Welcome to the challenging and rewarding field of refereeing. This policy is written for the novice referee. It may also be of value to Local, Regional and even National Level Referees.

Those coaches and competitors who do not have any intentions of refereeing for some time would still find the reading of this manual a valuable exercise in understanding the skills and methodology of a referee. It would help in fighting strategies to understand how the referee functions and what their duties and responsibilities are

The foundation of your judgment as referee on Scores, Holds, Matte and Penalties is initially developed during your experiences as a Judo competitor. As a Referee you will refine with time your judgment (appreciation) on calling scores, Osaekomi (Holding), the application of Matte (Stop) and the application of penalties.

As a Referee you will learn more and more through your refereeing peers, and through those with more experience, some of which will become mentors to you. You will also learn from your continued experience refereeing at tournaments. Always seek to improve.

Most who choose the path of refereeing will generally be blue (2nd kyu) and in most cases black belts (Dan).

So most have many years of Judo experience before they seriously get involved with refereeing. However, even Gokyu (Yellow) and Yonkyu (Green) mudansha (kyu grade) may begin dabbling in refereeing if their instructor has no objection. Some Dojos have their juniors start refereeing at an early age. Consistency – One of the goals of a good referee is to become consistent with correctly calling scores, penalties, osaekomi, toketa and the proper application of Matte under any and all circumstances.

As a Referee you should seek to continue to improve so it is recommended to referee at events that have higher level referees willing to serve as mentors and/or teachers to provide feedback and suggestions for improvement. If you referee with mistakes and do not make improvements, then you learn to do those mistakes well because you have practiced them. The referee must make efforts to correct the mistakes prior to them being ingrained.

This policy contains the basics and a little bit more to get you started in refereeing. There are many topics you will learn at the clinics and seminars you as trainee and or experience referee attend and tournaments you referee.