Southern Area Judo

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Referees play a key role in judo, enabling competition between athletes by conducting contests in a fair and safe way, working alongside technical officials to deliver high quality events for players, coaches and spectators.
Refereeing is a challenging, rewarding and satisfying volunteer role within British Judo. As well as being enjoyable and social in itself, refereeing helps equip people with life skills such as confidence and decisiveness, these attributes help referees in many other aspects of life.

Southern Area Refereeing Committee

The Southern Area Refereeing Committee is responsible for delivering training courses for new referees and revalidation courses for current referees as well as organising referees for Area events.

The main functions of the Committee are to:

• maintain information on the current numbers, grades and validation status of referees
• deliver guidance and training for Coaches and Examiners on the Contest Rules
• assist the BJA’s national Refereeing Commission in promoting referee volunteering and encouraging referees to maintain validation
• ensure that relevant guidance and policies from the BJA relating to Contest Rules and refereeing matters are publicised to all SA members through a variety of media.

The Area refereeing committee consists of:

Alan Lingham – Chair
Andy Tremlett – Training
Graham Holmes – Registrar


The referee structure is made up of 8 levels, starting at club level, progressing through to international level. As a referee builds their skills and experience, they have the opportunity to advance through these levels and attend larger, tougher and more prestigious events.

Club Referee

The Club Referee award is the first entry point for the British refereeing system.
Minimum requirements: green belt and over 12 years of age. Low level club events only.

Area Referee

Minimum requirements: blue belt and 15 years of age. Referee at area and club events.

National Referee

There are three levels of National referee. As experience is gained and with progression through the referee structure, the standard of event invited to referee at increases.

National C: brown belt and 18 years of age (16 with club / area referee experience)
National B: brown belt and 19 years of age (18 with club / area referee experience)
National A: 1st Dan and 21 years of age (20 with club / area referee experience)

Senior National Referee

The Senior National Referee award is an honorary award for those who have consistently performed to a high standard at British events and play a key role as referees in charge and in the development and training of referees. The same technical refereeing level as the National A award is required. Requirements: 3rd Dan black belt with distinguished service to British Judo as a referee

Continental Referee

The Continental Referee award is awarded by the European Judo Union (EJU) according to IJF rules. A minimum level of 2nd Dan is required along with BJA approval.

IJF Referee

The pinnacle of refereeing is the International Referee award, awarded by the International Judo Federation (IJF). This requires a grade of 3rd Dan and both BJA and EJU approval.

Becoming a Referee

As long as you are at least green belt and 12 years old, you can take your first steps toward becoming a referee. Initially there is a need to attend a refereeing course and take a theory paper to check your understanding.

If you would like to find out more about becoming a referee please email or speak to any of the referees at events.

Referee Resources

Link to BJA referee resources

BJA Contest rules