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General Rules

NOTE: For specific rules applicable to the tournament formats please refer to the following links:


  1. If a competitor concedes, the opponent is declared the winner. Quitting is indicated by:

    1. lifting the index finger or hand

    2. repetitively tapping the surface of the mat with their hand

    3. yelling out with a cry of pain or asking the referee to stop​

  2. If there is a difference of 10 points between the two competitors, then the match stops as a concession of defeat, with technical victory declared in the favour of the competitor with the most points. This is checked and announced by the referee with the cooperation of the supporting event members.

  3. The competitor who has the highest score at the end of a normal duration of the competition is declared the winner.

  4. If at the end of the competition there is a draw (i.e. both competitors have the same score), a one minute overtime period comes into effect. During the overtime round the competitor who gains the first point from whatever action (point or penalty), is announced the winner. If the overtime round also ends in a draw, then the event members will determine a winner, based on the dynamism, aggressiveness and competitive attitude relative to the opponent.


KNOCK DOWN is a situation where a competitor is under attack which results in the situation of temporary loss of orientation (no resistance, lack of defence or similar behaviour). This gives the right to the referee to stop the match and proceed with a count up starting with the number "1" and up to "10".

When the competitor who received the attack has recovered prior to the "8" count and, in the referees opinion, is fit to continue the match then the match may restart. Otherwise, the opponent is announced winner. The match will not continue until the referee reaches the count at eight, even if the competitor is ready to continue the match before the end of the count.

KNOCK OUT is when the competitor has a complete loss of the ability to defend themselves because of a strike performed and the competitor cannot fully recover at the end of the count to "10" and continue the match. If the competitor is in a knocked out state, only the competition doctor and the referee can stay on the mat until cleared by the doctor.

During a match, up to two KNOCK DOWNS are allowed.


The KNOCK DOWNS mentioned do not take into account KNOCK DOWNS that appear from any wrong technical actions or violation of the Rules.


The following are not permitted and may result in penalties, immediate disqualification or banning: 

  • Direct strikes to the face of any kind. Actions, techniques and moves that are executed without control, close to the head of the opponent, are forbidden, even if they do not result in points.

  • Striking the throat, neck, spine, genitals and joints

  • Head butting

  • Twisting together the joint of knee and ankle

  • Twisting together or distortion of fingers

  • Overstretching or locking of vertebral column

  • Crushing or intentional slamming on the ground from above waist height - for example throwing over the chest, by tying the body from behind while aiming at crashing the opponent’s neck on a suplex.

  • Biting, hooking or gouging

  • Grabbing the skin

  • ​Pulling the opponent’s hair, ears, nose and genitals

  • Purposefully stamping or kicking the opponent after the completion of a throw

  • Striking the opponent’s head on the surface of the ring

  • Continuously retreating to hinder the competition

  • To wring the opponent’s neck or head with both arms locked around it (intention of controlling) while wrestling

  • Exiting the fight before completion. A competitor who intentionally pushes his opponent out of the allotted space will be punished for unsporting behaviour. If a competitor leaves the allotted space on their own it is considered exiting.

  • Acting or faking an injury

  • Not protecting oneself (e.g., ignoring the strikes of the opponent in order to execute an action successfully)

  • Coating the skin with any substance, or the use of dressing (e.g., gauze) or protective materials, without the authorization of the doctor.

NOTE: The event of a severe disqualification may result in expulsion from the organisation or the next continuous tournament. It may also result in the permanent banning from Pankration Australia (after a decision by the authorised agents). This is regardless of who caused it (competitor, coach, sports supporters etc.).


Where one or both competitors continuously retreats, avoids engagement or fails to act, then the referee can at their discretion warn the offender. If this behaviour continues then a point will be deducted for each infringement. After the deduction of 3 points then disqualification of the match will occur.


Unsporting behaviour includes deliberate actions by a competitor, team members, coaches or spectators which may harm the reputation of the sport. They may result in penalties, disqualification or banning of both the offenders and  related agents. These behaviours  include:

  • Shouting or even stating obscenities​, threats, slurs or similar inappropriate statements

  • Making inappropriate gestures

  • Dangerous actions off the mat

  • Indecent behaviour or forbidden acts

  • Unsporting attitudes or intentional activities

  • Intentionally excessively injuring  an opponent

  • Arguing with referees and judges

This rule applies both on and off the mat and can be executed even when no competition is underway.



Penalties depending on the offence and repeated tend to result in:

  • Penalty, first warning

  • Penalty, second warning. 1 point to the opponent.

  • Penalty, third warning. 2 points to the opponent.

  • Disqualification

  • Ejection (in the event of a severe penalty)


The decision for the above penalties is made by the referee who may consult with one or more of the supporting tournament organisers.

Depending on the unsporting behaviour in violation of the competitive rules, the referee can enforce an immediate double warning (e.g. if it is the first penalty, 1 point is announced, if it is the second penalty 2 points are announced), ignore the warning grades. If an unsporting behaviour is considered as a heavy penalty, the referee can announce a triple warning (2 points penalty) after an agreement with the supporting team is agreed.

The penalties are defined as forbidden acts according to the following categories:

  1. Exiting the ring

  2. Unsporting behaviour

  3. Dangerous behaviour


Any technique completed after the end of a round may result in a penalty


Athletes must be:

  • clean

  • with cut nails

  • tied hair (if it is long)

  • clear-dry clothes

  • not wearing jewellery

Any metallic-plastic or other items which may cause injuring to opponents are also forbidden unless there is prior approval from the referee.

Although internationally competitors are dressed in endyma (a blue and white outfit similar to a gi), in Australia we also accept student uniforms from schools which typically take on the form of an MMA outfit.

For competitors, protective equipment varies depending on the competition format but generally rules are that competitors wear:

  • a protective cup (males) or optional female groin guard

  • a mouth guard (note for people wearing braces additional consideration may be made by the referee)


Other protective wear is also permitted if there is a medical condition with supporting medical evidence and approval from the referee.

Any evidence of a skin disorder must also be supported by a medical certificate that validates the disorder is not infectious or harmful to others.

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