genetic judoka wrote:or what might be more feasible, and less troublesome for those involved, would be an "old rules open division" added to a regular shiai. thoughts?
these sorts of "novel" divisions or "team" competitions can really make a local/regional tournament a tournament the people want to hit. Eiko Shepherd runs the North/South tournament each year, with a team tournament for those from the North and those from the South.
World Masters used to run team tournaments with age cut offs and a total age minimum (as opposed to weight minimum/maximum) that was really quite fun.
There are no-gi divisions at some tourneys, and newaza divisions at other tourneys - always a highlight whether you compete in them or just watch.
Wise tournament directors create "exhibition" divisions so that everybody gets to fight, even if nobody shows up in your weight/age division. So, I did an "exhibition" with a 14 almost 15 year old who wasn't quite ready for seniors, but nobody showed up near her weight/age. We hashed out rules and went to town - great fun even though I was old enough to be her, uh, well, we won't go there. I've also played young women who've had 100+ lbs on me and were half my age.
Kata competitions have benefitted by creating new divisions - beginning nage no kata where the competitors do only the first 3 sets and cannot compete in the advanced NNK division, etc.
In essence, good tournaments, imho, make sure to include as many people as they can, create divisions that can make things a bit of a different challenge for competitors, create interesting competitions that make competitors think a bit different about how to apply judo strategy, etc.
Freestyle judo is a great concept, but I do think those running exclusively AAU/freestyle tournaments don't give a wit about ref ranking through the NGB or the IJF. While they have enough refs (arguably. arguably, nobody ever has enough refs to run a tournament where the refs aren't exceedingly tired after the tournament, and most have to ref only, not compete), asking a young ref to make a decision that limits his/her ability to gain NGB/IJF ref points/status early in his/her career is unfair.
At some point, anti-trust may come into play since the "blackballing" of such refs by the establishment isn't above board, but until then...... we have creative shiai directors who add in novel and unique divisions/events/etc to the established shiai format.
Billc - if you had a really old school koka board, you could just take a pair of scissors to what you no longer need. Then again, I could never read those boards - too far away and my vision just sucked that bad.