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IJF Referee, Sport, and Education Seminar

Jan. 13, 2020, 1:38 p.m. (ET)

IJF Referee, Sport, and Education Seminar

The IJF Refereeing and Coaching Seminar 2020 took place on this past weekend (January 11-12) in Doha, Qatar.

This seminar has become a traditional gathering of the entire Judo Family – with 293 coaches, referees, experts and all technical personnel traveling from all over the world for the seminar. It is a good opportunity to learn, exchange and clarify all aspects related to judo competitions and refereeing.

Of the 293 participants stood thirteen American referees and coaches.

USA AttendeesFront left to right: Richard (Richie) Endow, Barbara (Barb) Houston-Shimizu, Sharon Landstreet, Calvin Terada, Melinda (Mindy) Buehman, Raymond Saito

Back left to right: Robert (Bob) Gugino, Devin Cohen, Theresia (Terri) Lahner, Mark Hirota, Saribek (Saro) Balagezyan, Gary Takemoto, Jhonny Prado

The 2020 Referee and Coaching Seminar covered an array of topics including: Judo rules, Technology for referees, Tokyo 2020 Rule 50, and Anti-doping.

Judo Rules:

On day one, the IJF covered a wide range of rules using video clips from the 2019 IJF World Tour events. It was made clear that the way in which judo is now embracing technology is a crucial part of the process, aiming to ensure the right winners always leave the mat. Using multiple camera angles combined with refereeing excellence and expert supervisors make for a high success rate and should provide athletes and coaches with confidence going into each contest, that the result will be correct.

Judogi Control/Tokyo 2020 Rule 50:

It was made clear that the IJF aim is for all judogi to pass judogi control, in particular for the next Olympic Games in Tokyo; explaining the importance of a proper fit and advertising marks.

Federations were requested to observe IOC Rule 50 regarding advertising. Only the IJF logo, manufacturer logo and national flag or emblem will be allowed.


Changes to ‘in-competition’ testing during and in the lead up to the Olympic Games were also discussed at the seminar.

During the Tokyo Games period, the IOC and International Testing Agency (ITA) will take over the testing process. During this period, there can be no intervention from the IJF or national federations with regard to how and when athletes are tested, but following one challenging situation at the 2016 Olympic Games a task force has been established with the ITA to ensure judo, as a sport with weight control as an integral aspect, will have their needs met. Testing procedures which could have an impact on making weight or on performance will be avoided, with doping control officers being fully briefed in this regard.

The full seminar can be viewed online at

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