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Competition Rules

Heats
* Preliminary Heats will be 15 minutes.
* Final Heats will be 20 minutes.
* Each heat will begin and end with one horn blast and the display of a green flag. A five-minute warning will be given with two horn blasts and the display of a yellow flag.
* The maximum number of waves per competitor in a heat and the number of waves judged will be determined on the morning of the event according to the surf conditions.

Check-In
* All competitors must check in 30 minutes before the beginning of their first heat or when called. Competitors must sign an event waiver before their first heat in order to participate in the event.

Penalties
* When penalties result in a competitor’s loss of a scoring wave(s) in a heat, the penalty will be averaged in as a scoring wave of zero (0). The wave will be included in the competitor’s wave count for that heat.

Surfboards
* Surfboard lengths for all Longboards must be a minimum of nine (9) feet. Measured nose to tail on the bottom of the board.
* No Cords for Longboards. Competitors assume responsibility for no cord use and do so by entering this event. Competitors 70 years or older will have the choice to use cords.

Jerseys
* Competitors must return their jerseys to the Check-In area immediately upon exiting the water.
* Any competitor removing their jersey before exiting the water and then surfing in the event area will be disqualified from the event.

Starts
* In all water starts, competitors may enter the water at the five-minute warning (two horn blasts and the display of a yellow flag). Competitors must paddle out at the area designated by the Contest Director. Competitors waiting for their heat to start must stay clear of the heat in progress. Failure to follow the instructions will result in a “paddling interference”.
* If a competitor stands up before the beginning of their heat, the competitor will be scored zero (0) for that wave. The wave will be included in the competitor’s wave count for that heat.
* Competitors exiting from the competition area must not stand up after the conclusion of their heat. At the conclusion of the heat, competitors will immediately exit the competition area and return to the beach in either a prone position or on their knees. Violation of this rule will result in the competitor’s disqualification from the event.

Waves
* Competitors are responsible for knowing the maximum wave count for their heat as well keeping track of their number of waves caught.
* If a competitor stands up on an extra wave, it be scored as zero (0). The wave will be included in the competitor’s wave count for that heat. If a competitor stands up on a second extra wave, it will also be scored as zero (0).

Interference
* Interference is determined by a competitor impeding another competitor from either 1) riding a wave, 2) trying to establish possession of a wave, 3) trying to paddle out or in, or 4) trying to swim out or in.
* The competitor closest to the curl has the unconditional right of way for the entire duration of that wave, i.e., standard Point Break Rule. In the event two riders stand up at the same time the rider closest to the curl has wave possession.
* Any action which impedes a competitor riding or taking off on a wave by another competitor by Dropping In, Taking Off, or Paddling in front of the rider in possession will result in an Interference infraction and loss of THAT scoring wave in that heat. The wave will be scored a zero (0) and will be included in the competitor’s wave count.
* In cases where a rider is in front of another rider unknowingly or so appears to the majority of judges, and if that rider exits promptly while not impeding the rider’s ability to perform, then no interference shall be called (i.e., No Harm, No Foul).
* Paddling directly in front of, around, or directly behind a competitor to impede their take off -- Snaking -- with non-sportsmanlike conduct will not be allowed. The penalty will be considered Interference and loss of the competitor’s “highest” scoring wave. That wave will be scored as zero (0) and will be included in the competitor’s wave count for that heat.
* Boxing out tactics employed by two competitors against another will be considered Interference. Both violating competitors will be scored a zero (0) for a wave and that wave will be included in the competitor’s wave count.
* Collapsing a wave intentionally to prevent a competitor from surfing or catching the wave will be considered Interference. The violating competitor will be scored a zero (0) for a wave and that wave will be included in the competitor’s wave count.

Scoring
The competitor who exhibits the best style while executing the most functional, controlled maneuvers in the most critical section of the best wave, for the longest time shall receive the most points. Competitors will gain points for:
* A “good presentation” of surfing skill and style. Surfing with balance, using the wave’s power, performing maneuvers within the wave’s flow, and looking good.
* Selecting a wave which: has more sections, peaks, and power, is lined up, can be ridden for distance, and has good appearance.
* Surfing the entire wave to its completion while performing maneuvers throughout the entire wave.
* Remember, this is Malibu: flow, style, and noseriding are scored at a premium.

Judging, General
* Three (3) judges will score each competitor. A judge’s scoring sheet will be signed by that judge and will include the heat number.
* To determine placement, each competitor’s high and low placement scores (from heat tallies) for the heat will be dropped; the remaining three placement scores will be averaged. The rankings of these averages will determine placement.
* A wave is counted when the surfer’s hands leave the rails of their surfboard. • If two (2) of three (3) Judges indicate that an interference has occurred, the interfering competitor’s wave will be scored as a zero (0) by all judges. The Head Judge will notify the Tally Team/System Operator that an interference has occurred.
* Judges must check in thirty (30) minutes before commencement of event (First Call). Judges must not surf in the competition unless otherwise agreed upon by the Head Judge, Competition Director, and Beach Marshal.
* Points will be calculated on a 20-point scoring system.

Judging, Ties
* A general judging consensus using plus/minus system on the judging master sheet must break ties. In the case of a three way tie the plus and minus system is used to decide the best two surfers, then used again to split those two surfers. If the tie still cannot be broken, the tabulator goes back to the best 3 of 4, 2 of 3, or 1 of 2 waves on the tied sheet only.
* Count backs on tied sheets are to go to the best 3 waves, then the best 2 waves, then the best wave, until the tie is broken. In the event that the tie cannot be broken in this manner, the tabulator would then count the best 3/4/5/6 waves etc... up until the tie is broken.
* Only unbreakable ties will be re-surfed unless, if in the opinion of the Head Judge, all surfers or the remaining surfers in the heat deliberately did not catch a wave. Advancing procedure to the next round will go as per higher seeding.
* Where a tie occurs and a surfer has an interference penalty this surfer has already had one or more waves deducted. Therefore any count backs will result in this surfer winning as they would be deducting a zero score.

Judging, Protests
* Protests must be filed in writing by the Team Captain and given to the Beach Marshal within 30 minutes of conclusion of the heat in question. After filing written protest, only the Team Captain will be allowed to speak with the Beach Marshal, Contest Director, or Head Judge. Citing rule definitions in protests from this list is recommended. For the day’s last heat, the Beach Marshal and/or Head Judge will be available to consider any protests up to 30 minutes after the conclusion of that heat.
* To file a protest, include: competitor’s name, jersey color, heat number, and team/club.
* Only a club’s Team Captain is allowed inside the Operations Area.
* Failure to handle the Head Judge’s final decision with good sportsmanship may result in immediate disqualification. Non-professional attitude, profanity and rude behavior will be considered bad sportsmanship.

Judging, Advancing
* It is the competitor’s responsibility to know when she/he surfs. If a competitor has any questions, they are to ask someone from the Event Staff qualified to help make things clear. Please make sure at the end of the day on Day One competitors know what time their heat is on Day Two.

Conduct, General
* The MSA Classic is an event focusing on surfing competition, sportsmanship, and fellowship. Competitors, non-competing club members, judges, officials, and volunteers must conduct themselves in a sportsmanlike manner -- showing respect for themselves and each other in and out of the water. This includes their actions at all official MSA Classic events, i.e., during the day and in the evening, on the beach and off.

Sportsmanlike Conduct
Sportsmanlike conduct is defined as, but not limited to: respect for the MSA, Coalition of Surfing Clubs, MSA Classic partners, competition officials, MSA Classic volunteers, judging officials, the surfing and beach-going public; respect for facilities, the use of courtesy and good manners at MSA Classic venues; acting responsibly and maturely at MSA Classic venues; refraining from the use of profane or abusive language at MSA Classic venues; illegal (e.g., under age) or immoderate use of alcohol at MSA Classic venues; and the use of illegal or banned drugs.
* MSA Classic competitors, club members, judges, officials, and volunteers shall conduct themselves in accordance with the best traditions of sporting competition.
* MSA Classic competitors, club members, judges, officials, and volunteers who violate this sportsmanlike conduct rule, or who conduct themselves in an unsportsmanlike manner or otherwise engage in conduct harmful to the reputation of the CSC, MSA, or surfing as a sport, are subject to disciplinary action.
* Disciplinary action can include: verbal warnings; a 10% deduction of team points; personal or team disqualification, expulsion from the event site, suspension from future MSA Classics, and/or some combination of the foregoing.

Process
The MSA Classic Head Judge and Beach Marshal are authorized to impose “on the spot” warnings or disqualifications. Upon consultation with the Contest Director, points deductions, expulsions, and suspensions may be further levied.
* All disciplinary action must be reported to, and by, the Beach Marshal.

Non-Progressive Policy
* Nothing in these rules impedes the Contest Director, Head Judge, or Beach Marshal from suspending, disqualifying, or expelling a competitor without prior warning. In other words, this is not a progressive discipline policy.

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