Timekeeping and Scorekeeping Guide

Download a paper copy of this Kendo Tournament Court Administration Guide. Place one at every score table. You’ll be glad you did.


The timekeeper’s job is extremely important to the integrity of each and every match. Times for the major match and each overtime will be determined before each tournament but may change for each division (this is most notable when changing from children’s to juniors or senior matches).

  1. Start and stop the time only when the shushin (head judge) gives the hajime (start) and yame (stop) commands. Do not stop for wakare (separate).
  2. When time is stopped, stand up with straight / good posture, raise the yellow triangular flag straight up.
  3. At the end of a match, don’t reset the clock until both participants have stepped out of the court.
  4. When the match time runs out, yell “TIME”immediately.

Note: When time is running out, watch the stopwatch in a manner which does not obviously indicate “time is about to expire”. Also, the manner in which you hold the yellow flag as time is running down may send signals to the competitor / team.


Scorekeepers have the responsibility of keeping an accurate record of each match.
Points will be marked as follows:

MEN strike to the head= M

KOTE strike to the wrist= K

DOH strike to the chest armor= D

TSUKI thrust to the throat= T

HANSOKU point awarded after player = receives two penalties, mark each one as= H

  • The first point scored in a match will be marked with a circle around it
  • In the event a point is granted and then taken away by the judges, it will be recorded as the point and then a slash put through it.
  • If match time runs out and:a. the score is 1-0 write beside the match Ippon gachi there is no winner by points 0-0 or 1-1 note encho beside the match until a point is awarded in overtime by the judges. Remember to record the winning point scored.
  • Two hansouku against a competitor constitute a point for their opponent.
  • In the case of a victory by decision, hantei ( encho expired with no points scored) mark as
  • Miscellaneous markings-forfeit do to no opponent, injury or being disqualified. = 2 pts. for forfeit, team matches also. 1pt. mark if in encho, that is the individual forfeits due to injury or disqualification when the match is in overtime.


Persons putting on and taking off ribbons (Tsuki) have the following responsibilities:

  1. Putting the ribbons on the next two or three competitors. You must find competitors either by sight or loudly announcing their names. Persons not responding to 3 loud calls (2 minutes) will be considered a forfeit. As soon as the person is done competing, take off their ribbon. You may leave it on if that person is the winner and they are due up again with the same color ribbon in 1 or 2 matches.
  2. For team matches, put the ribbons of the appropriate colors on each team member before the team bows in. When putting ribbons on, make the tails hang at even lengths. The head judge (shushin) will have the red flag in his right hand facing the court judge (shinpanshunin) or the head judge (shinpancho). On the score sheet the top of the bracket is the red ribbon and the bottom of the bracket is white ribbon, this applies to team as well.
  3. Each ribbon person must have a copy of the match sheets so they know how to designate and who each competitor is. Your job is critical to help keep the tournament running smoothly and staying on time.


In general the following members are recommended for standard staffing of a court.

  • Two individuals for ribbons
  • A timer
  • A recorder at the table
  • A recorder at the big board/wall.
  • A spotter to back up the recorder.
  • Place chairs (4-5) to the side of the court table for the judges to sit in while not actively judging. Normally 4 chairs are required for each score table: timer, recorder, court judge, spotter.

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