Home » Judo news
The latest Judo News offered by JudoInside.com
Being a Judo referee is not the most popular job
13 May 2019 15:25
Balazs Gosztonyi of Hungary is one of the IJF referees of the dark force. The referees, the one you shouldn’t see, but who should lead the contest in the best way. Sometimes they have to make the hard decisions, rational or with help of the video footage, sometimes clear, sometimes hard to understand. Beautiful ippons or in a rare occasion when a phone drops out of the judogi.
The referee is one who is always in the lead but rather in the background. The IJF sat down with one of those examples in the IJF World Tour.
“I started refereeing when I was 18 years old,” Balazs recalls. “We had some great examples back home and when our club coach asked us to follow the referee course to help out the club we did. It was a good decision. We were also welcomed by the older generation of referees. We became a great group of friends once we started refereeing and going to all these tournaments.”
Progressing through the ranks from being a local club referee to becoming a top IJF referee is a long road. “First of all, you must like what you do. Being a referee is not a popular job. I always mention we are the ‘dark force’ on the tatami, being dressed in black suits,” Balazs jokes. “It takes time to become a good referee. It’s a long learning curve from refereeing at your club tournament gradually progressing to a regional, national and finally the international level. It’s also time consuming but I’m lucky, because the closest persons from my entourage are all in the same boat. My sister-in-law and her husband are both international referees and more important, my wife is also an international referee. Actually, we met at judo tournaments, so there is also a love story intertwingled,” the referee laughs.
Imagine refereeing an IJF Worlds final. The two judokas ready to clash, a boisterous crowd cheering madly … and then you, the referee right in the middle. There must be a high stress level? “When it comes down to do your job, it doesn’t really matter,” says Balazs. “Be it a small tournament or when the stakes are very high. You have two judokas in front of you. You fade out the surroundings and the concentration level peaks on those two athletes. The level might be different, but judo is judo. The competitors will be passionate and fight to win. Of course, there is some pressure. But this also helps us to immediately switch off everything and fully focus on the fight we are about to officiate.”
This week Balazs officiated at the Grand Slam in Baku and IBSA World Cup.
Read the rest of the interview at the site of the IJF
Related judoka and events
Related Judo Photos
Related Judo Videos
Related Judo News
Budapest will organise the 2022 World Championships (and they organised 2017 perfectly) but also Budapest is host of the IJF headquarters and the mainframe of IBSA judo (blind judo association) is based in Hungary but there is also a very special family living in this judo country. Read more
Junior World Championships gold medallist Gela Zaalishvili of Georgia made an impression on the IJF World Judo Tour to open his senior medal account on the international stage. Zaalishvili countered a sasae-tsurikomi-ashi attempt from Tunis Grand Prix bronze medallist Ruslan Shakhbazov (RUS) with te-waza for a waza-ari score and added a second waza-ari to seal a decisive victory in the last contest of the Grand Slam in Azerbaijan. Read more
Yelyzaveta Kalanina of the Ukraine won her maiden Grand Slam title with the best display of her young career. World Judo Masters bronze medallist Larisa Ceric of Bosnia Herzegovina was thrown by the tallest judoka in the category as the raw talent of Kalanina was on display for the world to see. Read more
Dutchman Michael Korrel defeated Tbilisi Grand Prix winner Kazbek Zankishiev of Russia to reign in Baku. Tbilisi Grand Prix gold medallist Korrel prevailed after 68 seconds of golden score as he dropped under the Russian for a waza-ari score to decide the fate of the U100kg category. Read more
German judoka Luise Malzahn of Germany shocked teammate and Antalya Grand Prix winner Anna Maria Wagner as she earned her second Grand Slam title against her younger, more fancied teammate. Germany’s 21-time Grand Prix medallist recorded her first international win over Wagner in comprehensive fashion with a harai-makikomi and a o-uchi-gari stunning the world number eight who now has a battle on her hands to be picked for Tokyo 2020. Read more
Juan Romero (URU)