Our most requested enhancement to the tournament experience has been a coaches area. In 2021 we rolled out a pilot program for the coaches area. When we rolled this pilot program out we outlined that it would be for black belts only initially. We did this in order to test the program and ensure that it did not interfere with the tournament flow and so that we could iron our an issues that may arise. The pilot program has been generally well received and we have had positive feedback related to coaches access for mat side coaching. The one recurring additional request that we received was related to assistant coaches. Many schools have non-black belt coaches who run their kids and fundamentals programs and these coaches were previously not allowed in the coaches area. To address this request we are going to expand the coaches program.
Program Expansion Details
To accommodate assistant coaches we are going to provide wristbands based on the number of registered athletes for a given event. The breakdown is as follows:
0 to 4 registered athletes – One Coach + 0 assistant coach wristbands
5 to 10 registered athletes – One Coach + 1 assistant coach wristband
11 to 20 registered athletes – One Coach + 2 assistant coach wristbands
Over 20 registered athletes – One Coach + 3 assistant coach wristbands
Some events will have separate lists for Kids and Adult divisions. Some weekend we run multiple events on the same day, for example Novice Cup and NoGi State. In the case of multiple events we will have separate wristband lists for each event. Please see the Smoothcomp event page for specifics on the wristband allocations for that event.
These wristbands will be in addition to black belt ID card access. If you have a black belt ID card you do not need a wristband to access. However, if you have a black belt ID card but you do not have it at the venue you will need a wristband to access the coaches area. Wristbands CANNOT be transferred to another coach or another team. Any coaches inside the coaches area will need to either have a wristband or black belt ID card visible at all times. Violation of these could lead to coaching area privileges being revoked for the academy.
We will have a coaches check in table where wristbands can be picked up.
To re-iterate, Black Belts with a Black Belt ID card will be allowed free entry and will not need a wristband. However, if you are a black belt and have not applied for a black belt ID card or if you do not being your black belt ID card to the event you will need to use one of the wristbands provided for your team. If you have not applied for a black belt ID card you can do so at https://azbjjf.smoothcomp.com/en/federation/28/membership
Event Day Logistics
The expansion of the coaches area program increases the need for our AZ bJJ community to work with us to ensure that the events run smoothly. In order to eliminate congestion for staff, athletes, and other coaches we require coaches to exit the competition area as soon as the athlete that they are coaching completes their match. We consider this expansion a pilot program. If the expansion of additional coaches leads to congestion in the competition area we may decide it necessary to roll back the wristband program. We believe if we work together and get cooperation from everyone we can keep this highly requested element even as our events and community grow.
We see this expansion of the coaches area program as our continued effort to enhance the tournament experience for athletes, coaches, and parents. We look forward to seeing you all soon.