Monday, September 28, 2015

Thinking about reffing...

So... I've been a purple belt about a year, training mostly on since September 2008. I have reffed some in-house tournament matches, and I've probably watched at least 500 IBJJF matches from the score table, and maybe that many or more again as a ring coordinator. I feel like I'm finally ready to (eep!) referee some matches at a "real" tournament.

I know the point system, and for sure I'll be reading and rereading the tournament's policies and rules so I know what subs are legal and illegal at what belt level, etc.  I am comfortable predicting the direction of a fight, both physical and strategic, so I think I can keep competitors safe. The only things I'm scared of, besides making a mistake generally, are the moments where you're challenged about your scoring and you have to remember what all was happening in the match and what points you gave.

What are your thoughts on purple belts reffing?

Have you refereed? advice? suggestions?

Thank you!


Bobby and Amanda said...

Definitely do it. I reffed my first matches as a white belt and have reffed countless matches as a blue belt (not because I'm that awesome but because I was the only one who really knew the rules). Granted, I was a white belt for 4 years and am still trucking away as a blue belt, clocking in at just over 7 years now. There are tons of great resources on the rules online; Felipe Costa has a long but very good youtube video on the rules/points. Another good one is put out by the AZBJJF but is a little older and I'm not sure it includes the newer rules like knee reaping and all that.

Along with knowing the rules super well, I'd recommend having a plan for dealing with angry fighters, coaches and (if you choose to referee kids' matches) irate and unreasonable parents. All in all, I've found reffing to be a tough job that isn't particularly rewarding and I'm not sure I'll ever seek out a reffing job here in the US. I'd say start small and maybe try letting your instructor know you'd be interested in reffing an in-house tournament or something.

In any case, I think you'd do a good job so go for it. It definitely helped me understand BJJ better as a discipline and since I'm better versed on the rules now, it's nice having them in the back of my head as a guideline for how I roll with unfamiliar people at open mats and stuff. I feel like I can never go wrong if I'm following tournament IBJJF rules for people at my belt level when I grapple!

clinzy said...

US Grappling lets you start reffing at purple belt, after you have worked tables (like you've done for a few different events now) and passed our referee certification.

I could go on about this for hours, so feel free to drop me an email if you'd like to talk more about the logistics, and what an actual referee's day would be like.

slideyfoot said...

Cool! I look forward to reading how it goes: I'm sure you'd be a great ref, as you've got the key characteristic of not taking shit from anybody. ;D

I've considered giving reffing a go in the past, especially as I've been a purple almost 5 years now, but I don't think I want the hassle of people complaining about decisions and shouting at me. I don't compete myself anyway, so it would just be to get a better understanding of the rules: I can always just read them more thoroughly. Or I guess go on a ref course, but not actually ref. :)