How Does Scoring Work In Judo?

How Does Scoring Work In Judo

In Judo, scoring points can vary greatly depending on the kind of throw the fighter completes. There are three categories of scoring in judo that allow a fighter to win the match. In order of most powerful to least, there are Ippon, Waza-ari, and Yuko.


An ippon is the most valuable and when completed, ends the match. To complete an ippon, one fighter must throw the opponent to the ground with significant force and speed. The fighter must also throw the opponent mostly on their back. Additionally, an ippon is awarded when the fighter makes the opponent give up, tap out, or grapple them on the ground for 20 seconds. A referee is there to count the 20 seconds once the move is initiated. An ippon is worth 100 points and immediately ends the match.


The next, and significantly less valuable kind of scoring is the Waza-ari. This is defined to be a throw that is very strong and clear, but lacks some of the elements of an ippon. Many instances of a Waza-ari are because the opponent didn't fall largely on their back or because the throw wasn't powerful enough to be considered an ippon. A waza-ari is worth 10 points which is very small in comparison to an ippon.


The final and least common scoring level is a yuko. This is a throw that lacks two or more very important factors of an ippon. These throws are generally awarded when the fighter throws their opponent on their side or grapples them for no more than 15 seconds. The yuko is worth one point.

How to Win

In judo, there are a few ways to win a match. As mentioned before, if a fighter executes an ippon, the match is over and the winner is crowned. Additionally, if the fighter executes 2 waza-ari, the match is concluded and the winner is given the title. There isn't a way for a fighter to continuously execute yuko throws and be considered the winner.

There are also other ways for a winner to be decided in judo. If there is a severe penalty (called a hansoku-make). In this case, the offending fighter would be disqualified and the remaining fighter would be considered the winner. Another way to win a match is if the opponent receives four shido penalties (minor rule violations). If a match comes to a tie, the score is reset and the fighters compete in a golden point round where the next point scored determines the winner of the match.


In judo, it is common to see a scoreboard which has three categories for the ippon, waza-ari, and yuko points. This system is used to track the various points being scored. The time is located at the bottom of the scoreboard. During a tie, the board is wiped and the next point determines the winner. The fighters enter a golden point rule where the very next point scored wins the match.


What are the basic rules of judo?

The main objective of judo is to effectively and efficiently fell your opponent using only your body and body position. The goal is to score points and by scoring points, you can accumulate a score that allows you to win the match. Just like boxing and MMA, there are instances where the fighters are beaten by a single move or ippon or when another fighter is disqualified.

What are the three kinds of point-scoring?

There are three different ways of scoring points in Judo. In order of importance, they are known as Ippon, Waza-ari, and Yuko. These categories specify different kinds of moves and their significance in the match. An Ippon is the most significant and valuable of the three, being worth 100 points. An Ippon is a throw to the ground with "considerable force and speed." It also requires that the opponent lands mostly on their back. Additionally, it is awarded when the fighter either pins the opponent or knocks them out. An Ippon ends the match immediately. Waza-ari is a throw that shows the dominance of the fighter, but the throw might not have been perfect or was lacking some speed and power. The third kind of point scoring is called Yuko, or a throw that is almost a Waza-ari, but is lacking in either power or speed. The throws are worth 100, 10, and 1 points respectively.

How long does a judo match last?

A judo match lasts typically 5 minutes for adults, for both male and female fighters. A junior fighter (20 years and younger), will fight for 4 minutes. For the Olympics, the men's matches last 5 minutes while the women's matches only last 4 minutes. If there isn't a winner at the end of the match, the fighters will compete in a sudden death overtime.

How many types of penalties can be awarded in judo?

There are four kinds of penalties that can be awarded in Judo. They are Shido, Chui, Keikoku, and Hansoku-make. These are ranked in order of least severe to most severe. The penalties in Judo are strict and very severe. Penalties in Judo can be given for many reasons, but some include going out of bounds, pushing an opponent out of bounds, not fighting or showing little aggression, intentionally trying to injure an opponent, and going to the floor deliberately.