Adult Rules

The following rules are used in beginner divisions in all WPF sanctioned tournaments.

Adult Rules

The following rules are used in beginner divisions in all WPF sanctioned tournaments.

Section 1:  Competition area, match duration, uniform and equipment, and divisions.

Section 2:  How to win a match, considerations and the point system.
          a. Strikes
          b. Choke Submissions
          c. Non-choke submissions
          d. Throws and takedowns
          e. Out of bounds
          f. Standing 8-count

Section 3:  Penalties and illegal techniques.

Competition Area
Competition is held in an area called a palestra. The palestra may be circular or square in shape, of dimensions approved by the WPF Executive.

Match Duration
Matches are five (5) minutes in duration for local, regional, area, and non-championship international tournaments.  Matches are ten (10) minutes in duration for singles National Championships, International Championships and World Matches in Team Championships.  Matches in Team Championships are five (5) minutes in length.  One (1) minute overtimes are implemented as needed in case of a tie.

Uniform and Equipment
Male athletes have the option to wear a black sleevless shirt or no top at all.
Female athletes must wear a black sports bra.

Athletes must wear black shorts or trunks with no external fasteners, pockets, belts or zippers.

All athletes must wear approved elbow and knee pads.

Athletes may wear approved wrestling shoes.

All athletes shall wear the headgear approved by the WPF, a mouthpiece and grappling gloves with padding on the knuckles and back of the hand.

Male competitors shall wear groin protection.

Female competitors may wear chest and groin protection if they choose.

Divisions are separated by gender, weight and experience.

The adult division is for athletes 18 years of age and above.

Experience divisions are as follows:
Beginner: 0-2 years experience in the combat sports.
Intermediate: 2-4 years experience in the combat sports.
Advanced: 4 or more years experience in the combat sports.

Adult Divisions:

Lightweight ............... under 125 lbs
Super Lightweight.... 126-135 lbs
Welterweight ............ 136-150 lbs
Middleweight ............ 151-165 lbs
Super Middleweight...166-180 lbs
Light Heavyweight ... 181-200 lbs
Heavyweight ............. 201-225 lbs
Super Heavyweight .. 266-250 lbs
Maximus ................... 251-300 lbs
Super Maximus ........ 301 lbs and over

Winning a match
A match may be won in any of the following ways:
          1)  Knockout.
          2)  Choke submission.
          3)  Withdrawal/Forfeit.
          4)  Disqualification of opponent.
          5)  Two (2) standing eight-counts.
          6)  Two (2) non-choke submissions.
          7)  Greatest number of points in regulation or overtime.
          8)  Gaining 20 more points than opponent (mercy rule).

Points are awarded for the following:
                                       1)  Legal strikes - 1 point.
                                       2)  Legal throws/takedowns - 1 point. 
                                       3)  Out of bounds - 2 points.
                                       4)  Standing eight-count - 5 points.
                                       5)  Non-choke submissions - 10 points.
                                       6)  Penalties - 1, 5, 10, 20 points.


a) Strikes:    
Only effective strikes are awarded points. "Effective" means having an effect on opponent, as determined by the referee.

Kicks, knee and elbow strikes may not be directed at a grounded opponent by a standing competitor.

Kicks to the head are not allowed if both athletes are on the ground.

An athlete is considered "grounded" when he/she has one or more hands or knees on the ground.

No elbow or knee strikes are allowed to the head during any phase of competition.

Any strike which renders the opponent unconscious is considered a knockout and the match is awarded to the competitor applying the strike.

Strikes directed at the joints (within 3 inches distal and proximal), throat, neck, spine, groin and inner thighs are illegal, and will result in penalties.

Fingernails and toenails must be trimmed.

b) Choke Submission:
A choke submission is when airflow or bloodflow to the brain is restricted.  Submissions that result from the person being unable to breathe (smothering for example) are considered choke submissions.

c) Non-Choke Submissions:
Non-choke submissions are awarded ten (10) points, but do not win a match.  This reflects the "real world" scenario in which combatants can, and often do, continue to fight after suffering a broken bone, separated articulations (joint), or other non-choke injuries.

If two non-choke submissions are achieved against an athlete in a single match, the match is awarded to the competitor applying the submissions, regardless of score differential.

d) Throws/Takedowns:
Throws and takedowns include all techniques in which one competitor takes, or causes another to go the ground without striking.  Regardless of which athlete initiates the takedown, the point is given to the athlete who achieves the immediate superior position (see below) from the throw or takedown.  If no immediate superior position is achieved as a direct result of the throw/takedown, no point is awarded (eventual control is not awarded a point).  If an opponent is thrown and the throwing opponent remains standing, a point will be awarded for the takedown.

As with strikes, only a single point is given for a throw or takedown, without differentiation to height or force.

Throws or takedowns that lock the knees (such as "crab scissors") are illegal.

Throws or takedowns that are designed to, or result in, a competitor landing on their head or neck are illegal. 

Throws which are designed to throw, or result in throwing, a competitor onto their face are illegal if both arms of the thrown athlete are constrained.

A "superior" position is one in which an athlete is on top of, and in control of their opponent.

If a competitor pulls their opponent into the "guard", no point for a takedown will be awarded.

The "guard" is not considered a superior position.

e) Out of Bounds:
A competitor will receive two (2) points when they force their opponent out of bounds, or when their opponent steps out of bounds on their own.

No points are awarded if the forcing athlete also goes out of bounds, or if they are in a clinch when the forced athlete goes out of bounds.  In order to receive points, an athlete must remain in-bounds themselves.

'Out of bounds' is when an opponent has at least one full foot acroos the line if satnding or half of the body across the line if grounded.  This is referred to as the "roof rule".  If the athletes were fighting on a roof, would they fall off?

The purpose of awarding two (2) points for out of bounds is to encourage athletes to aggressively defend themselves, to discourage avoidance, and to reflect the real-world consequence of being driven off of or from a primary conflict area.

f) Standing 8-Count:
When a competitor is knocked to the ground from a standing or kneeling position as the result of a strike, the referee will interrupt the match and give a standing 8-count to the fallen athlete in order to determine the athlete's ability to continue.  The athlete may elect to continue or to withdraw at this time.  Regardless of the athlete's decision, the referee may call the match in favor of the fallen athlete's opponent if, in the referee's judgement, the fallen athlete is unable to continue with adequate mental acuity and motor skills.  If the match is continued, five (5) points are awarded to the athlete who delivered the strike(s), as that athlete was prohibited from immediately following up and benefiting from the effect of the knockdown.

A standing 8-count may also be given, at the referee's discretion, in cases of successive strikes which the receiving athlete seems unable to avoid or defend against, or in cases of dynamic throws or takedowns which appear to stun the downed athlete.

If two standing 8-counts are called on an athlete in a single match, the match is awarded to that athlete's opponent.  This is referred to as a Technical Knockout or TKO.

Penalties are called and enforced in response to violations of competition rules, and are assessed in an escalating manner, with the first penalty being 1 point; the second, 5 points; the third, 10 points; the fourth, 20 points; the fifth will result in disqualification.  The referee may skip steps of penalties in cases of egregious infractions, and may automatically disqualify a competitor in cases where the referee feels such infractions to be purposeful and with malice.

The following are prohibited, and will result in penalties:

01. Strikes directed at:
          a) Joints (within 3 inches distal and proximal)
          b) Throat or Neck
          c) Spine (cervical, thoracic and lumbar vertebrae, sacrum and coccyx)
          d) Groin and Inner Thighs
02. Biting
03. Eye-gouging
04. Fish-hooking
05. Clawing, scratching, pinching or grabbing of the skin
06. Grabbing the openings or straps of the headgear or trunks
07. Grabbing of hair
08. Grabbing fewer than three (3) fingers or toes
09. Any throw which locks the knees or is designed to, or which results in, an athlete being thrown onto their head or neck
10. Any technique which severely compresses or hyper-extends the spine
11. Grappling heel hooks
12. Dynamic application of joint locks or chokes which deny an athlete the opportunity to submit before injury occurs
13. Avoiding engagement
14. Failure to defend
15. Feigning injury
16. Unsportsmanlike Conduct, including use of profanity, excessive "celebration", taunting or any behavior deemed unsportsmanlike by tournament officials.
Lightweight ............... under 100 lbs
Super Lightweight .... 101-115 lbs
Welterweight ............ 116-130 lbs
Middleweight ........... 131-145 lbs
Super Middleweight  146-160 lbs
Light Heavyweight .. 161-175 lbs
Heavyweight ............ 176-190 lbs
Super Heavyweight . 191-210 lbs
Maxima .................... 211-230 lbs
Super Maxima ........ .231 lbs and over