Copa Pacifica 18 took place this last weekend in Huntington Beach, California. The two day event is a great warm up athletes prepping for the IBJJF Worlds.
Cleber Luciano’s Copa Pacifica 18 is a long running regional event that has its ups and downs. This year was no different. The biggest issue at this event was plain and simple, the reffing. Of course, being a smaller event much of the officiating seemed to be kids from the high school who were running the score boards. On more than one occasion they had messed up the match length depending on the belt, but also sometimes points were not reset until the middle of a match or points not added up correctly.
The refs themselves made quite a few mistakes. The most egregious mistake was when a match was stopped due to what was a supposed illegal straight ankle lock, which is actually legal at blue belt, so the match had to be fought all over again. Multiple times competitors were waiting for a ref to start a match considering it seems they did not have enough officials to run the six mats that were going.
Also, a common thread with regional tournaments is not running on times. Both days the event were nearly 2 hours behind even with a 3 hour time span given for certain athletes to compete. It did not help the cause that some refs had to not ref at certain times to coach athletes. At the end of the day, Copa Pacifica 18 still gave athletes an avenue to compete, find the holes in their game, and that is all in an effort to make themselves better.
The discrepancy between the regional circuit like Copa Pacifica 18 and higher events like IBJJF and NABJJF is something to be considered. People still like to get on the mats but with some of the unprofessional level of that you find on the regional circuit it is not hard to see why some athletes stray away from these events.