The program was the same as in 1980, with seven weight classes and an open division. This would be the last time that the open class was contested at the Olympics. The judo venue was far from most of the main venues, being held at the Eagle’s Nest Arena on the campus of California State University at Los Angeles. But it was considered a good venue by the officials and judo players, and the crowds were good, with Los Angeles’s large native Japanese population ensuring that the seats were full every day.
The other change in 1984 judo was the order of the classes. Previously, the tournament had always started with the heavyweight class, progressing to the lighter classes, and then ending on the final day with the open division. But in 1984 the tournament started with extra-lightweight, the lightest class, and progressed day-by-day to the heavyweight and open classes on the final days of the tournament.