Updated April 2001


RULE 1                GENERAL






RULE 7                FLAGS

RULE 8                DEPARTURE & CIRCUIT

RULE 9                CONDUCT OF THE RACE

RULE 10                TIMING

RULE 11                PROTESTS



INDEX     A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z  Rule(s)
Consumption of 9.16
Type 5.22
Line 5.23
Stowage 5.19





Maximum length

Structural state

Distances apart

Decibel level




8.03 9.06 9.12



Pre Race 4.14


Inability to attend 1.06
Frequency 1.07


Division of 2.01
Details of 8.01
Sportsmanlike behaviour 9.15


Definition of 6.01
Age requirements 6.02
Conduct during race 9.07
4.14 9.14








Condition 5.15
Displacement 5.02
Electrical harness 5.16
Eligibility 5.20
Exhaust Systems 5.17
Mountings 5.14
Wells 5.30
When skier falls 9.02


Competitors 5.24
Judges & Safety boats 4.16


Orange 6.09 9.01 9.02
Specification & meanings 7.01 7.02 7.03
  • FUEL



Lines 5.11
Tanks 5.10
Type 5.11
During race 9.11


Specifications 6.08
Wearing of 9.13
Third party 3.04



Appointment of 4.01 4.02
Assistant 4.10
Chief 4.01 4.02
  • JURY
Appointment of 4.05



International 3.01
Home country government 3.05
Suspension or removal 12.04


Skiers 6.06
Drivers and Observers 6.07


Dimensions of 5.03
On trailers 5.27
Conduct during race 9.01-9.02
8.07 9.04 9.06
Security 5.15
11.01 11.02 11.03




Amendments 1.05
Exceptions 1.03
General 1.01-1.02
Interpretation 1.04
In competing boats 5.13
Mascots, bow fittings etc 5.06




Contact with boat 9.02
Fastening of tow line 9.08-9.09
Proper skiing position 10.04
Remaining in wake 9.03
  • SKIS


Types of 8.02
Procedure 8.03-8.04
Gear etc 5.08


Divisions of competition 2.01
Notification of 3.02
Skiers 6.04, 6.05
Boats 5.05



Marking of 8.05
Conduct of competing boats 9.10
Control of 4.06 8.06




1.01 These rules set forth are the Technical Rules for Water Ski Racing sanctioned by the International Water Ski Federation
(IWSF). With the exception of entry requirements and other administrative matters, the Regions must follow these rules for their sanctioned races. It is requested Federations establish rules as close to these as possible. Whenever the masculine is used, the same shall be construed as meaning the feminine where the context so requires.

1.02 These rules are concerned with:

(a) Circuit Races (more than 2 laps)

(b) Distance Races (point to point)

(c) Time Trials.

1.03 Exception to the rules - complementary rules

Where compliance with the rules is impossible and where complementary rules in connection with the circuit are needed, complementary articles will be set forth by the organisers, in agreement with:

1. for World Championships, the IWSF Racing Council

2. for Regional Championships, these complementary rules have to be sent to the Regional Racing Council, together with the Technical Dossier.

1.04 Interpretation of the rules

Questions of interpretation of the rules shall be referred to the IWSF Racing Council or their representative where possible. An arbitrator may be appointed for IWSF rule interpretation. Any interpretation made by the IWSF Racing Council as a whole shall be considered final. Otherwise the interpretation shall be made by a majority vote of the Appointed Judges, and the Chief Judge shall make a report to the IWSF Racing Council for World Championships, and for Regional events to his Region Racing Council. The Chief Judge shall make a detailed homologation to the IWSF Racing Council, or to his Region Racing Council.

1.05 Amendments to the rules

The rules may be amended at any time by the IWSF Racing Council. They shall become effective sixty (60) days after they are sent to the President of each affiliated Federation which must be at least 60 days before the 1st January in any year. The same provisions will apply in respect of Region sanctioned Races.

1.06 The inability for one reason or another of a country to attend the World or Region Racing Championships (including political reasons) doesn’t require the entire competition be cancelled or postponed or that the titles are any less World or Region titles.

1.07 TThe World Racing Championships shall be held biennially in odd numbered years. The World Championships will be a four race series with only the three best scores counting to individual overall standings. All four scores will count towards overall team standings



2.01 The competition stands open to all skiers, either man or woman. In the final results each classification has to be made for each sex separately. Eligibility to represent a Federation at a World Championship is governed by the residential qualification of each individual country.

2.02 A Federation may nominate a Team of 3 men + 1 Reserve 3 Women + 1 Reserve. Each Federation will nominate in each classification a Team of 3 skiing members. The Team Captain will nominate the grid position for the first round only.

2.03 Reserves: In the event of a member of a Federation's Team being unable to ski, the reserve skier may ski if a boat is available. Individual points cannot be carried forward from the retired skier to the reserve skier.

2.04 Points Score for Teams The first two best results in each of the Men's and Women's Races from each Federation will receive the points for the Team Trophy. If a Reserve skier replaces a Team member his/her points will be included in the Team's Points Score if his /hers is one of the two best results for the federation in his/her race.

2.05 The reigning World Champions - male and female - are eligible to ski in the World Championships if entered by their own respective Federations, but cannot accrue Team Points unless selected as a member of the Federation Team. In the case of a World Champion entering as an Individual and not in the Federation Team he will start on the back grid. This rule does not apply to Junior World Champions.

2.06 Junior Competition in World Championships: A maximum of 2 Boys and 2 Girls from each Federation will be permitted to compete in a Junior Competition at World Championships - NO RESERVES. Race to be 30 mins + 1 lap duration. There will be an Individual Trophy only for Juniors. NOTE: Scores for Juniors will not be accumulated towards Senior Teams Point Shield. Junior skiers will not receive team medals.

The maximum age of any skier participating in the Junior World Championships is 16 years as at the 31st December in the year preceding the Championships. This means that the last year of eligibility of a skier is the year in which he/she has his/her 17th birthday.



3.01 Each competitor must have in his possession an international licence issued by his Federation, endorsed by Region Racing Council on behalf of IWSF.

3.02 Each Federation shall notify the organisers of the names of their teams participating. The Chief Judge shall be notified of the Team members by the Team Captain prior to the start of each race.

3.03 A Team is defined as a skier, driver and observer. One member of the boat crew and the skier shall be of the entering team’s nationality. Each skier, driver and observer must notify the organisers of their blood groups.

3.04 Race Organisers must provide facilities for third party insurance for entrants and each boat must be insured against third party risks for a minimum of SF1,000,000 or the equivalent in local currency. The current policy of insurance with a valid renewal receipt for the same must be produced before or at the time of inscription.

3.05 In addition, any driver residing in a country whose Government controls the issue of boat driver licences shall not be permitted to compete in a race unless he has possession of such a licence.



4.01 At least six (6) months prior to the start of official practice at a World Championships, the President of the IWSF shall appoint the Chief Judge for the World Championships from among the judges proposed by each Regional Racing Council.

4.02 The President of the IWSF Racing Council shall also appoint the 9 judges, 3 from each region, the assistant to the Chief Judge and the Chief Calculator from among those proposed by each Regional Racing Council. Appointments for Region sanctioned events shall be made by the Region President on Region Racing Council’s recommendation.

4.03 The Chief Judge shall not serve as an event judge. The Chief Judge’s decision shall be final for the event. Any subsequent inquiry should be directed to the IWSF Racing Council.

4.04 The Chief Judge is responsible for briefing his assistant judges and for verifying that time-keepers, lap recorders and calculators carry out their jobs correctly.

4.05 The Jury for each separate race shall consist of 4 event judges selected by the Chief Judge, who will act as Chairman of such a jury. In case of disagreement between the judges the majority shall decide. In case of a tie the Chief Judge shall decide.

4.06 The control and observation at turn buoys will be carried out by judges and assistant judges who will submit a report to the Chief Judge at the end of the race. Video cameras shall be at World Championships, as an aid to judging, the use of the video to be at the discretion of the Jury prior to the start of the event. Cameras to be at the start, turns and finish. The video tapes shall be immediately handed to the Chief Judge and shall be erased at the completion of the Championships.

4.07 Race Organiser: shall be appointed and/or approved by the appropriate authority for the level of the competition and will be responsible for the pre-race organisation. He will act under the direction of the Chief Judge on the day or days of the Races and must not be a competitor at that event.

4.08 Safety Officer: normally a member of the organising Federation with expert knowledge of local water conditions, responsible for deployment of safety boats and advising the Race Organiser and the Chief Judge of dangerous conditions. He may also be required to advise the Race Organiser and Chief Judge on the likely safety of competing boats under local water conditions before the Chief Judge allows the first boat to start in a race.

  It is the Safety Officer’s responsibility to brief rescue boat drivers and to check that all competing and officials boats are safely accounted for at the conclusion of racing. The Safety Officer, with the consent of the Chief Judge, shall take whatever action is necessary whenever he observes a condition to be unsafe. He shall remain in personal or radio contact with the Chief Judge.

4.09 Chief Scrutineer: appointed by the appropriate authority for the level of the competition and by reason of his special technical knowledge of ski boats and their use in water similar to that on which the race will take place. Responsible for seeing no boat starts in the race until it and all racing equipment meets all Technical Rules and the engine(s) fall within the class structure for which entry has been made.

4.10 Assistant Judges shall be qualified National or International racing judges. They will be briefed by the Chief Judge and report infringements of the rules they have observed to the Chief Judge as soon as possible. They are not empowered to impose penalties themselves directly.

4.11 Starter: normally someone with reasonable experience of water ski racing. Will be appointed and briefed by the Chief Judge in consultation with the Race Organiser.

4.12 Official Timekeepers will be appointed by the organising Federation.

4.13 Lap scorers and Calculators will be appointed by the Race Organiser of organising Federation, but are ultimately responsible to the Chief Judge.

4.14 The organisers must hold a pre-race briefing supervised by the Chief Judge and the Safety Officer, during which fullest possible details must be given concerning navigation, details on passing, course and safety of the competition, including the dropping off area at the conclusion of the race. Competitors must comply.

4.15 A qualified Medical Practitioner or trained Paramedic must be present at events and on site during race practice. His decision on a competitor’s fitness is final.

4.16 All Judges, rescue and safety boats must carry appropriate fire fighting equipment.

4.17 On the day of the competition no alcohol is to be consumed by judges and officials until after completion of the competition.

4.18 A judge must be available for team practice on site.



The Chief Scrutineer will be responsible to the Chief Judge and the scrutineering standards are given herewith:

5.01 The boat used for towing skiers must not exceed 6.5 metres in overall length. The overall length is measured between the two perpendiculars at the extremities of the structure, including the skin or shell, which constitutes a floating vessel. Any extension to this length is restricted to 1.4 metres, this extension is not to be part of the running surface of the hull measurement. See sketch. A-B Bow to bottom point of transom 6.5m.

B-C Transom to propulsion point (e.g. last tip of propeller
blade, nozzle of jet unit) 1.4m. PENALTY 12.03

5.02 Total displacement of the engine(s) whether inboard or outboard shall not exceed 8.2 litres


5.03 Numbers must be displayed in black on a background of white, by means of waterproof material, in such a manner they are visible on both sides of the boat when planing. On a white or light coloured boat it is suggested a thin framed edge be placed around the background a minimum of 25mm from the number edge. The minimum dimensions of individual numbers will be height of 300mm, width 225mm, thickness 50mm and spacing 125mm. However, if hull space permits, larger numbers are encouraged. The number can only consist of maximum 3 figures and no boat will be allowed to start in a race until the requirements of this Rule are satisfied.

5.04 Towing Cleat or Eye

Shall be adequate in itself and shall be adequate for towing the boat when water logged.

5.05 Tow Rope/Mooring Lines

(a) Shall be strong enough for the purpose.

(b) The tow rope shall be attached to a bow eye and shall be secured in the cockpit, preferably by jamming cleat to avoid the crew having to clamber out on to the bow to accept a tow.

(c) It shall not be long enough to reach the propeller.

5.06 Sharp Edges

All mascots, lights, bow fittings and other sharp edges shall be adequately protected or removed.

5.07 Windshield (if fitted)

(a) Shall be well secured.

(b) Shall not be of plate or ordinary glass.

(c) Scrutineers may order the removal of any windshield that appears dangerous.

5.08 Steering Gear

(a) Steering wheel and drum shall be secured and locked on to the shaft.

(b) Steering wheel unit shall be fixed to, or through, the dash panel or a steering mounting bar and shall be through bolted and locked.

(c) Steering wheel strength shall be checked, if the wheel is split or cracked the wheel shall be rejected. Wheels of the laminated rim type shall be checked for wear caused by the breakdown of the laminations. Plastic composition wheels shall be checked for early fatigue where the spokes join the boss to ensure the wheel cannot be forced to spin on the internal boss without undue minimum amount of pressure.

(d) Where shackles or such devices are used to attach the steering to outboard engines, they shall not be of a non-ferrous metal. Scrutineers shall satisfy themselves this is so even if the shackles are painted.

(e) Pulleys shall operate freely and shall be through bolted with positive locking.

(f) Steering wires shall be in good condition and shall have free running throughout their path, with adequate tension throughout their travel.

(g) Wires shall be secure and where doubled to form an eye shall be around a thimble and shall be secured with two bull-dog clips or equivalent.

(h) Lock wiring on all shackles, stretching screws etc. in the system shall be secure.

(i) There shall be no undue degree of play in the steering system, but steering wires shall not be over-tightened in a “piano-wire” fashion.

(j) For outboards - attachments to the engine, for inboards attachments to tillers and/or quadrants and their fitting to the stock shall be in good condition and secure.

(k) Engine or tiller and rudder shall operate with full and free movements in the correct sense.

(l) Rudder assemblies, gland keys etc shall be in good condition and secure with locked nuts and/or tight split pins.

(m) Rack and pinion steering shall be in good mechanical condition with no excessive backlash. Casings should also be checked.

(n) All pulleys with riveted pins of non-ferrous materials shall be rejected or the pins shall be replaced by a positively locked steel bolt. Pulleys should also, if possible, incorporate a bush.

(o) All pulleys with any tension shall not cause the yoke to clamp down on the pulley wheel.

(p) All pulleys which use an attachment hook of non-ferrous material shall be rejected.

(q) All attachment hooks shall be closed.

(r) Sheathed steering cables shall not be permitted, morse type systems exempt.

(s) Wires to the steering wheel running across the front of the dashboard shall effectively be shielded.

(t) It is also recommended wires running fore and aft inside the cockpit be similarly shielded.

(u) Jet boats must be fitted with a rudder extending below the bottom of the boat and operating in conjunction with the normal jet steering.

(v) Inboards and Outboards - Repairs to Stern Drives

Should any part of the outboard/out drives be welded or repaired below the cavitation plate line, then a certified x-ray to show structural integrity is required and must be permanently stamped or engraved on the cavitation housing by the repairer with the date of repair for identification purposes. This certification must be renewed every 12 months.

5.09 Control Cables

All control cables shall be taped or screwed down securely.

5.10 Fuel Tanks

(a) Shall be secure in all directions.

(b) Shall not leak.

(c) Shall have sensible filling and venting arrangements where applicable, that are not close to any hot parts, such as exhaust manifolds.

(d) Should be insulated or isolated from the engines etc, preferably by bulkheads.

(e) It is recommended there should be an easily accessible means of shutting the fuel supply off from the tanks.

5.11 Fuel Lines and Fuel Type

(a) Shall be lead resistant and run in a manner to avoid damage. Lines shall be in good condition with proper connectors. Flexible hoses and pipe runs should be clipped up at suitable intervals with fair runs to the engine (at all points of travel in the case of outboards).

(b) Fuel or gasoline is unrestricted and competitors are responsible for the supply of their own type of fuel.

(c) The delivery, transportation, and storage of the gasoline used, shall comply with the law and regulation of the host country. This concerns also the environmental regulation which shall be fully respected.


5.12 Jack Plug and Throttle Control

(a) Path and length of the cord shall ensure disconnection of the plug whatever direction of ejection.

(b) Plug cord and attachments shall be adequate, a spare plug to be carried in the boat.

(c) Shall actually cut the engine completely when operated.

(d) No device shall be fitted to render the jack plug inoperative.

(e) Control unit shall be within easy reach of the driver in his normal position.

(f) Unit shall be attached securely to the boat structure.

(g) All throttles must be operated by foot whether inboard or outboard. Throttles must be spring loaded to close at the engine and must function accordingly.

5.13 Seats

Seats shall be of adequate strength and firmly secured.

5.14 Engine Mountings and Transmissions for Outboards.

(a) Engine brackets shall be secure and in satisfactory condition.

(b) Engine mountings shall be attached to the transom with at least four bolts.

(c) All bolts shall be adequately tightened.

(d) To restrict the height a single outboard is mounted on the transom with the outboard trimmed so the prop shaft is parallel to the bottom of the hull, the centre of the prop shaft will be no higher than the bottom of the hull (plank or vee). No removal of metal from the skeg and no modification to the water intake.

For Inboards

(e) Engine mountings shall be sound, and the mounting bolts securing to the hull shall be pinned or lock-nutted.

(f) Where an outdrive (or jet unit) is fitted, the outdrive ring connection to the transom and the unit to the ring shall be secure.

(g) Transmission and all parts motivated by the engine shall be efficiently shielded so as to prevent damage to persons or structure in the event of breakage. For shafts in excess of one foot in length the shielding shall not allow more than 1cm clearance at either end.

(h) Bearers shall not be saturated with oil.

5.15 Engine Condition

(a) The engine shall be free of dangerous corrosion, oil or fuel leaks or excessive heating and shall not be a danger to any adjacent structure. Oil leaks are a particular source of fire danger.

(b) For inboard engines, flame traps are recommended. 

5.16 Electrical Harness

Properly protected terminal boards shall be used with flexible (not solid core) cabling supported well up to the terminals and at suitable intervals throughout their runs. Where relative movement or vibration occurs across a gap, cable shall be sheathed in plastic or metal tube anchored at both ends. Reinforced cable suitable for marine duty should be used. Electrical equipment in engine compartment shall be a minimum and away from heat or fuel.

5.17 Exhaust Systems

Shall conform to organising Federation’s standards of decibels or a maximum of 105 db(A) at a distance of 30 metres. There shall be adequate insulation where required and runs sited to avoid fire.


5.18 Propeller Security

(a) Propeller shall be sound, particularly at the blade roots.

(b) It should be ascertained that the propeller nut can be securely locked.

5.19 Battery Stowage

(a) Batteries, where carried, shall be easily accessible and prevented from any movement in any direction.

(b) Shock cords shall not be accepted for batteries in excess of 4.5kg weight. (Remember a 15kg battery weighs over 150kg at 10g.) See there is adequate support below the battery.

                    (c) Batteries shall not be placed in a sealed compartment.

5.20 Engine Eligibility

Scrutineers shall check to ensure an engine has not been changed from that recorded before or after the race. Scrutineers are not expected to remember specifications of each and every engine; they should inspect for any fairly obvious sign that might have altered the declared engine displacement. Scrutineers are entitled to request any post race strip or examination of leading boats or those influencing Championship points, which they consider necessary (eg. bore/stroke, pistons of engines that might have been altered in order to exceed engine class), at competitor's expense.


5.21 Structural State

Scrutineers are not expected to undertake a “condition survey” of the boat, but general appraisal shall be made of the structure. The following points should, however, be checked:


(a) Split planks, fractured frames and beams and transom knees or their equivalent in reinforced plastic or alloy hulls.

(b) Steering mounting (structure)

(c) Shaft brackets and mechanical items other than those already covered.

(d) Bilge shall be free of oil or debris. Remember oil causes structural deterioration, fuel is dangerous and debris chokes pumps etc.

5.22 Anchor (if required by the organisation)

Shall be of weight and type adequate to hold the boat. Shall be properly stowed to prevent damage, but shall still be accessible. The use of an anchor shall be governed by the type of venue or if a requirement of the local marine authority.

5.23 Anchor Line

If anchor required, the following shall apply for anchor line:

(a) Shall be of a size and strength appropriate to the boat.

(b) Shall be in good condition.

(c) Shall be at least 35 metres in length.

(d) Shall be attached at the time of scrutineering, to the boat and the anchor. It shall perform no other function.

5.24 Extinguisher System

(a) Shall be of satisfactory condition and easily accessible.

(b) Only fully charged extinguishers shall be permitted and they shall not contain carbon tetrachloride. It is recommended the extinguisher be capable of putting out a petrol fire of at least 4 sq metres.

5.25 Buoyancy

All boats shall have sufficient buoyancy to keep afloat in all conditions. Buoyancy aids or material shall be adequately fixed. Scrutineers shall not be responsible for determining the adequacy of the buoyancy in any boat, but may suspend clearance if in doubt and refer the matter immediately to the Chief Judge.

5.26 Compasses (if required by the organisation)

(a) Main compass shall be securely mounted and should be able to be read by pilot/driver.

(b) There shall be no large metal objects in the near vicinity of the compass.

5.27 Boat number on trailer

To assist recovery boat numbers should be painted clearly on the trailer on the starboard side at the hitch.

5.28 Flares (if required by the organisation)

Smoke signals are recommended for daylight use and flares after dusk. Flares normally have a stamped expiry date and if they have expired or the date is illegible or the condition poor, they shall not be accepted. A minimum of three flares must be carried.

5.29 Bilge Pump

(a) Shall be in proper working order and properly secured to the boat.

(b) Shall be reasonably accessible for operation.

(c) Shall have a suction pipe to the lowest suction point of the bilges and a discharge pipe overboard.

(d) It must be possible to pump out all sections of the boat, even if separated by water-tight bulkheads.

5.30 Engine Wells

For boats with engine wells, any non-sealed openings, other than self-draining holes in the transom, shall be above a horizontal line through the lowest point of the top of the transom.

5.31 Flag Pole Holder

Shall be fixed to the boat in an accessible position to the observer.

5.32 Paddles

(a) Shall be stowed for immediate use, not loosely stowed.

(b) Shall be of practical form related to the size of boat and in useable condition.

5.33 The Chief Judge shall have final authority to determine whether equipment to be used by a contestant meets the above safety requirements.



6.01 The crew consists of a boat driver and an observer.

6.02 The minimum age for a driver shall be 18 years of age and the minimum age for an observer shall be 16 years of age.

6.03 Either one or two skis may be used. But skis must be:

(a) In serviceable condition.

(b) The skis must be fluorescent flame orange except fins and bindings and running surfaces. The underside of the ski from the tip must be orange for at least 20cm.

(c) Competitors may tape lower legs, feet or ankles, but not in a manner that would stop their feet coming free of the ski binders in the case of a fall. Legs, ankles or feet must not be taped directly to either the ski or binders. Any type of harness to stop free movement of legs, ankles or feet is prohibited.

6.04 The minimum length of the tow line is 21 metres, including handles, with a maximum length of 75 metres also including handles. Length of ski tow line to be limited and governed by safety and venue.

6.05 Either single or double handles may be used, ski ropes and handles to be part of skier’s personal equipment.

6.06 Life Jackets & Buoyancy Vests - Skier

1. 1. An approved (by Region or National Federation) buoyancy jacket of the ski jump type easily visible and predominantly a fluorescent colour - excluding white, black or silver

2. A wet suit or buoyancy belt is not adequate.

3. Leg or hold down straps are mandatory.

4. Wet suits designed for ski racing with built-in buoyancy if approved by Region or National Federation will be accepted.


(i) Wet suits must conform to colour.

(ii) Leg straps are not necessary on buoyancy vests if under wet suit.

6.07 Life Jackets, Buoyancy Vests & Footwear - Driver, Observer

Drivers and Observers shall wear a life jacket in an easily visible and fluorescent colour - excluding white, black or silver. All boat crew members competing in events shall be required to wear a waist-coat type unaltered life jacket with leg straps.

Life jackets must be equipped with collars and/or must have flotation material high on the chest to hold an unconscious person’s face out of water. Life jackets and life collar, if any, must be securely fastened at all times, while on course - racing or testing. Leg straps must be securely fastened to life jacket and legs. Life jackets must meet the following inspection requirements:

1. Lacing ties and/or straps shall be adequate and in good condition.

2. Zips, where used, shall be in working order.

3. Tears or rents or bad repairs whereby buoyancy will leak out shall not be permitted.

4. Jackets shall be dry and not oil or water-logged.

5. Jackets shall be fitted with hold-down straps to the legs.

6. Closed toe footwear is compulsory.

6.08 Crash Helmets

All skiers shall wear helmets of a type currently approved, or alternatively meeting the following requirements and checked for individual fit by Scrutineer.

(a) The colour fluorescent flame orange.

(b) Cover for the ears to prevent ruptured ear drums when the head hits the water in a sideways fall.

(c) A secure fit on the head.

(d) Secure straps.

(e) The helmet must float.

(f) The possibility of ‘bucketing’ or forcing water between the helmet and the head to be reduced by either a very close fitting about the head or substantial drain holes fitted within the helmet.

Non skiing team members shall wear helmets in good condition and conforming to International Safety standards. All helmets must be in good condition and devoid of dents and splits. Any holes drilled to improve hearing must not exceed 4mm diameter nor number more than one each side. (This is in order the helmet is not weakened.)

Helmets constructed from plastic material may not be painted unless this is authorised by the manufacturer, but should be of a bright red colour. Helmets made from fibreglass may not be painted.

Helmets’ visors shall be in good condition and devoid of cracks and easily detachable (ie. not bolted down). Visors must not be secured in any way which prevents them lifting up (ie. taping).

6.09 Orange Flag

Observers shall have available in the boat a flame orange flag not less than 50 x 50cm fixed to a pole of minimum 1 metre length.


7.01 The following flags are required:

National The National flag may be used as a starting flag. Dimensions: 100 x 100cm

Green Pre start and identifying flag for Judges, safety and rescue boats. Dimensions: 100 x 100cm

Yellow Caution. The Judges and Safety boats will raise the yellow flag when a skier has fallen, when a skier is in the water or in any other case of interference after the National flag has started the race. Dimensions: 50 x 50cm

Red Stop the race. The Judges and Safety boats will raise the flag to stop the race. At the completion of a race the raising of the red flag will indicate “return to the pit area”. Dimensions: 100 x 100cm

Black Disqualification. The black flag is used to notify a competitor he has been disqualified and must retire from the race. When the black flag is shown the number of the team being disqualified should be displayed in figures not less than 300mm high at a point designated by the Chief Judge. Dimensions: 100 x 100cm

Blue The blue flag is used to signal to all competitors that the leader of the race has begun his last lap. Dimensions: 100 x 100cm

Blue and White Medical Flag. All boats will carry a blue and white medical flag. The flag will be blue and white (separated diagonally) on each side. This flag will be raised only when medical assistance is required.

Chequered Finish. The chequered flag indicates the end of the race. Dimensions: 100 x 100cm

7.02 Each Judge’s boat must continuously fly a green flag for identification; they also carry yellow, red and black flags on board. The red and the black flags can only be used after communication with the Chief Judge, and on his instructions.

7.03 The Safety and Rescue boats must continuously fly a green flag for identification.

7.04 Display Board

It is a requirement at World Racing Championships that a display board be mounted in full view of the spectators and the competitors, minimum dimension 3 metres x 3 metres, top half of board to display current positions of competitors, bottom half to advise Team Captains of impending reports and possible infringements or penalties.



8.01 Details of the competition shall be given by the organisers with the help of a plan, which shall be sent with the invitation. All courses shall run in an anti-clockwise direction.

Race Distances: Men - 1 hour + 1 lap; Women - 45 mins + 1 lap; Juniors - 30 mins + 1 lap.

Before a race may be declared a minimum time of 51% of the race must be recorded.

8.02 According to local circumstances any of the following methods of starts may be chosen:

(a) Grid start with separate timing for each group.

(b) Simultaneous mass start.

(c) Time trial - interval starts.

8.03 All starts are only allowed if a distance of at least 10 metres on either side of each competing boat is allowed for. It is recommended the distances between the starting line and the first turn is 2.5kms. Races to be conducted over a 5km course where possible.

8.04 For simultaneous mass start, a 5 minute signal shall be given by raising the National flag together with a green flag on a starting boat or dock in sight of the skiers and boat crew. The 30 seconds signal shall be given by lowering the green flag. Skiers may then enter the water from their boats which may take up the slack in the ski line. The start will be signalled by the lowering of the National flag and skiers must not be in a skiing position until the start is signalled. In addition the start may be indicated by the firing of a flare. Boats must not be over start line prior to the lowering of the National flag. When the starting procedure is stopped the red flag must be raised during the interruption. The new start procedure shall normally be of 3 minutes instead of 5 minutes. The new 3 minute start shall follow the normal procedure. In grid starts the boats are to take the position they are allotted. Penalty for starting in incorrect poll will be 1 minute.


8.05 It is obligatory that all turns shall be marked by buoys, moored vessels or permanent sea marks. All course markers shall be passed on the outside. No passing on the inside or changing of lanes is permitted from within 100 metres of the turn buoy or mark, this distance to be clearly shown by a 100 metre buoy or marker, until the skier rounds the buoy and attains a straight line on the natural course.


8.06 Boats, which can take aboard at least two Judges chosen by the Chief Judge, will stand at near proximity to all turns.

8.07 In closed circuit racing the Jury must state at the briefing and display on a blackboard the manner of passing other competitors. The designated manner of passing other competitors must be complied with. A fallen skier may be passed on whichever side is deemed to be the safest.


8.08 The passing driver or observer shall acknowledge sight of a fallen skier by raising a hand. Failure to comply may incur a penalty.


8.09 A skier or a team shall not be allowed to start or continue in the competition if, in the opinion of the Chief Judge, after consultation with the Safety Director and/or Jury, their presence would be a danger to themselves or other competitors.

8.10 The organisers must provide an adequate rescue service at all times during the competition.

8.11 Substitution of Boats

A competitor may substitute a boat or engine once a boat or engine is pronounced unserviceable by the Chief Scrutineer, advising the Chief Judge who will rule. The Chief Judge may obtain independent technical advice.

V Hull to V Hull

Flat Hull to Flat Hull

Catamaran to Catamaran

Outboard to Outboard - equal horsepower or less

Inboard to Inboard - equal horsepower or less (a sterndrive is an inboard)

In the case of extreme circumstances where boat substitution of a similar craft is impossible the Chief Judge shall refer the matter to the IWSF Ski Racing Council on the site of the Championships.

The original hull or engine may only be resubmitted with the specified permission of the Chief Judge.

Definition of V hull: A V hull with a flat runner surface was still a V hull and may be exchanged for a normal V hull.

8.12 Substitution Forms must be used at World Championships.

8.13 Grid Positions

For first race Federation’s nominees by means of a Draw, after first event grid positions will be allocated on each competitor’s accumulated performance.

8.14 In the event of a race having to be red flagged, if the race is 51% complete, then the event is final. If the race is less than 51% complete the race will be started again.



9.01 In case of a fall of a competitor, the driver must immediately stop the boat and the observer must display the flame orange flag. The driver will turn to pick up the skier without interfering with the progress of the race. In picking up a fallen skier the driver must give right of way to oncoming boats and then turn in whichever direction is safer.


9.02 A fallen skier is allowed to make physical contact with the boat and crew to enable the replacement of equipment. At all times whilst such action is being carried out, the motor of the tow boat “will be dead or in neutral, ie. propeller not rotating”. The flame orange flag must remain visible until the skier is in proper skiing position.


9.03 For a single skier race the skier must remain in the wake of the towing boat for the entire race.


9.04 An overtaking boat must not cut in until their skier is 100 metres ahead of the boat being overtaken.


9.05 Observers must remain seated in the cockpit of the boat and must keep the skier under observation at all times during his participation in the event.


9.06 Boats shall not follow closer than 100 metres directly behind any skier except when overtaking, in which case it is imperative the driver should keep his boat in a different line than the preceding one. When a pass (100m) is completed, the boat and skier must move to the inside of the course at once.


9.07 The driver must keep his attention ahead of the boat at all times.


9.08 Skiers are strictly prohibited from fastening their tow line or the handle of the tow line to their body in any way whatsoever. It is permissible to hook one arm through the bridle of the ski rope. No means of adjusting skier’s rope length allowed. Damaged ropes may be replaced during races.


9.09 The skier must always have at least one hand on his tow line.


9.10 When taking a turn, the teams on the outside must leave room for teams on the inside.


9.11 Refusing to give way to other competitors is strictly prohibited.


9.12 Drivers must maintain a minimum lateral distance of 2 metres between their boat and other competing boats after the start.


9.13 All team members shall wear their helmets in the normally accepted manner during the race and whilst under power on race day or practise periods.


9.14 Skiers must drop off in the areas indicated by the Chief Judge at the pre-race briefing.


9.15 Competitors must act at all times in a sportsmanlike manner towards other competitors.


9.16 On the day of the competition no alcohol to be consumed by competitors until after completion of event.


9.17 The use of drugs is prohibited as per the regulations of 1995 IWSF drug testing policy and procedure.


9.18 Competitors must inform the Jury or Jury’s Nominated Representative of intention to Train on Site on Practise Days. Failure to comply may lead to suspension from subsequent events.



10.01 Timing will be accurate to at least one hundredth of a second, this precision holding good as well for departure as for arrival of a skier.

10.02 Places in the competition shall be determined according to the skier times made, after addition of the penalties, if any.

10.03 When the leading team completes 1 hour in the Men’s Race (45 minutes for Women - 30 minutes for Juniors) the blue flag will be displayed. On completion of the leading team’s final lap the black and white chequered flag will be raised. Following the arrival of the leading team the black and white chequered flag will be lowered and a red and white chequered flag will then be displayed continuously from the finish boat and the jury tower until teams complete the same number of laps as the leading team up to a time of 15 minutes after the arrival of the leading team. The black and white chequered flag shall be displayed individually to each team until all competitors have completed the same amount of laps as the leading team within the 15 minutes. When the 15 minutes has elapsed any teams still competing will be shown the red flag on the completion of their lap at the finish boat and the jury tower, and shall retire from the race. These teams will be credited with the number of completed laps. A board to display numbers shall be on the finish boat for the purpose of notifying competitors where necessary when they have completed the same number of laps as the leading team.

10.04 A skier is not to be placed in a competition unless he is in a proper skiing position when crossing the finish line. A proper skiing position is defined as that position in which all of the following exists:

(a) The skier has possession of the tow lines.

(b) The skier is riding forwards or backwards with a ski or skis on his feet.

(c) The weight of the skier is entirely supported by his ski or skis and the skier is in good balance, or if he is able ultimately to regain a good balance.

10.05 1000 POINT RULE

In each complete race points shall be awarded on the following basis:

The race shall be timed and the time of the winner will represent 1000 points, the remaining skiers will receive points based on the following formula:

Winners Time from racing distance in average per 1 km x 1000 = Skiers

Skiers/Team Time from racing distance in average per 1 km Points Points

Such points to be calculated to two decimal places. The third place will be ignored.



11.01 Protests shall be made to the Chief Judge by the team representative. Protests must be made in writing, give the reasons for the protest and be filed within 15 minutes after the results of the event are announced.

11.02 Protests directed against another contestant shall be made to the Chief Judge by the team representative. Protest must be in writing and indicate the reason for the protest. Protests must also give the names or identity of any other witnesses. They should be filed within 30 minutes after the arrival of the contestant.

11.03 Protests must be accompanied by the approximate equivalent in local currency of SF50. This amount will be refunded if the protest is considered reasonable by the Judges.

11.04 Jury Panel decisions shall not be subject to team protests.



12.01 For contravention of Rules 8.05, 8.07 and the whole of Rule 9, with the exception of 9.08, 9.13, 9.16, 9.17 and 9.18, the Chief Judge, on the decision of the Jury, will impose penalties on a team by adding a time of up to 10% of the time of the winner’s time from racing distance in average per 1 km, to that of the defaulting team.

12.02 For contravention of Rules 8.04 and 8.08, the penalty will be one minute added to the competitor’s time.

12.03 For contravention of Rules 5.01, 5.02, 5.11 (c), 5.17, 5.20, 9.08, 9.13 and 9.18 the penalty will be disqualification from that particular race. For contravention of Rules 9.16 and 9.17 the penalty will be disqualification.

12.04 For a serious contravention of the Rules the Chief Judge may, with a majority decision of the Jury, disqualify and/or recommend the suspension or removal of a driver’s, observer’s or skier’s licence to the IWSF or Region Racing Council Chairman. The re-issue of this licence, however, will be done through the offender’s home Federation Technical Committee endorsed by the Region Racing Council on behalf of the IWSF, on re-application by the driver, observer or skier.

12.05 The Chief Judge and the Jury shall have the right to give summary judgment on any happening unforeseen in these Rules.