18 September 2009

Referees Directors happy with new technology and rules

Jan Snijders (NED) and Juan Barcos (ESP), European and IJF Referee Directors, are very satisfied with the new judo rules and the modern technology used to implement them.

On the technology used to supervise the action on the mat:


“We are watching the action live on the mat, and with a delay of 6-to 7 seconds we see the same scenes on the monitor on our laptops. The delay can be shorter or longer, but 7 seconds has been proven to be the ideal time you need to process the live scene and be ready to see the replay.”


“If there are any discrepancies between what the referees on the mat see and what we see, we interrupt the bout and watch the scene again. Sometimes the action is so fast that you cannot be sure when you see it only once. We are also working on a radio system so that we can communicate with the referee on the mat ”


“It is paramount for our sport that the right person wins and that no mistakes happen. One big scandal ruins the credibility of the sport.”

“If the coach wants to see it too, they can show up at our table and watch the scene with us. There are no secrets. The use of this highly developed technology is in favour of the athletes and in favour of the sport.”

On the importance of having transparency in the referees work:


“We know that judo has a good reputation within the IOC, because judo is an honest sport and we will do everything to keep up this quality.”


On the elimination of “Koka” which used to be the smallest score (smaller than Yuko):

“We are totally happy with this. People want to see the big, classic throws and not bouts which are decided by a koka. Now the athletes have to attack more to achieve a point.”


On the elimination of “Repechage” (everybody who lost against the top four in a weight category used to fight in a repechage whereas now only thise who reach the quarter final get this chance):

“We are very satisfied with the new system. Nobody wants to see the losers. Championships are all about the medal winners and are not training competitions.”

On future changes in the rules:


“We will implement the punishment for leg grabbing, which means that you can use your hand to support a technique, but not start a technique by grabbing the opponent´s legs or grabbing anywhere under the belt line.”


“At the Junior World Championships in Paris (in October) we will also try to have only one referee per mat instead of three. With all the new technology this should be possible, but we will test it first.


“We will not make any changes after the Qualification for the 2012 Olympic Games in London has started.”