2017/18 Surf Sport Season Update

September 2017

Key focus areas for the upcoming season will include reducing complexity and compliance in order to reduce barriers in Surf Sports and Lifesaving.
SLSSA has been working closely with our sister states and Surf Life Saving Australia on introducing several changes to increase participation and remove barriers.

Following the National Workshop in July, the Surf Sport Team has worked closely with the Surf Sport Advisory Committee and Sport Panels on the below changes for the 2017/18 season. 

Inclusion of Under 8s

Surf Life Saving SA is excited to announce the inclusion of the Under Eights age group into Junior Carnivals moving forward.

The Under Eights will also be included into the Junior State Championships. The competitors in the U8 category will be required to complete the same Competition Evaluation swim as the U9 competitors.

To ensure that all juniors who wish to compete in swim and board related events have the ability, strength and fitness standard, they must be able to complete the junior activities competition skills evaluation for their age group which is a

water proficiency assessment. Following the successful demonstration of the preliminary skills assessment, this competition skills evaluation must be achieved before any junior can participate in water events at carnivals (excludes wades).

The competition skills evaluation in SA will now be as the below;

Age Group Competition Skills Evaluation | Ocean Timed Swim

Under 6 | Not applicable

Under 7 | Not applicable

Under 8 | 150m ocean swim within 12 minutes

Under 9 | 150m ocean swim within 12 minutes

Under 10 | 150m ocean swim within 12 minutes

Under 11 | 288m ocean swim within 11 minutes

Under 12 | 288m ocean swim within 10 minutes

Under 13 | 288m ocean swim within 8 minutes

Note:  the preliminary assessment swim is a prerequisite to the competition skills evaluation (ocean timed swim) and these are two separate swims. One swim cannot be used to qualify a child for the other requirement.

All Clubs and Age Group Managers have a duty of care at SLSSA carnivals and events to ensure that their junior members are safe and can confidently and competently swim the competition distance and course.


-          Only juniors who have achieved their competition skills evaluation for their relevant age group are to be entered into water events at carnivals

-          Clubs, Age Group Managers and parents should also take into consideration the condition, the course and the physical and emotional state of their juniors on the day of the carnival and only enter those they consider to be confident and competent to complete the course in a safe and timely manner.

FAQs can be found at the end of this article.

Composite Teams

To aid participation and allow competitors more opportunities Surf Life Saving SA will now allow composite teams to compete at all carnivals including state championship events for points, points will be allocated to the closest single decimal. Composite teams will be made available from Juniors all the way to Masters. The points allocated to these teams will be split between the competitor’s respective clubs.

Surf Life Saving SA will allocate the composite teams through their Event Management System using a random drawer mechanism. Seniors will be required to go into the random drawer for Composite teams at all carnivals and States, however Juniors and Masters will only be required to go through the random drawer at State Championship Events.  Clubs will be advised on how to enter competitors wishing to be included into composite teams in entry circulars.

Doing this would boost participation and also allow competitors more opportunity.

State Championship Point Scores

The Surf Sport Advisory Committee has reviewed point scores moving into the 2017/18 Season. The below table outlines the events included into the five premiership events for the season. 

Championships | Events included in Premiership

Junior State Championship   | Junior State Championships including Junior R&R

Senior State Championships | Senior State Championships
                                                  Lifesaving Events State Championships
                                                  Board Riding State Championships &
                                                  **25% of points from Senior Carnivals

Master State Championships | Master State Championships &
                                                  Master State Surf Boat Championships

Pool Rescue State Championships | Pool Rescue State Championships

IRB State Championships | IRB State Championships

**Senior Carnivals included in the Premiership point score for the 2017/18 Season:
October 29
November 19
December 3
February 25

With the reintroduction of the 25% of Senior Carnival point scores, clubs will have a maximum of two weeks after the date of the event to dispute any result discrepancies. Changes will only be made to results if they match official recording sheets. After the two week period changes can be made to results for the purpose of history records, however no point scores will be affected.

Please note: The Lifesaving Event State Championship fee will be covered by the cost of Senior State Championships. Board Riding & Senior Carnivals will still have separate fees imposed.

Under 8 FAQs

Q. Why have SLSSSA decided to add u/8’s into the competition structure?

Surf Life Saving SA‘s aim is to save lives and build healthier and safer communities. We are a unique and celebrated water safety organisation building vibrant and inclusive community hubs that inspire people through the delivery of excellence in emergency service, training, education and sport.  The nursery of this movement is Nippers. The decision to include of the u/8 into a competitive structure will;

  •  Expose families and u/8 to a structure that will enhance our aims
  • Include a younger age group into our movement that based on last year’s SLSSA clinics and feedback are wanting to participate in SLSSSA competition pathways
  • Create an easier transition from Tiny Tots to SLSSA Nippers   
  • Promote and encourage families and children to be a stronger part of the Surf Life Saving Community.

Q. Do all u/8 have to compete?

No – they can participate in Carnivals should they wish

Q. If my Club decide not to have u/8 compete is that an issue?

No – Club’s will decide who and when u/8 will compete based on resources, skills and wellbeing of the Children. This is the same for any other age group

Q. What events will u/8 do?


·         Beach sprints

·         Flags

·         Wade

·         Buchannan Relay (with u/9 and u/10)

·         Beach Relay


·         Swim – should they wish

·         Buchannan Relay (with u/9 and u/10)

·         Wade

·         Flags

·         Sprint

·         Buchannan

·         Beach Relay

Q. What will the core skills the u/8 will learn?

·         Organisation, Promptness, Encouragement, Resilience , Team work , support

·         Running, Wading

Q. Why is this important?

These skills above are the core of Surf Life Saving

Q. How will this aid my child?

It has been proven by Griffith University that children that participate in organised water based sport, swimming lessons and community type sports are better prepared for life skills in areas such as ;

·         School

·         Time management

·         Resilience

·         Have more confidence

The aim is to develop our Nippers and Families to aid our movement and create pathways that truly promote a life time of inclusion and safety.

For any more information please contact Surf Sports Team on 8354 6900