Professional Shooto Official Rules
Shooto Europe provides here the official rules for Professional Shooto by the Japan Shooto Association as authorized by the International Shooto Commission. This is the most current translated rule set as of November 14th 2018. These rules are strictly copyrighted. No unauthorized use of any kind is allowed without written permission by Shooto Europe.
Official JSA rules as authorized by the ISC
Official Professional Shooto rules
Created by the General Incorporated Shooto Association of Japan Authorized by the International Shooto Commission
The International Shooto Commission (ISC) has been established on the 5th of May 1996 by the Shooto Association, with the goal of furthering the unification of Shooto and Vale Tudo. It is hereby declared, that all Shooto matches taking place inside Japan under ISC jurisdiction will be administrated and managed according to the basic rules.
ISC Commissioner Noboru Urata
Chapter 1: Commissioners’ authority
ISC as well as Japan Shooto Association (JSA) commissioners have the authority to direct and supervise all Shooto matches taking place under JSA jurisdiction.
Chapter 2: Licensing
All promoters, contestants and their chief seconds, referees, judges and timekeepers must be issued an official license by the JSA in order to partake in professional matches. However, this limitation does not apply to individuals residing outside of Japan.
Article 3【license issuance】
All applicants are evaluated based on their prior achievements and current abilities by the JSA and licenses are issued upon internal deliberation. Furthermore, licenses cannot be loaned or transferred to any person other than the original license holder.
Article 4【application process】
Applicants must fill out all necessary items on the application form issued by the JSA and, within 1 month of the application day, provide the JSA with a written blood test report and proof of fundus examination showing no abnormalities. First-time applicants also need to provide 1 clear and distinctive portrait photo (uncovered head, front view), no older than 3 months going back from the day of the application
Article 5 【classification】
License classifications are determined as follows:
|Class 1||Promoter, Manager|
|Class 3||A-class contestant, B-class contestant, C-class contestant|
|Class 4||Guest contestant|
|Class 6||A-class Judge, B-class Judge|
Article 6 【differences in license issuance】
In the case of individuals applying for multiple license classes at the same time, the JSA will issue all granted licenses simultaneously. Holders of Class 1 as well as Class 3 licenses will be unable to obtain a Class 2 license.
Article 7 【obtaining class 3 and class 4 licenses】
Class 3 as well as Class 4 licenses will be issued after JSA-initiated individual assessment, possibly requiring successful passing of a written test as well as blood test (hepatitis B, hepatitis C) and a fundus examination (retinal hiatus, retinal detachment), both to be conducted by a medical institution seen as trustworthy by the JSA. In the case of underage applicants, a letter of consent signed by a person exercising parental authority will be necessary.
Article 8 【limitations to class 4 license validity】
Class 4 licenses are valid for the amount of 1 match and must be converted to a class 3 license in the case of license renewal.
Article 9 【general terms of validity】
Licenses of all classes are valid for 1 year, from January 1st to December 31st. License renewals will be granted, unless the JSA identifies particular problems. The license renewal process is identical to the initial license application procedure.
Article 10 【License withdrawal and suspension】
In the case of violations of basic rules, violations of valid national laws or not fulfilling the requirements for licensing, any valid license held by an individual can be withdrawn by the JSA or suspended for a period of time seen fit by the JSA.
Chapter 3: Contracts
Article 11 【drafting a contract】
All contracts must be made using written contract forms that have been acknowledged by the JSA.
Article 12 【adherence】
All contract agreements must be observed and fulfilled.
Chapter 4: Filing a complaint
Article 13 【filing a complaint】
Individuals residing in Japan that have been issued a license by the JSA and concerned contestants residing abroad may file a written complaint with the JSA regarding objections against matches, non-observance of contract agreements and other disputes within 1 week within the occurrence of the matter. The JSA will then evaluate the complaints contents internally, upon which a judgment and an effort to find a solution to the issue at hand will be made.
Chapter 5: Judges
Article 14 【qualifications】
Referees and sub-referees (below: judges) must be thoroughly familiar and experienced with Mixed Martial Arts techniques and must exhibit expert knowledge of the rules. Also, individuals that strive to become judges must successfully pass examination by the JSA and undergo a set training program.
Article 15 【improvement of technique】
Judges are required to hold meetings at least once every 6 months, in order to agree upon refereeing technique and point scoring judgement, as well as to discuss questions related to interpretations of the given rules. In addition, they must strive to study and research Shooto technique. They must always do their best to improve overall judging and refereeing technique.
Taking their experience and abilities into account, judges are separated into class A judges, who are able to perform all match-related judging and class B judges, who are able to perform all match-related judging aside from refereeing.
Article 17【neutrality and fairness】
Judges are required to show neutrality and fairness towards contestants and all related individuals at all times.
Judges are required to adopt a firm attitude against bribery, blackmail as well as all other forms of unfairness and reject them at all times.
Should a referee or judge make any mistake in applying the rules or commit an error in judgement, the Japan Shooto Association will, upon internal deliberation, revoke their license or suspend them from their duties.
Article 20【championship matches】
Matches acknowledged and approved by the JSA are called championship matches. However, according to the circumstances, the JSA can revoke their approval of a championship match at a later point in time.
Article 21【match system】
Rounds last for a period of 5 minutes, separated by 1 minute intervals.
Article 22【number of match rounds】
The number of rounds per match is variable, with 2 round matches, 3 round matches and 5 round matches being possible. A-class contestants can participate in 2 round, 3 round as well as 5 round matches. B-class contestants can participate in 2 round and 3 round matches. Cclass contestants can participate in 2 round matches only.
Article 23【match judgement】
The judgement of each match will be conducted by 1 referee and 2 sub-referees. Otherwise, 1 referee and 3 sub-referees can also be appointed.
Chapter 7: Rankings
The ISC and JSA continuously observe A-class contestants’ achievements. Once a month, The ISC will announce worldwide Top 10 rankings for all weight classes, whereas the JSA will announce Japan national rankings divided by district.
Chapter 8: Championships
A championship match is a match recognized by the ISC as well as the JSA, in which the current champion and their logical contender compete with each other inside a specified weight class.
There will be a total of 1 champion per weight class at all times, whereat no single individual can hold championship titles in multiple weight classes at the same time. Therefore, a champion will not be allowed to keep their title when competing in a different weight classes’ championship match.
Article 27【title matches】
After a champion has earned their title, they are generally required to compete in a title match (title defence) with the number 1 ranked contestant in their weight class within 1 year of earning their title and annually after that. Should the number 1 contestant be unable to participate in a title match, the ISC and JSA will then nominate candidates sequentially by rank, starting from the top. Should a champion not meet the above conditions without presenting justified reasons, their title will be revoked and the position of champion will become vacant. Should a justified reason be presented, the title match is required to take place inside a period of 120 days after postponement.
Article 28【not meeting the weight requirements】
In the case of a championship, should the contestants be unable to meet the goal weight at the time of a weigh-in date set by the ISC and JSA, the following applies:
- In the case of a championship in which the champion does not meet the weight requirements, but the challenger does meet the weight requirements:
The title of champion will be revoked and become vacant at the time of the weigh-in. The title will not be defended in the case of victory by the champion or a draw.
- In the case of a championship in which the champion does not meet the weight requirements, but the challenger does meet the weight requirements:
The title of champion will be revoked and become vacant at the time of the weigh-in. The title will be awarded to the challenger in the case of victory.
- In the case of a championship in which the champion does meet the weight requirements, but the challenger does not meet the weight requirements: The title will be defended in the case of victory by the champion or a draw.
- In the case of a championship in which the champion does meet the weight requirements, but the challenger does not meet the weight requirements:
The title will not be transferred to the challenger in case of victory, but will thereafter be revoked and become vacant.
- In the case of a championship in which both the champion and the challenger do not meet the weight requirements, the title will be revoked at the time of the weigh-in and become vacant. The match will therefore become a non-title match.
Article 29【authorized matches】
Authorized championship matches inside a weight class with no current champion are determined as follows:
- An authorized championship match will be held between an individual appointed as an acknowledged eligible person qualified to become a champion by the ISC and JSA after evaluation of their achievements (below: candidate) and a person evaluated by the same organs using the same criteria, that meets the requirements of a candidate (below: semi-candidate). Should the candidate win the match, they will be recognised as champion. In case of a draw or victory by the semi-candidate, the former semicandidate will subsequently become the new candidate.
- An authorized championship match will be held between two individuals appointed as candidates by the ISC and JSA. The match winner will be recognized as champion. Should the match result in a draw, a second championship match will be held between the same two contestants and at a time the ISC and JSA see fit.
- Should any candidate avoid participating in an authorized championship match for no justified reason, they will generally be banned from competing in championships for the duration of 1 year. Should a candidate or semi-candidate be unable to participate, the ISC and JSA will then, starting from the top, nominate candidates sequentially by rank, and will then arrange authorized championship matches or championship qualification matches accordingly.
Chapter 9: Contestants Participating in Matches
Contestants participating in matches must observe the following points:
- Contestants must be present in the designated waiting room at least 30 minutes prior to the beginning of the first match.
- Contestants must undergo and successfully pass physical examination before and after matches.
- Contestants must be accompanied by a second holding a valid license.
- After the beginning of a match, contestants are not allowed to leave the ring without a referees’ permission. When leaving the ring during a match with a referees’ permission, contestants need to be accompanied by a judge or, otherwise, an official JSA representative.
- It’s every contestants’ duty to ensure personal safety by equipping themselves with a mouthpiece and a cup.
- Although contestants are free to tape their joints, any taping must be approved by a JSA official and covered with a supporter bandage in order to prevent it from peeling off during a match.
- Application of oil, grease or other oils and fats, medicine or cosmetic products that emit a strong or unpleasant smell as well as hairdressing products to the contestants’ body or hair is prohibited.
- Prior to the beginning of a match, Vaseline must be applied to both contestants’ eyebrows, the area between the eyebrows and eyelids by a match official.
- Aside from the designated match official, nobody is allowed to apply Vaseline to the contestants’ body or hair.
- Metal objects of any kind, e.g. necklaces, finger rings and earrings, must not be worn during a match.
Chapter 10: Promoters
Article 31【promoters’ duties】
Promoters must be able to ensure the necessary financial means to secure match contestant remuneration, event permit fees and a reasonable supply of necessary equipment at the venue. They must comprehend the foundational principles of Shooto and must have a flawless social reputation.
Chapter 11: Managers
Managers must be able to handle all business operations concerning all of their signed contestants. Furthermore, managers must protect the profits of all contestants in their care.
Article 33【managers’ license】
Individuals striving to become a manager must obtain a valid license. Should a managers’ license be revoked, all contestants in their care can either be temporarily transferred to a manager of their choice or sign a new contract with a different manager.
Chapter 12: Seconds
Article 34 【seconds】
Each contestant can be accompanied by up to 3 seconds, 1 of which must be appointed chief second.
Article 35【prohibited actions】
Seconds must observe the following points at all times. Individuals violating the following points will be issued an official warning and, in the case of repeated violations, be ordered to leave the venue, upon which their license will either be revoked or suspended.
- Only the chief second is authorized to enter the ring prior to the start of a match and inbetween rounds.
- Upon the announcement of “seconds out”, 10 seconds prior to the start of a round, the chief second is required to leave the ring as fast as possible, taking with them all items they have brought into the ring with them.
- Should a seconds touch either contestants’ bodies during a match round, regardless if they are located inside or outside the ring, their contestant will be disqualified.
- Should a second enter the ring during a match round for any reason, their contestant will be disqualified.
- Seconds need to remain silent during a match round and stand by in their respective corner, in order not to disturb the audience.
- Seconds must refrain from using improper speech and foul language.
The following tools can be used by seconds over the course of a match:
- Adhesive tape
- Cotton swabs
- Tools to prevent swelling
- Haemostatic agents/styptics
Chapter 13: Weight Classes
Article 37【body weight】
Matches are held according to contestants’ body weight. The according weight classes and body weight limits are determined as of below:
|Atomweight||up to 47.6kg (-105lb)|
|Strawweight||up to 52.2kg (-115lb)|
|Flyweight||up to 56.7kg (-125lb)|
|Bantamweight||up to 61.2kg (-135lb)|
|Featherweight||up to 65.8 kg (-145lb)|
|Lightweight||up to 70.3kg (-155lb)|
|Welterweight||up to 77.1kg (-170lb)|
|Middleweight||up to 83.9kg (-185lb)|
|Light heavyweight||up to 93.0kg (-205lb)|
|Heavyweight||up to 120.2kg (-265lb)|
|Super heavyweight||up from 120.2kg without limit (+265lb)|
Article 38【weight class affiliation】
Contestants must be affiliated with a specific weight class and cannot compete in several different weight classes at the same time. Matches must generally take place between two contestants affiliated with the same weight class. However, contestants affiliated with different weight classes can compete with each other if their body weight is similar and their contracts allow for it.
Article 39【Weight differences】
The weight difference between two contestants must stay inside the following weight ranges. Should the contestants’ weight difference span across two ranges, the lower weight class range applies. Furthermore, should the contestants weight difference span over more than two ranges, JSA approval will become necessary.
|Up to 47.6kg (-105lb)||2.3 kg (5lb)|
|Up to 52.2kg (-115lb)||2.7 kg (6lb)|
|Up to 56.7kg (-125lb)||3.2 kg (7lb)|
|Up to 61.2kg (-135lb)||3.6 kg (8lb)|
|Up to 65.8 kg (-145lb)||4.1 kg (9lb)|
|Up to 70.3kg (-155lb)||4.5 kg (10lb)|
|Up to 77.1kg (-170lb)||5.0 kg (11lb)|
|Up to 83.9kg (-185lb)||5.9 kg (17lb)|
|Up to 93.0kg (-205lb)||7.7 kg (17lb)|
|Up to 120.2kg (-265lb)||17.2 kg (38lb)|
Up from 120.2kg without limit (+265lb) no limit
Chapter 14: Weighing In
Contestants competing in a match must appear at a time and place pre-determined by the JSA (usually within 24 hours prior to a match) and have their naked bodies weighed under supervision of a weighing official. Tardiness or nonappearance for no legitimate reason will be penalized by disqualification. If a legitimate reason exists, the contestant is asked to attend at a newly set weighting appointment, determined by the JSA. A contestants’ fingernails, toenails, scalp hair etc. are to be checked according to a weighing officials’ instructions during the weighing appointment.
Article 41【not meeting the weight requirements】
If weighing results show that a contestant has not met their goal weight, they can weigh in again as many times as they want inside a designated amount of time determined by the JSA. Should the contestant be unable to reach their goal weight during the determined time extension, they will be disqualified and the penalty defined by their respective contract will take effect.
Chapter 15: The Ring
Article 42【the ring】
The ring must be prepared according to one of the following two specifications:
- The ring is to be prepared in accordance with the JSAs’ basic rules as accurately as possible and needs to be officially judged and acknowledged. It needs to be rectangular in shape and enclosed by 3-4 rows of ropes under high tension.
- The rings’ floor must be horizontal and surrounded by a suitably wide amount of space.
- The rings’ floor must exhibit hardness equal to tatami flooring and must be covered with a layer of canvas.
- The diagonally opposing corners via which the contestants are supposed to enter the ring must be made distinguishable via color-coding, using red and blue. All other corners are determined as neutral corners.
- 2 seats for JSA officials must be provided, facing each other with the ring acting as a divider between them. Furthermore, 3 seats forming an isosceles triangle around the ring must be provided for the sub-referees.
- Brightness of ring illumination must be chosen so that matches are not disturbed by it in any way.
- The cage is to be prepared in accordance with the JSAs’ basic rules as accurately as possible and needs to be officially judged and acknowledged. It must be enclosed by a wire mesh fence and must either have a minimum of 6 corners or be completely round in shape.
- The cages’ floor must be horizontal.
- The cages’ floor must exhibit hardness equal to tatami flooring and must be covered with a layer of canvas.
- The cages’ diagonally opposing corners/sides in which the contestants will stand by must be made distinguishable via color-coding, using red and blue. All other corners are determined as neutral corners.
- Alongside the cage, 2 seats for JSA officials must be provided, facing each other with the cage acting as a divider between them. Furthermore, 3 seats surrounding the cage, divided by similar distances in both directions, must be provided for the sub-referees.
- Brightness of cage illumination must be chosen so that matches are not disturbed by it in any way.
Chapter 16: Gloves
Article 43【Shooto gloves】
Gloves that are to be used in a match need to be open-finger type Shooto gloves that have been officially approved by the JSA.
Article 44【glove size】
Gloves to be used in a match must meet the weight and manufacturing specifications as of below:
(1) ST-555 as manufactured by Winning
Minimal weight ~ Lightweight, knuckle pad thickness 25mm (S, SS size)
Welterweight ~ Middleweight, knuckle pad thickness 30mm (M size)
Light heavyweight and above knuckle pad thickness 35mm (L size) (2) ST-777 as manufactured by Winning / SHO-4 as manufactured by Isami Minimal weight ~ Featherweight knuckle pad thickness 20mm (S size)
Lightweight ~ Middleweight knuckle pad thickness 25mm (M size) Light heavyweight and above knuckle pad thickness 30mm (L size)
Article 45【equipping gloves】
Only gloves that have been properly inspected by the JSA can be equipped during a match. In order to prevent gloves from slipping off during a match, they must be secured by wrapping them with tape at the position of the contestants’ wrist.
Article 46【glove craftsmanship】
In order to avoid injuries, the gloves must be fashioned in a way so that padding at the knuckle area and the hitting surface, cannot move when the glove is equipped and the glove itself must be constructed in a way that sufficiently prevents deformation.
Chapter 17: Bandages
Cloth bandages can be used to wrap the knuckle area of the fist. Any other part of a contestants’ fist must not be wrapped with any material. Adhesive tape may be used to secure the bandages.
All applied bandages and tape need to be inspected by the JSA prior to a match. After the inspection has been completed, no changes can be made to the wrapping itself and no additional pieces of tape can be applied.
Chapter 18: Attire
Article 50【contestant attire】
Contestants’ ring clothing must not interfere with the progress of the match itself and must therefore consist of either non-protective long leggings or trunks ending above the knee. Clothing colour, patterns and design may be chosen at will, although elements that may cause discomfort for the competitor are prohibited. A gown may be worn during the walk-in ceremony.
Article 51【prohibited items】
Contestants must compete bare-chested as well as bare-footed. No clothing aside from the items required according to the above regulations may be worn. However, joint supporters as well as knee pads can be worn optionally.
Chapter 19: Hygiene
Article 52【contestant hygiene】
Contestants must observe the following points:
- The contestants’ body and hair must be clean and sanitary.
- Clothing and equipment must be clean as well as dry and must not emit any kind of unpleasant smell.
- Fingernails as well as toenails must be trimmed, so that they cannot injure a competitors’ skin.
- Long hair must be tied up according to a JSA officials’ judgement.
- Beards must be trimmed to a length that will not cause any discomfort for competitors.
Chapter 20: Victory and Defeat
Article 53【determining victory and defeat】
Victory and defeat will be determined as of below:
- Ippon (Submission = S)
Should any contestant caught in a locking technique or stranglehold verbally signal defeat by saying “I give up” or any other phrase or word that clearly shows their intention to give up. Otherwise, a contestant can signal defeat non-verbally by either tapping anywhere on their competitors’ body or on the ring floor consecutively for more than 2 times. This action will be judged in an equal manner to verbally signalling defeat. Furthermore, should both contestants score an Ippon at the same time, the match will result in a draw (Double Ippon)
- Technical Ippon (Technical Submission = TS)
If a locking technique or stranglehold has been executed to completion, according to the referees’ judgement.
- Knockout (KO)
Continuation of the fight is impossible due to damage sustained via strikes and throws, according to the referees’ judgement. Should the referee determine that both contestants are unable to continue the match at the same time, the match will result in a draw (Double KO)
- Technical Knockout (TKO)
- The fight is discontinued by the referee, due to injuries sustained by any contestant via strikes, throws or locking techniques etc.
- Should any contestant, after sustaining strikes or throws, lose their fighting spirit and signal that they want to give up.
- Should a second in attendance throw a towel into the ring or announce that their contestant will not compete.
After the final round has ended, each judge casts 1 vote of equal value. The contestant receiving 2 or more votes is declared the winner. In the case of no contestant reaching 2 votes, the match will end in a draw. Furthermore, should any judge make a mistake during scoring or score totalization, the results cannot be changed by anyone but the JSA.
- Technical Decision (TD)
In the case that one or both contestants are unable to continue the match due to accidental injuries or damage, as well as in the case of (natural) disaster or equipment failure and all other situations that render match continuation impossible, the following steps are advised:
- For matches in their second half (2nd round for 2-round matches and 3-round matches, 3rd round for 5-round matches):
Taking into account all scorings up to the point of match abortion, the individual reaching 2 or more points is declared the winner.
- For matches in their first half (1st round for 2-round and 3-round matches, 2nd round for 5-round matches):
The match will result in a draw. Furthermore, should any scoring mistakes or refereeing mistakes by the judges be clearly evident, or in the case of biased/unfair judge behaviour, judges’ point scores will be disregarded and a valid match result will be announced by the ISC.
- Disqualification due to foul play
- Issued by the referee due to either intentional or unintentional foul play (below: fouls), unrelated to the number of warnings given by the referee prior to disqualification.
- Should the referee determine that any contestant is unable to continue a match due to injuries or damage sustained by a severe foul. However, it is possible to continue the match after a rest period has been granted to the contestant who has been the victim of the foul. The duration of the rest period is determined by the referee.
- Should a second enter the ring or touch the body of either contestant during a match round.
- In the case of both contestants committing severe fouls, it is possible to declare both parties losers due to foul play.
Chapter 21: Scoring
Each round, a base amount of 10 points is assumed to be held by both contestants, respectively. While the superior contestant keeps a total of 10 points, points are subtracted from the point score of the inferior contestant as follows, according to the difference in skill and ability that is noticeable during each round:
10 – 10 Equality (both contestants show equal offensive and defensive prowess etc.)
10 – 9 Certain differences in skill are noticeable (valid hits etc.)
10 – 8 Obvious differences in skill are noticeable (effective hits etc.)
10 – 7 Overwhelming differences in skill are noticeable (close calls, “almost” a KO or TKO)
Article 55 【scoring criteria】
Scores should preferably be assessed according to the following criteria:
- Clean, effective offense (effective strikes): attacks inflicting damage.
- Aggressiveness (assertiveness): Attacks which do not inflict damage, but still represent valid hits that show assertiveness during a round.
- Ring dominance (domination of pace): Benefiting match progress by disabling a competitors attacks using clever tricks.
Chapter 22: Positions
Article 56 【positions】
Any position in which any body part aside from both feet and/or one hand touches the ground is called a ground position (in order to achieve a valid ground position, either both hands/wrists or any other body part aside from the feet need to touch the ground).
Any position that is not a ground position is called a standing position.
Chapter 23: Don’t Move
Article 57 【don’t move】
The referee can issue the “don’t move” command during a match, if a contestant is close to leaving the ring, has left the ring as well as when the clothing or gear of any contestant has gotten out of place or is about to get out of place. As soon as the command is issued, both contestants must immediately stop moving and have to stay in their current respective positions, unless the referee orders them to perform any action or commands them to carry on with the match.
Chapter 24: Break
Article 58 【break】
The referee can order contestants to “break”, if they are entangled in a mutual holding position that does not show any offensive or defensive progress, according to the referees’ judgement. Furthermore, “break” may be issued when contestants move either intentionally or unintentionally, despite of being told “don’t move” by the referee beforehand. It can also be used when contestants are physically unable to remain in their current body position after a “don’t move” command has been issued. Contestants need to understand that they must immediately interrupt any offensive or defensive action, as soon as the “break” command is issued by the referee.
Chapter 25: Fouls
Article 59 【fouls】
The following actions are declared a foul. However, should any contestant commit a serious foul, either intentionally or unintentionally, they can be issued a warning (caution) by the referee and, according to severity, will be awarded 1~2 penalty points.
- Prohibited attacks
- Blows to the back of the head.
- Palm strikes.
- Blows to the spine.
- Any attacks aimed at the fingers.
- Any attacks aimed at the genitalia.
- Leg attacks aimed at the head and neck of a contestant in the ground position.
- Descending elbow strikes (strikes in which the tip of the elbow is brought down vertically).
- Stomping on the instep.
- Blows to the kidneys.
- Prohibited behaviour
- Biting and pushing your teeth into an opponent.
- Scratching an opponent.
- Penetration of an opponents’ eyes, nose, ears, mouth or anus.
- Pinching an opponents’ skin.
- Seizing an opponents’ hair, throat, nose, ears or genitalia.
- Seizing an opponents’ clothing or equipment.
- Seizing less than 3 fingers when grabbing an opponents’ hand.
- Grabbing the cages’ wire fence.
- Suspending oneself from the ropes by the arms or legs.
- Performing offensive or defensive actions before the referee has ordered the match to continue after issuing a “break” or “don’t move” command.
- Attacks that take place outside of a match round.
- Removing the opponent from the ring on purpose.
- Ignoring the referees’ orders.
- Use of offensive behaviour or insulting speech against an opponent or judge.
- Using a strange or loud voice.
- Avoidance behaviour
- Leaving the ring on purpose.
- Causing delays by spitting out the mouthpiece on purpose etc.
- Match fixing
- Match fixing by either one or both contestants.
- Conspiring or not fighting with their whole energy and putting on a show etc.
- Offenses against common etiquette
Any action that is an offense against common etiquette according to the referees’ judgement.
Chapter 26: The Referee
Article 60 【referees】
Referees have full authority to guide championship matches. A referee must be trained to strictly observe contestants’ safety as well as the rules, and must strive for matches to be carried out as smoothly as possible by giving reasonable instructions.
Article 61 【referee attire】
A referees’ attire is to be chosen as of below:
- A referees’ attire must be presentable, easy to move in and clean.
- A referees’ shoes must either be dedicated wrestling shoes or casual shoes that do not impair the ability to move freely.
- Rubber gloves must be worn on both hands, in order to avoid transmission of infectious diseases.
- Glasses, wristwatches as well as any kind of metal jewellery must not be worn during a match.
Article 62 【referee duties】
A referees’ duties are as follows:
- Inspection of the ring and confirmation of all contest officials’ correct seating arrangement prior to the start of a match.
- Physical examination of both contestants after they have entered the ring, confirmation of the absence of rule violations.
- Briefly reminding both contestants to observe the rules at all times at the centre of the ring, after which the contestants are sent to their respective corners. Confirming that no other person aside from the contestants and the referee are located inside the ring before giving the start signal to the timekeeper.
- Positioning themselves in a way that allows for precise observation of all offensive and defensive actions taken by both contestants at all times, without obstructing the flow of the match.
- Issuing the “break” command if contestants remain in an interlocked position without any offensive or defensive development, breaking them apart as quickly as possible and having them assume a standing position before giving the command to continue the match.
- Issuing the “don’t move” command if any contestant is about to leave the ring due to offensive or defensive behaviour, observing – together with the sub-referees – that both contestants obey the command, transferring both contestants to a position in which offensive as well as defensive techniques are possible and giving the command to continue the match.
- Ordering contestants to rearrange their clothing or equipment in a way that does not interfere with offensive or defensive actions, should any of it come loose or give an impression of becoming loose soon.
- Giving the “fight” command when the match begins, or when it is continued after an interruption or when both contestants are too reluctant to take action, according to the referees’ judgement.
- If necessary, interrupting the match after an intentional or unintentional foul has been committed and issuing a (verbal) warning to the contestant committing the foul.
- Interrupting the match after an intentional or unintentional serious foul has been committed, drawing the attention of the contestant committing the foul and awarding them penalty points accordingly.
- In the case of a severe foul, informing the JSA officials and the sub-referees about reasoning, type of foul committed and amount of penalty points awarded.
- Waving their hands above their head several times in order to indicate that a match has ended either due to Ippon, KO or any other reason that results in a match ending prematurely.
- Calling out “stop” when a match is being interrupted or stopped.
- Calling out “time” when the round timer is to be stopped as well when the match is about to be reopened.
- When stopping a match, communicating the reasoning to the JSA officials.
- Communicating the number of the next round to both contestants during the interval between rounds. Furthermore, if necessary, enquiring about contestants’ will to continue the match and advising them accordingly.
- Keeping a neutral attitude towards both contestants and their actions and, moreover, evaluate them in a fair manner. Assign point scores to both contestants after each round according to the basic rules and mark them down on the scorecard immediately. Collecting the score cards from sub-referees after the match has ended and handing them over to the JSA officials for point totalization.
- Raising the victorious contestants’ arm and announcing them the winner after a match has ended. In the case of a single match resulting in a draw, raising both contestants’ arms and announcing a draw.
Article 63 【referee authority】
A referee is authorized to perform the following actions:
- Stopping the match and determining victory and defeat after continuation of a match has become impossible according to the referees’ judgement, because of damage or injuries sustained by either contestant due to strikes, throws, locking techniques etc.
- Stopping the match and determining victory and defeat after a locking technique or stranglehold have been successfully executed, according to the referees’ judgement.
- Disqualifying a contestant after they have committed several fouls, despite of having been warned multiple times. If necessary, contestants can also be disqualified instantly and without prior warning.
- Issuing warnings and awarding penalty points to contestants committing fouls, even if the foul has taken place outside of a round.
- Issuing rest periods, in order to allow contestants who have fallen victim to a foul to recover. Ordering the match to continue after an adequate recovery period has been granted.
- Declaring a TKO when a contestant signals that they do not want to continue the match or do not show any fighting spirit.
- Asking for the opinion of sub-referees, if a contestants’ will to give up or a foul cannot be clearly determined by the referee.
- Requesting the assistance of sub-referees during a “don’t move” command.
- Asking for the opinion of the doctor, if a contestants’ ability to continue the match due to sustained damage or injuries cannot be clearly determined by the referee.
- Stopping the match in the case of (natural) disaster or equipment failure that renders continuation of the match unlikely.
Chapter 27: The Sub-Referees
Article 64 【sub-referees】
Sub-referees are seated at the designated sub-referee positions and are to observe any match in a calm and attentive manner and must assist the referee if necessary all while making a general effort to enable a match to run as smoothly as possible.
Article 65 【sub-referees’ duties】
A sub-referees duties are as follows:
- Keeping a neutral attitude towards both contestants and their actions and, moreover, evaluate them in a fair manner. Assign point scores to both contestants after each round and mark them down on the scorecard immediately, handing it over to the referee after the match has ended and the scores are about to be totalized.
- Pointing out a contestants’ will to give up or occurring fouls to the referee, if they have been unable to notice or verify them.
- If requested, entering the ring as quickly as possible and assisting the referee during a “don’t move” command. Verifying that both contestants obey the command and do not move until they have been transferred to a position that allows for offensive as well as defensive actions.
Chapter 28: The Timekeeper
Article 66 【the timekeeper】
The timekeeper is seated at the designated JSA area and undertake all relevant timing processes with utmost attention to detail and using a reliable clock.
Article 67【timekeepers’ duties】
A timekeepers’ duties are as follows:
- Announcing the beginning and end of every round by striking the gong.
- Announcing the “seconds out” command 10 seconds prior to the beginning of a round.
- Stopping the round timer immediately when the referee issues the “time” command. Resuming timing accordingly.
- Signalling the premature ending of a match prior to the end of the final round by striking the gong and marking down the exact time at which the match has ended.
Chapter 29: The Announcer
Article 68 【announcers’ duties】
An announcers’ duties are as follows:
- Announcing the weight class, number of rounds, both contestants’ weight as well as their names and the referees’ name prior to a match.
- If deduction of points occurs during a round, announcing the reason for penalization, the penalized contestants’ name as well as the number of penalty points awarded after the round has ended.
- After a match has ended, announcing the exact time of its end, the victorious contestants’ name as well as the reason for victory.
- Making special announcement as requested by the JSA.
Article 69 【prohibited actions】
Making any additional announcements aside from those requested by the JSA is prohibited.
Chapter 30: The Doctor
Article 70 【the doctor】
The doctor must be a sports medicine specialist familiar with the techniques and rules of Shooto. Furthermore, they must be licensed by the JSA and the contestants’ health must be their main concern.
Article 71 【doctors’ duties】
A doctors’ duties are as follows:
- Physical examination of all contestants on the day of a match or tournament prior to the first match of the day. If necessary, advising the JSA officials to revoke contestants’ rights to participate in the event at hand.
- Being seated in the designated JSA area during a match, examining contestants during a match upon the referees’ request and providing the referee with recommendations to either continue or stop a match.
JSA executive office
Partly revised 10.08.2018 /changes made 10.09.2018
Partly revised 05.11.2017 /changes made 01.01.2018
Partly revised 01.02.2015 /changes made 01.04.2015
Partly revised 16.01.2015 /changes made 25.01.2015
Partly revised 24.12.2014 /changes made 01.01.2015
Partly revised 25.11.2014 /changes made 01.01.2015
Partly revised 17.11.2014 /changes made 01.01.2015
Partly revised 15.11.2014 /changes made 0101.2015
Partly revised 30.10.2014 /changes made 01.01.2015
Partly revised 06.11.2013 /changes made 01.01.2014
Partly revised 01.06.2008 /changes made 01.01.2009
Partly revised 01.06.2008 /changes made 01.09.2008