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.
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.
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
- A penalty or penalties will not decide the winner, except for Hansokumake (direct or
• 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.
- There are now three Shido, instead of previously four.
- The third Shido becomes Hansoku Make.
- To simplify the refereeing and its understanding some of the actions on how to grab
the judogi, which were punished in the past, will no longer be penalized: pistol grip, pocket grip
- Fingers inside the sleeve will still be penalized.
- Unconventional Kumikata such as cross gripping, one side gripping (2 hands on the
same side) and belt gripping will not be penalized as long as Tori is preparing an
-. 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- Leg grabbing or grabbing the trousers, shall
be penalized first by Shido and secondly by Hansoku Make.
- 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
- 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
-Any action after landing will be considered as a Ne-Waza action.
- 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