Ref Training Program - The Rules (Articles 9-13)

III.   The Rules (Articles 9-13)

Article 9 - Start of the Contest

1. The referee and the judges shall always be in position to start the contest before the arrival on the contest area of the contestants.

In individual competition the referee shall be at the tatami centre 2 m back from the line from which the contestants start and shall be facing the timekeepers’ table and the judges will be seated at their respective table.

In team competitions, before the start of the contests from every encounter, it shall proceed to the bowing ceremony between the two teams as follows:

a) The referee will remain in the same place as in the individual competitions. At his indication, the two teams will come in on the side allotted, in line for the outer edge of contest area, in descending order and the heaviest weight being closer to the referee, standing face-to-face team.

b) On the order of the referee the two (2) teams will move ahead to the starting position on the mat.

c) The referee shall order the teams turn towards the technical table, extending his arms in parallel forward, with open palms, and will announce rei, to be held simultaneously by all components of both teams. The referee shall not bow.

d) Then the referee shall order, in a gesture of arms at right angles forearms up and palms facing each other “otagai-ni” (face each other), the two teams again be face to face, announcing "rei" (bow), to be held the same way as in the previous section.

e) After finishing the bowing ceremony, the components of the two teams will come out through the same place which they entered, waiting, on the outer edge centred of the contest area, the contestants of each team must make the first contest. In each contest, they will perform the same procedure of bowing that in individual competition.A. 

f) In case of equal wins after finishing the last contest of the match, the referee will order the teams to proceed as described in paragraph a) and b), in order to wait for the draw of the extra contest. Once the draw is performed the concerned athletes will remain on the tatami for the extra golden score contest while the rest of the team will leave.

g) After finishing the last contest of the match, the referee will order the teams to proceed as described in paragraph a) and b), announcing, then the winner. The bowing ceremony will be held in the reverse order of the start, bowing first to each other and, finally, to the technical table.

2. The contestants are free to bow when entering or leaving the contest area, although it is not compulsory. When entering the tatami area, athletes should walk to the entrance of the contest area at the same time.

The contestants must NOT shake hands before the start of the contest.

3. The contestants shall then walk to the centre of the edge of the contest area (on the safety area) at their respective side according the fighting order (judoka in the white judogi on the right side and judoka in the blue judogi on the left side of the referee’s position) and remain standing there.


At the signal from the referee, the contestants shall move forward to their respective starting positions and bow simultaneously towards each other and take a step forward from the left foot.

Once the contest is over and the referee has awarded the result, the contestants shall simultaneously take a step back from the right foot and bow to each other.

If the contestants do not bow or do so incorrectly, the referee shall direct the contestants to do so. It is very important to perform the bow in the correct way.

4.  The contest always starts with the athletes in the standing position, wearing their judogi correctly with the belt tied tightly above their hip bones, then the referee announces hajime.

During the contest the judoka should always fix their judogi quickly between “mate” and “hajime”.

5. The accredited doctor may request that the referee stops the contest in the cases and with the consequences regulated in Article 20.

6. The IJF Supervisors and/or the IJF Refereeing Commission members may interrupt the contest and will interfere only when there is a mistake that needs to be rectified.

The interventions of the IJF Supervisors and/or the IJF Refereeing Commission members should take place in three (3) cases:

• A mistake of awarding the action between the white and the blue competitor.
• On the awarding of hansoku-make for actions contrary to the spirit of judo or which may have further consequences for the athlete who has committed them.
• Exceptional cases.

There is no appeal procedure for coaches, but they can, after submitting a “request of coach to review a contest on video by IJF Supervisors and/or the IJF Refereeing Commission members”, at the end of the session, to watch the reason for the change to the final decision.

2.  U.S. Modifications and/or Comments
The Referee should assure the correct bowing procedures are followed and verify all is ready prior to starting the match.  Coaching at IJF events can only be done between Mate and Hajime, however in domestic U.S. events the coaches are allowed to coach their players (not the officials) during the entire match.  Since there is not a separate CARE system for the Commission at U.S. domestic events (the Jury can only review matches using the same CARE system that is actively being used by the 2 matside Judges), coaches are not allowed to watch the CARE system when they have questions about a particular decision.

Article 10 - Transition from Tachi-waza into Ne-waza (A) and from Ne-waza into Tachi-waza (B)

Transition from tachi-waza to ne-waza are considered valid if tori or uke makes a real attack or a counterattack and then they attempt osaekomi-waza, shime-waza or kansetsu-waza.

It is considered to be tachi-waza when both athletes are in a standing position and are not in any of the following ne-waza positions.

Ne-waza is considered to be when both contestants have two knees on the floor (picture 1).
Picture 1


If there is a loss of contact between the contestants and there is no possibility of continuation, mate must be called (picture 2).
Picture 2
Lying on the stomach on the ground, the blue contestant is considered to be in newaza (picture 3).

Picture 3


Grip control from the standing contestant (white), we still consider the contestant (blue) on the knees to be in tachi-waza and consequently tachi-waza regulations would be applied (picture 4).

Picture 4
However, if white does not attack immediately, then the referee must call mate! The kneeling contestant (blue) cannot grab the legs to defend the throw with his arms, if this happens, shido will be given. In this position (picture 5) the white contestant can throw his opponent, but the attack must be done immediately. If the blue contestant has two elbows and two knees on the floor, the white contestant can do a technique but ONLY to transition into ne-waza.

Picture 5


In this positions (pictures 6-8) the contestant on the knees (blue) cannot grab the legs with the hands/arms to defend the throw. If this happens, shido will be given.

Pictures 6-8