Polaris released a cryptic statement recently about bringing team grappling to the UK and we can now exclusively reveal the innovative ruleset and the first competitor for their next event, Polaris Squads on Saturday, 27th September. A relatively young promotion, Polaris has been running since 2015 and has already featured a number of ADCC and IBJJF World Champions alongside several high-profile UFC stars. This marks their very first attempt at a team event and there are a significant number of differences between this and the most popular form of team grappling, the Quintet ruleset.
Polaris Squads will feature larger teams than the traditional four five-man teams that compete in Quintet tournaments, they’re actually bringing us two teams of eight grapplers instead. This allows for a longer match between the two teams as they will compete in for eighty minutes, split into two forty-minute halves, similar to other team sports like Football or Rugby. Polaris are also doing away with a team weight-limit and instead, both teams will field four -75kg competitors and four -95kg competitors. Each match will have a five-minute time limit and there are no points or judge’s decisions in play so any match that reaches that time will be declared a draw, eliminating both competitors.
Every submission victory earns the team a point and if a -75kg grappler submits a -95kg one, he will earn his team 3 points instead. The individual matches will follow a winner-stays-on format with the losing Team Captain choosing the next competitor to take the stage. When one competitor loses or fights to a draw, they are unable to compete again until the rest of their team has had also stepped up. Another notable difference between Polaris Squads and Quintet is that all submissions are legal, including heelhooks, spine locks and neck cranks.
This first team event will be Team UK and Ireland v Team Europe, allowing the promotion the chance to feature some elite grapplers from close to home taking on the best that the rest of the continent has to offer. Polaris sources are being tight-lipped on the full lineup as yet but we can reveal that Polaris Bantamweight and Lightweight Champion, Ashley Williams, will be one of the -75kg grapplers representing Team UK and Ireland at the event.
The full event will be streamed live on 27th September on UFC FightPass, click here to subscribe and watch.