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I've been watching the Olympic Judo matches and I'm confused.

I know that ippon is an instant win. And 2 waza-ari are the equivlent of an ippon. But then there is another number associated with the matches.

Additionally there is a gold mark (or multiple marks) that appear occastionally next to a participant's name.

A complete answer of all scoring, points, and mark meaning would be appreciated.

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Ippon will win the match (throw where they land mostly on their back, done with speed, force and control, or osae komi of 25 seconds, or a submission)

2 waza ari = ippon (throw where they land mostly on their back, with one of the other criteria missing, or osae komi of 20-24.9 seconds)

Yuko (for throws where they land on their side, or osae komi (pins) of 15-20 seconds). No amounts of yuko will add up to waza ari or ippon.

The gold marks I believe are penalties. The first penalty is recorded but no score is given to the other player (i think, it's been a bit since i competed, and when i did, the first penalty got you a koka, which no longer exists). The 2nd will give the other player a yuko, and the 3rd will give them waza ari), The 4th will disqualify the athlete being penalized.

The most common penalties are:

  • non combativity(not attacking with a real attack for to long),
  • false attacks(doing a lame throw attempt that gets you to the ground),
  • defensive posture (standing with your arms locked out usually),
  • illegal grips (2 hands on one side of the opponents gi for more then 2-3 seconds without attacking).
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I was under the impression that no amount of waza-ari would add up to an ippon either. Is that an outdated rule? – Robin Ashe Jul 31 '12 at 16:49
I don't think that has ever been the rule, as far back as I can remember (about 15 years), 2 waza aris equaled ippon. – Patricia Jul 31 '12 at 17:12
@RobinAshe No number of yuko or koka (an outdated sub-yuko score) can add up to anything greater than themselves; waza-ari have always added up to ippon as long as there has been judo. – Dave Liepmann Aug 1 '12 at 2:50
Ahh, that's what I was thinking of. – Robin Ashe Aug 1 '12 at 3:37
  • ippon
  • wazari
  • yuko
  • koka (deprecated)

It was explained in the past as ippon = 10 points, instant win, wazari = 7 points, yuko = 5 points, koka = 3 points. But since you cannot simply add the points (like wazari + koka = ippon)

So, now the scores are displayed

ippon, wazari, yuko, (warnings/penalties)

the yellow card is a warning, the second is a shido. so the penalty's are:

  • shido
  • chui
  • keikoku
  • hansoku-make (you have lost the match and are banned for the rest of the tournament)

but since the scoreboard cannot hold those penalties, it is a point for you opponent. so if you have your second yellow card, your opponent 'scores' a yuko. Your third 'yellow card' gives your opponent a wazari and a fourth yellow card gives your opponent an ippon.

it does not matter how many yuko's you score, they won't become a wazari. If your opponent scores a wazari and you have like 4 yuko's, you are still in losing position. I hope this makes it a bit more clear. I have heard more people struggling with the scoring-system of judo.

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