Shiai ’09

…or, Pat wears a suit.

We held our annual judo tournament (or shiai, pronounced “shee-eye”) on Saturday. We had about 60 competitors show up, in divisions from kids’ all the way to seniors (senior being anyone older than 16). There were only nine referees, which meant that if you came to ref, you were working all day.

This is because judo has three officials on the mat for each match: the referee and two corner judges. We had two fighting areas running, each one needing a minimum of three people to officiate. We wound up with a team of five people on Mat I and four on Mat II (my mat). What this essentially meant, for me, was that I was on the mats for three out of every four bouts.

It was a successful day: the club made some money, we had a minimum of injured competitors (the worst injury, by far, was a broken arm), and afterwards we all went out for all-you-can-eat sushi.

Brandon Open shiai
I told you I wore a suit.