New IJF rule changes
It seems like the good folks at the IJF noticed what I noticed about the coverage of Judo at the Olympics... In the U.S. NBC showed hours of women playing volleyball in bikinis and only seconds of Judo... even when Kayla Harrison won her historic gold medal. Let's face it 7 minutes of grip fighting is boring and not pretty. The IJF obviously wants to improve this. I really don't have much of a bone to pick with the rule changes in general. I think they are done to make the sport more dynamic and interesting to watch. I'll even get used to the no double handed grip breaks and immediate attack on cross grip. But c'mon no MMA hand slap at the beginning? Lame, but ok, I'll go along.
It's the leg thing that bothers me. Now no blocking below the belt? C'mon! Let's just call this the "let's make Judo totally irrelevant to any other combat sports" rule! Bring back leg attacks!
The other rule changes are sensible and will improve the sport... Though I do question how practical it is to eliminate the side refs and do the video review thing.
When they say "blocking below the belt with hands/arms", do they mean they have completely blocked all leg grabs? That sounds extremely silly and i hope they haven't. No two hand grip breaks sounds stupid as well.
So now you can't counter any sort of ashi waza with a pick up/leg grab. Who the hell decides these things?
You can find a list of the rule changes and the IJF explanations for them here. From the discussions on judoinfo, it seems they have completely banned all attacks with hands to the legs, even counters and follow-ons although that is not so clear to me. From the IJF explanations the only clear thing is they have removed the exception for the cross-grip, ie you used to be able to attack directly when your opponent took the Russian grip.
Rule changes I like: more time for groundwork, no mate when someone in hold drags you out of bounds, return to stricter standards of ippon.
Have they actually said more time for groundwork, though? The i only thing i can find is that they will no longer stop an ongoing attack if it's out of bounds. It would seem as if ne-waza on the middle of the mat would be exactly the same as earlier, only with a shorter pin clock.
Originally Posted by NeilG
You're right, not explicit in the rules. The longer groundwork time was something I picked up from the judoinfo discussions. That's been a progression the last couple of years though.
I like that Newaza continues out of bounds stops, I like the reduction in Hold down time
Really not pleased to see leg grabs banned, I think it makes Judo more insular
Most of my experience with leg grabs has been being slammed down after poor attempts at ashi-waza on my part. Is this the poor anti judo the IJF is trying to put an end to? After reading the no more leg grabs under ANY CIRCUMSTANCES WHATSOEVER rule, I've actually been sitting around just being angry. Is this what it feels like doing judo for any extended period of time?
Like I posted over on judoforum, how exactly these new rules pan out will depend mostly on how they are actually interpreted and implemented. That has been the case for all the rules changes I've seen and had to deal with as a coach, competitor, and especially as a referee.
Also, these changes are going to be tested before they are finalized. We don't know for sure what will stay and what will go, or again, how the rules will be implemented.
For example, the total ban on any touching below the waist with hands I think is probably an experiment. AFter a rough start, the current rules on that seem to work pretty well. No more diving at the legs to avoid being thrown due to being outgripped was in evidence at elite level events as far as I could tell. I'm hoping this is the IJF playing out some sort of "what if' scenario.
The rule against "two handed" grip breaking is another one that at first seems harsh, but on second though may not be so bad. I wonder how much of that really goes on at elite level Judo? For example, breaking a lapel grip with both hands exposes your arm and sleeve to being gripped. I'd have to go back and watch the Olympics and recent Grand Prix/cup shiai to see how much of that really goes on.
The other stuff about golden score, penalties no longer counting for score, and being able to not crawl out of bounds to escape a katame waza, weigh ins, etc, seem pretty reasonable to me. Less time for osaekomi is good too, even 25 seconds for ippon is too long.
I'm taking a wait and see attitude. I predict from past experience it will be rough at first with lots of wailing and gnashing of teeth, myself included, LOL. Hopefully things will smooth out to some reasonable compromise.
While I welcome the majority of these changes, I really do not like the further leg grab restrictions. While there is footage available which highlights the over-defensive style that can emerge where two Judoka both seek to perform leg grabs, such changes are relegating more of the Go Kyo to historical artifacts, seen only in kata and kihon work - Not a good thing from my perspective.
You people are committed.