I just received some information from EJU sources that I thought you would enjoy. The IJF is reviewing the rules that will be in effect for the next four years. Here are some of the ideas being considered.
Fixed Kumi Kata or maximum allowed time to get the grip
Matches would begin according to the rules that govern visually impaired athletes. In other words, players would have to take a two-hand grip before hajime is announced. The other option is to mandate a maximum time to get a grip. We’ve already been through that option. Players had five seconds to get a grip or they would be penalized. This died pretty quickly and hasn’t been enforced in years, so I see no reason to give referees yet another chore to keep track of and another opportunity to penalize players. We have enough penalties already. So, it looks like our options are to leave the rule as is or start with fixed kumi kata. Not sure which is the greater evil.
No more toketa for going out of bounds
Once a pin is called, going out of bounds will not stop the pin. I like this idea. As much as I hate penalties, I wish the IJF would penalize players from crawling out of bounds to prevent ne waza from occurring, like Monteiro did against Matsumoto at the 2010 World Championships.
The proposal is to allow Golden Score to go until one player scores, thus eliminating to some degree the referee, as no hantei would be necessary. On the other hand, I’m sure that we’ll see more penalties assessed just to end matches.
Would maintain the shido given for “grips used in wrestling,” such as the bear hug. OK, that’s an easy one for me. It’s stupid, silly, emasculating, and totally unnecessary. Let players grip however they want as long as they are doing positive, attacking Judo.
Total prohibition of direct attacks below the waist
This one bothers me, period, but more so now that the implication is that leg attacks are no longer allowed. I’m hoping that the wording should have said direct attacks with the hand below the waist. So based on that assumption, my opinion is the same as for the bear hug. It’s stupid, silly, emasculating, and totally unnecessary. I have heard through other sources that the IJF is considering eliminating the hansoku make associated with this penalty and awarding a shido instead. That’s better, but it’s still stupid, silly, emasculating, and totally unnecessary.
Osae komi times
Osae komi times would go to 10, 15 and 20 seconds, which would correspond to the scores of yuko, waza ari and ippon. As long as the rules are unfavorable to ne waza, players will continue to not favor ne waza training. So it makes sense that fewer players are training to get out of pins. Shortening the pin times doesn’t seem to penalize the player being pinned, since most can’t get out of pins, period.
Goodbye waza ari
Waza ari would be eliminated, leaving only yuko and ippon. That was already being considered when they dropped koka a few years back. Considering how often spectators are left asking, “How was that a waza ari?” or more importantly, “How was that an ippon?” this may be a good call, especially if we can get back to what an ippon used to be 35 years ago. On the other hand, what are the implications for pins? No more waza ari awasete ippon? How many seconds for a yuko then?
Let’s hope that the IJF will recognize its past errors in judgment, and make Judo a better sport. What do you think about the potential new rules?