2015 Surfing Australia Rule Book - Page 43

INTERFERENCE RULES 8. PRIORITY RULES a. Mandatory in priority one-on-one heats. The Head Judge or a designated Priority Judge will be the priority referee using coloured discs corresponding to the surfers’ colours in the water to indicate priority. Priority discs must be located on one end of the judging booths. A buoy, where applicable, will be placed just outside the surfing break, which surfers use by paddling around to gain priority. Placement of the buoy will be decided by the Event Director in consultation with the Head Judge. Wave priority is lost as soon as the surfer: 1. Rides a wave 2. Paddles for a wave and misses the wave b. At the start of a heat once the first wave has been ridden, the second surfer gets automatic priority for any other wave they choose, unless the surfer rides the wave before the heat starts. If this happens then that wave will not count and the remaining surfer will get automatic first priority. From then on the only way to establish wave priority is by paddling around the bouy or paddling into the Primary Take-off Zone. The first surfer around the buoy has wave priority and if the other surfer wishes they may also paddle around the buoy to establish second priority. If no surfer has wave priority, no discs are shown and the interference rule will determine priority. c. A surfer cannot lose second priority by paddling for, and missing a wave but if the surfer catches the wave and their hands leave the rails, as they attempt to stand, they lose second priority. The exception to this rule is if it is a 3 or 4 person priority system. d. If a surfer inside has second priority and their opponent paddles for, but misses a wave, the inside surfer automatically assumes first priority. Therefore, if they also paddle for, but miss the wave, then they have also lost priority. That is, both surfers have then lost priority even though only one wave has passed and there was not sufficient time to change the priority disc. e. The surfer who has priority will also not be allowed to paddle in front of the other surfer to deliberately impede them from catching a wave or they will lose priority. The surfer will also lose priority if in the opinion of the Priority Judge they place themselves in th