Friday, January 6, 2017

How the rules will impact judo in 2017

Now that we have clarity on the rule changes let's look at how they will impact the way judo is played in 2017. Here are some predictions/scenarios based on JudoCrazy's reading of the rules:

1. Will there be less shido play?
Juan Barcos said that last year, you hear lots of coaches shouting "shido, shido, shido" rather than "throw your opponent". Which is true. There is lots of shido play going on in international judo. No less than 8-times World Champion and double Olympic Champion Teddy Riner excels in this. The rationale for making shido inconsequential during Regular Time is to encourage players to go for scores rather than shido play... or so the thinking goes. But will it actually discourage shido play? Let's say Teddy Riner is in the final of the World Championships or perhaps the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, and he's up against some top Japanese or Russian player who can actually counter him. Will he go for the big ippon or will he try to get his opponent to accrue three shidos (and thus hansoku-make)? My guess is that it will be the latter. The reason why this new rule will not totally discourage shido play is that it is not true that you cannot win by shido during regular time. You can if you can get your opponent to incur three shidos. So you can still win by shido, it's just harder to do so than before (where one shido is enough to secure the win).

2. Fewer one-handed sode attempts.
One handed sodes used to be done with the free hand grabbing the trousers of uke. When that was banned, players still did one-handed sodes but often involving a drop and this sometimes resulted in uke's arm being straightened, and thus armlocked. Although this is not waki-gatame in the strictest sense, it is still penalized by hansoku-make. However, the IJF has deemed an arm-straightening sode as not being illegal if tori has two hands on uke. So, as long as you do drop sode with two hands on uke, even if uke's arm gets straightened, it's not hansoku-make. I think this will clearly lead to players being more circumspect in doing one-handed sodes.

3. Better techniques?
Quite possibly. With the relaxation of the gripping rules, there's more opportunity to set up for proper techniques. The old rules of having to attack immediately upon taking a cross grip or a belt grip wasn't the most conducive for setting up throws. With players being allowed to take a wider range of grips and having enough time to set up for big throws, it's more likely that we will see big throws.

4. Longer Golden Scores?

If a contest goes into Golden Score, it is likely that it will be longer. In the past, Golden Score were decided very quickly, usually via shido. Once a player gets one shido, the game is over. Now though, because of penalties are carried over, if Player A has two shidos already, Player B will have two free shidos to play with before the next shido counts. The new ruling is bound to extend the Golden Score period.

5. Will players stop running away in the dying seconds?
It's a common sight to see players -- even top champions -- run away from their opponents when they are ahead in points with only a few seconds left in the match. Almost all of them do it. They seldom get shido let alone hansoku-make for that. I would like to see the brave referee who gives a hansoku-make to a top player for running away with 5 seconds left in the match. I just don't see it happening.

6. Hansoku-make from leg grabs will drop to almost nil.

Getting a hansoku-make from leg grabbing requires a player to be a repeat offender. If a player accidentally grabs the leg the first time around, he'll get a shido. For sure, he will be more careful after that. It's highly unlikely he will do that again in the same match (if he does, he fully deserves the hansoku-make). I don't think you'll see that many leg grab hansoku-makes anymore. Which is a good thing.

No comments:

Post a Comment