Judo Blog: Referees and Judges Procedures – 2022
My good friend and referee mentor Gary Takemoto, 7th Dan and IJF A Referee who worked the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro is my go to source on this most important subject.

judo referee

Gary Takemoto

Here are his guidelines…

1.Prepare to Referee and Judge a few days before a Tournament!!

2.Referees Uniform: Pressed Black Suit Jacket, White Button Down Dress Shirt, Black Tie, Dark Gray Pants, Black Socks, Badge.
3.For All International and Continental Referees: Wear you Blue IJF Ties and Referees Badge.
4.BRING YOUR RADIO, EAR PIECE and CHARGER! This is part of your Referees Uniform.
5.Print the Registration Form of the Tournament: READ IT COMPLETELY BEFORE THE TOURNAMENT!!
6.Traveling to the tournament: Do Not Be LATE!! If you will be Late, Call someone and advise them of your situation.
7.Report to the Morning Referees Meeting On-Time. Take notes during the Referees meeting and refer back to them when needed.
8.Know which Mat # you are working on. Be On-Time when reporting to your Mat. Know who is your Team Leader(s).
9.Prepare yourself, know when and where you are lined up in the Referees rotation.. Do Not Miss Your ROTATION!
10.Learn to BOW properly as a Team, Entering and Exiting as a Referee. "Enter Left onto the Mat, Exit Left".
11.If you are the Referee, Know where to STAND at the start of the contest and during the contest.
12.If you are the Judge, Know where to sit, Know your Rotation to Referee. Familiarize yourself with the Care System.
13.Check both Competitors for Proper Judogi Fit. Also, No Inappropriate Tattoos. No Head Wear. No Metal Objects (Hair & body).
14.Judogi’s only, No Jujitsu Gi's!! No Long Leggings showing (men & women), White Round-neck T-Shirts (Women only)
15.Hair pulled up and above the collar, No Religious Gestures on the Mat. "Fair Play"
16.Referees, Know where to Stand, Move and Position yourself during the contest. Also, know Pins, Chokes & Armbars positioning.
17.Judge, Know the proper signals to give while sitting, Do Not Referee for the Referee. You are only to Judge and Assist.
18.Judges must always Assist the Referee during all Medical Situations.
19.Referees or Judges, Know the Proper Gestures of all Throws, Penalties, Competitor Delays (will not get up) and Medical.
20.Referees or Judges, Know the Proper Procedures during a Medical Situation, also "STAY CALM" (Injuries, Chokes, Blood, Arm Bars).
21.Referees, You must be Confident, Calm, Focused, Professional, Fearless and most of all, STAY HUMBLE!
22.Judges, You must be Confident, Calm, Focused, Professional, Fearless, Opinionated and most of all, STAY HUMBLE!
23.Referees or Judges, Do Not Look Around, DO NOT Approach the Score Table unless asked. Depend on your Radio.
24.Do Not Approach the Team Leader and ask, "How am I doing?" This tells the Team Leader that you are not Confident!!!
25.Referees, Listen for any Changes, Scores or Penalties from your Judges. Do Not Look Confused, Lost, and No Facial Expressions!!
26.Judges, If you see something, Call it in at the Appropriate Time. Speak Clearly and Slowly, Do Not Hunt for Penalties.
27.Advise the Referee; What is the Score Change, What Penalty to give and For Which Player (White or Blue)
28.If a Score Change or Penalty is needed, and if the Referee does not see or hear you, Stand up, If the Referee still does not see
29.You, Stay Standing, Call out to the Referee and Indicate the Score Change or Penalty with your Hand Gestures.
30.Referees or Judges, If you need a break, please notify the Mat Team Leader at all times. Work on your STAMINA!!
31.For Lunch Breaks, the Team Leader will advise you to go to Lunch, Please eat and return right away so that others can eat.
32.TRUST YOUR TEAM!! WORK AS A TEAM!! DO NOT DISRESPECT, SPEAK DOWN TO OR HARRASS ANY REFEREES!!!!
33.FOR ALL REFEREES; DO NOT SPEAK BADLY BEHIND ANY REFEREES BACK!! YOU WILL BE REMOVED AND REPRIMANDED!!!
34.DO NOT DISRESPECT, SPEAK DOWN TO OR HARASS ANY COMPETITORS, COACHES OR PARENTS!!! (All SafeSport Training)
35.*** READ and UNDERSTAND the IJF and USA JUDO's REFEREES CODE of CONDUCT ***
36.Stay STRONG, POSITIVE, FOCUSED and PROFESSIONAL the entire time during the Tournament. NO HORSE PLAYING!!!

39. Most importantly ***** BELIEVE IN YOURSELF !!! *****

Wearing His Olympic Ring

My Thoughts on Refereeing

As a long time Sensei and Coach if there’s one thing I’ve learned since becoming a National Referee is that knowledge and skill is essential to being a successful as a Sensei and especially as a Coach. In fact when my lifelong friend Paul Bova and I went to Cancun for the World Veterans’ Championships it was our mutual experience as referees that was the main factor in his getting the gold! Our understanding of how referees think helped us to keep them on his side in every match.

Updates:

June - 2022
July - 2022
December - 2022

I’m always looking for new subjects to write about regarding judo as well as contributions from my readers. Please send them to gary@garygoltz.com, thanks.

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