Referees Wrap Up Seminar In Spain

Feb. 09, 2015, 12:43 p.m. (ET)

Report on the 2015 IJF Referee Seminar
Málaga, Spain, January 30-31, 2015

In the afternoon of the first day, there was a session on tatami mats. All participants were required to wear white judogis. A few who had not gotten that message were allowed to participate this year in blue judogis with the understanding that all future seminars will only permit white judogis. No new points were brought up in the mat session. Only key points from the earlier video examples were reviewed and points that had been controversial were gone over to assist in the consensus building process. The second day of the clinic included a review of the final 21 video examples and the thanks of both commissions. A dinner with flamenco dancing was held the evening of the second day for all participants.

There were no rule changes to discuss and the video examples were simply challenging situations to interpret from the previous year’s competitions. The following is a summary of the key points:


Bridging is defined by the player’s intentional use of the head to defend against a throw. It is not necessary for the head and feet to touch at the same time if the intention to bridge is clear. When you see the chin up and the head arching back at the same time that the feet are reaching for the ground, this is an indication of bridging. Bridging results in an ippon call for tori in order to discourage children and young athletes from seriously injuring themselves. Video examples include:  #1, #6, #13, (#20-on the limit), #45


We must be strict to protect players from the application of wakigatame, assessing a penalty of hansokumake on the player who initiates this technique. Be aware that, in addition to wakigatame, other standing techniques are currently being applied against the elbow or shoulder. One example is sodetsurikomigoshi. Video examples include:  #4

Yuko Scoring

Do not look for impact with the hips or legs. Instead, focus on whether or not the side of the upper body comes in contact with the mat. Video examples include:  #5, #23

False Attack

When assessing false attack, consider the intention of the players, the kuzushi leading up to the action, and recognize the difference between a failed vs. a false attack. Video examples include:  #7, #25

Newaza to Tachiwaza

Newaza can be allowed to transition to tachiwaza if the situation is not dangerous. However, if the situation is dangerous, matte must be called. If players who rise up continue immediately back into newaza, the action is not scorable but the newaza should be allowed to continue. Video examples include:  #8

Bear Hug

A bear hug occurs when one of the players jumps in to close the gap between the players when no kumikata exists. If there is kumikata by either player and then tori enters, the throw is valid. Video examples include: #11

Score/No Score

Several examples demonstrated different factors that affect whether or not an action is scorable:

1)   If there is a break in the throwing action in which too much time takes place before continuation, there is no score. If uke lands on the buttocks and tori continues to drive them over, it is scoreable. Video examples include: #14, #19, #46

2)   Tori cannot step out of bounds with both feet and then initiate a throw. Tori can initiate a throw inside the contest area and continue the action out of bounds. Tori can move out of bounds in the process of reacting to an attack by his opponent and counterattack for a score if the action is continuous. If tori finds him with one foot out of bounds, he must return inside the contest area or begin a throwing action immediately and this action can be scored. Video examples include: #36, #42, #49, #59

3)   Situations in which a player may fall in the process of only escaping the attack should not be scored. The referee should look for the counterattack, the degree of control, and clues such as letting go of the grip entirely in the process of falling during an escape. Video examples include: #18, #21, #30, #53, #58

4)   Tori may be able to control his opponent for a score even if he lets go. Video examples: #38

5)   Even if both players fall to the ground in apparent newaza, tori can still stand up and score if the action is continuous. Video examples include: #61


If a player winds his foot around his opponent’s leg and throws while largely facing the same direction as his opponent, this is kawazugake. It is dangerous and should be penalized with hansokumake. If a player winds his foot around his opponent’s leg and does not attempt to throw from this situation but uses the hook to prevent his opponent from engaging in the fight, this should be shido. Video examples include: #15, #29, #44, #50

Crushing vs. Bending Over

When a player pulls down the head or pushes down the arms of the opponent in order to force them into a bent over position and keeps them in this position in order to prevent them from taking any action, this is crushing. Sometimes players work strategically to obtain a penalty against their opponent and this should not  be permitted. Be aware of which player is being negative in order to assess penalties properly. Video examples include:  #16, #26

Head Dive

We must be able to differentiate between a head dive, in which the player deliberately puts his own head straight toward the mat, from a situation in which the defensive action of uke pushes tori down over his head. Video examples include:  #17, #22, #41

Leg Grab

Hansoku make should be given not only for grabbing the leg but also for blocking the leg. Video examples include: #39, #43, #51, #57

In a situation in which tori grabs uke below the belt in the process of engaging a throw and uke subsequently grabs tori’s leg in defense, the first illegal action should be called (hansokumake against tori). Video examples include:  #28

IJF Links

Use this link, "", to go to a webpage to:

1.  Download video examples in a ZIP archive

2.  Watch the video examples online.

Please note that the webpage is intended to be viewed with the Google Chrome browser. Thus, the option to view the video examples online may not appear if you are not using Chrome. If you wish to try using another browser, you may attempt to view the video examples online using this direct link to the webpage with the example videos: "".

Use this link to view the Malaga seminar video #1: ""

Use this link to view the Malaga seminar video #2: ""


In summary, there are no rule changes at this time. There will be one IJF Seminar in 2016 and it will take place at the Kodokan in Tokyo, Japan.

We are working on an answer/explanation key for the video examples. We will distribute the key when it is complete.

We appreciate the opportunity to have participated in the seminar in Malaga and are happy to help in any way necessary to share the information learned.

Respectfully submitted,
Gary Takemoto, Raymond Saito & Barb Shimizu