It is critical to have a thorough understanding of the rules and what is allowed at certain levels. In a tournament setting assuming actually only makes an ass out of you! And nothing screams douche waffle louder then someone arguing a call with a ref when that someone is simply wrong because he/she did not understand a rule or how points are distributed. Not to mention the element of surprise when your opponent does not know the rules inside and out; I won the 09 No Gi Worlds with a wrist lock and my opponent screaming emphatically it was illegal. The ref did not even know and had to check! But I knew and waited patiently for the right call. Quite simply you can push the limits more with a solid understanding of rules.
I am going to highlight some of the major rules, as you can click here and check out the complete IBJJF rule set for competition. I plan on attending some referee courses in the near future as well. Again to understand the rules and flow of competition better, but also for the possibility of working tournaments in the future to help offset the cost of competition!
Being a ref is tough! It is not a job I envy but it is necessary. Bad calls happen and as a competitor you need to be prepared for them. Losing your cool and acting like an ape makes you look foolish and is not sportsmen like at all. Quite simply if you wish to remain in control never relinquish that control to anyone else including the refs. Finish your opponent with a submission and their is no question, no debate. Submission is truth!
Understanding advantages and points is crucial to the game. I have heard many people poo-poo points and their importance, but remember we are playing a game where their needs to be a winner and loser determined by some outcome if submission is not achieved. I think playing to points is a bit of a bitch move, always go for the submission never stall. But in the heat of a scramble the scrappier of the two will be awarded points and will be determined the winner.
Also ensure when training for a tournament to hold your position for at least 3 seconds. Getting into this habit will pay dividends when the adrenaline is flowing and you are trying to get points for knee on belly!
As far as advantages go... all I can say is be aggressive! The go getter will stick in the ref's mind more so then the sit and wait fighter. The more you try, the more you will be rewarded.