The Regulations for Kendo Competition and its Refereeing

Revised April 1, 1995 and effected March 26, 1997.
All Japan Kendo Federation

The Purpose of the Regulations

Article 1: The purpose of the Regulations is to get Shiai-sha (competitors) to play fairly at Shiai (matches) of the International Kendo Federation in accordance with the principles of the sword and to properly referee the match without prejudice.

Part I: Shiai

Chapter 1: General Rules

Shiai- jo
Article 2: As a rule, the Shiai-jo (court) shall have wooden floor and its specifications shall be as follows:

  1. The configuration of the court shall be a square or a rectangle with sides of 9 to 11 meters in length inclusive of the width of the line; and
  2. A cross shall mark the center of the court, and two Kaishi-sen (starting lines) shall be marked on both sides of the center at an equal distance. The length of starting lines and the distance between them are stipulated in the Subsidiary Rules.

Shinai
Article 3: Shinai (fencing sword) shall be made of bamboo, or of synthetic material as a substitute of bamboo approved by the All Japan Kendo Federation. The structure, length, and weight of Shinai and the specifications of Tsuba are stipulated in the Subsidiary Rules.

Kendo-gu
Article 4: Kendo-gu (equipment) shall consist of Men, Kote, Do and Tare.

Uniform
Article 5: The Kendo uniform shall consist of Kendo-gi and Hakama.

Chapter 2: Shiai

Sectlon 1: Matters relative to Shiai

Duration of Shiai
Article 6: The standard duration of Shiai (match) shall be five minutes, and Encho (extension) shall be three minutes. The time from Senkoku (pronouncement) of Yuko- datotsu (valid strike/thrust) or suspension of matches made by Sushin (chief referee) to the resumption of Shiai, shall not be counted in the Shiai duration.

Decision of Victory
Article 7: Victory in the match shall be decided in accordance with the following rules:

  1. Victory shall be decided generally in accordance with Sanbon-shobu (3 point match) rule; however, it may be decided in accordance with lppon-shobu ( 1 point match) rule in case of time allocations at each tournament;
  2. In Sanbon-shobu, the competitor who first scores two points within the match duration shall be the winner; however, if competitor scores one point without allowing the other any point within the match duration, the former shall be the winner;
  3. In case victory has not been decided within the match duration, an extension may be allowed wherein the competitor who first scores one point shall be the winner. Otherwise, victory may be decided by Hantei (referee's judgement) or by Chusen (lot), or the match may be declared Hikiwake (draw);
  4. In case victory has been decided by referee's judgement or by lot, the winner shall be awarded one point; or
  5. In pronouncing referee's judgement, referees shall take into consideration, first skill of the competitor, then their attitudes in the match.

Team-matches
Article 8: Team-matches shall be carried out in accordance with the following rules; however, the rules may be modified at each competition if necessary.

  1. The team which has more winners than the other shall be the winner. In case the number of winners turns out to be equal, the team that has scored more points than the other shall be the winner. Furthermore, when the number of points scored is equal, one representative from each team shall fight to the finish; or
  2. In case of the Kachinuki method, the competitor of a team may continue to fight as long as the winner keeps winning, and the team, which has defeated the last competitor of its opponent team, shall be the victor.

Beginning and Ending of Matches
Article 9: The chief referee shall declare the beginning and ending of the match. Suspension and Resumption of the Match

Article 10: Any referee can declare suspension of the match, while the chief referee shall pronounce resumption of the match.

Request for Suspension of the Match
Article 11: In case the competitor becomes unable to keep fighting due to an accident etc., the competitor may request a suspension of the match.

Section 2: Yuko-datotsu

Article 12: Yuko-datotsu is defined as an accurate strike or thrust made onto Datotsu-bui (point area) of the opponent's equipment with the Shinai at its Datotsu-bu (proper part of the shinai) in high spirits and correct posture, being followed by Zanshin.

Datotsu-bu of Shinai
Article 13: Datotsu-bu of Shinai shall be Jin-bu (blade edge) of Monouchi (top third of the blade from the tip) and it's neighboring part.

Datotsu-bui
Article 14: Datotsu-bui are as follows (Figure 3):

  1. Men-bu (top of the mask from temple to temple)
  2. Kote-bu (forearm of the gauntlet)
  3. Do-bu (left and right sides of the trunk protector excluding the chest area)
  4. Tsuki-bu (throat guard)

Chapter 3: Prohibited Acts

Section 1: Matters Relating to Prohibited Acts

Drug Abuse
Article 15: Competitors are prohibited from drug abuse.

Insulting or offensive behaviour
Article 16: Competitors are prohibited from insulting or acting offensively against referees or opponents. Miscellaneous Prohibitions

Article 17: Competitors are prohibited from the following acts:

  1. Use of Kendo equipment other than that stipulated;
  2. Tripping up or sweeping off the opponent' s leg(s);
  3. Unfairly shoving or pushing an opponent out of the court;
  4. Jogai (stepping out of the court);
  5. Dropping the Shinai and being unable to use it;
  6. Requesting for suspension of Shiai without a justifiable reason; and
  7. Any other act that violates the Regulations.

Section 2:

Penalties (Dismissal)
Article 18: the competitor who has committed Hansoku (penalty) prescribed in Articles 15 and 16 shall lose the match and be ordered to retire from the court, and the opponent shall be given two points. The points or the status gained by the above loser shall be totally nullified.

Penalties (Fouls)
Article 19: the competitor who has committed the penalty stipulated in Article 17, Item I, shall have the following penalties imposed; in case both have committed such a penalty, both shall lose the match and their points or status gained in the match shall be nullified.

  1. The competitor who uses the prohibited Kendo equipment shall lose the match and his or her point(s) or acquired status shall be nullified , whereas the opponent shall be given two points ;
  2. The effect of penalty in the preceding paragraph shall not be retroactive to the preceding the match wherein the use of the prohibited Kendo equipment had not been detected; and
  3. The competitor who was detected using prohibited equipment shall be disallowed from participating in the remaining the match; however, the violator may bc substituted in Team-match unless otherwise stipulated.

Others
Article 20:

  1. In case the competitor has committed 2 penalties stipulated under Article 17, Items 2 to 7, the opponent should be given one point. The number of such penalties shall be cumulative during the match. However, in an extension or in the case where both competitors have gained one point respectively, if a second penalty is committed by both competitors simultaneously, such a penalty shall be offset and not be applied.
  2. In the penalty stipulated in Article 17, Item 4, when both competitors have stepped out of court, competitors who first committed the penalty shall be subject to penalty.
  3. In the case of Article 17, Item 4, when pronouncement of valid a strike/thrust has been revoked, penalty shall not be applied.
  4. In the penalty stipulated in Article 17, Item 5, when the opponent has made a valid strike/thrust immediately after a penalty, that penalty shall not applied.


Part ll: Shinpan (referees)

Chapter I: General Rules

Composition of Referee Group
Article 21: The Referee group shall consist of Shinpan-cho (referee director), Shinpan-shunin (presiding referees), appointed only in cases where two or more courts are set up, and Shinpan-in (referees)

Article 2: The referee director shall have the authority to see that matches are fairly conducted.

Presiding Referees
Article 23: Presiding referees shall assist the referee director with the authority to control matches at their respective courts.

Referees
Article 24:

  1. As a general rule, a referee group shall consist of chief referee and two Fukushin (sub-referees), each having equal authority to decide on valid strikes/thrusts and others.
  2. The chief referee shall have the authority to administer the match, to signal with Shinpan-ki (flags), and to pronounce valid strikes/thrusts, penalties, etc.
  3. Sub-referees shall assist chief referee in the administration of respective matches by signaling on valid strikes/thrusts, penalties, etc., with flags. Further, in case of emergency, sub-referees may signal and pronounce suspension of the match.

Kakari-in Group
Article 25: In order to manage matches properly, a Kakari-in (court staff) group shall consist of timekeepers, scoreboard recorders, score recorders, and competitor name callers. The composition and duties thereof are provided for in the Subsidiary Rules.

Chapter 2: Referees

Section 1: Matters relative to Referees

Decision on Valid Strikes/Thrusts
Article 26: A strike/thrust shall be considered as Yuko (valid) and awarded one point in the following cases:

  1. When two or three referees have signaled valid a strike/thrust; or
  2. When one referee has signaled a valid strike/thrust and others have signaled abstention.

Article 27: In case the competitor has committed an improper act, the decision of valid strike/thrust may be revoked upon Gogi (conference), even after its pronouncement.

Mistakes in decisions regarding valid strikes/thrusts and others matters
Article 28: In case a referee has doubts about a decision of a valid strike/thrust etc., the referee shall call a conference wherein the referees shall come to a decision.

Procedures for Referees
Article 29: Referees shall judge in the following manner:

  1. In case a referee has signaled a valid strike/thrust, other referees shall immediately signal their judgments;
  2. In case a valid strike/thrust has been awarded, or the match has been suspended, chief referee shall get the competitor to return to starting lines and resume the match.
  3. If a referee has noted a penalty, the referee shall immediately suspend the match and signal to that effect with the flags. However, if the penalty was not obvious, the referee shall call a conference wherein the referees shall discuss the matter.
  4. In case Tsuba-zeriai (tsuba to tsuba contact) has come to a stalemate, chief referee shall separate the competitors on the spot and get them to resume the match.
  5. In case a competitor has requested that the match be stopped, chief referee shall pronounce suspension of the match and thereafter ask the competitor about the reason.
  6. In case a victory must be decided by referees' decision, all referees shall signal for the winner with flags simultaneously with pronouncement of 'HANTEI' by the chief referee.

Section 2: Disposition by Referees

Injury or Accident
Article 30: In case a competitor is unable to continue the match due to an injury or an accident, the referee shall ascertain the cause and handle the matter in the following manner:

  1. The referees shall determine whether to continue the match after consulting with a doctor. As a general rule, the referees shall spend no more than five minutes handling an accident.
  2. In case a competitor is unable to continue the match due to an injury, should the opponent be deemed responsible for the accident, whether intentionally or not, the opponent shall lose the match; whereas, if the cause of the accident cannot be ascertained, the injured competitor shall lose the match.
  3. A competitor who has been regarded incapacitated due to an injury or an accident may be reinstated in other matches to follow if a doctor and Shinpan-in allow a competitor to do so; and
  4. A competitor who has lost the match through causing an accident shall not be allowed to participate in other matches to follow.

Kiken (Default)
Article 31: a competitor who has defaulted during the match shall become the loser and be prohibited from participating in other the match to follow.

Points scored by incapacitation or default
Article 32: The winner by virtue of Articles 30 or 31 shall be given two points, while one point, if scored by incapacitation, shall remain valid. However, in extension, the winner shall be given one point.

Points or acquired status of the offender
Article 33: The points or acquired status of the offender who has lost the match due to Article 30, Item 2 shall be invalidated.

Section 3: Gogi or lgi

Gogi
Article 34: In case conference is deemed necessary, a referee shall suspend the match, call "GOGI" and discuss it in the center of the court.

Igi (Protest)
Article 35: Nobody shall be allowed to protest against decisions made by the referees.

Doubts
Article 36: In case a team manager has a doubt about the application of the Regulations by referees, the team manager may file a protest with presiding referee or referee director before the match ends.

Chapter 3: Pronouncement and Use of Flags

Pronouncement
Article 37: Referees shall pronounce the beginning, ending, resumption, suspension, Wakare (break), valid strike/thrust, victory, conference and penalty in the manner prescribed in Table 1. Referees may explain pronouncement, if necessary.

Article 38: Shinpan-in shall use flags to motion suspension, break, valid strike/thrust, victory, conference and penalty in the manner prescribed in Table 1.

Chapter 4: Miscellaneous Matters

Article 39: In case of occurrence of such matters that have not been provided for in the Regulations, Shinpan-in shall decide by conference, subject to the approval of presiding referee or referee director.

Appendices:

  1. The rules set forth above may be totally or partially modified according to the convenience of a competition due to its unusual size or nature as long as the purpose of the Regulations and Subsidiary Rules are not infringed.
  2. The Regulations shall come into full effect as of March 26, 1997.


Subsidiary Rules for Kendo Competition and its Refereeing

General Rules
Article 1: The specifications of the court prescribed in Article 2 of the Regulations are as follows:

  1. A space of at least 1.5 meters wide shall be kept outside of the court.
  2. The width of lines shall be 5 to 10 centimeters, and the color thereof shall be white as a general rule; and
  3. The cross in the center of the court, the length of starting lines and the distance between them are as shown in Figure 1.

Article 2 : The specifications of Shinai referred to in Article 3 of the Regulations shall be as follows;

  1. Shinai shall consist of four slats and shall not include any other objects other than the core inside Sakigawa (leather tip)and Chigiri (metal plate) inlaid at the end of Tsuba; the names of the respective parts of Shinai are indicated in Figure 2;
  2. The specifications of Shinai are indicated in Table 2, A and B; the length indicated therein refers to the total length of Shinai inclusive of its accessories, and the weight to the total weight thereof inclusive of its accessories other than Tsuba; and
  3. Tsuba shall be round in shape and be made of leather or synthetic material; it shall not exceed 9 centimeters in diameter and shall be fixed onto Shinai.

Article 3: Kendo-gu referred to in Article 4 of the Regulations are illustrated in Figure 3.

Article 4: Competitors shall wear at the crossing point of Do strings Mejirushi, a strip of cloth, either red or white, in the total length of 70 centimeters and width of 5 centimeters.

Article 5: Nafuda (nametag) as illustrated in Figure 4 shall be affixed to the outer piece of Tare.

Article 6: The specifications of flags are shown in Figure 5; the standard for the flag handles shall be I.5 centimeters in diameter.

Article 7: Competitors may use supporters or others only in case of medical need, provided that hey are tidy and not hazardous to their opponents, subject to approval by presiding referee or referee director.

Article 8: The procedures for entering and leaving the court of competitors and their manners including Rei may be specified at each tournament.

Article 9 : Referees decision prescribed in Article 7 , Item 5 of the Regulations shall be based on the following criteria :

  1. Where a competitor has made strike/thrust nearly equal to a valid strike/thrust, his or her skill should be regarded higher than the other competitor.
  2. Where a competitor is predominant in posture and movements, his or her attitude should be regarded as superior.

Article 10: The 'accurate' strike prescribed in Article 12 of the Regulations means a strike made in the same direction as Jinbu of Shinai.

Article 11 : The following strike/thrust shall be valid:

  1. A strike/thrust made to the opponent immediately after the opponent has let go of his or her own Shinai ;
  2. A strike/thrust made simultaneously when the opponent has stepped outside of the court; and
  3. A strike/thrust made immediately after the opponent has fallen down.

Article 12 : Strike/thrust in the following cases shall not be valid:

  1. Aiuchi (Simultaneous strike/thrust by both competitors); or
  2. When strike/thrust is made, the defender is checking the attacker by touching the attacker's upper front body with the tip of the defender's Shinai in high spirits and in the right posture.

Article 13 : Datotsu-bui prescribed in Article 14 of the Regulations are shown in Figure 3, and the target areas of Men and Kote are specifically provided as follows :

  1. The right and left side of Men shall be above the temple; and
  2. The target area of Kote shall be the right forearm (the left forearm, if the opponent holds Shiai with his or her left hand forward) in the case of Chudan- no-kamae (middle position), or the left and right forearms in the case of other Kamae (positions).

Article 14: Prohibited drugs outlined in Article 15 of the Regulations shall be specified separately.

Article 15: Stepping out of bounds as prescribed in Article 17, Item 4 of the Regulations shall be specified as follows:

  1. Having one foot totally outside the boundary line;
  2. Having fallen on the floor with a part of the body outside the boundary line
  3. Supporting the body with a part of the body or with Shinai outside the boundary line.

Article 16: Prohibited acts prescribed in Article 17, Item 7 of the Regulations shall include the following:

  1. Putting one' s hand on the opponent or holding the opponent in one' s arms.
  2. Taking hold of the opponent' s Shinai or grasping one' s own Shinai on its blade;
  3. Taking hold of the opponent' s Shinai under one' s arm;
  4. Intentionally putting one' s Shinai on the opponent' s shoulder;
  5. Lying on one' s face without counteracting the opponent after having fallen on the floor;
  6. Intentionally wasting time; or
  7. Doing unfair Tsuba-zeriai or strike/thrust.

Article 17: Sosai (offset) applied to simultaneous penalties as prescribed in Article 20 of the Regulations shall be implemented as follows:

  1. In the case of the first offset, pronouncement thereof shall be first addressed to the competitor on the red side and thereafter to the other on the white side, being followed by pronouncement of offset; and
  2. In the case of the second or subsequent offset, pronouncement and signaling of offset with the flags shall be made simultaneously.

Article 18: The duties of referee director shall be as follows:

  1. To strictly apply the Regulations and Subsidiary Rules to the match;
  2. To ensure the smooth progress of the match;
  3. To render decisions on protests; and
  4. To decide on matters which have not prescribed in the Regulations or Subsidiary Rules and on unexpected happenings.

Article 19: The signaling by referees for the beginning of the first match shall be as follows:

  1. When the court is ready, the referees will stand and the chief referee pronounce the beginning of the match when the first competitor stands at the location of the standing bow three steps back from starting line or
  2. In the case where two or more courts are set, the referee director shall stand up and signal for the beginning by a whistle or the like, when all the pairs of the first competitor stand at the location of the standing bow.

Article 20: The duties of presiding referees shall be as follows:

  1. To take responsibilities for management of match at their respective court;
  2. To ensure the proper application of the Regulations and Subsidiary Rules;
  3. To properly and speedily decide on violations of the Regulations or Subsidiary Rules and on protests, if filed, and report to referee director, if necessary; and
  4. To supervise the referees in the court.

Article 21: The duties of referees shall be as follows:

  1. To manage their respective matches;
  2. To clearly pronounce and signal;
  3. To share a common standard of judgement with other referees;
  4. To acknowledge by flags the signals made by other Shinpan- in; and
  5. After the matches, the referees shall confer to review matches concerned, consulting presiding referee and/or the referee director, if necessary.

Article 22: The composition and duties of court staff prescribed in Article 25 of the Regulations are as follows:

  1. There shall be, in principle, one head timekeeper and two or more sub-keepers per court who shall time the match duration and signal at its completion;
  2. There shall be, in principle, one head scoreboard recorder and two or more sub-recorders per court who shall show referees pronouncements on the board and check referee signals;
  3. There shall be, in principle, one head score recorder and two or more sub-recorders per court who shall keep record of scores including valid strikes/thrusts, number and kinds of penalties, and the time of the match; and
  4. There shall be, in principle, one head Competitor caller and two or more assistants per court who shall call competitors and inspect their equipment.

Article 23: The uniform of referees shall be as follows, unless otherwise stipulated in each tournament:

  1. A plain, dark blue jacket
  2. A plain, gray pair of trousers
  3. A plain, white shirt
  4. A plain, deep red necktie
  5. A plain, dark blue pair of socks

Article 24 : Revocation of a valid strike/thrust provided for in Article 27 of the Regulations shall be applied in the following cases :

  1. When the competitor who has made a valid strike/thrust is not alert in spirit and/or posture to a possible counterattack by the opponent ; or
  2. When the competitor who has made a valid strike/thrust makes exaggerated gestures of surplus power or validness of the strike/thrust.

Article 25 : Mistakes in decisions on a valid strike/thrust and others provided for in Article 28 of the Regulations are specified as follows :

  1. In case an erroneous decision has been made about a valid strike/thrust or a penalty;
  2. In case a decision of a valid strike/thrust has been made despite a signal of the expiration of the match duration; and
  3. In case a decision of a valid strike/thrust has been made during a match in which the number of penalties has been incorrectly calculated.

Article 26 : Break, provided for in Article 29 , Item 4 of the Regulations shall be carried out as follows:

  1. The Chief referee shall separate the competitors, by pronouncing 'WAKARE' and thereafter , get them to resume the match immediately ; and
  2. Take their positions on the spot where they were separated within the court.

Article 27: Where a referee has observed that Tsuru (shinai string) is not correctly oriented, the referee shall notify the chief referee of the fault, and the chief referee shall clearly direct the competitor(s) to correct it. Thereafter, if the fault remains uncorrected, Shinpan-in shall not award valid strikes/thrusts.

Article 28: Default, as provided for in Article 31 of the Regulations shall include the following case :

  1. In case the competitor(s) has arbitrarily defaulted the match for reasons of health or others.

Article 29 : Protest, as provided for in Article 36 of the Regulations shall be filed in the following manner before the ending bow of the match :

  1. The team manager shall signal for the filing of protest; and
  2. The team manager shall state the protest to presiding referee or the referee director.


Guidelines for Competitors and Referees

Guidelines for competitors

Entering or Leaving
1. Upon entering the court, competitors shall line up at their seats, bow to the main stand at the order of their team manager, and be seated. Likewise, prior to leaving, they shall line up, bow and leave the court.

Team Line-up
1. The two groups of competitors shall stand in a row facing each other (three steps behind the starting lines) (Figure 1) and bow at the order of chief referee. At the beginning, only Senpo (first competitor), and Jiho (second competitor) shall be in full armour with Shinai. In case another match follows the current one, the two teams shall line up together in a row. However, if two teams cannot stand in a row as in Figure 2, the two ending teams and the two starting ones shall bow separately.

Bow to the Main stand
Bow to the main stand shall be conducted as follows, at the order of the chief referee:

  1. At the beginning of the first match, and the beginning and ending of the final match of the tournament;
  2. If the tournament runs for more than a day, at the beginning of the first match and at the ending of the last one each day, further at the beginning and ending of the final match of the tournament; and
  3. Bow to the main stand shall be conducted at the location of standing bow.

Beginning
1. Before the beginning of the match, the competitors shall first proceed to the standing bow location, exchange bows while standing in Sageto (natural standing position) posture then take three steps forward, take the Sonkyo position (preparatory position) while drawing Shinai. The competitors shall begin the match at chief referee's pronouncement.

Valid strikes/thrusts
1. The competitors shall stop the match promptly upon chief referee's pronouncement of a valid strike/thrust and return to the starting lines and assume Chudan-no-kamae to receive the chief referee's pronouncement.

Request for a Break

  1. The competitor shall motion to chief referee by raising a hand to request for a break during the match, and explain the reason.
  2. In order to adjust loose equipment or uniform during the break, the competitors shall do Noto (sheathe the sword) standing at the starting lines, and retreat to within the border of the court, assume Seiza (formal seated position) or Sonkyo position. Meanwhile, the opponent shall wait in Seiza or in Sonkyo.

Stopping
When Chief referee has pronounced 'YAME', the competitors shall immediately stop the match, and return to the starting lines to receive the pronouncement or instruction of chief referee.

Gogi
1.Upon the chief referee's pronouncement of "GOGI" (conference), the competitors shall do Noto standing at the starting lines, and retreat to within the border of the court, and wait in Sonkyo or in Seiza. Resumption
1.The competitors shall assume Chudan-no- kamae at starting lines, and resume the match at the chief referee's pronouncement.

Wakare
l. Upon the chief referee's pronouncement of "WAKARE" (break), the competitors shall immediately separate from each other, assume Chudan-no-kamae on the spot and resume the match upon the chief referee's pronouncement.

Filing a Protest
1. When the team manager files a protest, the competitors shall wait in the same manner as in a conference.

Referees' decision or Lot

  1. In case of victory a referees' decision, the competitors shall stand at the starting lines in Chudan-no-kamae and receive the chief referee's pronouncement.
  2. In case of victory by lot, the competitors shall act in the same manner as above.

Default
Where there is a default, the competitor shall proceed to starting lines, assume Sonkyo, stand, receive the pronouncement of the chief referee 'FUSEN GACHI', repeat Sonkyo, perform Noto and leave the court. Where there is a default in Team-match, the winning team shall stand in a row and receive the pronouncement (Figure 1)

Ending

  1. At the ending of the match, the competitors shall first return to the starting lines, assume Chudan-no-kamae, receive the chief referee's pronouncement, assume Sonkyo, step back to the standing bow location, lower Shinai to Sageto posture and exchange bows.
  2. Having completed the last round of a team-match, the two competitors of the round shall remain in court, in full armour with Shinai, wait for their respective teammates to join, exchange bows at the order of chief referee and leave the court (Figures1 & 2).

Other Guidelines

  1. Nito (2 swords) shall be handled in the following way :

    1. Both Daito (long shinai) and Shoto (short shinai) shall be carried by the left hand in Sageto;
    2. In taking Kamae, first, one Shinai to be held by the left hand shall be drawn by the right hand and
    3. passed to the left hand , then the other Shinai held by the left hand shall be drawn by the right hand for Kamae ;
    4. To perform Noto with two Shinai, first, the one in the right hand shall be replaced into the left hand and the second one in the left hand be replaced by the right hand to the left hand ; and
    5. Other than the three exceptions listed above, the manners for competitors using Nito shall be the same as those for Itto (1 sword).

  2. The uniform of the competitors shall be kept neat, without rips or tears.
  3. Kendo-equipment shall be tightly fastened so as not to become loose during the match. In addition, the length of Men-himo (strings) shall no longer than 40 centimeters each from the knot.
  4. The competitors shall perform standing bows only, and refrain from bowing to referees or exchanging seated bows privately in the court.
  5. As the previous competitor is leaving and the next competitor is entering the court, they shall refrain from shaking hands or other physical acts of encouragement.
  6. The competitors shall refrain from entering the court until the referees take their positions.
  7. The competitors shall not enter the court before both competitors of the previous match leave the court.
  8. Neither the team managers nor the competitors should bring watches into the waiting area for competitors or signal or call out for encouragement to the competitors.
  9. During the first match and the last match of the team-matches, the waiting teammates are expected to be in Seiza.

Guidelines for Referees

Entering or Leaving
1. Upon entering or leaving the court, the referees shall line up in the center just within the boundary line with the chief referee in the middle, holding the flags in their right hands (Figures 3 & 8).

Positioning of the referees prior the match and handling of the flags

  1. Positioning shall be as follows:

    1. For the first round of individual-matches, the referees shall take their starting positions after the line- up (Figures 3 & 4); and
    2. In team-matches, the referees shall take their starting positions after standing in a row and having the two teams exchange bows at the order of chief referee (Figures 3 & 4)

  2. Handling of flags shall be as follows:

    1. When rotating, both flags should be held in the right hand;
    2. After rotation, the chief referee shall hold the red flag in the right hand, and the white one in the left hand; the chief referee shall hold the flags in the reverse way (white, right and red, Left); and
    3. When changing referees, the referees shall hold both flags in the right hand; both flags should be rolled together with the white one within the red flag.

Rotation/Changing of Referees
Rotation of Shinpan-in shall be as follows:

  1. Rotation of the chief referee and sub-referees: the referees shall rotate to their next location without rolling up their flags (Figure 5);
  2. Alternation of all the referees at their respective locations: all referees shall alternate with the succeeding referee after rolling up their flags and exchanging bows (Figure 6);
  3. Alternation of one referee after rotation: after rotation, the referee who has finished as chief referee shall roll up his/her flags, and alternate with the succeeding referee after exchanging bows (Figure 7); or
  4. Alternation of referees who have finished their duties: referees who have finished their duties, after rolling up their flags, shall stand in a row and alternate with the succeeding referees (Figure 8).

Bow to the Main stand

  1. Referees shall conduct the bow to the main stand in the following cases:

    1. At the beginning of the first match and at the beginning and ending of the final match of a competition; and
    2. If a competition runs for more than a day, at the beginning of the first match and at the last match each day, and also at the beginning and ending of the final match of the competition.

  2. The chief referee shall order a bow to the main stand in the following cases:

    1. For individual-matches, when the referees have taken their original locations; and
    2. For team-matches, when referees and the competitors have lined up.

Beginning

  1. At the beginning of the first match, the referee director shall act as follows:

    1. Where there is one court, the referee director shall stand when first the competitors stand at their standing bow locations; or
    2. Where there are two or more courts, the referee director shall stand and signal by a whistle or the like, when the all the competitors are standing at their standing bow locations.

  2. To begin the first match, the chief referee shall pronounce 'HAJIME' to begin the match upon an indication from referee director (Figure 9).
Valid Strikes/Thrusts
  1. Signals with flags shall be performed by the referees as follows (Figures 9 to 12):

    1. After the referees elect to approve a strike/thrust as valid, they shall return, holding the flags as signaled, to their original locations and lower the flags upon the pronouncement by the chief referee.
    2. When a strike/thrust is not agreed upon as valid, the referees shall stop signaling immediately.
    3. As soon as the signal of disagreement of a referees is acknowledged by other referees, the former shall cease his or her signaling (Figures 11 & 9);
    4. When a strike/thrust is concluded as valid according to Article 26 of the Regulations, despite disagreement or renunciation of the chief referee, the chief referee shall signal a valid strike/thrust with flags.

  2. For revoking a valid strike/thrust after a conference, the chief referee shall, after assuming the position of flags as taken prior to calling the conference, then declare 'TORIKESHI' and crisscross flags (Figures 10 & 11).

Request for a Break

  1. Recognizing a request of a competitor for a break, the chief referee shall immediately suspend the match and ask the competitor the reason for the request (Refer to Article 29, Item 5 of the Regulations),
  2. Where the chief referee has deemed the request for a break to be unjustified, the chief referee shall call a conference.

Suspension

  1. The referees shall suspend the match in the following cases:

    1. Penalty
    2. Injury or accident
    3. To avoid danger
    4. Loss of the shinai control by a competitor
    5. Protest
    6. Conference
    7. Incorrect shinai string orientation.

  2. The referees shall suspend the match in the following manner:

    1. Upon pronouncement of the suspension, the referees shall return to their original locations;
    2. When both competitors have acknowledged pronouncement or signal of suspension by flags, the referees shall lower their flags (Figures 14 & 9);
    3. When a penalty has been committed, the referees shall return to their original locations holding their flags as signaled until the pronouncement by the chief referee (Figure 17); and
    4. Where a sub-referee has pronounced a suspension, the chief referee shall immediately pronounce the suspension and signal with the flags (Figure 14).

  3. When a shinai has been dropped or a competitor has fallen, and the opponent does not immediately strike or
  4. thrust at that the competitor, the chief referee shall suspend the match (Figure 14).
  5. When a penalty has been committed, the chief referee shall hold both flags in one hand and indicate the number of penalties by pointing at the violator and return to the original posture.
  6. If both competitors have simultaneously committed a penalty which will result in the awarding of a point to one competitor, the competitor to get the point will receive the pronouncement first followed by the other (Figure 18).

Conference

  1. A conference shall be called in the following cases:

    1. Revocation of a valid strike/thrust
    2. Mistake made by referee;
    3. Unclear penalty; or
    4. Doubts about execution or application of the Regulations.

  2. A conference held by the referees shall be as follows:

    1. The chief referee shall have both competitors retreat to the within the border of the court.
    2. When a sub-referee has called a conference, the chief referee shall immediately suspend the match (Figures 14 & 16).

Resumption

  1. At the resumption of the match by pronouncement of 'NIHON-ME' (2nd point) or 'SHOBU' (match), the sub-referees shall lower their flags simultaneously with pronouncement of the chief referee.
  2. The resumption of a match after a suspension shall be conducted in the same manner as the beginning of the match (Figure 9).

Break
When Tsuba-zeriai (tsuba to tsuba contact) has come to a stalemate, the chief referee shall separate the competitors by holding the flags straight forward while pronouncing 'WAKARE' and have them resume their match by lowering flags with pronouncement of 'HAJIME'(Figures 15 & 9). If the competitors are close to a boundary line, the chief referee shall immediately adjust the competitors so that they remain in the court.

Filing a Protest
Referees shall handle a protest in the following manner:

  1. The referees shall immediately suspend the match (Figure 14) ;
  2. The presiding referee or the referee director shall have the referees discuss the protest in a conference;
  3. The presiding referee or referee director shall inform the team manager of referees decision; and
  4. The referees shall have the competitors resume the match (Figure 9).

Victory by referees' decision, lot or incapacitation

  1. In deciding victory by referees' decision, the referees shall signal by simultaneous motion of their flags for the winner upon pronouncement of 'HANTEI' by the chief referee (Figure 10). Referees are not permitted to signal a draw or abstention.
  2. In pronouncing victory by lot or incapacitation, the chief referee shall signal with the flag for the winner upon pronouncement and immediately lower the flag (Figures 10 & 9).

Default

  1. For individual-matches, the chief referee shall pronounce victory for the winner while signaling with the flag Figures 10).
  2. For team-matches, the chief referee shall first have the winning team stand in a row, and then pronounce victory for the winning team while signaling by flags (Figures 10).

Ending

  1. In case the victory has been concluded or the match duration has expired, the chief referee shall suspend the match and pronounce the conclusion simultaneously signaling with the motion of the flags after having the players take their places at the starting lines. In the case of an extension, the chief referee shall pronounce 'ENCHO' and start the match again.
  2. When team matches have been concluded, the referees shall stand in a row and the chief referee shall pronounce 'REI' for both teams to bow to each other.

Other Guidelines

  1. The referees shall check that the competitors are wearing their uniform (Kendo-gi, Hakama , ribbon and name tag) appropriately prior to beginning of the match (Refer to Article 5 of the Regulations and Articles 4 and 5 of the Subsidiary Rules).
  2. The referees shall make sure that the competitors are equipped with appropriate Kendo equipment and Shinai (including Tsuba) (Refer to Articles 3 and 4 of the Regulations and Articles 3 and 4 of the Subsidiary Rules).
  3. The chief referee shall correct any inappropriate manners of the competitors.
  4. The referees shall strictly correct any inappropriate speech or behaviour made by the competitors at their seats even after the match.
  5. The court staff shall perform their duties by coordinating with the presiding referee or the referee director to ensure the smooth administration of the match.
  6. Scoreboard recorders shall, prior to the beginning of the match, see that the flags are available for use (6 sets of flags per court are necessary).