Here are the Rules of Judo:
- Judo matches take place on tatami (mats) measuring 14m x 14m, with a combat area of 10m x 10m marked out within it. Judokas (athletes) must bow before stepping onto the mat and must bow to each other before and after either practice or competition.
- Judokas must wear the appropriate gi (uniforms), that is one that is no more than 5cm above the ankles and wrists and is tied with the correct style of knotted belt.
- A match lasts five minutes (in international competition) and is won when one judoka is awarded ippon. If no ippon is awarded, the player with the highest score at the end of the bout is declared the winner. If the scores are tied, the match is decided by a period of Golden Score then – if still not resolved – the decision of the referee and corner judges.
- Penalties are awarded for minor (shido) or major (hansoku make) infringements of the rules. Four shidos results in the award of ippon to the opponent, as does one hansoku make.
- Judokas must not employ any of the outlawed techniques, including attacking joints (other than the elbow), punching or kicking opponents, touching the opponent’s face, or intentionally injuring the opponent in any way
How does the Scoring work?
There are three types of score Judokas can achieve in a judo match. Ippon is the best in that it results in an immediate win and can be achieved by throwing an opponent in such a way as to make them land on their back. Alternative methods of scoring ippon include trapping an opponent in an arm hold, trapping an opponent in a stranglehold to the extent that it forces them to submit or by immobilizing an opponent on the floor for at least 25 seconds.
The next best score is a waza-ari, which is a half point in that the award of two waza-ari in a bout is the same as ippon, and hence the winner is declared. Waza-ari is awarded for lesser throws than those scoring ippon, and for immobilizing the opponent for less than the time required to score ippon.
The third, and holding least weight, is yuko. These are awarded for short immobilizing holds and some less effective throws or locks. One score of waza-ari outscores any number of yuko, while even if an athlete has one score of waza-ari and many of yuko, one score of ippon by the other athlete would supersede them all.
There are two types of penalties awarded in judo, shido – for minor rule infringements – and hansoku make – for major rule breaches, or for the accumulation of four shidos. Shido penalties are awarded for stalling tactics, prolonged periods of non-aggression, with the first penalty being a warning, the second giving a score of yuko to the opponent, the third a waza-ari and the fourth, ippon – hence the match. An award of hansoku make to an athlete automatically gives the match to the opponent, and – if for a major rules infringement rather than for four shidos – also results in expulsion from the tournament itself.
How Win A Match in competition:
Judokas may win a match by either achieving ippon, gaining two scores of waza-ari (and hence ippon) or having accumulated more points than the opponent by the end of a match. If the scores are identical at the end of a match, a period of Golden Score ensues. In this overtime period, the first score of any kind wins the Juoka the match. If the scores are still level at the end of this period the result is decided by Hantei, which is the majority decision of the referee and the two corner judges.