British Judo referees Archi Shrimpton and James McBeath receiving their IJF A grade

International promotions for British Judo referees McBeath and Shrimpton

Two of British Judo’s top referees were in action in Kazakhstan over the bank holiday weekend at the Cadet and Junior Asian Cup, where they were examined for the IJF International (IJF A) refereeing award.

Under the supervision of IJF Head Referee Directors, Daniel Lascau and Armen Bagdasarov, Archi Shrimpton and James McBeath were promoted to judo’s highest refereeing grade after four days of theory and practical examination.

Both referees have had different journeys to reach this point, with Shrimpton starting at his home club, Samurai Judo Club, as a junior referee aged 15. McBeath took up refereeing in 2005, having already been in judo since 1976. Both draw upon significant experience of both European and domestic competition which set them up for success.

Reflecting on the event Shrimpton said:

“I’m proud of what achieved in Kazakhstan. I wanted to give a calm, confident and accurate performance. I’ll always nitpick, but by in large that’s what I delivered, which was a huge relief given the stakes.

“While this is a dream milestone, it’s another starting point. There’s more demanding competitions to tackle, more to learn and championship selections to earn. The challenge is part of what makes refereeing so rewarding and why I look forward to what’s to come.

“For now, I’m incredibly grateful to everyone who has led the way, supported and opened doors for me. It wouldn’t have been possible without them. I’d like to help do the same for the next generation.”

McBeath added:

“This event and exam was a pinnacle for me, I knew it would be a test and its a big weight off my shoulders to have been successful.

“I’m glad of the support I’ve had from British Judo and JudoScotland, as well as from friends, family and my refereeing colleagues. It’s important to continue to improve our refereeing and I hope to use this as an opportunity to share what I’ve learned and to support the development our referees across the UK.”

Bill Taggart, National Refereeing Commission chairman said:

“I would like to congratulate James and Archi on their success in Kazakhstan. We’ve now seen six referees achieve this level in as many years – Martin Rivers, Lisa Rivers, Stefan Newbury, Graeme Maclachlan and now Archi and James. This is a clear indication of our ability to produce and promote talented referees to the benefit of our whole refereeing system and in turn all our judoka entering competitions.”

British Judo would like to congratulate Archi and James on this fantastic achievement.

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