USA Judo News 2013 IJF Refereeing ...

2013 IJF Refereeing Rules - USA Judo Rules Update

June 05, 2013, 9:56 a.m. (ET)



IJF Refereeing & Competition Rules Modifications

For 2013 – 2016

Update Supplement To Mexico City Seminar Document Dated January 31, 2013

May 1, 2013    CORRECTION On June 6, 2013



The  content  of  this  document  has  been  reviewed,  approved,  and  accepted  by  the  USA  Judo  Referee

Commission, USA Judo Coaches Commission, and the USA Judo Board of Directors.


This document is an update and supplement to the initial new rules document released on January 31, 2013, after the IJF/CPJ Seminar in Mexico City, Mexico.  Please use both documents together to provide a complete guide to rule changes and their most current interpretations and protocols.


The item #s are the same as they were in the initial document from January 31, 2013. The numbers are disjointed, as only those items that needed updated are included in this document.



Clinics Around The Country

Although the initial plethora of clinics being conducted around the country has abated, there are still many continuing educational opportunities available. Please contact your local/regional resources or the Referee Commission for leads.



New Rule Implementation Schedule

As of March 22, 2013, the new rules should be in use nationally at all sanctioned judo competitions.


II. Referee And Judges

A. Original Language:

Only one referee on the mat and one referee at a video check table with a radio communication assisted by a referee commission member or another referee will judge the fights. A rotation system will be implemented for the Referees. The Super Jury will interfere only when they consider it to be necessary.

B. Update:  New Recommendations

1. ALL events use one (1) On-Mat Referee System a. Three (3) referees assigned to each match

i. One (1) On-Mat Referee

ii. Two (2) Matside Referees

b. Utilize at ALL USA Judo national championship events

i. STARTING with 2013 Junior Olympic Championships - June 2013 c. Reminder

i. This is a RECOMMENDATION for local & regional events ii. It is NOT MANDATORY for local & regional events

2. Radios are optional and NOT necessary

a. Non-verbal communication (gestures) effective

b. Team should be in sync and know when support may be needed c. Change(s)

i. Needed - communicate/indicate with gestures

ii. Not needed - nothing or communicate confirmation/agreement

3. CARE Systems are optional and NOT necessary

a. Highly recommend the use of CARE systems

i. See for affordable high quality systems b. 3-people team can work effectively

c. Changes only when necessary d. Can consult with Jury




IV. Landing On The Bridge Position

A. Original Language:

All situations of landing on the bridge position will be considered Ippon.

B. Update:  Uke Has Clear Intention To Bridge = Ippon


2. Bridging on...

a. Head & shoulder(s) = Hansokumake  IPPON

b. Shoulder(s) = Hansokumake  IPPON

c. Side = Hansokumake  IPPON



CORRECTION On June 6, 2013


X. Penalized With Hansoku-make:

A. Original Language:

All attacks or blocking with one or two hands or with one or two arms below the belt in Tachi- waza.

B. Update:  Some Folks Have Tried To Make The Leap That Since One Can Successfully Attack Below

The Obi With Techniques Like Kataguruma Or Kouchimakikomi, As Long As The Tori

Maintains Their Grip With Both Hands Throughout The Attack/Throw, One Can Block/Defend

Below The Obi As Long As They Maintain Their Grip With The Blocking/Defending Hand.

1. This is INCORRECT

2. Blocking/Defending with hand(s)/arm(s) below the belt while maintaining grips is STRICTLY PROHIBITED and penalized with Hansoku-make




XVI. Duration Of Contests:

A. Original Language:

No time limit for Golden Score (Hantei is cancelled).

B. Update:  Scoreboard Details & Referee's Procedure

1. The IJF scoreboard is available for downloading & use

2. Otherwise, at the end of regulation time, the scoreboard should... a. Sound a buzzer, indicating the end of regulation time

b. Display match time as 0:00

c. Preserve all scores & penalties

d. Configure the match time clock to count up from 0:00

3. The procedure for the referee is to...

a. Announce Soremade  (at the appropriate moment)

b. Have the athletes return to their respective starting positions c. If appropriate, instruct athlete(s) to fix judogi(s)

d. Confirm that scoreboard is properly configured for golden score e. Restart match

f. Continue until 1st score or violation ends contest




XVIII. General Comments & Observations

A. Update:  Judogi Control

1. Must Inspect Improper Judogis The 1st Time Athlete Appears

2. Inspection & Disqualification After Multiple Appearances a. Makes for terrible appearances

b. Nonsensical - He wore that for 3 rounds and suddenly it is no good and they are


c. Alters placement results drastically - disqualifications in quarterfinals or semifinals, & etc.

3. Team must visually inspect each athlete's judogi each time they appear

a. Do NOT ASSUME that they have been properly inspected/checked b. If it appears to be improper - measure it the 1st time and quickly

B. Update:  Pay More Attention To Crushing - STILL A BIG PROBLEM

1. Referees MUST Be Able To Determine When An Athlete Is CRUSHING The Opponent For

Defensive/Tactical Purposes Vs Setting Up A Real Attack

2. Penalize The Appropriate Player



XXII. Tatami

A. Original Language

10x10 m and 4 meters minimum for safety area for Olympics, Worlds and Masters. Recommended for Continental Championships.

B. Update:  The IJF Sporting Code allows for 3 meter safety areas including for common safety areas.

It also states that, "4m will be highly recommended for competitor safety". Thus, taking into consideration:

• Safety & protection of the athletes

• IJF standards

• Space limitations of many venues

• Problems and concerns of local, regional, and national tournament organizers

We have reviewed and approved the following standards for USA Judo sanctioned events

1. Contest Area

a. Minimum size:  6M x 6M

i. Generally for competition for athletes 12 years old & younger

ii. May be used for competition in smaller venues for everyone:  juniors, intermediates, seniors, & masters

b. Recommended sizes:  8M x 8M or 7M x 7M

c. Maximum size:  10M x 10M

2. Safety Area

a. Minimum size:

i. All-around - 3M

ii. Between adjoining contest areas - 4M

b. Recommended sizes:

i. All-around - 4M

ii. Between adjoining contest areas - 4M

c. Maximum size:

i. All-around - 4M+

ii. Between adjoining contest areas - 4M+


*** Failure To Satisfy These Safety Area Minimums Will Void The Tournament's Sanction ***

                                C. Contest & Safety Area Sample Diagrams



- Mexico City Jan 31, 2013 -