California to test new judging system


California will experiment with a new points system for amateur mixed martial arts bouts beginning in 2011, a move that could lead to significant changes in judging at the professional level. The test will be conducted by the California Amateur Mixed Martial Arts Organization in conjunction with the California State Athletic Commission.

Fights will be scored under both standards, said Jeremy Lappen, CEO of CAMO, with the intent of delivering "comparative data" that regulators can use to determine whether or not the trial system -- Mixed Martial Arts Specific Scoring (MMAS) -- should eventually apply to the pros.

"We've used CAMO as a way of going about training officials," said CSAC executive officer George Dodd, "and this is the perfect place to test a half-point system because we can regulate it and evaluate how this system is working prior to us implementing or not implementing the program" for professionals (which would require a regulatory change).

The system, which includes using half points as well as putting increased emphasis on damage, striking and grappling, was developed by Nelson "Doc" Hamilton, a licensed judge and referee and one of the foremost authorities on MMA and regulatory issues.

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Half-point proposal

Hamilton proposes a scoring system based on breaking the scoring down to half-points, where a close round, a solid win, a dominant win and having the opponent on the verge of defeat could all be differentiated.

Under this system, if a fighter wins a round that’s difficult to call, it gets scored 10-9.5. When it’s clear that one fighter won the round, it’s 10-9. When a fighter dominates the round but doesn’t have his opponent in bad shape during the round, or if a fighter does major damage but the opponent gets a degree of offense in, that would be a 10-8.5. A 10-8 round or lower would be similar to how things are scored today.

“To a man, every judge I’ve spoken with favors this system,” Hamilton said. “The problem is you will start getting arguments about a 10-9 vs. a 10-8.5. Do we then go to quarter-points, or go like gymnastics with tenths of a point,” said Kizer, the executive director of the Nevada Athletic Commission.

Without question, this system will lead to more debates about scorecards from fans, but it could fine-tune final scores, to the point that the judges’ scores aren’t at odds with the person they feel won the fight.

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For further details Hamilton's system, click here.


Recent Comments »

goku site profile image  

12/3/10 2:27 PM by goku

at the end of the day, this will it will not solve world crisis but it will lead to better results...there have been SOOOO many rounds where it was basically a toss up but the judges have to give it to one guy over the other--.5 rounds are perfect for this

mrgoodarmbar site profile image  

12/3/10 1:40 PM by mrgoodarmbar

I disagree..First it's pathetic that we need to dumb things down for them. However they do still need do a recalibration. They used to mark something as 10-9...was this one close enough to change to a 9.5 or was it still a 9?...etc. This is like the patchwork "fixing" of our tax code...It's not fixing the root of the problem: The mma knowledge of the judges and the scoring criteria.

BuddyRevell site profile image  

12/3/10 10:00 AM by BuddyRevell

Half points in a 10-point system are good because judges wouldn't have to totally rethink/recalibrate what an 10-8 round is. Standards for a 10-8 would be the same under a new half point system as it currently is: complete domination where one fighter almost finishes the other. It's just everything in between that would be more specific. Instead of using 10-9 as the go-to score for pretty much EVERYTHING like they do now, judges can have more precision to differentiate between extremely close rounds (10-9.5) and rounds with a clear winner (10-9).

goku site profile image  

12/3/10 9:36 AM by goku

Kizer is such a tard. There are already arguments about judging. There always will be. Doesn't mean you shouldn't try to make any incremental improvements to a seriously flawed system.

Jitsbaby site profile image  

12/3/10 9:23 AM by Jitsbaby

haha, this too!

Jitsbaby site profile image  

12/3/10 9:11 AM by Jitsbaby

This still does not fix the root problem, which is incorrectly scoring rounds for who they think is or is not winning the fight based on the fact that they feel compelled to give the round to one of the two guys, rarely is a single round a draw.So this 1/2 point system is just complicating the system already in place. They need to go away with the 10 point must period, and stop judging individual rounds because this is a fight not boxing, the winner of the fight should be the guy that inflicts the most damage as a whole, not in each round.Example of possible problem with this system:Even if rounds 1 and 2 are pretty much a stale mate, with the 10 point must you are still awarding a winner to each of those rounds.So lets say rounds 1 and 2 are even, but fighter A moves forward a little more, judges score it RD 1 10/9.5 for fighter ARD 2 10/9.5 for fighter Athen round 3 is a clear but not dominating victory for fighter BRD 3 10/9 for fighter BThe most damage was inflicted by fighter B as a whole, but he only did this in one of the 3 'fights'.We now have a DRAW on the scoring cards, where fighter B should have won the fight since the first two rounds were a stalemate as far as damage goes.My opinion on what the judging should be is very simple and very straight forward...Judge the fight as a whole, instead of 3 separate rounds, and the criteria is as follows:At the end of the fight, which guy would you rather be?That guy wins.

A 21 Second BJ site profile image  

12/3/10 9:11 AM by A 21 Second BJ

 LOL ... new rules, same shitty judges. Getting rid of cecil peoples would be a much bigger step in the right direction.

mrgoodarmbar site profile image  

12/3/10 8:59 AM by mrgoodarmbar

HOLY FUCKING IDIOTS!!!...How F-in dumb are these people!1. Going to 1/2 points is NO different than going to a 20 point system2. A 10 point system is just the equivalent of a 5pt system that uses 1/2 points.3. They wouldn't need 1/2 points if regular rounds were scored 10-8 and ridiculously close rounds were scored 10-9.Did these people fail 1st grade math? It's not the numbering that matters. It's the CRITERIA that needs changing.

Flannerz site profile image  

12/3/10 7:58 AM by Flannerz

Do you think a lot of the problems now are due to judges not scoring rounds as 10/10 ? It seems to me like in very close rounds people are trying to find the smallest reason for a fighter to win that round. If more round were scored 10/10, you might get a few more draws at first, but then fighters would try more to win rounds

GriffinQ site profile image  

12/3/10 2:41 AM by GriffinQ

 I just wish it weren't California implementing this. They've proven their incompetence time and again, with the latest example being today during the hearing/meeting. Nevada should be the one implementing this first, but Kizer's a lazy bitch.