The International Judo Federation has established a document entitled, ‘Recommended Protocols for the Resumption of Judo Activities under Safe Conditions during Covid-19 Pandemic’. It is a collective contribution between the IJF and EJU Medical Commissioners as well as safety protocols from both France and Portugal that have built the foundation for these guidelines to be issued.
The document, currently in English only, makes is very clear in the foreword that these recommendations are simply an attempt to reduce risk of infection at club level, essentially due to the inability to completely eliminate the risk without high level testing or a vaccination programme. This will also be provided on the IJF website in both Spanish and French soon.
Due to the severity of the pandemic varying greatly in each nation, the guidelines have been issued with various sections which can be implemented dependent on the nations current lockdown rules. For example, all should adhere to general rules of hygiene including hand washing and sanitising as well applying social distancing to prevent spread, however in nations where they need to be most vigilant (level 4), all pedagogical recommendations are for individual activity, whereas at level 1 there are no pedagogical restrictions as long as the sanitary conditions are adhered to.
There are basic outlines followed by more in-depth rules for both coaches and athletes to consider and implement during training sessions as well as requirements for disinfecting dojos including products to use and the frequency it must be done in order to prevent contamination. The end of the guidelines includes a sanitary questionnaire for judoka or parents to fill out prior to a session which must be given to the coach which summarises health of the individual.
Given the ever-fluctuating circumstances, these protocols may be revised based on WHO guidelines but hope to offer resolution for clubs to practice judo safely.