What Happens If No One Scored In Judo?

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Judo, an Olympic martial art, is known for its dynamic throws and effective grappling techniques. The scoring system in judo plays a crucial role in determining the outcome of a match, rewarding skill, technique, and strategic maneuvering. However, what happens if no one scores? In this comprehensive analysis, we delve into the intricacies of such a scenario and explore the consequences, rules, and implications when neither competitor manages to score. By addressing common questions and shedding light on this unique situation, we aim to provide a comprehensive understanding of what occurs if no one scores in a judo match and how it affects the competitors and tournament outcomes.


What is the scoring system in judo?

To comprehend the implications of no scores in judo, it is essential to understand the scoring system. Judo matches are evaluated based on various criteria, including throws, holds, armlocks, and strangles. The most effective throws resulting in a full rotation and the opponent landing on their back yield the highest scores. These are referred to as ippons and instantly win the match. Waza-aris, which are less impactful throws or holds, and yukos, which are minor techniques, result in lower scores. Accumulating multiple yukos or waza-aris can also lead to victory, provided the opponent does not achieve a higher score.


What happens if neither competitor scores?

In judo, if neither competitor scores by the end of the match, a draw or tie is declared. This outcome is known as a “hikiwake.” In such cases, neither competitor is awarded any points or wins the match outright. A hikiwake signifies that both opponents were unable to gain a decisive advantage over each other. Although it may be disappointing for the competitors, a draw ensures fairness and encourages continuous improvement. It demonstrates the equal skill level and strategic prowess of both judokas.


Are there any penalties or warnings in a scoreless match?

Even in a match with no scores, judo maintains its commitment to upholding discipline and sportsmanship. Competitors must adhere to the established rules and regulations, and misconduct can result in penalties or warnings. Referees actively monitor matches, ensuring fair play and enforcing the guidelines. Infringements such as avoiding combat, excessive defensive postures, or non-compliance with the referee’s instructions can lead to penalties or warnings. These disciplinary actions serve as reminders to the competitors to actively engage throughout the match, demonstrating their commitment to the principles of judo.


Can a tiebreaker be implemented if no one scores?

Traditionally, judo does not include tiebreakers in the event of no scores. The emphasis is placed on the skill and strategy employed during the match itself, rather than resorting to additional measures to determine a winner. While some sports incorporate tiebreaker systems, judo relies on the hikiwake ruling to maintain the integrity of the sport and honor the effort put forth by both competitors. This approach emphasizes the significance of continuous improvement and encourages athletes to develop their skills further for future matches.


How does a scoreless match impact the competitors?

Experiencing a match without scoring can be challenging for the competitors. It reflects the high level of skill and strategy employed by both judokas, showcasing their ability to neutralize each other’s attacks and defenses. Competitors may feel a mixture of frustration and respect for their opponent’s abilities. However, a scoreless match also serves as a valuable learning opportunity, highlighting areas for improvement and encouraging judokas to refine their techniques and tactics for future matches. Analyzing the match and identifying strengths and weaknesses can lead to further development of skills, ensuring growth in both physical and mental aspects of the sport.


Can no-score matches affect tournament outcomes?

In judo tournaments, where athletes accumulate points for their overall performance, a no-score match can have implications for the final results. Tournaments often employ complex systems, considering factors such as the number of wins, accumulated scores, and tiebreakers. A hikiwake result means that both competitors earn half a point, which can affect their overall standing in the tournament rankings. Since judo tournaments encompass multiple matches, a no-score match might impact an athlete’s chances of progressing to subsequent rounds or achieving a higher ranking. Additionally, the accumulation of half-points from hikiwakes can influence tiebreakers in tournament scenarios, potentially impacting the final standings and determining medal winners.



While the scoring system in judo plays a pivotal role in determining the outcome of a match, a no-score scenario presents unique challenges and opportunities. In such situations, a draw or hikiwake is declared, signifying the equal prowess of both competitors. Despite the absence of a clear victor, judo maintains its commitment to discipline, with penalties and warnings still applicable to ensure fair play. The absence of tiebreakers reinforces the focus on skill and strategy within the match itself. Competitors can learn from scoreless matches, reflecting on their performance and seeking areas for improvement. Moreover, in tournaments, no-score matches can influence an athlete’s standing and overall performance. By understanding the implications of no scores in judo, we gain a deeper appreciation for the complexities and nuances of this captivating martial art, fostering a greater understanding of the sport as a whole.

Maxim Tzfenko

Maxim Tzfenko

"I live and breath Martial Arts"

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