The IBJJF has just announced that they will now be introducing a kids ranking system to exist alongside the current ones available for more advanced competitors. The organization has ranked competitors for a long time, and reaching the top spot of the adult black belt rankings is something that most grapplers will strive to achieve throughout their career. This isn’t just because of the prestige attached to the achievement though, as the IBJJF also hands out monetary prizes for the top three athletes in it’s rankings as well. First place gets $16,000 at the end of the season while second and third place get $5,000 and $2,500 respectively.
While the kids ranking obviously won’t have any monetary prizes up for grabs, there will still be a fair amount of prestige attached to reaching the top. The new kids ranking system will work almost entirely the same way that the IBJJF adults and masters rankings work, although there is a key difference. Because children continue to grow and develop at uneven paces, both in terms of size and actual skill on the mats, their rankings will reset every single year on January 1st. In the other ranking systems, achievements from the previous two years are also counted even though they are given a lower weighting.
As always, changing academy or location will not effect their ranking as it is done according to the individual competitor instead. This will not only give young competitors something bigger to aim for over a longer time-frame, but it will also make it easier for fans of the sport to discover talented grapplers on their rise through the rankings. According to the IBJJF, this is also part of a wider range of changes and new expansion of offerings for children that will aim to encourage participation in the sport.
The full IBJJF ranking tables for all competitors across adults, masters, and kids can be found here.