27 June 2019, Kuta-Bali, Indonesia: The ISA International Judging and Officiating Course that was held in Bali from 17-18 June drew a record setting number of 36 participants, most of which were from locations in Indonesia such as Sumatra, Java, Bali, Sumbawa and West Papua, thanks to the efforts of the PSOI (Indonesian Surfing Federation). There were also participants from Myanmar, China and Malaysia attending the two-day program at the Bali offices of Boardriders in Kuta.

The ISA International Judging and Officiating course included 2 days of classroom learning (17-18 June) and then the participants were offered the opportunity for some practical judging experience for two days during the REnextop Asian Surfing Tour (RAST) international surfing competition that was held at Padma Beach from 19-22 June.

The course presenter was Keenan Roxburgh, who in addition to being at WSL (World Surf League) Head Judge, is also the Head Judge for the RAST event series. “This was a large class, maybe more than I would normally accept, but seeing how I had great help from Arya (Subyakto, President of the PSOI) and Febrie (a local ISA Judge) with translation and explanation, it went very smoothly and I’m looking forward to seeing these guys out in the field in the future,” said Roxburgh.

PSOI President Arya Subyakto has many years of experience as a surfer, judge, and as a pioneer in Indonesian surfing, so was very gratified to see how many participants from Indonesia attended. “We actually had a waiting list and asked some of the groups to only send only their best candidates, or we would have had close to 50, which was obviously too many to have an effective course,” said Subyakto. “I hope these guys go back and really put into practice what they’ve learned, and share with the others in their group, as we’re gaining traction with the sport of surfing here in Indonesia now, so it’s very important for these growing surf communities around Indonesia to learn proper judging and therefore ensure that the surfers progress their skills in the best way,” he added.

Most of the participants spend several hours at the beach during the contest, with Arya Subyakto and several other Level 2-3 judges reviewing their scores and comparing them with the actual scores from the contest via Live Heats. “It was really helpful to be able to judge and compare scores at a real contest, right after being in the class. We could practice and have senior judges help us to make sure we were doing it right,” said Gogo from Kuta.

The course participants will start out as Level 1 ISA Judges, then as they accumulate at least 20 hours that are signed off by certified Level 3 ISA Judges and submitted to the ISA, they can move up to Level 2, where after 100 signed hours they can apply for Level 3 status.

As the sport of surfing continues to grow in Indonesia and around Asia, it is very important to have good and qualified judges working from the vary basic level of competitions up to the WSL Qualifying Series level, as judging is at the core of a successful event for both the surfers and the event sponsors/organizers.

Special thanks go out to the PSOI, ISA, Boardriders, the ASC, and to all the participants, many of who traveled quite far to take the course.