Honest and consistent raft race officials

Raft race judging:

Raft Race Judging is governed by the internationally accepted IRF Raft Race Rules. The Judges Committee oversees all aspects of raft race judging including templates, judge review, and race rules review.

The Judges Committee is tasked with advancing Article 5, Section 6 and 8 of the Bylaws:

…establish standardised rules for rafting competition.

Train and qualify international judges for all IRF sanctioned competitions.



  • Courses – Judge courses are always run at IRF ERC and WRC events every year. There are also courses run at other events. If you are interested in being an IRF judge please contact IRF administration.
  • Certified Judges – photos of Judge Assessors and Chief Judges; and list of all currently certified judges
  • Judging resources this is a resource for all our members to use when running events, whether they are big or small events. Using these templates will mean all Judges will become familiar with these sheets and so set a standard and familiarity at all events.
  • Judge Categories – there are numerous categories and rules regarding certification of Judges – here they are as laid out in the Race Rules:

L. Judges

  1. IRF Judges are under the control and supervision of the Judges sub-Committee of the S&C Com. All official IRF Judges must successfully complete a certification process.
  2. There are 4 types of IRF Judge certifications – Assistant, General, Chief and Assessor. They are defined as:
    1. Assistant Judges (specifically trained for judging at C- or D-Level Events):
      1. Judging – can judge at C- or D-Level Events. At A- or B-Level Events, an Assistant Judge can only assist a General, Chief or Assessor Judge. (Can judge at Pan Am, Australasian or African Champs until such time as sufficient General Judges are available in those areas.)
      2. Assessment – Must pass an exam on sections E, F, G of the Race Rules and have a working knowledge of J, K, L and M sections.
      3. Expiry – Must judge at a minimum of one (1) Event over a two (2) year period OR attend a Judges Workshop to remain current.
      4. Renewal if expired – Must be re-assessed.
    2. General Judges (anyone who wishes to judge long term):
      1. Judging – Can judge at any Level Event.
      2. Assessment – Must complete the IRF Judges Workshop with an IRF Assessor. Must pass an exam on thorough knowledge of all sections of the rules.
      3. Expiry – Must judge at a minimum of one (1) Event OR attend a Judges Workshop over a two (2) year period to remain current.
      4. Renewal if expired – Must be re-assessed or at discretion of S&C Com
    3. Chief Judges:
      1. Judging – Can judge at any Level Event. Cannot be Head Judge at A-Level Events.
      2. Assessment – Must inform the IRF/ Judge committee of their intention to apply to become a Chief Judge in advance so that they can be appointed to higher levels of responsibility at events. Must complete a Chief Judge Assessment Form and submit it to the IRF Administration and the Judge Committee. Must assist an Assessor at a minimum of one Judges Workshop, who will then assess pass/fail their ability to teach and examine Assistant Judges.
      3. Training and Assessing – Can train and assess Assistant Judges.
      4. IRF Representative – When a Chief Judge is the Head Judge on the Jury at an Event (B-, C- or D-Level) they also serve as the IRF representative. They are to be involved in medal ceremonies, and for B-Level Events, are also to ensure there is one meeting held for all IRF representatives to attend to discuss any issues for that region.
      5. Expiry – SHOULD judge at least one (1) Event during a one (1) year period, and MUST judge at least one (1) Event during a two (2) year period or risk demotion to General Judge status.
      6. Renewal if expired – At discretion of S&C Com.
    4. Assessors:
      1. Judging – Can judge at any Level Event. Can be Head Judge of Jury at any Event.
      2. Assessment – Potential Assessor candidates are proposed to the Judges sub-Committee by an Assessor. Candidates must be a Chief Judge in good standing and must submit an application detailing their judging history. Must assist an Assessor at a minimum of one (1) Judges Workshop. Must have a thorough knowledge of the IRF rules.
      3. Training and Assessing – Assessors can train and assess Assistant, General and Chief Judges.
      4. IRF Representatives – Assessors are representatives of the IRF. When serving as Head Judge at an Event, they are to be involved in medal ceremonies and are responsible for ensuring that a meeting is held for IRF representatives to discuss any issues.
      5. Expiry – Must judge at a minimum of one (1) A or B level Event OR attend/teach a Judges Workshop every two (2) years or will be demoted to Chief Judge status. Demoted Assessors may regain full status after judging an A or B level event AND attending a Judges Workshop.
      6. Renewal if expired – At discretion of S&C Com.
  3. Judge Education and Certification 
    1. Education and certification of IRF Judges must be done in a workshop format following the criteria established by the Judges sub-Committee. These criteria are detailed and kept continually updated in the IRF Judge Workbook.
    2. All IRF Assessors and Chief Judges are required to exactly follow the requirements and recommendations in the IRF Judge Workbook when conducting an IRF Judge Workshop.
    3. At A- or B-Level Events, Workshops must be run immediately prior to the Event to train new Judges and to educate certified Judges of any recent changes in the Rules. Attendance is mandatory for any Judge wanting to judge at the Event. Event Competitors, Event Officials, and interested participants should be strongly encouraged to attend Judge Workshops to grow the number of certified IRF Judges.
    4. Examination of Judges will consist of a theoretical and a practical section. The examination will vary on the depth of knowledge of the Race Rules that Judges need to know, according to the type of certification that the Judge candidate wishes to obtain.
    5. The education and certification of Judges can be done regionally if done by an Assessor.
    6. After every Judges Workshop, a Judges Workshop Form must be completed and returned to the IRF Administration by the Judge responsible for running the workshop.


  1. All Judges are to keep a log book with the following details: Date, name, location and Level of Event; name of Head Judge; and position held at Event.
  2. Judges must comply with specific criteria (e.g. language and literary skills, agility, etc.) before they will be appointed as a Judge at any specific Event, in particular for A- and B-Level Events. (This is to ensure that all Judges are able to communicate clearly with the Jury as well as being physically capable of carrying out their duties.)

Any Judge who fails to keep within the IRF requirements, or brings the IRF into disrepute, or for any reason that the BOD or S&C Com feels is valid, may have their certification downgraded or revoked.