Yet Another Judging Scheme: Relative Scoring + Fractional Points

Has someone suggested this already? Probably, whatever.

The idea is to put together something pretty simple & easy to understand, but flexible enough (in an easy-to-understand way again) to capture the differences between close & dominant rounds.

Here's the idea:

  • Round 1 of any fight will be 10-9;
  • Round 2 will be:
    • 10-8 if it was less close than round 1;
    • 10-9 if equally close;
    • 10-9.5 if closer than round 1;
  • And so on for further rounds, using previous scores as benchmarks for later rounds.

Disadvantages: less simple than "10-9 all the time"; less nuanced than a system encouraging the occasional 10-10; in a 5 round fight where each round is closer than the last, you could wind up with a 10-9.925 round, if judges can even figure out what 15/16 comes out to. Plus, of course, this wouldn't do anything to help judges who give a round to the wrong person--but that's not what I'm going for.

On the other hand, here's the main benefit I see: judges wind up having to ask themselves fairly straightforward questions--in each round, they ask themselves "who won that round?", and in rounds after the first they ask themselves "was that round closer than the other ones in this fight?" But they DON'T have to ask themselves, "was that round more dominant than all the other ones that I and other judges have previously considered a10-9 or 10-8?" That's a hard question to answer, and naturally leads to conservatism from people who want to avoid precedent setting, or just want to avoid criticism generally.

Here's a weird side effect that's probably a disadvantage, but I don't know: taking a point for a foul will mean different things in different fights. It probably should be a bigger deal in close fights than not-close fights (1 point off is a bigger deal if there are lots of 10-9.5 rounds than if there are lots of 10-8 rounds). But that's not quite what this system would entail: a point deduction makes a big difference in a fight where the rounds get closer & closer as it goes on, but not so much in a fight where the rounds become more and more of a blowout. You might think this is good because it makes sense to weigh more heavily the later rounds than the earlier ones--but on the other hand, it kind of makes the punishment for fouls more random, which is definitely a bad thing. On the other hand, referees rarely deduct points, so forget about it.

We could also look at variants on the basic idea: do everything in half-point increments (so where I said above round 2 would be 10-8 if more dominant than round 1, replace that with 10-8.5), or make round 1 something other than 10-9 and everything in full-point increments, etc. But I think the basic idea might work. I mean, not that anything will ever change ever in MMA judging ever, but in theory I like this.

\The FanPosts are solely the subjective opinions of Bloody Elbow readers and do not necessarily reflect the views of Bloody Elbow editors or staff.

Log In Sign Up

Log In Sign Up

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join Bloody Elbow

You must be a member of Bloody Elbow to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Bloody Elbow. You should read them.

Join Bloody Elbow

You must be a member of Bloody Elbow to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Bloody Elbow. You should read them.




Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.