Technical Officials Newsletter No.1


It is exciting that in around 16 months’ time the Lifesaving World Championships 2024 – Gold Coast (LWC 2024) will commence. LWC 2024 will be held on the Australia’s Gold Coast and will take place from 20th August, 2024 to 8th September, 2024.

After a 4 year Covid-19 disruption, we will once again have a full championship programme for all the lifesaving competition disciplines – National Teams: Open and Youth – Pool, Ocean/Beach and SERC; Interclub Team: Open and Youth – Pool, Ocean/Beach and SERC; Masters: Pool and Ocean/Beach; Interclub: Surf Boats (Masters and all age categories); IRB: National Teams and Interclub; March Past; 2 km Beach Run and 3 x 1 km Beach Run Relay.  The Local Organising Committee is also planning a display of participation inclusive events as part of the LWC programme.

I have had a number of enquiries from a number of Technical Officials (TO) asking me when the call for applications to officials for the Lifesaving World Championships 2024, will be advertised and what will be the procedure and requirements. I will explain this in this newsletter.

The venue

The hub of the LWC 2024 will be the bustling Gold Coast suburb of Broadbeach at Kurrawa Beach. It will be the home of the main Ocean/Beach competition events, ILS meetings and briefings, accommodation and also play host to the social and cultural events arranged for the event. Kurrawa Beach is also only a short distance (8km) to the main pool competition venue and is one of the Gold Coast’s most accessible precincts.

Kurrawa Beach is the ideal venue for a LWC 2024. It has been the venue of a number of international lifesaving competitions such as Rescue 88 (the LWC 1988), International Surf Rescue Challenge and the Goodwill Games. It has been the regular venue for the Australia Surf Lifesaving Championships – the Aussies. It is nice wide and long beach and at that time of the year the surf will be ideal. It has a brand new clubhouse offering meeting and briefing rooms and has an excellent restaurant. Just behind the beach is a park which will be used for the LWC Village, Administration, medical and operations, scrutineering, and craft storage, etc.

Just across the road is the Broadbeach Mall with a number of shops, including a very good supermarket. Also in close proximity is the Pacific Fair shopping centre which offers an amazing assortment of shops and entertainment.

The Gold Coast offers a wide range of accommodation options from budget self-catering accommodation, caravan and camping to five start accommodation, all within easy access to the Ocean/Beach or the Pool venue. You have to arrange your own accommodation; I would suggest using a one of the many accommodation booking platforms such as, Airbnb, etc.

The application process

There are two application processes – the first seeking applications for Chief and Deputy Chief Referees and the second being the call for applications for the Technical Officials positions.

The applications for Chief Referees and Deputy Chief Referees will open on 14th May, 2023 and close the 15th June 2023. It is planned that the announcement of the appointments will be made on 15th July, 2023.

Applications for Technical Officials – that is for all other positions, such as Sectional Referees, Chief Judges, Marshals, Starters, Recorders Judges, Course Judges, Scrutineers, IRB operators, etc. will be advertised on 1st June, 2023 and close on the 1st July, 2023. It is planned that the announcement of the appointments will be made by 1st October, 2023 to provide plenty of time for Technical Officials to make their travel and accommodation arrangements.

The application procedure for the Chief and Deputy Chief Referees and Technical Officials is as follows:

Applications will be made via the web. The address will be placed on the various platforms, such as the:

In addition, all ILS member federations will be notified and, as you are on my e-mail address list, I will directly advise you.

  • Once the applications have closed, I will check all applications and get endorsement for your national federation that you are a member, in good standing, qualified as a Technical Official and have the relevant experience.
  • In the meantime, the Chief Referees and their team will do the appointments.
  • The appointments will be returned to me and I will check them, see that the same TO is not appointed in a Championships that is run concurrently etc.
  • The Chair of the ILS Sport Commission will approve the appointments following consultation with Chair of the Local Organising Committee.
  • Once all the above has been completed – you will be advised and the appointments will be announced on the various social network platforms.

It should be noted that you (or if your federation is supporting you) are responsible for your own travel and accommodations costs and arrangements (except Chief Referees). Appointed officials will be issued (based on the number of days they are officiating) with officials clothing, sustenance and after each day of officiating there will be an Officials De-Brief. Appointed officials will have to attend the Technical Officials briefing, which is usually the day before the Championships.

Championships to be staged:

A full suite of Championships events will be staged at LWC 2024; these are:

  • National Teams Open and Youth: SERC, Pool and Ocean/Beach – 86 events
  • Interclub Open and Youth: SERC, Pool and Ocean/Beach – 86 events
  • Masters: Pool and Ocean/Beach – 338 events
  • IRB: National Teams – 7 events
  • IRB: Interclub:   8 events
  • Surf Boat – Masters (120+, 140+, 160+, 180+, 200+, 220+, 240+ and 260+ years of age), U/19, U/23, Reserve and Open – 24 events

The following additional Events will also be conducted:

  • March Past – Open and Youth
  • 2 km Beach Run Open and Youth – 4 events
  • 3 x 1km Beach Run Relay Open and Youth – 4 events

A total of 558 events – imagine how many medal need to be minted, I think more than 4 000 LWC medals.

In addition, the Local Organising Committee is also planning to conduct a display of non-championship (participation only) inclusive events that they will organise and conduct.


The programme for LWC 2024 is set out below

Masters Pool123              
Masters Ocean   123           
National Teams Open & Youth SERC     1           
National Teams Open Pool      12         
National Teams Youth Pool        12       
National Teams Open Ocean        12       
National Teams Youth Ocean      12         
Interclub Open & Youth SERC          1      
Interclub Open Pool           123   
Interclub Youth Pool              123
Interclub Open Ocean              123
Interclub Youth Ocean           123   
National Teams & Interclub IRB           1234  
Interclub (incl. Masters) Surf Boat      123        
Interclub March Past                1


  1. The 2 km Beach Run and 3 x 1 km Beach Run Relays are from the 3rd to 7th September.
  2. Some Championships are run simultaneously – so TO’s have to make a decision where they want to be appointed.

ILS Competition Manual

The ILS Sport Commission is continually working to evolve and improve the safe and fair delivery of lifesaving competition with the aim of having rules that are simple to understand, and that encourages the delivery of sport in a format that is exciting to watch and provides objective outcomes for all involved.

The new Rulebook comes into effect from Thursday, 1st June 2023.  Dependent on their competition calendars, federations may choose a later date for implementation of the 2023 edition Rule Book.  However, any applications for World records from that date will only be considered for events conducted under these ILS rules.

  • The changes to the previous edition are detailed in the Preface Section at the front of the new Rule Book and include: The manikin carry rules have been amended to eliminate further “difficult to judge” rules. The amendments will further reduce technical disqualifications and also improve event presentation.
  • Changeovers in pool relay events have been redefined to allow the outgoing competitor, while maintaining contact with the turning wall/edge, to touch and/or grasp the manikin or tube (as appropriate) before the incoming competitor has touched the turning edge/wall/ surfaced the manikin (dependent on the event).
  • The Line Throw event throw zone has been redefined and the compulsory use of marked lines removed. For the purposes of judging competitors will still be required to remain within their lane but with this change the judging focus is now on not interfering with any other team in an event.
  • Two new events have been added to the Rule Book in anticipation of a review of the pool events to be conducted at future Life Saving World Championships (LWCs).
    Note: There are no changes to events to be conducted at LWC 2024.
  • All the diagrams for the ocean events have been updated and replaced.
  • The start process for ocean events has been clarified to define that starts are to be no more than a three-part process involving either words (applicable to the event) or signals.
  • The Ocean M event has been further refined to improve event presentation.
  • The finish of the Board Rescue and Rescue Tube Rescue events have been clarified.
  • The age requirements have been reviewed for participation in IRB and Surf Boat events.
  • No appeal fee is to be payable if a Referee refers a protest directly to an Appeals Committee without first hearing the protest.
  • Various formatting editorial and other changes that do not affect the rules of competition.

This is a link to the ILS 2023 Competition Rulebook itself:

International Surf Rescue Challenge

This year’s International Surf Rescue Challenge (ISRC) will be held in South Padre Island, Texas, September 19 – 24, 2023.  

The ISRC continues the 90-year tradition of international surf lifesaving competition between countries. The ISRC, which is an ILS-sanctioned event, has been conducted in its present format every two years since 2005 and has incorporated countries including Australia, Canada, Great Britain, Hong Kong, Japan, New Zealand, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, and USA. The ISRC encompasses the ILS Open and/or youth divisions and participating countries may compete in one or both age categories. 

If you would like to officiate (at your own cost – travel and accommodation), let me know and I will send you more information.


I trust that the information in this Newsletter No. 1 useful and informative.

I will advise you when the application process for Chief/Deputy Chief Referees and Technical Officials is open with the links.

Kind regards


Secretary: ILS Sport Commission

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