The international elite sport shows two major trends in the past years. Firstly, an increasing number of countries that are seeking success in major world sporting events; secondly, an increasing
number of countries that developed the ability to win medals in the international context (Shibli et al., 2013). In this context, researchers and managers have a great interest in analysing the
existing sports policies in different countries in the search of explanations for the international sporting success achieved by some countries and not by others. Recently, the studies have further
advanced studying certain aspects of elite sport policies and key success factors of specific sports (Brouwers, Sotiriadou, & De Bosscher, 2015). Therefore, the objective of this research was to
identify the organizational factors (which are manageable) that influence the international sporting success in Judo.
To fulfil the objective of this research, 33 international Judo stakeholders (athletes, coaches, performance directors and experts) from 11 countries were interviewed. The selection of the
interviewees was defined by non-probabilistic approach and by convenience but taking in account the following criteria: being from any of the 20 countries with the highest score in Olympic Judo
competitions from 1992 to 2012. The interviews were conducted in 2013 analysed using Content Analysis (Bardin, 2011; Krippendorff, 2013). The SPLISS model (De Bosscher et al., 2006) and System Theory
was used as a base for the categorization process. To measure the reliability of the categorization performed, Krippendorff's alpha agreement coefficient was used.
The content analysis conducted by two researchers identified 878 textual and had one Krippendorff’s Alpha of 0.48, which is considered as a moderate agreement level. These textual elements were
divided in 44 subcategories, which were grouped into 11 categories (1 Sport system, organization and structure; 2 Sport participation at all levels; 3 Athletic career and post career support; 4
Financial resources; 5 Quality of Teachers and Coaches; 6 Tradition, history and cultural aspects; 7 Competitions; 8 Training facilities; 9 Governments (interest), sponsors and media; 10 Talent
identification and development; 11 Scientific support), established in accordance with the SPLISS model and with Systems Theory.
It was verified that the results are similar to the other studies. However, Judo has specific characteristics that influence the organizational factors. Moreover, environment effects that influence
the development of Judo in different countries and consequently the seeking of international success were also identified. The configuration of the 11 categories in relation to the System Theory
enabled one possible model, which can be considered as a basis for decision-making and the development of the strategic planning; or as a parameter to identify policies or systems and policy
weaknesses related to Judo in national or regional context. On the other hand, future research can also fill some limitations found in this research and deepen the understanding of this issue.