The refereeing seminars of the World Judo Tour are now well established, so much so that it has become a routine part of each event for all sectors of the IJF and the member federations. Coaches, media personnel, General Secretariat representatives, continental presidents and members of many commissions have been present and continue to derive a sense of unity and understanding from each such occasion.
IJF Refereeing Seminar, Casablanca, Morocco, 2023

This coming weekend and the days that follow have huge importance as many of the 2023’s continental championships are taking place. The African Kata Championships has just finished and next are the European Championships Juniors in the Netherlands, the Pan-American Championships for cadets and juniors in Calgary, Canada and also the African counterparts hosted by the Royal Moroccan Judo Federation in Casablanca; not to mention the senior continentals of the PJC and AJU.

Head Referee Director Florin Daniel Lascau in Morocco.

The refereeing seminars therefore become more an essential than ever as major titles and world ranking points will be distributed all over the world, boosting careers and offering valuable feedback to the delegations and their athletes on the work done. The work of the referees must be exact, accurate and sharp just as it must be for the best judoka.

In Casablanca there was a two day refereeing seminar, led by IJF Head Referee Directors Florin Daniel Lascau and Armen Bagdasarov, accompanied by IJF International Affairs Director Mr Juan Carlos Barcos who led the IJF Referee Commission for 20 years and was himself and Olympic referee. More than 40 referees attended, from 12 African countries, ready to develop their knowledge and skills and take their education home after the event, ready to help their respective countries in the raising of standards.

Juan Carlos Barcos, IJF International Affairs Director.

During the seminar were lectures, open discussions, mat-based practical sessions, video analysis and much more. Techniques were scrutinised and situations broken down, offering a detailed level of discovery and learning.

Having a full understanding of scenarios which lead to safety concerns, is of course the priority. Throwing using the head, bridging and the emphasis under consideration when awarding shidos were among many other points raised. The dynamic nature of judo can provide added difficulty for even the simplest of rules.

This international seminar is an important operation towards increasing the number of referees in Africa and encouraging those already on that path to strive towards their international licences. Many of the attendees will take what they have learned directly on to the tatami at the African Championships, more ready than ever to referee at the highest level.

All photos taken by the AJU team and published with permission.

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