chokes (counting in my head of course). I only start counting when the arm is extended in an armbar or in a shoulder lock and pressure is being applied. For chokes I start counting as soon as I see pressure is on their arteries or throat. It has worked for me. 🙂 sorry for the long comment!

  2. Pingback: June 17, 2015 - BJJ News

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