This is the Judo blog of Lance Wicks. In this blog I cover mainly Judo and related topics. My Personal blog is over at where I cover more geeky topics. Please do leave comments on what you read or use the Contact Me form to send me an email with your thoughts and ideas.

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Last weekend at the British Cadet Championships there was an incident where a hantei decision was changed by the referee in charge after the match had finished.

It was a very close match and the decision was a split one, 2-1 for the Player from the Ealing Judo Club. Watching the match online, I have to say I felt that white had edged the match; but did not feel it was a trevesty for blue to get the win, especially by a split decision.

However... much like at the London games the decision was altered by the intervention of the commission/referee in charge.

I just posted on the BJA Group on facebook a quick exploration of the official position of a number of sports including Judo towards the referee.
I thought I would post it here also for a wider audience to spread the discussion about the direction/approach our sport is taking to officiating matches.

It is I think good for us in this period of discussion around refereeing to consider how other sports approach it. Below are some snippets from the official IRB rule book in reference to the referee and match officials:

"The referee is the sole judge of fact and of Law during a match. "

"A match organiser may appoint an official who uses technological devices. If the referee is unsure when making a decision in in-goal involving a try being scored or a touch down, that official may be consulted."

FIFA Rules of Football:
"Each match is controlled by a referee who has full authority to enforce the Laws of the Game in connection with the match to which he has been appointed."

"The decisions of the referee regarding facts connected with play, including whether or not a goal is scored and the result of the match, are final.
The referee may only change a decision on realising that it is incorrect or, at his discretion, on the advice of an assistant referee or the fourth official, provided that he has not restarted play or terminated the match."

"In respect of each LTA Official Competition, the Referee will:
(a) be the final on-site authority for the interpretation of the Rules of Tennis and these Regulations (including the LTA Code of Conduct);"

British Judo:
"Generally, the contest shall be conducted by one Referee and two (2) Judges under the supervision of the Refereeing Commission. The Referee and Judges shall be assisted by Scoreboard Keepers and Timekeepers."

"Should the Referee express an opinion on a technical result or a penalty of a higher degree than that of the two (2) Judges, he must adjust his evaluation to that of the Judge expressing the higher evaluation. Should the Referee express an opinion on a technical result or a penalty of a lower degree than that of the two (2) Judges, he must adjust his evaluation to that of the Judge expressing the lower evaluation. Should one Judge express an opinion of a higher degree and the other "

I have just read through the document (May 2012 edition) and I can't see anything saying that the commission or RIC can have a decision changed. In fact the only reference to them I spotted as I canned the document is included above.

It is noticeable to me that the other sports are rather clear that the referee is the sole decision maker and the ultimate authority. Other assist the referee be they assistant referees or a video replay, but it is the referee who decides and in the above examples generally at the request of the referee.

Our rules are blurrier, all that majority of three stuff. And no where I saw on my scan through is the a succinct statement that the referee is the ultimate authority.

What do others think?

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