Refereeing is a crucial element in the development of judo and in maintaining the integrity of competition judo at levels of events throughout the country.

Refereeing is challenging, rewarding and above all, great fun. Refereeing helps equip people with skills such as confidence and decisiveness that are applicable in everyday life.

Whether you want to referee at your local club or local competitions or take charge of an Olympic final, there are refereeing roles at all levels where you can put your knowledge and passion for judo to use.

What does Refereeing involve?

There are variety of different levels of referee and depending, which depending on their award enables them to referee at different levels of event.

Referees are not only the closest observers to action happening in a contest, but also yield the highest authority on the mat. With no two contests being alike, every match presents referees with fresh new challenges to officiate.

A Referee’s duties can include:

  • Responsibility of ensuring that the contest is played fairly, safely and in the spirit of Judo observing the action as it unfolds and awarding scores and penalties where appropriate.
  • Working as a judge on matside in a team of two and, often with the help of a care system, to provide support to the referee.  This involves reviewing decisions made by the referee and making recommendations on scores and penalties where appropriate.
  • Responsibly for coordinating and supporting the referees at the events. Referees in Charge field any questions that referees, coaches, players or spectators may have regarding the refereeing at the competition.

Who does the role suit?

Referee roles are suited to individuals with existing or prior judo experience and knowledge who are willing to give up their time to support events at local, regional, national and international level.

Refereeing is ideal for people who enjoy taking control of contests, making decisions and who relish in developing a deeper understanding of the precise technicalities of the sport.

British Judo offer a range of different refereeing awards for individuals that wish to develop their refereeing knowledge and skills.

What skills are required for being a Refereeing?

Referees need to be able to concentrate for long periods of time and have the clarity of thought to make accurate decisions quickly. Referees need a thorough understanding of the rules of judo and be able to effectively communicate the players they are officiating and their colleagues assisting them refereeing a contest.

How can I get involved in Refereeing?

If you want to get involved in Refereeing you will need to be either a current judoka or have some prior judo experience.

You will need to attend a referee course to develop your understanding of the rules and scoring criteria. This will also include an theoretical and practical examination.

You can find listings of BJA Level 1 Refereeing Courses on our Events Calendar