The problem, of course, Loudenvier, are not the refereeing rules themselves. The criteria for ippon aren't any different than they were in the 1990s. Take the definitions and compare them. Where it gets problematic is that as a referee you need to pass exams and tests. The examiner decides what the answer should be irrespective of whether he is correct or not. You can challenge in some occasions maybe something, but you can't challenge the examiner or committee continuously, irrespective of who is right or not, and there are X examples where the "final opinion of the IJF Refereeing Committee" is blatantly wrong. The point then gets to "who the hell do you think you are to say they are wrong ?". That isn't the issue. There is simply a problem when either: 1. what that the committee decides is contrary to what the rules say, or 2. the committee on the same incident arrives at a conclusion diametrically opposed to the previous or next committee.
The Barcos Committee has had a tenure, that in my personal opinion has been waaaaaaay too long. The previous one, the Jim Kojima tenure, in my opinion, was much better and had an entirely different philosophy. Under Kojima the guideline was to make as few changes as possible as to maintain consistency and not continuously confuse the referees. They did a good job. The Barcos Committee though has been acting as second-term president, namely insisting on pressing its stamp on contest jûdô with continuous and radical changes that have increasingly moved away from the spirit of jûdô.
So, we now have with regard to certain things the same rules. Ippon is still the same in the rules as it was at the end of the Kojima tenure. Just compare the rule. However, we suddenly get an examiner or a committee now that says we should have given ippon, using those same rules. In other words, we are dealing with different interpretation. Refuse it, and you get taken off the mat, won't get promoted to IJF-A, or won't be selected anymore. This evolution has been going on for quite some time.
The other option is to conclude that we simply have a lot of bad referees or at lot whose primary concern is passing exams, getting promoted or selected. I say ... that this is a 'option'. I am not saying that the previous sentence is my conclusion about what is wrong. However, I say this: at the 2007 world championships in Rio I very carefully watched refereeing, and I think it was absolutely dreadful, partly because of precisely this sort of crap. Yet, there was one referee who, in my opinion did not give in to this, and who I never 'caught' into giving flimsy ippon-scores to people who first landed on their knees etc. That referee was Fujii. This surprised me. It did not surprise me that it was Fujii, obviously not. The man clearly knows jûdô. What is surprising is ... how he could maintain what I deem correct interpretation of the rules while others didn't. He clearly did not get taken off the mat because of his interpretations. So, should a referee really fear the referee committee, or is that all just a myth ? Certainly at the National Level, in my opinion, IJF-A refs often have a bigger ego in controlling national and regional refs, but is this so at the International level ?
There certainly have been refs. who consistently seemed to be able to really taste the jûdô and had no problem distinguishing true ippon scores from others. Fujii iis like that, Demoor is like that, Saito was like that. So, is it really a matter of changed interpretation, or is it as painful as it may sound more a matter of refereeing quality ?
Becoming and IJF referee, as with dan-rank promotions is not merely a matter of skill, but also a serious matter of networking, not pissing the wrong people off, showing your face, and certainly taking decisions in the way your examining ref wants. Heck, every referee knows that. Every ref. who has done tests know how among each other we used to tell "oh, and if you have him, he is big on X, Y, Z, make sure you clearly show this and that, and he, he likes this and that ..." So often it boils down on pleasing so, and so, but perhaps at an international level, this just doesn't work anymore. You are dealing with so many different people and situations. There certainly are also huge differences in how the rules are interpreted. You feel this predominantly not in international contests, but if you participate in regional and national contests in different countries. I mean, not just a bit, but shocking differences. I've done this many times, and in some countries it is like they use an entirely different set of rules, and yet it are the same, but that is how they are interpreted and expect you to interpret them.
In any case, neither A nor C are or should be ippon, and personally I would not even worry about this if I knew the ref. were Fujii, Demoor and Saito. In many other cases, you'd better follow Rhadi's advice, but that does not mean it should be like that. We are then really trying to buy into what the referee's ability may allow him to see and realize, rather than simply focus on the fight and be confident in that the referee knows judo ...
This post has been edited by Cichorei Kano: 04 May 2012 - 12:03 AM