by Stacey Sun Mar 03, 2013 5:39 am
I believe if you're current with your NGB, you're generally eligible here.
Overseas, I'd ask your sensei which tournaments have novice divisions. Most tournaments here are not novice only, and the novice divisions are pretty standard at most shiai. Of course, there are usually not enough novices to divide into Olympic weights, so they usually divide into light and heavy or light medium and heavy.
Can't imagine there'd be a dearth of novice divisions in EU competitions. I'd start slow and small - local and regional. Ask your sensei. Ask your training partners. See what's coming up and whether they have a novice division.
Then, when you feel like it, please feel free to come over to the US, get some training in, and compete when/where you want to. Just realize, unless you want to spend a ton of time in an airport, you're not going to compete in FL one day, CA the next, and NY the following. I'd stick with one geographical area, preferably with a dojo you want to visit (with the approval of your sensei), and maybe a camp or clinic scheduled around the time of your shiai - get the most of the experience.
If you're female, I'd highly recommend Deb Fergus' All Womens Judo Championships - you'll get a ton of matches and she always schedules some great clinics before and after the shiai.