The IJF - seemingly no fan of throws where the leg is grabbed - also decided to experiment with banning leg grabbing altogether - using the Junior World Championships as a testing grounds. The new rule would give you a warning for the first infraction and disqualification for the second one. When this rule change first came out, I ranted a bit about it, especially because of the ambiguity of the language. For example, while it was very clear that you couldn't initiate an attack with a leg grab, it wasn't clear if you were able to use a leg grab as part of a counter - For example, using Te Guruma to Counter a hip throw. They are also experimenting with having one referee and video assistance for close calls.
Well, the Junior Worlds were last week, and I got an e-mail from USA Judo telling me that I could watch them live via streaming. Unfortunately, the match I wanted to watch (Katelyn Bouyssou of the USA) was not streamed, but I got to watch several others and interestingly saw a lot of the new rules in action. Here are some of the matches that I watched, and my observations:
Campese (ITA) vs. Huang (TPE) -55kg Bronze Medal Match
Incidentally, about 1:20 into the video, Shishime tries an unsuccessful O-Uchi-Gari, and then attempts to follow up by grabbing Mushkiyev's leg, but didn't get penalized. This last bit speaks to the 1-ref situation - he might not have seen it. I really don't like this new rule - I am willing to agree that leg grabs from Hajime should be banned, this is a just a wacky rule. Even if counters are allowed - how can we differentiate? Espeically when there is only one ref on the mat! Here is the video: http://www.youtube.com/