Spectator Guide

Start of a Contest

Prior to a contest (shiai) the first named contestant is assigned a red sash to wear in addition to their obi (belt) and / or be asked to wear a blue Judo gi. After the contestants have bowed and stepped forward, the referee announces hajime (begin) to start the contest. 


In a Judo competition, an Ippon (full point) score ends the match. An ippon can be scored by one of the following means:

  • Executing a throw which results in the opponent landing on the back with considerable force or speed. 
  • Maintaining a pin for 25 seconds. 
  • One contestant cannot continue and gives up. 
  • One contestant is disqualified for violating the rules (hansoku-make). 
  • Applying an effective armbar or stranglehold (this does apply for children). 
  • Earning two wazari (half point). A wazari can be earned by:
  1. A throwing technique that is not quite an ippon 
  2. Restraining the opponent on the ground for 20 seconds; 
  3. When the opponent is penalized with 3 shidos.

If no ippon is scored by the end of the match, the referee will award the win to the contestant who has the highest score. For example a contestant with 1 wazari would win against an opponent who scored 1 yuko.

In the event of a draw, an extension will be announced and the first contestant to score wins the match. If there is no score at the end of the extension, the referee will decide on the winner.

Scores & Penalties:

  • Ippon (full point) 
  • Wazari (almost ippon, half point) 
  • Yuko (almost wazari) 
  • Hansoku-make (Disqualification & Ippon awarded to opponent) 
  • Shido (minor violation, point to opponent) 
    *Shido is cumulative and 4 shidos will result in disqualification


There should be one or two scoreboards to show the state of play. The highest quality score twins, and the scoreboard is laid out left to right to show the scores like a number.











The example above indicates a score of 10 to 3, where white's single wazari is greater than that of blue's 3 yuko's. No Ippon is shown on the scoreboard as it ends the match immediately.

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