In sport, refereeing is a key element, without which respect for the rules and fair play would be utopian. This is obviously particularly true in judo, where the role of referees and the refereeing commission is paramount in ensuring that the correct winner is chosen.

The role of the referees is not limited to their mere presence on the tatami. They are the guarantors of the smooth running of the contests and its safety, while respecting the refereeing rules and the values of the sport.

Juan Carlos Barcos, who was the IJF Head Refereeing Director for many years and has an extensive knowledge of the subject, has been nominated by the International Judo Federation as the new co-ordinator responsible for International Refereeing Seminars.

Those seminars, which have already started and will be organised regularly, are aimed at developing the knowledge and skills of the referees worldwide, so the decisions taken during judo events are always following the same rules and processes. Once referees have participated in the seminars they can also transfer information at the local level. Refereeing being part of the global development of judo, the seminars are not restricted to the referees, as coaches and athletes can also be included.

Juan Carlos Barcos declared, "It's an idea from President Vizer to help develop judo and refereeing in all countries. It is not limited to the referees only, even though it focusses on the judo rules. I was recently in Afghanistan and it was an unforgettable experience. I'll soon go to Mauritania.

Juan Carlos Barcos together with IJF President, Marius Vizer

It is a necessity to create connection between the big events and the development of our sport everywhere. I think it's easier to send one person to represent the IJF and to show the evolution of judo, instead of trying to gather many people from different countries in one place.

I’m really passionate about this this project and am happy to keep helping the development of judo. I am working in close collaboration with the IJF Refereeing Commission and the Head Referee Directors."

The experience of Juan Carlos Barcos, his capacity to share his knowledge and passion for refereeing and for judo, will help to develop judo not only at the international level but also at the level of all fans and judo lovers.

See also