In my last post, I suggested that we should be concerned that national federations would jump on the bandwagon and start implementing the latest IJF rule concerning matside coaching. This new rule states that coaches will only be able to coach between ‘matte’ and ‘hajime’. Well, it took less than 24 hours to find out that Canada had already issued the command to go forward with the rule. According to a Canadian colleague, the new rule will be enforced in November at a local event in his province of British Columbia (BC).
I guess what bothers me the most is that the IJF clearly stated the rule change was only “for all the competitions organized by the IJF and giving access to the World Ranking list.” Clearly, the BC tournament is not an IJF event, nor is it part of the world ranking list, and yet, Judo Canada feels compelled to follow suit. I don’t get it.
One must wonder about the extent of the deliberations before Judo Canada came to its decision. More importantly, did Judo Canada fail to read the key part of the announcement, the one stating that the new rule only affected IJF events? Maybe this is a clue:
I do not know what precipitated this rule change but it appears that the coaches must now be silent between “hajime” and “matte” and can only provide instructions to their competitors after “matte”.
Guy Sunada, Chairman, Judo Canada Referee Committee
My guess is that there was no deliberation per se. Referees, especially chairmen of referees, just love following orders from the IJF blindly and mindlessly. I’ll bet there was no thought as to how coaches, players, and parents would react. Nor was there any thought as to how this would better Judo in Canada.
My colleague suggested that it was, “another nail in the coffin as to the ‘dumbing down’ of Judo.” I’m afraid he’s right. Not only that but, if you’ve ever been to grappling events where coaches are literally crawling onto the mat to coach their players, you’ll understand this new rule makes Judo less appealing and relevant, and grappling more appealing to yet another segment of the community.
To my foreign readers, please let me know if your country is enforcing the latest IJF rule on coaching.