Microgroms Competition Rules



1.1.         Meet at 8.00 Middleton Car Park unless otherwise advised. If members are unable to make it on time, let a Committee Member know so that you can nominate to surf.

1.2.         Competitions may be held anywhere that the Contest Directors consider contestable and suitable to the skill level of each Division.

1.3.         Competition formats chosen will be at the discretion of the Contest Directors and may or may not include requalification rounds.

1.4.         Make your way to the chosen break, find the Contest Director and finalise nomination. No nomination, no surf.

1.5.         The heats are seeded from the previous competition.

1.6.         For the first competition of the year, seedings are taken from the final rankings of the previous year if applicable.

1.7.         If you do not show for your first heat, you are considered not surfing in the competition that day and will receive no points.

1.8.         If you do not show for any subsequent heat, you will be placed last in that heat and points awarded accordingly.

1.9.         All heats will be 20 minutes unless otherwise advised by the Contest Director.




2.1     PLEASE DO NOT FREE SURF IN THE COMPETITION AREA.  It is not fair on other surfers and you may be disqualified from the Competition or have points deducted from your next heat score (half your highest scoring wave).



3.1     GREEN FLAG

3.1.1    Heat is on!!  Surfs up!  Start!  Go for it!  Rip it up!!



3.2.1    5 minutes remaining in the current heat. Next heat may paddle out.


3.3     RED FLAG

3.3.1    The Heat is over. Please get out of the water as quickly as possible.

3.3.2    Please do not stand up to surf in or remove your rash vest. Belly board to the beach as quickly as possible and return your rash vest to the Competition Tent.




4.1     Don’t drop in. 

4.2     You will lose points if you drop in on another surfer.  Make sure you always look before you paddle or take off.

4.3     The surfer on the inside position of the wave has unconditional right of way!

4.4     If 2 surfers take off on the same wave at the same time on a peak, the surfer who makes the first directional change in their chosen direction has the right of way.

4.5     If any other surfer hinders the ride in any way interference will be called.

4.6           The types of interference that will be called are:

4.6.1     Dropping-in

4.6.2     Snaking

4.6.3     Paddling Interferences



5.1     To understand what judges should be looking for in each hear, refer to Appendix 4.

5.2      The Contest Directors and Judges’ decisions are final.

5.3     The following outlines the approach that will be taken to interferences during competition.

5.3.1  Penalties    If a surfer interferes with another surfers ride they will be penalised by having the score of their second highest scoring wave halved.  The wave that the interference was called on will be counted as a zero.    If the interference occurs whilst the surfer is paddling out to or in from a heat, the penalty will be applied their next heat in competition.

5.3.2  Judging the interference    Either the Head Judge or Contest Director or will make the final call on interferences. Their decision will be final.

5.4     Avoiding Interference with other surfers by:

5.4.1  Not paddling for a wave that someone else is already riding.

5.4.2  Not taking off on a wave that someone else is riding.

5.4.3  Not paddling in the way of a surfer paddling for a wave.

5.4.4  Not paddling out through sections of waves that are being ridden – either go through the whitewater or paddle very wide of the break when another surfer is riding a wave.

5.4.5  If someone is committed on a wave and you are paddling out and can’t make it around them, paddle for the inside and duck dive the white water.

5.5     If you need further detail, talk to your Head Judge or Contest Director.




6.1     Talk with the other surfers in the heat and let others know if you are going to paddle for a wave or not.

6.2     Aggressive behaviour and language is not on & will not be tolerated and you WILL be disqualified from the Competition.





7.1     Parents of members are requested to volunteer to help with the judging of the competitions.

7.2     Parents and Competitors are to stay out of and away from the judging area if their children are in that particular heat. This is so that no pressure is deemed to have been brought on the judges.

7.3     Parents are not to judge any heat in which their child is competing.

7.4     The Judging Criteria and Tips are detailed at Appendix 4 and the MicroGroms Judging sheet is detailed at Appendix 5.



8.1     Appendix 1 details the points allocation that will be used by MicroGroms, which has been taken directly from the Surfing Australia Rule Book (2012).

8.2     Final Rankings are calculated by taking each surfer’s best 8 from 10 results, 7 from 9 results, 7 from 8 results, 6 from 7 results or 4 from 5 results depending on the number of comps held.




9.1     If you need further detail or any additional information regarding Club Rules or any other matter, please feel free to talk to any of the Committee Members.





Judging a heat in a surfing Competition is in reality an opinion. It is based on the conditions, the ability of participants and experience. Better surfing techniques and manoeuvres can be spotted easily however; placing a score on these techniques is not so simple. This guide offers a brief summary of some areas to consider when judging an event. It is intended purely as introductory information to judging and for members who want to know what judges should be looking for.


For the A-Grade, MicroGroms employs a Head Judge to oversee the Judging of each Competition and to offer advice to the judges. For the B-Grade, the club is entirely dependent on parents to undertake the judging. The Club actively encourages all parents to help with the judging however, if you have never done it before; don’t worry! Help is always on hand from parents who have judged previously and in every heat, there will be at least one parent who has judged before. The Club uses three judges for each heat with individual scores being averaged and unless it absolutely unavoidable individuals do not judge heats in which their own children are competing. Also the scoring is always open book so that scores can be discussed during the heat. 






(Taken from the 2012 Surfing Australia Rule Book)



A surfer must perform radical controlled manoeuvres in the most critical sections of a wave with power, speed and flow.


Innovative and progressive surfing, as well as a combination and variety of repertoire (of major manoeuvres), will be taken into consideration when rewarding points for a surfer's performance.


The surfer who executes the criteria above, exhibiting the maximum degree of difficulty and commitment on the waves SHALL MAXIMISE HIS / HER SCORING POTENTIAL.  COULD DO NO MORE = 10!






The criteria have purposely been broken into separate sentences, with the first having major emphasis on the manoeuvres and how radical and controlled they are, the section of the wave they are performed on and how they are strung together. The second focuses on the types and variety of manoeuvres. The criteria can be graded as follows:


1.         Radical Controlled Manoeuvres

This is by far the MOST IMPORTANT aspect. Major manoeuvres constitute change of direction of the board on the wave (not the surfer on the board). Such manoeuvres include re-entries, cut backs, floaters, tube rides, etc and Innovative / Progressive manoeuvres include aerials. How radical each manoeuvre is, followed by the amount of control and commitment put into each of them, will determine how high they will score - POWER, SPEED & FLOW.


2.         Most Critical Section

This part of the Criteria describes the positions on the wave that manoeuvres should be performed on to score the maximum points. The critical section of the wave is the ‘pocket’, closest to the curl. The degree of commitment and risk involved in performing a manoeuvre close to the curl is the reason that they score higher and generally the most critical section of a wave is the first section ‘out the back’.


3.                WhiteWater Heats

Relating the above to WhiteWater Competitions is harder and so for scoring these heats judges need to look for the same principles but scaled down. In other words, a good take off with the surfer getting straight to his or her feet followed by attempts to change direction and looking for any reform opportunities should be considered as adhering to the criteria whereas simply riding the WhiteWater straight to shore would attract lower scores.






The point scoring system to be used is zero to ten broken down into one tenth increments. Always refer to it, in relation to the criteria noted above, especially when scoring the first wave of the heat.



Then for subsequent waves, think about how you scored the first one and score up and down from this datum, and keep in mind how each wave was scored. This means that the final wave exchange in any heat should be in context to the first and other waves scored in a heat.

During the course of a heat, try to use the majority of the scale regardless of surf conditions and try to use whole and half points as much as you can during a heat and only resort to decimal points when necessary. It is better to try to use decimal points to distinguish between waves in the good to excellent range towards the end of a heat than on average waves at the start.


Remember that no ride is identical, so try to differentiate between all scoring waves, score the better waves up and the not so good waves down and absolutely avoid scoring higher for similar manoeuvres as the heat continues.


Try not to deliberate on your scores too much, put pen to paper because unlike the World Tour, we do not have videos to watch the replays and the kids can catch a lot waves a short space of time in a WhiteWater heat and it is easy to lose track.






1.         One manoeuvre or turn completed (or change of direction for WhiteWater)                 3.0 - 3.5

2.         Two manoeuvres or turns completed                                                                                               4.5 – 5.5

3.         Three manoeuvres or turns completed                                                                                            6.0 – 7.5

4.         One big manoeuvre, critical, with power and flow, generating speed throughout        6.5 – 8.5

            Floater, Cut Back (as opposed to a change of direction), Re-Entry, Tube or Air

5.         Two big manoeuvres                                                                                                                                7.0 – 9.0

6.         Exceptional, surfed wave to its full potential. Could do no more      !!                                     10






Wave selection is a very important factor for a surfer in a heat, because the waves selected will determine the manoeuvres a surfer is able to perform. There is less emphasis put on wave size in small to medium conditions due to the fact that the best waves may not necessarily be the biggest waves. The exception is if the Competition is held in big surf and then the most important part of the criteria is size, as a surfer prepared to catch the biggest waves shows the greatest commitment.





For GreenWater heats, initial turns after takeoff are not specifically considered as a manoeuvre, however they are important and better scores should be given to the surfer who can drop in well and turn into a critical section of a wave with no loss of speed as opposed to a surfer who rides with the white-water and then back out onto the face of the wave. Look for an initial turn right off the bat rather than for the surfer who waits for a section to present itself.

A surfer should be manoeuvring to score points; therefore length of ride is not as important as adhering to the criteria, although one point should always be reserved for particularly long rides.


One or two points should always be given to the surfer who tries something a little extra on the wave. Riding the wave straight without trying to change direction or attempting any manoeuvres shouldn't generate more than a couple of points and try to distinguish between flat surfing and surfing on the rails watching also for rail to rail s-turns through slow sections as opposed to hopping or bouncing.

Where was the manoeuvre done - Outside (risky) or inside at end (safe)?


Watch out for scores when dealing with close-out sections, the higher scores should be given to the surfer who manages to fit in manoeuvres in a limited space. Racing down the line after takeoff for a big closeout move is great during free surfs, but it shouldn’t win heats.


Was it a committed manoeuvre? Re-entry or off the top (risky) or cutback (safer). A surfer who commits everything to each turn is risking everything by not completing the turn, therefore surfers who commit themselves to high risk manoeuvres in the critical sections with control should be rewarded, remembering  that even if a surfer completes 90% of a manoeuvre, it will not score if he loses control and falls! A surfer must ride out of a manoeuvre for it to count in the final wave score.


The surfer who has an average ride from outside clear into the shore break and completing a manoeuvre should be scored at least a point above the surfer who pulls out before the wave reforms inside. Remember, the surfer who can generate sufficient momentum to get through flat spots on a wave has demonstrated more skill than one who hasn't demonstrated that ability.


Very importantly though, no matter what manoeuvres are performed on an inside wave, the surfer inside on a reform or shore break wave should not score as high as the surfer on an outside wave. Sometimes similar scores are given for an inside ride which ends in a closeout as they are for a good wave ridden from the outside. When outside waves are present, a couple of manoeuvres on an inside wave should not be scored as high as manoeuvres completed on an outside wave.


Distinguish between flat surfing and surfing on rail using fins, remembering that hopping or bouncing is not progressive, it loses speed and should be discouraged. Rail to rail s-turning through slow sections is better.


There can be different issues when judging in small wave conditions or with heats with all beginners and there could be times when the waves don't break very well or the surfers really struggle to catch or ride the waves. When this happens, the real challenge is for the surfers, however judges must still score each ride using a point spread wide enough to allow winners to be selected - Don't simply give a 2 for a poor ride simply because the waves are bad. It is better to score 1 for a stand-up and immediate fall of and then go higher for at least a turn while falling and whatever you score, try to avoid creating ties.


Finally, the best surfers finish with a bang! Look for surfers who finalise the wave with a well executed manoeuvre.