Yuko, Waza-ari or Ippon?
Prompted by another thread in which there was a little heated debate about whether a particular throw should have been scored ippon, as well as the general prevailance of arguments about the interpretation of the IJF's rules, I decided to start a thread to relate a little story to you all..
I haven't been in judo a very long time, and due to various injuries I haven't been particually active in competing. However, wanting to do my bit for the club, and knowing that at local tournaments they often struggle to get referee's, I decided to try and learn the art of referee'ing. As with my judo techniques, I go to the various dan grades in the club in order to gather some advice about how best to call whether a technique is Ippon.
I ask the club treasurer, a second dan and also a member of the state's technical board for referee's, how he calls the score.. He tells me "By definition, a technique must display force, speed, and the player must fall largely on his back. I watch the technique very carefully, and I call the score, AS IT IS"
I ask another black belt, a third dan and a fierce competitor, how he calls the score. He tells me, "Sometimes it is hard to tell, whether the technique displays the right amount of force, or speed. Sometimes it is hard to tell if the player has fallen largely on his back. I watch the technique carefully and I call the score, HOW I SEE IT"
I ask the head coach, a fourth dan and former national champion, resident bad-ass who's usual advice for a throw is to yell "That was ****!" He's a hard man and I respect him and his judo very much. I ask him, how do you call the score? He says, "Some throws, the player gets thrown with force, speed and land largely on their back. Sometimes, you only have the speed, sometimes you only have the force, and sometimes it's not largely on their back. Sometimes it's hard to tell. So I watch the technique carefully, BUT THEY DON'T SCORE ANYTHING UNTIL I CALL IT."
I hope that the message from my (at least partly fictional) story is clear :)
The message wasn't all that clear to be honest.
Obviously the tone in which I meant that last statement is not really clear in text.
No, the meaning is probably not clear, is it?
What do you personally think it might mean?
Which referee do you personally agree with? Which referee's approach is "right"? What is it that you see in real life?
Did you ever hear judo guys complaining about refs that never really competed themselves?
You have to know the accepted definition of "largely on the back". Years ago, it meant both shoulder had to hit. Then it got changed to 50% or more of the back. Then it got changed to "if any part of the back (back defined too) hits with sufficient speed, force, and control, the throw can be ippon. Now, I'm not sure what the interpretation of "largely on the back" is, according to the IJF.
The referee is supposed to make the call as he/she sees it, as your hypothetical guys indicated. How he/she sees it is supposed to be in accord with the current interpretations of the IJF rules.
A big part of the problem is that the IJF and NGBs do not necessarily communicate those interpretations very well to lower levels of refereeing.
What's not clear to me is if Zac thinks he got different advice from each of his coaches?
The only thing that's clear from that is that a referee will use their personal judgement as to whether to award ippon or not.
That is, as they say, stating the bleeding obvious.
Yes I think the advice was different,
one says that what makes ippon ippon is it's definition,
one says that what makes a throw ippon it's it's interpretation,
and the last says that no matter what a throw is or isn't by definition, or how you interpret it, what makes ippon ippon is the referee raising his hand and calling ippon.
a throw is what it is, that is true,
a throw (or the rules) may be interpreted rightly or wrongly, that's human nature
the referee calls ippon or he doesn't, and that's just the way it is.
Now I can't understand how people could argue with that!
Yes, I've also heard top level referees complaining about the same thing regarding other referees. Of course, the complainers were judo guys who had competed a lot, up to lower level international events.
Originally Posted by CrackFox
There was always a debate about how much experience was needed to be a good referee at whatever level of competition to be reffed. None of the highest level refs in the US, at least, that I know of were competitive at the highest levels. OK, I know of a couple of younger guys now, come to think of it, but neither went to the Olympics or WC as far as I know.
You really don't know what you are talking about, do you?
Originally Posted by zacharycbruce