Chapter 3
Scoring Methods

Bruce Gabrielson, PhD
1994 US SOMBO Team Coach

SOMBO Scoring

Both JUDO and SOMBO emphasize better technique to score at higher levels. However, while JUDO matches can be won with one better technique maneuver, SOMBO drastically differs in that it allows points to accumulate for each technique demonstrated. This means that even though a wrestler scores on one high point difficult technique move, he can still loose the match to a wrestler who scores on several lower technique moves.

There are three ways to score in SOMBO matches:

1. HOLD DOWN - A hold down is similar to the JUDO hold down or wrestling near fall. One wrestler must hold his opponents back to the mat with either back to chest or chest in contact to score. Slipping an arm between the contact points, pushing the attacker away to create a space, or turning over (past 90 degrees) to face the mat will break the hold down. A 10 second hold down will score 2 points, while a 20 second hold down will score 4 points. In a single match only one hold down per competitor can score. A hold down does not end the match as it does in JUDO.

Two or Four Point Hold Down

2. THROW - A throw is similar to a JUDO throw, except that the throw is elevated in point scoring according to two criteria: (1) the position of the throwing wrestler after the throw (on his feet or on the mat) and (2) how the thrown wrestler lands (stomach, back, side, or but). The total victory throw in SOMBO (Epon in JUDO) occurs when the attacking wrestler remains on his feet and the attacked wrestler lands on his back. This throw ends the match. Other throws where the attacker falls down or where the attacked wrestler lands in a better defensive position than on his back are awarded between 1 and 4 points. The key element in SOMBO throws is off balancing the opponent.

Two or Four Point Throw (Depending on How Throw Ends)

3. SUBMISSION HOLD - Submission holds, depending on if submissions are allowed in an age group, can be applied to arms or legs only (not hands and feet). Although legal in JUDO, choke holds are illegal and will result in a penalty caution. The match ends when one wrestler gives up by calling out or tapping the mat after the submission hold is applied. Calling out is taken very seriously in SOMBO, and can end a match even when the defender accidentally makes a loud noise. Talking can also result in a penalty or accidental award of match. The attacking wrestler is allowed to ke-yii when throwing, but other then this, it is best to make no noises when wrestling.

Submission Hold (One of Several)

Wrestling on the Mat

Wrestling on the mat takes place whenever a takedown occurs. Takedowns are similar to wrestling takedowns in that various points are scored off the throw depending on how each wrestler ends up when the takedown is completed. However, points are only awarded for the gaining control during the throw itself, not for gaining control without a throw.

Once on the mat, unless a hold down has already taken place,the wrestler must actively work towards a submission hold. Generally the referee will allow 15 to 20 seconds of active mat work are allowed before the wrestlers are brought to their feet. However, if mat work is not active, wrestlers are brought to their feet much quicker. In younger age groups where submission holds are not allowed (Schoolboy and below), wrestlers are immediately brought to standing after a takedown occurs and a hold down has already been awarded.