Have the new 2010 rules affected Judo?

Nage pointThis past weekend we entered the official qualification period for the London 2012 Olympic games. In this qualification period the new rule changes are in effect (and are not supposed to change) and it is worth taking a brief look to see if the changes are having an effect on the Judo being played. In this post, we shall compare data from the 2009 Moscow Grand Prix and last weekend’s 2010 Tunis Grand Prix.

If you recall, last year we looked at the 2009 Moscow Grand Prix on this blog ( http://judometrics.com/2009/06/moscow-judo-grand-slam-2009-data/ ) using data from www.ippon.org on the scores and penalties awarded in that event. In this post we shall look at the same data, from the same source, from the 2010 Tunis Grand Prix.

In 2009 we found that Ippon made up 77% of the throwing scores in male Judo and 39% of the female throws. In 2010 we find that Ippon makes up 75% of Male throws and 55% of female throwing scores. Thats a decreaqse of 2.40% in men, but a 15.44% increase in Ippon scoring throws in womens Judo.

Within mens Judo we se a 8.10% decrease in Wazari scoring throws and a 10.49% increase in Yuko scoring throws. On the opposite side, womens Judo has decreased the number of Warazi (9.74% decrease) and Yuko (5.70% decrease) throwing scores.

Looking at the number of penalties per match, we see that in 2009 it was 1.61 penalties per match and 1.84 in 2010 for men. The women had 1.39 penalties per match in 2009 and 1.51 penalties per match in 2010. Looking at the scores per match, they have changed very little between 2009 and 2010 (.56->.59 for men, .78->.79 for women). If we look at direct Hansoku Make penalties, unsuprisingly we see the men go from 1 in 2009 to 11 in 2010. The females also increased their Hansoku Make from 0 in 2009 to 2

So to summarise, in men’s Judo we have fewer Ippon and more penalties. Women’s Judo on the otherhand has more Ippon throws and more penalties. BOth men and women have an increase in Hansoku Make, which we can presumably associate with the new leg grab rule.

This very brief look at the data gives only a snapshot of elite Judo from two events; two events in Europe. So we can’t and shouldn’t read too much into the numbers. This data does not look at the style of Judo on display. It is perfectly possible that the Judo shown in 2010 is more exciting and “pure Judo”.

However, these numbers do provide a view of Judo that we need to consider. My understanding was that the rule changes were devised to increase/promote throwing Judo. “Pure Judo” as it was phrased. My interpretation is that this has arguably been the case in Women’s Judo a 15.44% increase in the Ippon statistic is very positive. ┬áBut the general trend towards even more penalties is a negative; this might be a result of the rule changes, or different fighting styles; we can’t tell from this examination.

If we look broadly, the number of scores per match has increased in both men and women, as has  the number of scores from throws; from 1.61 to 1.86 per match for men and 1.67 to 1.86 per match for women. However, the number of scores per match from throws has only increased from .56 to .59 for men and .78 to .79 for women.

More investigation is required, an investigation into the style of Judo displayed would be interesting; as would a long-term study of the objective data over a wide range of events.

How do you feel the Judo from 2009 and 2010 has changed? How do you feel the rule changes have affected Judo? How do you think we can further explore the area?

2 thoughts on “Have the new 2010 rules affected Judo?”

  1. I observe Less wrestling product, more Stand-up Judo and more Dynamic Ippons – there is a propensity to work escapes (or not) out of very dynamic throwing situations, thus more Yukos and fewer Wazaris, – some of your stats compare apples and oranges – you should contrast Grand Slams – ie Moscow 2009 and Moscow 2010 – yes there are more penalties called because we are directed to do so – better to contrast Moscow 2010 with Hamburg 2006 when penalty directives were similar –

  2. this is a completely subjective opinion, but i feel like the higher in the bracket the tournament proceeds, the more time is often spent in kumi kata. looking back at the world championships, i saw a number of higher end bracket matches going near the full 5 min’s and perhaps close or with no score, and a penalty being a deciding factor late in the match.

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