- The Judges’ Committee is responsible for advancing ARTICLE 5, Section 8 of the Bylaws, and shall serve as consultants to the Board of Directors and the Executive Committee on all IRF policies and decisions that are related to judging issues.
- The Chair of the Judges’ Committee shall be a duly elected member of the Board of Directors who is an active certified Judge Assessor.
- The members of the Judges’ Committee shall be composed of 5-7 active Judge Assessors who are appointed by the Executive Committee and the Committee Chair.
- The responsibilities of the Judges Committee includes, but is not limited to:
- Recruiting new Judges and potential Judge Candidates.
- Creating, revising and updating workbooks and examinations.
- Scheduling and running workshops and examinations.
- Maintaining an accurate and up-to-date database of certified IRF Judges.
- Developing and maintaining a fair and credible process for ranking IRF Judges.
- Offering the services of judges at national- and international-level rafting competitions.
- Reviewing any post-event judging issues or complaints and advising the Board of Directors and the Executive Committee on a course of action relative to these issues or complaints.
Jozef Kytka (Chair)
Judges' Committee - Chair
- Chair of Judges’ Commission
- Judge Assessor
Jozef has been active in the rafting sport for almost 15 years. The first period of 5 years it was as a member of the support team for the Slovakian Open Men’s team, and then the next 10 years as an active judge taking part in about 6 races a year on average. This included local races, Euro Cups, World Cups, ERC and WRC. He obtained the highest judge qualification of Assessor in 2011.
He has a lot of experience in organising and leading judges at a national and international level, having been the Head Judge at ERC Lipno 2012, ERC Čunovo 2014, ERC Slovakia 2018, and Jury member in WRC Indonesia 2015, WRC WADI 2016, ERC Slovenia 2016, ERC Georgia 2017, WRC Argentina 2018.
In last 5 years he has trained almost 60 new Judges and set the Judges Workshop and Training Course up on Powerpoint and this has become the base of the material used by Assessor and Instructor Judges at their workshops and courses.
- First Vice President
- Chair of Sports & Competition Committee
- Judge Assessor
Eric started as a raft guide in 1988 and competed as a raft racer from 1996 to 2008. He was team captain/coach of the Canadian OM rafting team from 1999 to 2008.
He has been an Organizer and Race Director of six Canadian National Championships, 5 white water festival and about 15 rafting events including a World Cup in Canada.
He also has experience in organizing races for other sports such as mountain biking and ice canoe races.
He is a qualified referee for rugby and judge for ice canoe racing as well as having been an IRF Judge for the past 14 years.
He is an athlete in different sports such as rugby, ice canoe racing and mountain biking.
Since he stopped racing his love for rafting and the racing part of it has still been in him. He always tries to use his experience and knowledge to help the IRF to grow and move forward to become every year a better and more professional federation, running better and more professional events.
He has been the Head of the Judges Committee since 2009, which was created at that time. In the last few years in particular he has taken the standard of judging to a new level. Instituting compulsory Judge Workshops at the start of A and B level events has ensured that all judges are continually kept up to date with rule changes and reminded of how the IRF expects judging to be done at these prime events. The creation of the Judges Handbook provides a standard base that all event organisers, Juries and Judges can use for their events.
His experience with managing the Judge Committee over the past 8 years, and his regular experience on the race Jury, often as Head Judge, makes him an ideal candidate to lead the Sport & Competition Committee. Having gotten the Judge section running well and heading in the right direction he’d like to put his energy into improving other areas of the Sport & Competition section.
- Chief Financial Officer
- GTE Assessor / Trainer
- Judge Assessor
Pieter Bekkers started off his sporting career studying in sport education, specialising in whitewater kayaking and tennis as well as becoming a certified swimming teacher.
In the early 1980s he started building polyester Kayaks for personal use and selling while working part-time at the sport complex of Budel County. He started a kayak club in Budel as a trainer and initiator and organised the first kayak course in the French Alps for the ALO the Hague (State Sports Education School) and other participants. He then started his own company which built and rented kayaks and organized kayak courses in the Belgium Ardennes and the French Alps, and started the first kayak school in the Netherlands. From 1984 onwards he was running kayak whitewater courses in the French Alps (Durance), Swiss Alps (Inn), Dolomites in Italy (Rienz), and Soca in Slovenia. He developed and organised these programs himself. In this period he paddled plenty of rivers in Europe together with friends and also made numerous “First Descents”.
By 1994 the company had grown and the activities covered: kayak-whitewater weekends and weeks in the Belgium Ardennes, French Alps, Dolomites (Italy), Soca and the spring weeks in Corsica; company sports activities/team-training and sport/games days in the Netherlands and Belgium; special adventures and special programs for Caballero Around the World, Peter Stuyvesant Travel, Hyundai Challenge; renting of outdoor material, kayaks, mountain bikes, Langlauf skis, archery materials and rafts; renting of their locations; trips to Grand Canyon and Chile.
In 1997 he attended the Camel White Water Challenge in Zimbabwe on the Zambezi as part of the Dutch team, getting to do his first decent of the Zambezi River. Here he encountered the IRF for the first time at its launch. In 2004 he put new life into the Dutch Rafting Association (Nederlandse Raft Bond = NRB), put up a new BOD and associated it to the IRF. At present he is on the NRB BOD as president. NRB also started organising annual Dutch National Championships. From 2006-2009 he trained up a Rafting Ladies Team who became Dutch champions in 2006-2007-2008 and 2009 and in WRC results of this Dutch Ladies Team; 2007 – 8th place in Korea, 2009 – 5th in Bosnia.
He started Wildwaterschool which trains people to be professional Raft Guide and Kayak Instructor and also for Whitewater Rescue training. He wrote an educational book for rafting training and education for Dutch Sports Education Schools and other people who are interested and was asked by Dutch Water Dreams in Zoetermeer (first artificial rafting course in the Netherlands) to take care of the training project for Rafting / Hotdogs / Hydrospeed and Safety. Every year they train 50-125 new raft guides and he is responsible for DWDs safety.
In 2010 he was very key in the organising committee from Dutch Water Dreams for the IRF WRC Artificial 2010 and was Race Director at the event itself.
He regularly organises IRF Workshops in France at the river Durance and is now an IRF GT&E Assessor. A total of 8 schools from the Sports Education Schools are being trained by him in the French Alps; Rafting/ Kayak / Hotdog and Whitewater Rescue.
His Rafting Reader went into the 9th year/press and a total of 800 copies have been sold over the last 9 years. He also began a company that could do raft race timing and scoring.
Besides being an IRF GT&E Assessor, Pieter is also an IRF Judge Assessor and has been very involved in the recent World Champs in Indonesia where he worked very closely with the organisers in the preparation and then finally at the event as Co-Race Director. He has also been working very closely on the 2016 WRC at Wadi Adventures having been the first to contact them and following up with scouting trips and all advice to assist them through the bidding process. Without Pieter the 2016 WRC would not have happened and the 2015 WRC would not have run as well as it did!
- Judge Assessor
Goran is from Bosnia and Herzegovina and lives in the town of Banja Luka. He is a Lawyer of Internal Affairs, working in Republic of Srpska Ministry.
He first made contact with rafting in 2002 on the river Vrbas near his home town. He is one of the founder members of the Rafting Klub Kanjon who have been hosts to several Euro Champs and one World Champs. He was involved in the organising of the 2005 R4 Euro Rafting Champs, 2009 R6 World Rafting Champs, 2015 R6 Euro Rafting Champs, 2019 Euro Rafting Champs and more than 20 other rafting competitions on the River Vrbas.
He became an IRF Judge in 2006 and since then has participated in all A level IRF events (WRC), in all B level IRF events in Europe (ERC) and more than 70 rafting competitions at C and D level. As an IRF Chief Judge and now as an IRF Assessor Judge he has run more than 11 courses for new judges. He is a member of the Sport & Competition Committee and Judges Committee.