The role of a judge in a surfing contest is to decide which surfer performs the closest to the criteria in a particular heat. It is therefore essential that the judges have the experience and knowledge to give them confidence to obtain the correct results.

The improvements made in the sport of competitive surfing over the past years cannot be attributed to improvements in equipment and increased levels of surfers’ performance alone. The increased success of surfing as a competitive sport can also be directly linked to improvements and refinements made to the competitive rules and judging criteria.

A competition is only as good as the people who are charged with the responsibility of determining the outcome of the competition, and they are the Judges. Judges who genuinely wish to improve their capacity to discriminate between surfers who perform closest to

the judging criteria and those who do not, need to be prepared to continually monitor their effectiveness as judges of competitive surfing.

Much of the information discussed in this course is based on what we know about the sport of surfing. This body of knowledge has been obtained from International judging experience and the current research and literature on subjective judging in general. The information supplied in this course is particularly suitable for those who wish to judge State, Pro-junior, National & International rated events.

The majority of input will be based on the collective sharing of ideas and thoughts of the group and how their experience and ideas relate to commonly accepted judging principles.

To stimulate discussion during the course, your personal ideas or opinions should be expressed.

The ISA is committed to the success of surfing as a worldwide sport and recognises the need for one accreditation course. The quality and credibility of every competition hinges on the education of our officials. International Judging and Officiating courses are regularly being conducted throughout the ISA surfing world.

The importance of parallel and unified educational development of the Judges and Officials of the sport should not be underestimated. Maintaining a global standard for Judges ensures that the athletes receive identical feedback on their performances regardless of the place of competition.

The International Judging and Officiating development program is a comprehensive program. The education and administration systems have been identified as the worlds’ best educational practice in the development of quality accredited surfing officials.

This program has been under research and development for many years and is designed to complement and continue with all ISA International development programs for the benefit of all the surfing nations of the ISA.

There are currently 22 countries that are partners in worldwide judging development. This number continues to grow, as many National Governing Bodies realise the importance of the unified development of the Judges and Officials of the sport. 

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