On Tuesday, September 12, the second edition of the Judo Pro League will be officially launched! The first mixed sports league in France, this event will feature thirteen teams for this year 2023, including three new formations joining the adventure: Sainte-Geneviève Sports Judo, Auxerre Judo and Judo Hauts-de-France.
This season, four pools have been set up, divided into two conferences: West and East. In the West, US Orléans Loiret JJ, Sainte-Geneviève Sports Judo, Normandie Judo and Judo Hauts-de-France will compete in pool A, while AM Asnières Judo 92, Dojo Béglais and Dojo Nantais will form pool B. In the East, Judo Nice Métropole, ES Blanc-Mesnil Judo and Montpellier Judo Olympic are in Pool C, while Corsica Judo, OM Judo and Auxerre Judo are in Pool D.
Pool A : US Orléans Loiret JJ, Sainte-Geneviève Sports Judo, Normandie Judo, Judo Hauts-de-France
Pool B : AM Asnières Judo 92, Dojo Béglais, Dojo Nantais
Pool C : Judo Nice Métropole, ES Blanc-Mesnil Judo, Montpellier Judo Olympic
Pool D : Corsica Judo, OM Judo, Auxerre Judo
On each of the six days of the group phase, five matches will be organized, with a single opposition on the program for a meeting lasting around an hour. The top two finishers in each pool will then go on to the quarter-finals, to be held on November 28-29 and December 5-6. The Final Four, held at the Dojo Arena in Paris, will bring the competition to a close on December 16.
A regulation adjusted for the show
The first change for the new season is the increase from six to ten fighters per team, with five female categories (-52kg, -57kg, -63kg, -70kg, +70kg) and five male categories (-65kg, -75kg, -85kg, -95kg, +95kg). A maximum of 50% foreign fighters per team are allowed to take part in each match. The bout will last five minutes, without matte, with a thirty-second time-out mid-fight and no golden score. To win, there are several options: score two ippons, two waza-ari and one ippon or four waza-ari, through a hansokumake received by the opponent or, of course, through a retained advantage at the end of the five-minute bout.
Each fighter will thus be able to score a maximum of twenty points per bout, according to the following calculation:
- 1 point for a waza-ari
- 10 points for an ippon or two waza-ari
- 11 points for an ippon and a waza-ari
- 20 points for two ippon or four waza-ari
- 20 points for hansokumake of the opposing fighter
In terms of pool ranking, three points will be awarded to the winning team, while a draw will award one point to each team. At the same time, if a team scores six or more ippons in a match, a bonus point will be awarded, even if the team loses at the end of the match. "The philosophy behind these changes to the rules is in line with the Judo Pro League, which is first and foremost about putting on a show, explains Christian Dyot, head of the French National Refereeing Commission (CNA). How can we do this? By placing even greater emphasis on attacking judo. The idea is to encourage fighters who are in a positive frame of mind. As in the first edition, the refereeing body will encourage this approach by seeking to penalize as little as possible, except in the case of obvious fouls".