As of 20101 the IJF made it illegal to grab the legs or trousers during direct attacks in tachi-waza, and as of 2013 it is illegal to touch the legs whatsoever during tachi-waza. I have heard multiple possible reasons for this rule introduction:
- to distinguish judo more clearly from freestyle wrestling as an Olympic sport
- to reduce the opportunity for counter-throws, and so encourage more direct throwing attempts
- to penalise a style of judo favoured by athletes from Russia, Mongolia etc
- to penalise a tactic of attempting a low-scoring technique using a leg grab, and acting defensively from then on
But I haven't seen any direct explanation from the IJF as to what influenced this decision. Which, if any, was the real motivation for this change?