Officials are volunteers who give up their time to support competitions. They are mainly seen behind the tables and their role is to keep track of the contest action and make sure everything runs smoothly.


What does the role involve?

There are various levels of official and depending on their award they are able to take on different roles at different events.


Officiating duties include:

  • Timekeeper:- responsible for keeping track of the contest time, scores and penalties awarded to each player.
  • Contest Recorder:- responsible for recording contest results and calling the players to the mat.
  • Tournament Director: - responsible for the on-site running of the event. They complete the draw, prepare the timetable, and take overall responsibility for all the officials. They field questions from coaches, players and spectators regarding everything apart from refereeing queries.


Who does the role suit?

Officiating roles suit anyone who is willing to give up their time to support events particularly those who may not like to be in the spotlight.


What skills are required?

Common skills that officials need:

  • Ability to concentrate for long periods of time
  • High levels of accuracy when completing officiating duties
  • Good communication skills
  • Ability to work as a part of a team


Why should you get involved?

Officials are an integral part of the competition set-up and without them competitions would not run. Reasons to get involved include:

  • To learn new skills
  • To make new friends
  • To be a part of a successful event
  • To help keep the sport running
  • To be guaranteed the best seat in the house at competitions!


How do you get involved?

There are two main ways that you can start your career as an official:

  1. Attend a course and sit a written question paper– this is particularly beneficial and recommended to those who have no prior knowledge or experience in the sport. You will then be awarded either TOC (-16 yrs) or Timekeeper (16+ yrs) status and be invited to officiate at events in your local area.
  2. Offer to help at your local competitions – if you are already attending competitions in your local area, speak to your Tournament Director and offer your services as an assistant Timekeeper. The Tournament Director should sit you with an existing Timekeeper or Contest Recorder who will show you what to do.   You can spend the day practicing your skills, asking questions and getting familiar with the scoreboard.  Your work as a trainee timekeeper will be logged and once you've attended 3 events you will be awarded full Timekeeper status.

Membership Information - Technical Officials (All Levels)

WJA Technical Officials who do not step foot onto a judo mat do not need to pay for WJA membership but still need to register with the WJA; in order to be included in the Officiating database, be insured to work at WJA competitions and have the opportunity to be invited to work at events across the country.  Anyone in this position can register for free associate membership.


There are no benefits associated with the Associate Membership. Individuals, who are not judoka, but who are just starting out as Officials will be asked to complete an Associate Membership Form when sitting their Timekeeper paper.


Transfers to Volunteer Membership

Current Officials, who would like to transfer their membership to assocaite status can do so by logging onto the members portal and selecting associate member in the membership tile.


Refunds on any membership costs already incurred are not possible, therefore we recommend doing this only when your current membership is due to expire.

Please note that any Official who participates in Judo either recreationally or competitively must still purchase a full WJA membership.  The Associate Membership will only insure individuals to Officiate at events not to step foot onto a judo mat.


This policy supersedes any previous requirements and will be implemented from the moment this information is circulated.

Need to contact us?

Tel: 02920 334945


Or use the contact form


Welsh Judo Association

Sport Wales National Centre

Sophia Gardens 

CF11 9SW


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