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JudoCoach.com Blog by Lance Wicks

 

 


Judo World Champs Rio 2007. 


Hi, so over in Rio the worlds are underway and it has been eventful already.

A new IJF president has been elected (Marius Vizier of the EJU) and Japan for the first time does not have a seat on the executive. Scary.

And already there has been some great Judo on display, sadly no coverage here in the UK (Typically!). There is a little probably illegal footage out there (try www.judovision.org ).

On there you'll see Kenji Suzuki go out of the tournament to the Lithuanian in a dodgy call by the referees, to save you going looking here is the video:



Now... I fall on the Japanese side here, I think Suzuki started the movement and that the Lithuanian landed flat on his back, well before the Japanese. That said, there is most definitely an attack on the way down by the Lithuanian.

The problem here is that the attacking player (Suzuki) should IMHO be given the benefit of the doubt. I also believe that in this sort of situation there should be a decision to award no score if it is this close.

The score is not clear, Judo scores should be clear. If they are not, they should not be scores.

Now... You'll see there that it looks like the referees go over to the table, I can't tell if that is consulting video footage or not. But I'd like to know.

It reminds me of the excellent debate we hosted at University of Bath in August on video to assist refereeing ( www.judocoach.com/debate ). One of the arguments against video in Judo is that it still relies on people to make the call. Watching this footage a second, third, fourth and even a fifth time, can you make a decision, does it get easier?

I'd say no. The issue is the more we slow it down and analyze everything it does not become clearer. Personally, I would like to see referees more openly address this difficulty and alter the rules to reflect it.

I'd like to see Judo become clearer, Ippons need to be harder than they are sometimes. If the score is confused as it is in this case, there should be no score so that the players can decide who wins, not the referees as was the case here.

My take on it is this... if in doubt, give no score and let the players fight and decide who wins. Don't over referee our sport, it just makes for controversy and dull uninteresting judo for us to watch.

For example, if this fight had continued, do you think Suzuki would have gone up a gear? Would the Lithuanian have realised he had a chance and gone up a gear? In either case it would have been good to watch as opposed to seeing referees kill a great fight as they did here. :(

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