Latest IJF Refereeing Rules for 2017-2020

The President / General Secretary,
Affiliated Member  State Judo Associations &
Departmental Units,
Judo Federation of India.

Dear Friends,

I would like to inform you that International Judo Federation has updated Refereeing Rules with few modifications. The modifications of refereeing rules received from IJF are given below.

You are requested to circulate to all Judo Officials in your State / Department regarding the above changes, which will be applied from the African Open, 14-15 January 2017, Tunis.

With best regards,

Mukesh Kumar
President, JFI


 Adaptation of the judo refereeing rules for the next 2017- 2020 Olympic Cycle

The International Judo Federation has worked on the new regulations. They will apply for the next Olympic cycle. The goal is to promote the rules of judo and make them easier to understand, as well as to simplify them. The purpose of these rules is to give priority to the attack and to the realization of IPPON. The new refereeing rules with these modifications will be sent to you as soon as possible.

For your information, a proposal to include a team event during the Olympic Games will also be sent to the IOC. This event will be a mixed team event including 3 women (-57, -70, +70) and three men (-73, -90, +90).

The teams will be composed of athletes who have qualified for the individual competition.

Regarding the refereeing rules, a test period at the international level will start at the beginning of January 2017 during the first Continental Open of the year in Africa and will end after the World Championships in Budapest from 28 August to 3 September 2017.

The Tokyo Grand Slam 2016 marked the end of the Olympic cycle, which saw the crowning of 14 Olympic champions in Rio last August. A whole new cycle now opens (starting with the Paris Grand Slam in February 2017). It will end during the next Olympic Games in Tokyo in 2020.

As was the case in 2012, following the London Games, the International Judo Federation has carefully analysed the last four years, both from an organisational perspective and from a technical point of view.

Within four years, judo has evolved very positively. The success of the Rio 2016 Games is a tangible proof of this. Within a few years the technical abilities of the athletes have improved a lot, for example, the number of technical scores in competition has increased sharply, reaching more than 80% in certain weight categories on the occasion of the last World Championships in Astana, Kazakhstan, in August 2015.

This analysis, conducted under the supervision of the IJF Executive Committee, an expanded group of experts and media representatives around the judo movement, revealed several changes and improvements to the rules that will provide greater clarity and a greater dynamism to judo. The new rules were elaborated based on the proposals from National Federations and the 20 Directors of the IJF Coordination Committee, which were later analysed by the group of experts of the IJF and the Executive Committee technical departments. The choices that have been made are the result of a widely shared and democratic consensus. They consider the fundamental values of judo, and its moral code, while ensuring that our sport, which is a 'living body’, can adapt to the modern world and reach an increasingly large audience. 2

The rules that have been adopted will be presented at the refereeing and coaching seminar to be held in January in Baku, Azerbaijan. Judoka, coaches, fans and the media will be able to watch the Baku seminar live from 6-7 January 2017 on the IJF YouTube channel at

Each point of the new regulations will then be explained and detailed in a practical way to referees, coaches and representatives of National Federations and Continental Unions. A test period will then be opened. During this time, the new regulations can be corrected, if necessary. This process will allow our judo community to start the next Olympic qualification cycle with perfectly integrated rules. Following the World Championships in Budapest, a meeting will take place that will validate the set of rules that will be used for the next Olympic qualification period.

Below is a summary of the new/revised rules:

• Duration of contest:
- Men and women four (4) minutes. Respect for parity as wished by the IOC and fight time unity for the Olympic mixed team event.

• Evaluation of the points:
- There will now only be Ippon and Waza-ari.
- The value of Waza-ari includes those given for Yuko in the past.
- The Waza-ari do not add up. Two Waza-ari are no longer the equivalent of one Ippon.

• Immobilisations (Osae Komi): Waza-ari 10 seconds, Ippon 20 seconds.

• Technical score:
- In regular time, a contest can only be won by a technical score or scores (Waza-Ari or Ippon).
- A penalty or penalties will not decide the winner, except for Hansokumake (direct or accumulative).

• Golden Score:
- In the case where there is no score(s), or scores are equal, the contest will continue in Golden Score.
- Any score and/or penalties from regular time will remain on the score board.
- The decision in the Golden Score is made by the difference of scores or Shido.

• Penalties:
- There are now three Shido, instead of previously four.
- The third Shido becomes Hansoku Make.
- To simplify the refereeing and its understanding all the actions that have been punished in the past on how to grab the judogi (Kumikata) will no longer be penalized: pistol grip, pocket grip, 2 hands on the same side…
- Fingers inside the sleeve will not be penalized either.
- Kumikata will not be penalized as long as Tori is preparing an attack. Negative positions will be penalized by Shido, because they are against the spirit of judo (no searching for an attack, a defensive attitude etc.…).
- Recognizing the difficulty of preparing a throwing action, the time between Kumikata and making an attack is extended to 45 seconds. 3
- Leg grabbing or grabbing the trousers, shall be penalized first by Shido and secondly by Hansoku Make.

• Safety:
- The committee examined the rules with regard to safety to ensure that judo has as little trauma as possible. If Uke attempts to avoid landing on their back by any movement which is dangerous for the head, neck or spine, they shall be penalized with Hansokumake.

The competitor loses this contest, but can continue in the competition in applicable.
- In order not to give a bad example for young judokas, the landing on both elbows is considered valid and evaluated. Landing on only one elbow is invalid and can not be used for assessment.

- Anti judo will be immediately penalized as an act against the spirit of Judo.

• Throw and counter-attack:

- In a case of attack and counter-attack the first competitor landing on the own body will be considered the loser.
If a score can be given, it will be assigned.
-In case if the two athletes land together, no score will be given.
-If an action is led by a competitor after the landing (Kaeshi-Waza), this action will not be counted.
-Any action after landing will be considered as a Ne-Waza action.

• Judogi:
- For a better efficiency and to have a good grip it is necessary for the jacket to be well fitted in the belt, with the belt tied tightly. To reinforce that, the competitor shall arrange their Judogi and belt quickly between Matte and Hajime announced by the referee.

• World Ranking Points:
- The points will be modified. The document will be sent shortly.
- Juniors: the medallist of the Junior World Championships will get points in the Senior World Ranking List for this event only.

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