Hellanodikai were Greek judges at the ancient Olympics. There were nine of them by 400 and ten by 348. The Hellanodikai awarded palm branches and crowns to the winners. Hellanodikai came from Elis, where the Olympics were held. There they were specially trained for the one Olympiad that they judged. The Hellanodikai were renowned for their fairness. Judges could fine, whip or expel cheaters. Besides judges, there were officials who carried whips.
For more information on Hellanodikai, see Donald G. Kyle's Sport and Spectacle in the Ancient World.
Alternate Spellings: Hellenodikai
The Olympic games that the Hellanodikai judged were held at Olympia, near Elis, from the 8th century B.C.