a) The dates and venues of BBC events are decided by the BBC Executive Committee, as are the format and entry fees.
b) Events currently include the British Students Championships, British Bodyboard Championships.
c) Events normally use the Contest Rules and Doping Control Regulations as set out in this website. However rules may be subject to change at the Contest Committees discretion.
d) Any competitor (or any other BBC member) whose conduct at these events (or at any other events) is regarded by the Executive Committee to reflect unfavourably in any way on the BBC (or the Sport) will face sanction.
e) Entries must be received at the BBC office on the date specified on the entry form. Beach entries will only be accepted at the Contest Director’s discretion and will be subject to an extra fee of £5.
f) All competitors (or if the competitor is under 18 years old then their parent or legal guardian) must complete a contest entry form and pay the appropriate entry fee prior to entering the water.
g) A competitor must enter the water to qualify for last place (often important where team points are at stake).
h) The contest format to be used will be decided by the BBC Executive but may be amended at the discretion of the contest committee. This committee will comprise one or more of the following; Contest Director, Head Judge and Technical Director.
i) Judging statistics will be maintained for all judges. Judges who are found to be below an acceptable standard may be removed from the panel at the discretion of the contest committee.
j) BBC events are open to all paid up members of the Club provided that they satisfy the entry criteria for that event.


Grommet Under 12
Youth Under 14
Cadet Under 16
Junior Under 18
Open Any
Senior Over 28
Master Over 35
Veteran Over 45
Open categories have no age restrictions.

The date for determining the age categories is January 1st in the year of the competition.

Residency:  Entry into the British National Championships and selection into the British Team will only be open to British passport holders .

Competitors must be current members of the BBC.

All events are open to both AMATEUR and PROFESSIONAL surfers.


N.B. All BBC surfing competitions are liable to include Doping Control Testing carried out by the Sports Council (or their representatives) and all competitors should be aware of the BBC’s Doping Control Regulations (as set out in this website) prior to entering a BBC Competition.

a) Heats will be started on a single horn blast . Competitors to be standing at the waters edge, knee depth maximum. Water starts may be permitted at the discretion of the Contest Director, but competitors must not infringe on the contest area.
b) Heats will end with two horn blasts. There will be a minimum of 30 seconds between heats. The head judge will indicate when a heat is to commence.
c) A flag or disc system will also be used, with one flag raised at the start of a heat. With 5 minutes to go, a different coloured flag will also be raised. At the end of a heat, both flags will be lowered.
d) If a disc system is used the disc must be 1 metre in diameter. It must have a light colour on one side and a darker colour on the other. The dark colour indicates that the heat is in progress. The light side is shown to indicate that the heat is in its last 5 minutes. At the end of the heat the disc is turned edge – on to the sea so that no colour is visible. N.B. The start of the horn blast signifies the start or end of the heat. The flags or disc are for guidance only.
e) Heats will normally be of 15-20 minute duration and finals 20-30 minutes duration. The Contest Committee will determine heat times. Any alterations will be announced before a heat commences. A heat cannot be extended while in progress.
f) The Contest Committee will decide how many waves will count towards a surfers score. NORMALLY it will be best two waves.
g) Competitors in heats may only ride twelve waves and should leave the water after doing so. The penalty for riding more than twelve waves will be a five point deduction from their total score for each extra wave ridden.
h) A surfer who has ridden more than 12 waves may also be liable to an interference penalty if they remain in the water and interfere in any way with the other competitors in that heat. Finalists (but not quarter or semi finalists) may ride 15 waves.
i) When the air horn sounds for the end of a heat a surfer must be clearly in possession of the wave (e.g. for board riders hands having left the rails) for a ride to be scored.
j) When heats are in progress, and at the beginning of the days surfing, any surfer in the defined competition area may be penalised. The penalty will be immediate disqualification.
k) Contestants are to check in with the Beach Marshall at least 5 minutes prior to the start of their heat. Singlet’s are to be worn both from and back to the Beach Marshall and must be returned immediately after the heat has been concluded.
l) At the completion of each heat, surfers will return to the beach in a prone position.
m) Judges and tabulators sheets will be available for scrutiny by competitors, but must not be removed from the contest control area.
n) Anyone who is guilty of unsportsmanlike conduct may be liable to disqualification at the discretion of the Contest Committee.
o) Heats will normally be made up from a maximum of four surfers, although five man heats may be used. A minimum of 50% of the surfers will normally advance.
p) Bodyboards will have the following attributes: they must be flexible and shall include some portion of soft exterior skin. They shall not exceed 5ft in length. The use of fins is optional.


Judging panels for each heat will consist of three, four or five judges who will be rotated. Each judging panel will officiate under the control and direction of a head judge.
Judges will score each ride out of 10 points with .1 increments (from 0.2 to 10). A ride will commence when a competitor’s hands leave the rails (board riders). In the case of kneeboards when the rider moves to his knees and in the case of bodyboarders when the rider has completed one manoeuvre. Judges should check in to the head judge at least 10 minutes prior to the start of their judging session. This allows time to get a realistic view of the conditions. The name/number of the judge together with the division, event and heat number should be entered in the appropriate sections of the judging sheet before the heat commences.
Judges sheets should be handed in promptly at the end of the heat. Judges should not tally the sheet or alter scores. If a score is unclear, or must be changed, blank out the square and use the next one. All alterations should be signed. N.B. if a judge thinks he has missed a score he must place an M in the appropriate block.
Each judge must give 100% effort. Maximum concentration is essential to ensure personal bias is cut out and that top efficiency is reached.
Judges should score every ride by each competitor. Where possible the judges to be used in the finals will be those who have shown the highest degree of consistency over the contest.
Judges are responsible for ruling interference situations as described in a later section. Judges finishing their session should remain on hand until their last heat has been tallied in case of query or protests.



Bodyboard criteria: “A surfer must perform Radical Controlled Manoeuvres in the Critical Sections of a wave with Speed, Power and Flow to Maximise Scoring Potential. Traditional Surfing as well as a Variety of Modern Manoeuvres will be taken into account when rewarding points for waves ridden. The surfer who executes this criteria with the Maximum Degree of Difficulty and Commitment on the wave shall be rewarded with the higher scores”
Bodyboard criteria shall be based on the criteria above with regard to the manner of bodyboarding (prone, drop-knee or standing).
Scoring categories can be identified by the following table:-

0 – 2.5 A poor ride
2.5 – 5.0 A fair ride
5.0 – 7.5 A good ride
7.5 – 10 An excellent ride


The Criteria has purposely been broken into three sentences. The first sentence having the most emphasis and is by far the most important part of the criteria. It concerns the manoeuvres, how radical and committed they are and the section of the wave that they are performed on. It is vital that every member of a judging panel adheres to the same point of reference so that each competitor knows how to maximise his/her scoring potential.

1. A surfer must perform radical manoeuvres in the critical sections of a wave with speed, power and flow to maximise scoring potential.

This is by far the most important part of the criteria

We can dissect this part of the criteria further by looking at the key words and explaining exactly what each means. They are:

Radical Manoeuvres
Critical Section
Speed, Power & Flow
Innovative & Progressive
Variety of Repertoire
Wave Size & Length of Ride

Radical Manoeuvres

Modern day manoeuvres basically constitute a change of direction of the board on the wave (not the bodyboarder on the board). Such manoeuvres include tube rides, open face moves, hacks, snaps, floaters, aerials and cutbacks etc. With how much commitment they are carried out radical they are, how much the surfer pushes the board to the limit will determine how high that they will score, as long as other sections of the criteria are also met.
To score, a manoeuvre must be completed. If a surfer has completed 99% of the manoeuvre then loses control and falls off or is not able to continue riding the wave, then that manoeuvre will not be scored. (The wave score will consist of a combination of all the completed turns before the fall.)

Critical Section

This part of the criteria describes the area of the wave with potential to yield the highs score. The critical section of the wave is the steepest part of the wave next to the curl, also known as ‘the pocket’. The degree of commitment and risk involved in performing close to the curl is the reason why more points are awarded. Generally in beach break conditions the most important critical section is the first section ‘out the back’ and a big turn performed here is difficult and risky. Certain types of wave (and even beach breaks), have critical sections at an inside ‘bowl’.

Speed, Power & Flow

Generally speaking speed and power become more evident when a manoeuvre is carried out in the critical section and all three are intrinsically linked. The word style has been excluded from the new criteria as it has become apparent that many surfers were misinterpreting it. The judges’ definition of style was defined as how the surfer reads the wave, utilises sections and links his moves in a seamless flow power and speed

Innovative & Progressive

Innovative and progressive surfing as well as a variety of repertoire (manoeuvres) will be taken into consideration when rewarding points for waves ridden.

This part of the criteria allows the surfers to be more expressive with dynamic and futuristic manoeuvres that are constantly being created by the elite surfers of our sport

This sentence in the criteria reminds the judge to be open minded about new directions and developments in surfing.  The most important thing to remember with a new manoeuvre is that if it encompasses all sections of the criteria i.e. it is committed, has speed and power, and is performed in the critical section of the wave, then it must be high scoring.

Variety of Repertoire

Another part of the criteria, to differentiate between safe surfing and get the surfers to use the full variety of manoeuvres in their repertoire. A surfer can satisfy all the other aspects of the criteria but produce the same reliable move monotonously along a wave, this criteria means that three different big moves will get the bigger scores than three similar big moves.

The surfer who executes these criteria with the maximum degree of difficulty and commitment on the waves shall be rewarded with the highest scores.

The best judges are good surfers who can understand the degree of difficulty of a manoeuvre, obviously the more difficult the manoeuvre the more points (or parts of a point) should be rewarded. Likewise a surfer who commits everything to each move is risking everything by not completing the move, (these surfers are pushing themselves to the limit but also the sport), therefore surfers who commit themselves to high risk manoeuvres in the critical sections, with control, should be rewarded.
Remember: Degree of difficulty and risk taken = Reward

Wave Size & Length of Ride

Wave size and length of ride are not apart of the judging criteria. Wave selection is the single most important factor for a surfer in his heat. By getting the best waves he/she has more potential to perform the best moves, this also denies that wave to his opponents. In small to medium size surf there is no emphasis put on wave size as the biggest wave are not necessarily the best. It is the judge’s job to score the surfer and the manoeuvres that he completes and not to score the wave size. The surfer must comply with the first part of the criteria to fully capitalise on catching the best waves. (The exception is if the contest is held in ‘big wave’ conditions. The most important part of the criteria would be size, as a surfer prepared to catch the biggest waves shows the greatest commitment.) A surfer must be manoeuvring in the critical section to score points; therefore length of ride is unimportant unless the criteria is being adhered to.


Basic Rule
The surfer on the inside at the initial point of take-off has unconditional right of way for the whole duration of their ride. Interference will be called if, during the ride, the majority of judges feel that another competitor has hindered the scoring potential of the surfer deemed to have right of way. The point of take-off is defined as that position on a wave, which a judge considers to be the point closest to the critical part of the wave, at which a surfer, at the earliest opportunity, can take-off.
Anyone who rides in front of this inside surfer has the chance to ride or kick out of the wave without being called for interference, unless they hinder the scoring potential of the surfer with right of way. The interfering surfer must be penalised.

Interference must be called if a judge considers that a surfer has interfered at any stage of the take-off (i.e. excessive hassling, leash pulling, breaking down a section).

Interference and right of way
It is the responsibility of the judges to determine which surfer has inside
position and therefore right of way.

At the start of the days events the head Judge will decide which of the following conditions are applicable:-

Point Break

When there is only one available direction on any given wave, the surfer on the inside (nearest the curl) shall have unconditional right of way for the entire duration of that wave.

Single Peak

Where there is a single well defined peak with both a left and a right available the surfer considered on the inside at the initial point of take-off shall have
unconditional right of way for the duration of that wave in the direction he chooses (by making an obvious right or left turn). A second surfer may go in the opposite direction on the same wave without incurring a penalty, providing he does not interfere with the first surfer who has established right of way (i.e. he may not cross the path of the first surfer in order to gain the opposite side of the peak unless he does so without hindering the inside surfer).

Multiple Peak: with multiple, random peaks wave possession may vary slightly according to the nature of an individual wave.
With two peaks, there will be cases where one swell will have two separate, defined peaks far apart that eventually meet at some point. Although two surfers may each have inside position on those respective peaks, the surfer who is first to start riding shall be deemed to have wave possession and the second surfer must give way by cutting back or kicking out before hindering the right of way surfer.

If two surfers start riding at the same time on two separate peaks that eventually meet,then if:
They both give way by cutting back or kicking out, so that neither is hindered, there will be no penalty.
They cross paths and collide or hinder one another, the judges will penalise the surfer who has been the aggressor at the point of contact.
Neither surfer gives way, by cutting back or kicking out, and both share responsibility for the confrontation, then a double interference will be called.


The surfer who is farthest inside at the initial point of take-off and has established wave possession is entitled to that wave for the duration of his ride, even though another surfer may subsequently take-off in the white water behind him. The judges will not penalise the surfer because he has right of way even though he is in front.
If the second surfer has not hindered the original surfer with right of way, then the judges may choose not to penalise him and will score both surfers rides.
If in the opinion of the judges, the second surfer has interfered with (snaked) the original surfer with right of way, by causing him to pull out or lose the wave, or has affected that surfers scoring potential then interference must be called on the second surfer, even though he is behind the first when the penalty is called.
The above situations apply only to multiple surfer heats or man on man in non priority situations. In Man on Man it remains as one man one wave no exceptions if a surfer has priority.

Cross Overs

If two surfers are riding the same wave they may not cross each others paths. Should a cross over occur then one or both of the surfers must be marked for an interference.

Paddling Interference
In four man heats a surfer who has inside position should not be excessively hindered by another surfer paddling for the same wave.
Paddling Interference may be called if:
1. The offending surfer makes contact with or forces the inside surfer to change his line while paddling to catch the wave causing possible loss of scoring potential.
2. The offending surfer obviously causes a section to break down in front of the inside surfer which would not normally have done so causing loss of scoring potential.

When a surfer is put in a position while paddling out that he cannot get out of the way and a collision happens due to this it is up to a majority of the judges to call interference based on whether it is felt to be accidental or not.

End of Heat

A competitor may return to the beach at the end of the heat in a prone position on the same wave as a competitor riding his last wave, provided there is no interference to the riders progress.
Method of Recording an Interference:
If in the opinion of a judge a “Drop In” interference has occurred he will score the offending surfers wave in the normal way and will mark a triangle around that score, with an arrow pointing to the offended surfers wave.
To be enforced, an interference must be scored by a majority of judges. A head judge may be included in which case 2 out of 4 or 3 out of 6 judges will constitute a majority.

Penalty for Interference

a) Interferences against competitors
If a majority of judges call a riding interference, that wave will count in the surfers score as a zero, then the lowest scoring wave will count in the final tally as a 50% score for the offending surfer, (surfer will achieve half the wave score).
b) In early and up after penalty
The head judge will report the infringement – called by the head judge and/or the majority of judges – to the tabulators, and the offending surfer will be penalised. The penalty will be as decided at the beginning of the event (either as a) above or a fine).
Any Competitor has the right to protest the result of a heat. All protest must be in writing and be submitted, in the case of team events, by his manager or coach, to the Contest Director. The Contest Committee will consider the merits of each case.


Contest Director
Ensures that the surfing aspect of the event runs on schedule and according to the rules and that the event staff are not making any errors. May be involved with planning the event and organising requirements for the event and event site.
In consultation with the Technical Director and Head Judge, the Contest Director’s decision, in any matter relating to the event, is final.
Head Judge
Assembles a group of qualified judges and ensures that the judges are up to standard. Organises the judging rota and ensures judges are in place when required. The Head Judge cannot over-rule a judging panels decision concerning interference or wave scores but he can act as an extra judge on interference calls. (e.g. With a five man panel, if two judges mark an interference then the Head Judge may also mark it and it will then be counted as such).
The head Judge normally keeps a daily record of each judges performance. He reports directly to the Contest Director.
Technical Director
Works alongside the tabulators to ensure that the contest rules are adhered to. Seeds surfers in each round, ensures the progression is correct and that the rules of the event are being adhered to.
Beach Marshall
Ensures that all competitors are checked in for their heats, issues their singlets and briefs them on the event rules. The Beach Marshall generally times the heats and operates the air horns and flags and it is advisable for two Beach Marshalls on duty at all times.
The tabulators receive the score sheets from the judging panel and tabulate them in accordance with B.S.A. rules. The tabulator must:
Check wave count for any missed waves and. if this occurs then the Technical Director or Contest Director should be called.
Check for interference and if the majority of judges have marked it (this may include the head judge), then the interference counts and any judges who have not marked it on their sheets will have it included.
Circle or highlight scoring waves
Take an average of the scoring waves
Tally the averages of the scoring waves
Give placing and transpose onto master sheet
Calculate judges performance and enter score on master sheet

It is advisable for there to be a minimum of two tabulators on duty to ensure accuracy.