The recent International Judo Federation 2018 contest rules will be adopted at all British events, effective from 1st February 2018.

The new rules are being introduced following a planned review by the International Judo Federation of the significant rule changes made in 2017. The rules are intended to improve the dynamism of the sport and encourage wins by technical scores, rather than penalties, and address feedback from athletes, coaches, referees and others.

What is changing?

The full set of changes are available here. Among the more significant changes introduced are:

  • Waza-ari-aweste-ippon is reintroduced, whereby two waza-ari scores equate to ippon and this ends the contest. This removes the possibility of an unlimited number of waza-ari scores
  • Golden Score contests will now continue until there is a technical score or hansoku-make. Shido difference will no longer conclude the contest*
  • Bridging actions return to being scored ippon, with any other voluntary head defence remaining hansoku-make
  • Technical changes to the scoring of rolling landings, making ippon possible in more circumstances
  • Shime-waza and kansetsu-waza (strangles/armlocks) are no longer permitted with both athletes in tachi-waza (from a standing position). This will be penalised with shido, or hansoku-make (as before) if the action is dangerous.
  • Leg grabbing is now a shido penalty on each occasion
  • Continuing from ne-waza to tachi-waza is now allowed in certain circumstances; it will be possible to to be thrown whilst rising.

Please note, for Level 1 and 2 events events, contests will continue to be decided by penalty difference at the end of contest time, or if tied, a single shido difference during golden score. This aims to reduce the likelihood of long contest durations for younger or less experienced participants.

Who do the changes apply to?

  • To all judoka, of all ages and grades, competing at all British Judo competitions and gradings held on or after 01 February
  • Existing BJA amendments (eg. technical restrictions) will continue to apply alongside these changes, particularly to Levels 1, 2 and 3.
  • To all judoka competing at international events

Full details of the 2018 rules are available here (

Training and Support

The IJF Referees and Coaches Seminar held 13-14 January in Mittersill, Austria confirmed the finer details of the new rules. British Judo had delegates in attendance. The seminar is now available to watch below and would be valuable for those due to attend international events in the near future. The supporting video examples are available here.

British referees and coaches have been invited to attend training on the new rules and will have the opportunity to ask questions and clarify understanding. These free of charge events are:

21st January – Emirates Arena, Glasgow

28th January – British Judo Performance Centre, Walsall

Further opportunities to explore the new rules, open to all BJA members, will be available at the National Refereeing Seminars being held on the dates below:

EICA – Ratho
South Platt Hill, Newbridge
EH28 8AA
19th May 2018
Performance Centre
Walsall Campus, Magdalene Road, Walsall WS1 3TA
9th June 2018
Maghaberry Community Centre,
Maghaberry Road, Lisburn, BT67 0JG
29th July 2018
Cotton Lane, Stone, Dartford DA2 6PD
27th October 2018

Alongside regular refereeing modules, a number of update courses are also being run by Areas in the coming months and will be listed on the BJA events calendar as they are confirmed.

Referees in charge will provide short briefings on the new rules to referees and coaches at the beginning of the competition day. These are not intended to be comprehensive.