Saturday, March 15, 2014


I have just been handed a document entitled Sambo Code of Points  (major amendments). This document wants to change some of the Rules of Sambo, the first thing I would say is that  “change for the sake of change” is not always a good thing

Most of the changes are to do with admin and some make sense for example in the Veterans they believe U 40 years should not be classed as a Veteran and O 70 can be to dangerous, it also states that the average participation in the Worlds for this particular group is just 3 per weight per age. So I agree things need to be altered. Also they suggest for World Championships the youngest group would be Cadets 15-16 years have to agree with that.

The one thing I do not agree with is changing the scoring system they want to change Victory from a 12pt margin to an 8pt margin this I believe will be detrimental to the sport as 12pts makes a far more interesting match and proves beyond doubt player’s superiority. There are some other rather ambiguous rules changes, such as a throw is only valid when the athlete is in the standing position before their opponent falls down. Does this mean if your opponent is on his knees in front and facing you, there is no score if you throw him from that position?

 What will make a financial difference is they want the White referees Uniforms to change to Grey to please TV who also want the Mat Colours to change to a softer pastel colour as suits TV. The question here should the Sport be at the beck and call of TV? They also want to change the International size of the area to 11m x 11m instead of of the present 12m x 12m the latter being that the size is better suited to Sports Halls. Yet has anyone considered the cost to FIAS and National Associations? In GB we have a 12 x 12 in Scotland, 2 covers 12 x 12 in Bedford and a 11 x 11 in Kent all with the correct markings to change all these would cost from £10,000 money we do not have.

Back in 1990/1991 I was on the FIAS EC and a suggestion from the USA was change the match times to 5 minutes, which would fit in with TV Commercial breaks. My argument at the time, which still holds, is that do we honestly think that Sambo will become mainstream entertainment NO. Sambo is a live and kicking on Internet TV unless TV are going to give us Millions of pounds I suggest leave well enough alone.

When I started Sambo in the early 1970’s we used to have 2 x 3 minutes rounds, you got points for throws and submission for arm lock and leg lock no ground holds. With Sambo being involved with FILA ground holds were allowed along with 1 point for getting round the back. When FIAS was formed in 1985 the rules became roughly what they are today the silly 1-point for round the back was taken out and the 2 rounds were eliminated both these were in place to appease the Free Style Wrestlers. I believe FIAS rules as they are easy to understand and follow, yes we should regularly look at the rules, maybe there is something to say about the 8pts, do we need the active mark, surely kicking to the groin should be banned. Yet to much change can alter the sport completely, look at  the damage the International Judo Federation has done to Judo with their continual rule changes


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