“The Gary Linden Model”
A panel, with a minimum of three judges and a maximum of five, scores each wave surfed on a scale of 0-10 during each heat with the supervision of one Head Judge.
The Big Wave Judging Criteria:
“The surfer who demonstrates the most commitment on the largest waves in the most controlled manner will receive the highest score.”
Events independently choose their judging panel. The BWWT can recommend internationally trained judges at the event’s request and encourages the participation of local judges, as well.
BWWT Internationally trained judges:
Scoring System & Tally
Each Wave is scored from 0 to 10 points.
A surfers two best waves in each heat are tallied into a total heat score.
For further incentive, each competitor’s top-scoring ride is doubled. “Risk equals Reward.”
Thus, a competitor getting a perfect 10 point score, but only 1 point for his second best ride, will total 21 points (10 x 2 = 20 + 1 = 21 pts.) just enough to win over of an opponent who scores two 7 points rides (7 x 2 = 14 + 7 = 21 pts.); in case of a tie score, the best wave wins.
If competitors are tied on their best 2 waves then the 3rd wave will separate the winner.
In case of unbreakable tie the surfer leading the BWWT rating will advance (tie will be called for non advancing surfers).
The surfer with the highest total heat score wins the heat.
Surfers’ total heat score determines their heat ranking.
50% of each heat advances.
Scores are final and cannot be modified after being posted.
Protest can be delivered in writing to the Contest Director or Head Judge but will not alter the results.
If two surfers ride the same wave there will not be an automatic interference call. The surfer with the right of the way is the one taking off closest to the peak, and his wave will be scored. The surfer the furthest from the peak might not receive a score and is at risk of being penalized for interference, however if the surfers are separated by enough distance (a section), both can receive a score.
If the outside surfer is deemed by the judging panel to have interfered with, or hindered the scoring potential of the ride of the inside surfer, an interference call will be made. The interfering surfer will have his second highest score cut in half.
Head Judge can call paddling interference in the case of a surfer consciously blocking another surfer or by making aggressively dangerous paddling maneuvers.
If a surfer is dropped (jet ski assist) away from the “drop off” buoy and closer to the line-up, giving the surfer an unfair advantage to the surfer. The judges will take “1 point” off the surfers 2nd highest wave.
No maximum is set for the number of waves caught by a surfer in each heat.
Only a surfer’s two best waves will be tallied in each heat.
Each competitor will be assigned a colored jersey for his heat. Competitors have to pick up their competitor jerseys at the beach/boat Marshall area in time to join the line-up before the start of their heat.
Competitors must wear their jerseys during their heat and return them after each heat.
No score will be awarded to a competitor without a jersey.
If a competitor looses his jersey during his heat, he will have to inform the water patrol, which will bring him another jersey in the line-up.
Jersey has to be worn by the finalist of each event on the podium (might not apply to all events).
Conditions might dictate heat duration. Check with Boat Marshall before each event.
1st Round 4 Heats: 45 minutes each (3 hours)
2 Semi-Finals: 45 minutes (1 ½ hours)
Break: 30 minutes
Final: 1 hour
Total Event time: 6 hours
Heat starts with competitors in the line-up with one blow of the horn.
Heat ends with two blows of the horn (ending exactly on the start of the first blow).
Competitors have to be “up and riding” before the end of the heat to have his wave scored.
Competitors must leave the line-up after the completion of their heat without interfering with the next heat.
Competitors should not ride a wave after their heat has ended.
Prior to their heat, competitors should remain in the channel/beach and enter the outside of the line-up only when the yellow flag for the previous heat is on, thus not interfering with the competitors currently in a heat.
A heat can be stopped at anytime upon decision by the Contest Director or Head Judge either for the safety of the surfers or to protect the integrity of the judging (i.e. fog).
A heat can be stopped automatically in the case of lightning. In such a case, water patrol will help evacuate competitors to safety.
The re-starting of the heat will be up to the Contest Director or Head Judge’s discretion. Competitors must stay informed with the Beach/Boat Marshall in case of delay.
15 minutes will be added to the Final Heat only if less than 3 waves have been surfed during the first half of the heat.
If no waves have been ridden after the first 15 minutes of any heat, then 15 minutes will be added to the heat. This will be repeated a maximum of 3 times. If no waves have be ridden during this 45 minute period, the contest will go “On Hold” awaiting further evaluation.
1st Heat starts under the control of the Head Judge or Contest Director or at a fixed time previously fixed at the competitor meeting
No Flag or Red Flag: NO heat is ON
Yellow Flag: Last 5 minutes of the heat
Green Flag: Heat ON (up to last 5 minutes)
No special priority is issued. The surfer closer to the curl will be deemed to have priority (see Interference Rules).
Competitors can name a caddy to assist them in recovering a new board in the case of a broken board. Caddies have to stay out of the way of competitors and follow at all times the directions of the water safety patrol and general safety rules.
Some events might allow surfers to tie up back-up surfboards to a buoy in the channel.
Depending on the spot, buoys might define the line-up zone within which competitors must take-off (either in between two buys or to either side of one).
Competitors assisted by the Water Patrol will be dropped at the Safety Buoy on the inside or in the channel, and allow the surfer to paddle back to the line-up after a safety check.
Water Safety is to intervene only when a surfer is in need of an assist and will in no case help shuttle surfers back into the line-up.
The BWWT recommends that each event hold a competitor meeting the eve of the event. The competitor meeting should cover event rules, judging criteria, safety and logistic issues, and provide a question/answer period with the competitors and the organization (Contest Director, Head Judge, Safety Director, Competitor Representative, etc.)
Minimum Media presence should be allowed during the meeting. Media might be banned from the question/answer part of the meeting to allow competitors free expression.
Each event is responsible to choose the date of the event within its waiting period.
The announcement, “The Call” to the competitors has to be made 48 to 72 hours before the event starts.
BWWT recommends keeping competitors informed of current swell forecasting and any possibility to run the event.
“The Light”, the BWWT website will feature a warning light: Red when an event is off, Yellow when the event might be held in the following days, and Green when the even is ON.