Tournament Rules & Regulations

We follow International Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Federation Rules for ALL divisions.

You can download / view the IBJJF rulebook here.

Answers to rules and regulations questions not addressed here may be found on our FAQ Page.

Tap Cancer Out Rule Differentiations

  • Rashguards are OPTIONAL for all competitors. Spats / Leggings under the Gi pants, however, are NOT allowed.
  • You may wear any Gi color you’d like, as long as the top and bottom match.
  • All athletes 15 and under as well as all White and Blue Belts (16 and over) will NOT be disqualified for certain (but not all) illegal moves of a positional nature (ex: knee reap) that do NOT result in an immediate tap/submission unless the foul was flagrant or caused opponent unable to continue match. However, they will be penalized.
  • Also, a fourth infraction of serious fouls (such as pulling guard without grip and stalling) for the aforementioned divisions would concede two points to an opponent for each infraction, as would each subsequent infraction. Illegal moves and serious fouls are stated in the IBJJF rules manual linked above.
  • For athletes 15 and under as well as all White and Blue Belts (16 and over) , Tap Cancer Out referees have the discretion to warn competitors in advance that they are about to apply an illegal submission hold in order to help prevent disqualification and injury. However, if they do not warn a competitor and an illegal submission is applied, that competitor may be disqualified.
  • If ANY competitor, regardless of age/rank, uses an illegal move which results in a submission / tap, that competitor will be disqualified from that match (they may continue to compete if it is Round Robin or if they have an additional third-place match in a Single Elimination bracket).
  • Purple, Brown, and Black belts are still subject to disqualification as stated in the IBJJF rulebook.

Legal and Illegal Submissions

We follow IBJJF’s list of legal and illegal submissions. This means there ARE legal submissions at ALL ages as well as illegal submissions that, if they’re applied, will result in disqualification.

Please click on the thumbnail below to see the full PDF of Technical Fouls and Illegal Moves per the IBJJF.

Download the full PDF of IBJJF Legal and Illegal Submissions here

Uniform & Protective Gear

As of 2021 – The wearing of rashguards is OPTIONAL for all competitors. This is one of the few rules that does not align with the IBJJF rulebook.

Spats / Leggings under the Gi pants, however, are NOT allowed.

We do not require any specific Gi color, however, the Gi top and bottom MUST match.

Only fabric-based protective gear (ex: knee brace) may be worn. They may not contain any metal or plastic pieces. This means no cups/groin protectors for men. 

Ear protection may NOT be worn.

Transgender Policy

Tap Cancer Out is an inclusive tournament as we aim to fulfill our vision of giving every grappler the opportunity to fight for those in the fight of their lives.

With regards to transgender athletes competing in a Tap Cancer Out event, we do work within a policy that strives to provide fairness, inclusivity, and safety throughout all our divisions. Transgender athletes are absolutely welcome at Tap Cancer Out but those who wish to compete in the Female divisions are required to self-identify in order for us to gain context and discuss options by emailing us at registration@tapcancerout.org or filling out our contact us form. Transgender athletes who wish to compete in the male division need not self-identify, but are certainly welcome to as it may help in certain situations.

Our detailed Transgender Athlete policy can be viewed in full here.

Division Formats

For Adult divisions

We generally use single-elimination. We do offer third-place matches, however we reserve the right to award double-bronze if the size of a tournament deems it necessary.

When time allows, we may offer Round Robin to all competitors, including adults (kids are always Round Robin). This is solely at our discretion and will be announced prior to the tournament.

  1. Divisions with three (3) competitors will use a round-robin format using the tie-breakers listed in the “Tie Breakers” section.
  2. Divisions with two (2) competitors will be best two-out-of-three.

For Kids/Teens (4-15) divisions

We use a variety of formats to ensure that our kids are getting enough matches without giving them too many. It’s a fine line we have to walk to ensure that parents and coaches feel their kids are getting enough experience without wearing them out. Tournaments and divisions can vary greatly in size, so we reserve the right to use whichever format we feel is most prudent. It’s not a perfect science, but please understand we are doing our best.

Whichever the format, the ring coordinator will make it clear (to the best of their ability) which type is being used prior to the start of the division. We urge competitors NOT to leave the ring area until they have checked in with the ring coordinator to ensure they’re done.

When a child is alone in their division, we will move them to another division to ensure they get matches. Any movement will be discussed with a parent and/or coach. We will never move a child without a parent or coach’s consent.

  1. Divisions with more than eight (8) children will be split and treated as entirely separate divisions (each with their own gold, silver, bronze medalists) to ensure no division is larger than (7) children. 
  2. Divisions with six (6) or seven (7) children will use a Round Robin format with a MAXIMUM of 4 matches. Thus, not all competitors will fight each other. If two competitors end their division 4-0, an additional match will be created to determine 1st and 2nd placement.
  3. Divisions with three (3) – five (5) children will use a round-robin format
  4. Divisions with two (2) children will be best two-out-of-three

Round-Robin Tie-Breakers

An inevitability of round-robin is that there will be varied records. Sometimes it will be simple, with first place going undefeated, second place having one loss, etc. However, there are many times where that’s not the case, so we have to break the ties in records in some manner. This is the way we have chosen.

On the right is the hierarchy of tie-breakers to determine the results in a pool of competitors or in the rare case of a round robin format for adults (typically divisions of 3).

We will award multiple third-place medals for competitors under 16-years old (as many as those who tie for third in terms of record). These tie-breakers will be used to specifically have one first-place and one second-place competitor.

  1. Overall record
  2. Head-to-head record
  3. # of wins by submission
  4. # of wins by points
  5. # of wins by advantages
  6. # of wins by referee decision
  7. # of wins by opponent disqualification
  8. # of wins by forfeit or walkover
  9. Fastest submission (across all victories)
  10. Most points (across all victories)