17 January 2024


IJF Refereeing & Coaching Seminar 2024 in cooperation with EJU


Usually, the European Judo Union (EJU) organises a coaching and referee seminar on annual basis. This year, it will be a joint gathering with the International Judo Federation (IJF). With the support of EJU and the Hungarian Judo Association, as the operating organising committee, coaches and referees from all continents will gather in Győr for the IJF Refereeing & Coaching Seminar 2024 in cooperation with EJU event. 

The entry will be limited as first and foremost this event is designed for those who are in the race for the Paris 2024 Olympic Games as a coach, referee, or team manager. The aim of this seminar is to ensure that on route to Paris as well as when in present, everyone is clear on the rules and regulations for competitors, coaches and referees. 

Several commissioners from each sector, both from IJF and EJU, are arriving today for a preliminary talk where they will summarise their experiences from last year, whilst sharing suggestions and directions for the year ahead of us. Goal setting will be part of the talking points too. The committees will also sit with one another for a few hours to listen and understand each point of view, which will then allow them to work better, collectively. All in all, there will be very productive and constructive workdays ahead, to make judo better and even more spectacular than it is now. On Friday, all discussions will be finalised by Head Commissioners. 

EJU Refereeing and Coaching Seminar 2023. © Rui Telmo Romão

The weekend will deliver on all that is discussed, and it will also include approximately 150 video clips which will be analysed by all attendees. Difficult and complicated situations will be reviewed, so that it is clear to everyone, on what basis referees and supervisors make decisions during an action or contest. Following the video analysis, mat-based explanation will be led by IJF Head Referee Director, Mr Daniel LASCAU. Besides many vital visitors, IJF President Mr Marius VIZER and EJU President Dr TOTH Laszlo will also attend to support. Finally, in a matter of weeks, the Paris 2024 Olympics referee squad will be announced.

Fridrich Annamaria at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games. © Gabi Juan

Some of the attendees have been on the manic road of qualifying to an Olympic Games as a referee. FRIDRICH Annamaria made the squad for the Rio 2016 and Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games. Following that, she took a step off the tatami and on to the panel, as nowadays she operates under the EJU Referee Commissioners’ team. Reflecting on her days, she says;

It filled me with incredible happiness to be a part of both Olympic qualifications and to referee the world’s best competitors at the world’s best competitions, together with the world’s best colleagues. It’s an incredible experience, to walk into the middle of the tatami, to invite two fantastic fighters and “hajime” – “the two of you now decide who is better”. To me, a good referee only assists the contest, is present and follows the match by almost “floating in it”. She/He only intervenes when she/he sees a mistake or an irregularity, acts quickly and hands the show back to the judoka swiftly as they continue their fight for victory. Of course, there are “unpleasant matches” when only tactics and waiting games or such is the goal of the contestants. These situations must be corrected as soon as possible, with the release of a well-timed, well-judged shido, the image of the fight can be quickly changed. Everyone wants to see exciting, positive, and action-packed judo, not only the spectators sitting in front of the TV, or sports leaders, we, the referees too. 

Annamaria’s advice for those who are contesting for a spot in the final selection;  

I recommend enjoying the matches, to let go of the stress and the calculation of the current points, because the overall picture is the point. The (not excessive!) confidence, the firm expression of opinion in relation to each case, the calm, liberated judging on the mat, where they “resonate” together with the two competitors, always striving for the better judoka to leave the mat in victory.

The Hungarian referee commissioner is equally excited to see the judo family gather in the city of Győr.

Győr is one of my favourite Hungarian cities, it’s fantastic theatre, concert hall, sports hall, restaurants offer high-level artistic, cultural, sports and culinary experiences. The natural values of the city are also very beautiful, the surrounding forests, rivers, and healing waters provide many opportunities for relaxation. In addition, in 2024 it officially became the European Capital of Judo, where many fantastic judo competitions will be held this year as well, for example the European Open the weekend after the seminar. I am delighted to share all beautiful aspects of this city with my colleagues and the judo family. 

The seminar will be LIVE STREAMED on judotv throughout the weekend.


Saturday, January 20th 

08:00 – 08:30 Arrival at Szechenyi Istvan University

08:30 – 09:00 Opening Ceremony

09:00 – 12:00 Refereeing Seminar

15:00 – 18:00 Coaching Seminar 

Sunday, January 21st 

09:00 – 12:00 Refereeing Seminar

15:00 – 18:00 Refereeing Seminar

19:30 Official dinner

Author: Szandra Szogedi