In Paralympic judo, athletes with different degrees of vision impairment (VI) compete together based on the assumption that vision does not influence judo performance, as long as judokas start the match with their grip in place. We set out to test this assumption and found that (1) blind judokas perform worse in competition than their partially sighted opponents, and (2) sighted judo players perform worse when fighting blindfolded. These results indicate a need to change the system of classification in Paralympic judo.

An article reporting the results of this research has been accepted for publication in the scientific journal Psychology of Sports and Exercise. This article can be accessed through either of the following links:

Number of (A) successful throws made and (B) points scored by judokas in the sighted (against a blindfolded opponent) and blindfolded (against a sighted opponent) conditions. Error bars show within-participant 95% confidence intervals calculated according to the Cousineau-Morey method (Morey, 2008).