2018 will see IMMAF begin to implement its groundbreaking, regulated youth competition platform.
This begins in June when the 2018 European Championships coincides with the European Youth Open (17-23 June) – the first event of its kind. The historic new direction continues in September as China hosts the 2018 Asian Open Championships in Beijing, alongside the inaugural IMMAF Junior MMA World Championships (3-8 September).
Under 21’s competition (for ages 18-20) will be the first wave of new opportunity for young, developing athletes. These competitions will take place under the usual IMMAF Amateur MMA Rules. Meanwhile, the ‘senior’ events remain open to all competitors of 18 and above.
Much like the counterparts and junior divisions of various other sports, such as wrestling or even under-21 soccer teams, IMMAF’s Junior events are designed to provide better opportunity for younger rising stars to shine against fellow competitors of a more limited range of experience. In line with IMMAF’s ethos, they also create a safer competition environment for younger adults who have not yet reached their physical peak. Additionally, the Junior competitions create greater opportunities for national teams to win medals.
IMMAF is currently working to develop the following rule sets tailored for the development of Pre-Junior and Cadet competitors:
U18s (16, 17 year olds): Pre-Junior Rules
U16s (14, 15 year olds): Cadet Rules
U14s (12, 13 year olds): Cadet Rules