New Judo Rules and Refereeing Gestures for the Next Olympic Cycle


2022 has seen the new refereeing rules being implemented for the next Olympic cycle.

The key points that have been looked at are the continuity of action, the landing, Judo techniques, and gripping. There are three new refereeing gestures for Shido as well. Reverse-seoi nage has been banned in competition.


During the execution of throwing techniques, combinations, or counter techniques, it’s important that there’s no interruption in order for a score to be considered. If there is a stop in the action, no score.


In order for a score to be considered, there must be a minimum of a 90 degree angle to the tatami from the shoulders to the hips in order for a Waza-ari score to be considered. A score will be given for a whole side of the body landing, or more to the rear, even when the elbow is out. The shoulder and upper part of the back also gives a Waza-ari score.


Falling on the side or back, and landing or rolling over in the process of a match, without executing a clear technique, is not considered a score. The Judo technique must be identifiable and present in the published list of Kodokan Judo techniques.

If the counter-technique is clearly identified, and Uke lands at a 90 degree angle- a score will be given. Otherwise, if the landing is to the front, or is less than 90 degrees, the counter will be considered a transition to Newaza.


In the end phase of a throwing technique, gripping under the belt is allowed if the Uki is already in Newaza. If the throwing technique is interrupted, the under belt grip will be considered a Newaza action.

If not negative, collar and lapel grips are allowed.

Non-traditional grips, if taken, will be allowed for the preparation of an attack. Grips such as pocket grip, pistol grip, belt grip, cross grip, and one side grip are all not traditional grips.

Breaking Grips

It’s allowed to break the grip with one or two hands as long as a grip is taken immediately thereafter. If a grip is not taken immediately, Shido will be given.

Shido and Hansoku-make

Judokas are allowed to retie their hair and arrange their judogi once per contest. Further occasions will result in a Shido each time. 

If Uke lands simultaneously on 2 elbows or hands towards the back, a shido is given for Uke and a Waza-ari is given for Tori. This decision was made as a matter of safety, as the landing is dangerous.

No score for Reverse Seoi-Nage, and Shido for Tori. This decision was made as a matter of safety as well, as Uki is at risk for not being able to perform a proper Ukemi, or can even fall with the neck on the mat. Thus, Reverse Seoi-Nage is forbidden.

Head diving techniques will now be penalized with Hansoku-make as they’re considered dangerous.

New Refereeing Gestures for Shido

Shido for landing on two hands or elbows :

Shido for landing on two hands or elbows

Shido for reverse seoi-nage :

Shido for reverse seoi nage 1Shido for reverse seoi nage 2

Shido for arranging hair :

Shido for arranging hair