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Contest Update:  23 April 2020

For Safety Reasons, the Bill Missett Bodysurf Classic is Postponed.

The next fortuitous date is 21 June 2020

The Vernal Equinox.

1 June is also being considered at this time.

For the Specific Safety concern

please click here for the Full Feature: 

Sprint Swimming with Kurt Rist.

Many Thanks.

John P. Murphy, M.Ed.

Contest Director

Dear Reader,                                                                             5 March 2020

Godofredo Vasquez was the first person I presented the idea to.


Godo has been Captain of the Lifeguards and Director of the Junior Lifeguards of Puerto Escondido for over 20 years.


I’ve worked with Godo for the past four seasons of Junior Lifeguards.

And the past two years I’ve helped

with his Bodysurf Zicatela Puerto Escondido Contest in August.


For more on Godo see "Waiting for Godo, A Heavy Water Rescue."


The second person I asked permission was Patrice Missett.

Without the support of Godo and Patrice the project wouldn’t have made it this far.

A Few Notes on Safety:


The Puerto Escondido Lifeguards under the Direction of Godofredo Vasquez will cover safety for the event.


Mandatory Pre Contest Safety Meeting will be translated into English and Spanish. We will also have an Australian and a Scottish Translator available.  


A 2 Person Rescue Ski Team: 1 Pilot and Swimmer will be present and/or in the water at the discretion of Godo.

Contest Director reserves the right to err on the side of caution in matters of safety.

For more on Ski Rescue Safety see "Surviving World War Flight Mission and the Nazare Waves.

Each swimmer in each Heat will have a Spotter.


Spotters Directive: maintain visual contact during the entire heat with their assigned Swimmer. Most importantly: the critical moments regaining visual contact after a wipeout. Those are critical lifesaving seconds.


Spotters are under the direction of the Beach Marshal.


Spotters are in a clearly marked area close to the water’s edge.

In uniform colors with their swimmer. Spotter’s have whistles.


In the event a swimmer does not surface or otherwise is in Need of Assistance: the Spotter will Stand, continuously blow their whistle, walk towards the water. Establish visual contact with the Rescue Ski Team, and with their outstretched arm indicate direction while continuing to visually locate the swimmer.


Every other Spotter will not take their eyes off their Swimmer.


Alternate Spotters will calmly and silently make their way to the Spotter Area.


Spotters will be chosen from the Junior Lifeguards of Puerto Escondido as an internship to Event Organization.

Yours in Education,

John P. Murphy, M.Ed.

Contest Organizer

Bill MIssett Bodysurf Classic 2020

Sign up to for More Details, Updates and Registration Info or Follow me on IG:  @jpmwrites
Highlights from the August 2019 Bodysurf Zicatela Puerto Escondido Contest.
Bill Missett Bodysurf Classic 2020
30 Men's Open Competitors
15 Women's Open Competitors
15 Master's Competitors.
When:  1,2,3 May 2020
Where:  Playa Zicatela, Puerto Escondido, Oaxaca, Mexico.
"One of the 10 Heaviest Waves in the World."
Competition Details:


Opening Round

Each Competitor will swim Two (2) Heats of 20 Minutes with 5 Competitors per Heat.

Competitors Advance using Best Four Waves.

Ten Wave Limit.

12 Men, 8 Women and 8 Masters will advance.


Semi Finals

Each Competitor will swim 1 Heat of 25 Minutes

Best Three Waves

10 Wave Limit.

Top Four Competitors in each Category will Advance


Four Competitors.  One 30 minute Heat.

Best Four Waves.

10 Wave Limit.

Handplane “Wave of the Day” Performance Award.

Friday and Saturday:  1 Hour Sunset Sessions.


The following Guidelines have been established by Puerto Escondido Bodysurf Club:




CONTEST RULES AND REGULATIONS:  Heats, Jersey & Caps, Seeding, Entry, Alternates, Fines, Penalties, MISC.


Appendix:  Specific Scoring Criteria,

Glossary of Maneuvers


Puerto Escondido Bodysurf Club, Los Cabrones. – Casa Amarilla, Playa Zicatela, Oaxaca, MX 71980


A.  Judges

1. Three to Five Judges will be selected (by the Contest Director) to judge during the entire contest. One of the Judges will be designated The Head Judge.

2. All Judges on panel will judge every ride by every contestant in every heat, the same Judges will remain during one age division/round to assure consistent scoring in each Round/Division/Event. Rotational Judges may be appointed to allow Judges rest periods. The Head Judge shall determine a rotation to allow for adequate breaks for Judges.


3. Each Judge may be assisted by a recorder who will write the scores on a score sheet as the Judge calls them out. Each Panel of Judges will be assigned a spotter(s), who will call out the colors of the contestants catching the wave,


4. Contestants will be judged on the following: Summary of Judging Criteria: The bodysurfer that rides the biggest wave, with the most control, for the furthest distance in the most critical part of the wave will receive the highest points. Maneuvers while on the wave will be judged by each Judge according to its functionality and the precision with which it is performed. Which is to say a maneuver in and of itself, will not automatically mean a higher score.


Judges will also be watching for general sportsmanship.

An interference call will be made when it is deemed that a bodysurfer's move directly affects the ride that a controlling bodysurfer has. A controlling bodysurfer is one that is closer to the critical section of the wave or who clearly caught the wave before the bodysurfer that is in the more critical section. His wave score will be halved and it will become a counted wave toward his final score.


Specific Qualities:

a) WAVE RIDING ABILITY - the demonstration of style, energy, flow, good control judgment, timing and response to the wave; good execution of all functional and aesthetic maneuvers; how existing wave conditions are utilized; and the quality of entry and exit from the waves. b) MANEUVERS - the quality & smoothness of trick maneuvers; all maneuvers performed in the existing conditions; take offs, underwater-takeoffs, climbing, dropping, stalling, cut backs, back slides, bellyspins, spinners, & tube rides count as difficult maneuvers depending on the waves on which they are performed. c) WAVE SIZE - the quality of wave selection; catching waves that break the highest, break the farthest out, travel the fastest, break the hardest, & wall up the steepest. d) TRAVEL DISTANCE - the actual distance traveled across the face of the wave from the take-off to the pull out or wipe out. e) GOOD SPORTSMANSHIP AND COURTESY -All competitors will exhibit a professional, sportsmanlike regard for all of the other bodysurfers in the contest. If any competitor exhibits any unsportsmanlike behavior during competition, their scores will not be tabulated. Additionally, a competitor who exhibits any unsportsmanlike behavior before, during or after competition may have penalties, fines imposed and depending on severity of violations or actions may not be allowed to participate in future events. f) INTERFERENCE - Interference will be called primarily for, but not limited to the following two (2) occasions: 1. If during a ride one rider INTENTIONALLY strikes another rider or 2.  Drops into the path of a rider, adversely affecting the rider who has priority (See SCORING for the Interference penalty).

B. Scoring

1. The point scale is 1-10 points possible per wave, (depending on the Head Judge's decision) with ten (10) points for a wave being a perfect score.

2. Each contestant's 3 to 5 highest scores from each judge will be totaled and the composite scores compared among all contestants to determine who advances to the finals.  Highest Scores of ALL CONTESTANTS, REGARDLESS OF WHICH HEAT, advance to the Semi-Finals.  The number of highest scores used will be determined by the Head Judge on the contest day.

3. TIES. In the event of a tie, the next wave scores for the involved contestants will be added in to the contestant's score to break the tie. If a tie still exists, as many additional wave scores as necessary will be added in until the tie is broken.

4. INTERFERENCE. In order for the interference penalty to be invoked, the majority, 2 of 3 or 4 of 6 judges must indicate interference by placing a triangle over the score. The interference must be indicated on score sheets for the same rider on the same wave. The interference penalty will consist of the offending contestant's score for that ride being halved and counted as one of their 3-5 highest scores for the heat.

5. COMPLAINTS. Any complaints or protests about scores or tabulating errors must be voiced immediately after the heat results have been announced and will be handled by the Head Judge. The Head Judge's decision is final. Protests made 30 minutes AFTER scores have been posted will NOT be accepted.


C.  Rules and Regs:


1. All contestants will be briefed before entering the surf. Questions will be answered at that time. Competitor will sign a briefing sheet before being assigned a slot in heat

2. There will be (4) to (6) contestants in each heat. Heats will run 15-30 minutes depending on existing surf conditions. (DETERMINED BY DIRECTOR and HEAD JUDGE) Two (2) or Three (3) finalists will advance from each preliminary into the semi-finals depending on the total number of heats in division. When competition area has been cleared & all contestants in the heat are ready, the contest will proceed: START OF HEAT - one long horn blast and a raised GREEN flag. 5 MINUTE WARNING -   lowering (or rotating) green flag, and raising (or rotating) the YELLOW Flag END OF HEAT -    one long horn blast and a raised (or rotated) RED flag.

Jersey or Cap:

1. The Event Director will determine whether competition Caps (Water Polo Cap) or Competition Jerseys will be used.

2. For Purposes of visibility the competitor is required to wear the Jersey or Cap during the entire heat, in order to be scored.


4. The competitor is responsible for returning the cap or jersey within 15 minutes of the end of the heat or the competitor’s scores will not be tabulated.

 5. The Determination of whether Caps or Jerseys are used is final based on the decision of the Head Judge and the Event Director.

 6. Helmets will be allowed by prior approval provided that the competitor notifies the Director Prior to entering the event.


Seeding, Entry, Alternates:

1. Competitors who have placed in the finals of event previously will be seeded in heats

2. Competitors who fail to show for Heat assignment will be passed

3. No Refunds (For Missed Heats / Disqualification Due To Rules / Etc.)

4. No Transfer of Entry Fee

5. Alternates will replace Competitors who fail to check in.


Penalties and Fines:

1. The Director of the Event and the Head Judge of Event May Levy Penalties, Fines, Suspension or Ban from participation if necessary.

 2. Conditions surrounding the necessity to Levy severe penalties including Exclusion from one event and/or Permanent Ban In Participation from all future events ARE AT THE SOLE DISCRETION OF THE EVENT DIRECTOR.

3. By registration and entry in event all participants agree and accept that all rules and penalties are binding.

 4. Maximum monetary fines are $500.00 US. Fine Schedules for violations of sportsmanlike behavior are in compliance with ASP and ISA protocol.


Appendix:  Specific Scoring Criteria, Guiding Principles


Scoring Criteria:

The bodysurfer must:

  • ​Choose the biggest and/or best waves;

  • Ride for the longest functional distance in the most critical section of the wave;

  • Ride with the maximum speed, glide and flow;

  • Perform maneuvers with control and power

The bodysurfer who performs this to the highest degree of difficulty with the most style, flow and grace will receive the highest score for a ride.

​Further to the above, the following are key elements for judges to consider:

  • ​Length of the ride in the critical section of wave

  • Variety

  • Speed and power

  • Commitment

  • Control

NOTE: It is important to note that the emphasis of certain elements is contingent upon the location and the conditions on the day, as well as changes in conditions during the day.

​The following scale will be used to describe a ride that is scored:

​0–1.9 = Poor;

2.0–3.9 = Fair;

4.0–5.9 = Average;

6.0–7.9 = Good;

8.0–10.0 = Excellent



Guiding Principles:


​1 – The judgment criteria can be divided into 4 main areas:

a – Wave Selection

Generally, bigger waves will achieve a higher score, but judges must consider whether the biggest waves are not necessarily the best (e.g. waves that close out).

​b – Longest ride of a functional distance in the ‘critical’ (unbroken) section of the wave.

The longest functional distance is only of interest if the competitor remains in the clear part of the wave in the most critical section.

The distance travelled/covered in the foam is not considered – unless it is linking with a section of which becomes critical (unbroken) and the bodysurfer can continue riding the wave and thus achieving more point scoring opportunities.

c – Maximum speed, glide and fluidity

Speed and glide should be maximum and the momentum of the bodysurfer should not be slowed.
The use of the arms should be functional.

d – Powerful and CONTROLLED maneuvers


The bodysurfer should consider the following criteria:

All interpretations of riding the wave – whether “conventional” (basic stationary riding style with maximum speed, glide and flow) or “modern” (radical maneuvers) –  will be considered fairly, with the latter gaining more points as long as adhering to the criteria.

​To meet the judging criteria, the rider (bodysurfer) must attempt to combine the two main objectives (conventional and modern) while riding each wave.

​The bodysurfer should attempt at all times:

  • ​The optimum tempo between the slide over the length of the wave and maneuvers.

  • Variety and originality of maneuvers

The degree of difficulty and quality of execution will be appreciated with respect to criteria including:

  • Speed, gliding style and fluidity: Judges should consider the relevance of trajectory and riding position on each wave

  • Powerful and controlled maneuvers: the number of maneuvers performed is not a criterion for getting a higher score. The judges will appreciate the degree of difficulty of all maneuvers, the quality of their implementation, whether they are functional or not at that point on the wave, and execution speed

To differentiate between (1) a bodysurfer that meets the judging criteria by combining the two main objectives (conventional and modern), and (2) a bodysurfer that does not do this: (1) will more likely be scored as good/excellent, whereas (2) will more likely be scored as fair/average.


Positioning within the critical section (curl)

The distance and maneuvers will be considered functional if and only if the bodysurfer is positioned in the part of the wave closest to the curl.

Any maneuvers in the foam will not be taken into account by the judges.


The fluidity of sequences and the control displayed in the execution of maneuvers will be considered by the judges, taking into account the capacity of the bodysurfer to always remain in the critical section (curl), and thus ensuring that the entire ride – from take-off to pull out (end) – is functional for scoring, as per these criteria.

Glossary of Bodysurf Terms


​Maneuvers are classified in two categories: simple and complex:


Simple maneuvers: In order of increasing difficulty:


​Conventional bodysurfing or wave gliding – with the inside arm extended and outside arm either tucked away or raised as a balance guide.

Backsliding or back riding– riding the wave completely on the rider’s back.


Spinner – a 360° pirouette with the grain of the wave – (if going right with the right hand leading, the Spinner is performed ‘anticlockwise’) –ensuring the arms are controlled and the fluidity of the glide is not disrupted.


Reverse spin – the reverse of the above – where the bodysurfer pirouettes against the grain e.g – if going right the Spinner is performed clockwise’).


Tube Riding – using skills to maintain position within the wave’s tubing section.


Underwater Ride:  riding the force at the back of the wave for the greatest possible distance


Complex maneuvers: In order of increasing difficulty:


​Change of direction (from one section going right to another section going left, or vice versa) – generally whilst linking a section from ‘outside’ – across a channel to the ‘inside ’shore break’ section.


Dolphin –"a maneuver which begins underwater, pops out of the water and re enters to a clean ride.  No snowplowing the pop, green water must pass over the riders head during the final underwater before they begin the next move"  (Handley, Hal. 2020).

El Rollo – where the bodysurfer can maintain position and land flat and continue after a spin at the crest of the curling lip section.


Somersault or forward roll – as suggested, where the bodysurfer can maintain position and land flat and continue.


The loop or 270º – where the bodysurfer first rotates 90º towards the lip of the wave, and then continues rotating 180º in the same direction, ending up riding towards the beach


Belly or Reverse belly spin or 360° – where the bodysurfer can control their prone raised position enough to mimic this bodyboard maneuver to raise upper and lower body and fins to spin ‘flat’ on the wave face and continue riding.



Further description of maneuvers:


​Spin: – This maneuver consists of a rotation of the bodysurfer along a horizontal axis, the rotation is carrying down the wave. Best-rated if it is broken -


The classic twists: the hand inner arm upward wave -The tendrils reversed: the inner arm to the bottom of the wave


Back / half twist: – This maneuver is a half twist followed by a back riding.


Reverse Spin: – This maneuver consists of a rotation of bodysurfer along a horizontal axis in the opposite direction of the spin, the rotation being driven up the wave.


El Rollo: – This maneuver consists of an inverted spin, high amplitude performed in a tube along the lip of the wave, the bodysurfer realizing a spin in space describing spiral.


Re-entry / Loop twisted: – This maneuver consists of a rotation of 90 ° bodysurfer on a flat vertical axis toward the lip of the wave, the body of bodysurfer back toward the lip of the wave, followed by a half spin up the wave at the lip, allowing a resumption of the wave.


Belly Reverse Spin or 360°: – This maneuver consists of a rotation of 360 ° bodysurfer on a flat horizontal vertical axis of the body bodysurfer back toward the lip of the wave, using the energy of the lip to complete the rotation, followed by a recovery of the wave.-with the lip: Best rated-by pierced lip: less marked than the first


Re-entry / Loop or 270°: – This maneuver consists of a rotation of 90 ° bodysurfer on a flat vertical axis toward the lip of the wave, followed by a rotation of 180 ° bodysurfer a vertical axis for a resumption of the wave in the foam


Changing direction: – This maneuver is a change in direction of bodysurfer on a vertical plane through the wave. This figure includes maneuvers such as the bottom turn, cut back


Tube: – This maneuver is to bodysurf in the tube, normally or back riding. This is the highest-rated maneuver if the output is clean

Dolphin: -This maneuver is to bodysurf on the face of the wave, below the surface of water, bodysurf using the energy of the wave.-with ripples: succession of small dolphins-with beat: dolphin over a greater length.