We started off 15 minutes late, and arrived 45 minutes later than anticipated- where my Sensei and I decided that my foot was in no shape for battle. Furthermore, I've grown out of my gi- so much that my gi is too small to be tournament-legal with me wearing it.
So it was a good thing I brought my Game Boy Advance in as I waited for the competition to start- especially since it turns out that Joe (an 8 year old boy in my judo club) has one of his own. And I have the link cable- and games that can be played in VS. mode with only one person owning the pack. That kept us occupied until Joe had to go line up.
I sat back, a bit disappointed that I wouldn't be doing anything, but watching anyway.
"...Also, we need some volunteers to help keep score, four for each mat."
I was down there in a flash, my father close behind. He operated the pin timer; I kept score for the white player. (Mat two.)
It was off to a rocky start, but it was fun; it helped that we told the referees ahead of time that we didn't know what we were doing. I can read their hand signals with no problem- the challenge is figuring out who gets the points!
The refs fixed the issue by pointing to the start-mark of the player who gets the point. Fair enough; it worked fine.
So we didn't make mistakes. Not to say interesting things didn't happen in competition:
- All three referees coming to different conclusions over how a point should be scored
- The wrong players fighting... repeatedly
- The gi that was about three sizes too small
- ...and the one that was three sizes too large
- Ripped gis: 8
- Obcenities uttered by small children: 0
- Penalty points given: 1
- Times the ref accidentally indicated the wrong player as the winner: 1
- Times the match had to be stopped to clean up blood: 2
- Groin whacks: 1
- Times a corner referee had to grab his chair and run to avoid being flattened: 9
- Number of times my best friend, Rober Bauer, lost: 0
- Number of times I had to put points up for his opponent: 5
- Number of times his mother had the distinct pleasure of adding points for him: 6
Anyway, I enjoyed myself. I've had judo tournaments go worse.