Rodrigo Cavaca (Check Mat) has his hand raised after defeating Andre de Freitas (Gracie Fighter) at Grapplers Quest in 2009. Both will be competing at this weekend’s 2010 Pan Jiu-Jitsu Championship.
To limit the influence of super large jiu-jitsu teams overwhelming a certain bracket to ensure points for earning a medal, each team can only enter two competitors in a single division.
Here’s what I mean. Let’s imagine that you manage a large team of Brazilian jiu-jitsu competitors and have a dozen black belts that can compete at medium. While having a dozen competitors in a single division on one’s team does not absolutely ensure a medal for any of them, it would make the work of a team with far less competitors much harder, reducing the chances that they make it to the podium at the end of the day. Because the tournaments are supposed to represent who the best individual fighters are and not whose team is the largest, the International Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Federation prohibits you from entering all twelve of those athletes under your flag in the event. Your team’s leadership can only pick two of them.
Here are a couple of examples coming from this weekend’s 2010 Pan Jiu-Jitsu Championship. Take these competitors in the notoriously competitive lightweight division:
- Alliance Lucas Lepri
- Alliance Michael Langhi
- Alliance Atlanta William Cooper
- Gracie Barra Bruno Amorim
- Gracie Barra Sergio Rodrigo de Oliveira
- Gracie Barra America Joao Sobrinho
- Gracie Barra America Rodrigo Freitas
- Gracie Barra Long Island Joe Scarola
You’ll notice that there are only two names listed next to Alliance, and two names listed next to Gracie Barra. This means that if Lucas Lepri or Michael Langhi earn a medal, only their points would go to the Alliance team points. (A gold medal earns 9 points, a silver medal earns 3 points, and a bronze medal earns one point.) If Bill “The Grill” Cooper wins a medal, his points would be accumulated with everyone else’s who was registered under the team named Alliance Atlanta.
The same thing goes for Bruno Amorim and Sergio Rodrigo de Oliveira. They bear the responsibility for bringing home the points for Gracie Barra’s main team.
Of course, should Cooper, Sobrinho, Freitas, or Scarola do well and bring home a medal, we in the public will still associate them with their parent organization (Alliance or Gracie Barra). But in terms of how their points are counted this weekend, only two athletes will be under that pressure. They are their organization’s “A Team”.