The International Judo Federation has made public the amendments to the competition regulation as well as to the refereeing rules for the upcoming Olympic period 2013-2016.All proposals, made and approved by the IJF Executive Committee, based on the opinion of many international experts, will enter into an experimental phase, from the Judo Grand Slam Paris 2013 (February 9 and 10, 2013) on, to the World Championships in Rio (included – August 26 to September 1st).
On the occasion of the recent Judo Grand Slam in Tokyo, the IJF President, Mr. Marius L. Vizer, had the opportunity to re-explain the long process that led to these changes: "Since the London Olympics, we conducted a great brainstorming that involved more than the Executive Committee members. We first analyzed the impact of the changes that were initiated after 2007. We also analyzed, with a critical state of mind, the London Games. Then we gathered together a group of experts, including referees, but also, and this was a first time ever, coaches and former recognized champions. All these personalities have worked under the leadership of the IJF sports and refereeing directors and I must say that the commitment of everybody was total.”
Since last summer and the end of the London Games, numerous meetings took place to determine the future of the judo. In recent years, Judo has been profoundly changing. A World Judo Tour was set up, the World Championship is now an annual event, the World Ranking List, that determines Olympic qualification, was invented ...
On the technical side also, several changes have been made. These changes have allowed us to propose a much more dramatic and attractive judo. "The results should not prevent us from analyzing what has worked or not," said Mr. Vizer, before adding: "London has been a real success in terms of organization and judo showed all its universality with 137 participating countries. We had beautiful and great champions, who are the judo ambassadors throughout the world. We also had great guest, who enjoyed our sport and our organization. But the stress of this outsized competition tended to block the judoka who, for some of them, failed to show themselves in the best light, while we had very positive signals after the Tokyo World Championships and the Paris edition, last year. '
The President Vizer also explained several important points that were recalled during the debates: "It is important to remember that all the decisions were unanimously taken by the executive committee members and that, from now on, they will all be tested. Thus, if we discover that a particular decision does not go in the right direction, we will review our position. There is nothing definitive, as we are not in an Olympic qualification period. It is now or never to make the changes that we consider necessary. Our aim is to preserve the spirit of judo, the neutrality of the refereeing, the transparency of the decisions and to do everything possible to promote beautiful and spectacular judo, where ippon becomes the ultimate goal again. Judo is by definition the way of adaptation. We could do nothing, but that is not our philosophy. Judo must continue to adapt while maintaining its roots and values alive. '
In January 2013, before the first implementation of this new regulation, the IJF will organize refereeing and coaching seminars, on every continent, in order to explain and clarify the new rules.
You will find in the following pages, the changes of the competition regulation and of the refereeing rules. You will also find food for thought that inspired these changes.