This Manual has been issued by SLSA as part of a comprehensive set of SLSA publications. It replaces SLSA Manual No.3, 36th Edition – August 2019 (as revised and amended) and deals with all aspects of SLSA competition. 

Note 1: The original (source) document for this Manual is the version located in the Documents Library of the Members’ Area on the SLSA website ( The source document is the authorised reference document and is maintained in terms of all authorised amendments. SLSA may issue bulletins in accordance with its constitution to supplement this written publication. Bulletins will also be available on SLSA’s website. 

Note 2: Additional SLSA and International Life Saving (ILS) Policies, Manuals and Documents may also be referenced in this Manual that may also apply to SLSA competition. 

37th Edition – issued November 2021
Revised January 2024
© Copyright: 2021: Surf Life Saving Australia Limited 

This Manual is copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purposes of private study, research, criticism, or review, as permitted under the Copyright Act, no part may be reproduced by any process without express written permission of SLSA

All enquiries should be directed to:
Surf Life Saving Australia Limited
PO Box 7773
Bondi Beach NSW 2026
ISBN: 978-0-9805747-0-8

This Manual is issued by SLSA under its constitution. It is made for the proper advancement, encouragement, management and administration of surf sports competitions in Australia. It is to be interpreted in accordance with the constitution of SLSA. In the event of any inconsistency between this Manual and the SLSA constitution, the SLSA constitution takes precedence.

This Manual binds the members of SLSA as defined under the SLSA constitution. The members of SLSA acknowledge and agree that:

  1. They are bound by, and will comply with, the constitution and regulations (including this Manual) of SLSA.
  2. This Manual is made in the mutual and collective benefit of SLSA, its members, surf lifesaving and surf sports. It aims to ensure a safe and fair system or framework within which surf lifesaving competitions are to be regulated and conducted in Australia.
  3. This Manual is not made for any anti-competitive purpose and in particular not for the purpose of deterring or preventing a person from competing in any SLSA Activity.
  4. Surf lifesaving can be inherently dangerous. Serious accidents can and often do happen which may result in property damage, physical injury and even death. All members are assumed to have voluntarily read and understood this warning and accept and assume the inherent risks in surf lifesaving.
  5. Except where provided or required by law and cannot be excluded, it is a term of SLSA membership or entry to competition (if accepted) that SLSA is absolved from all liability however arising from injury or damage however caused (whether fatal or otherwise) arising out of membership and/or participation in any SLSA Activity. For the purposes of this Introduction “SLSA Activity” means any competition or other activity authorised or recognised by SLSA.
  6. In consideration of SLSA accepting an application for entry to competition the member:
    1. Releases and will release SLSA from all Claims that they may have or may have had but for this release arising from or in connection with participation in any SLSA Activity;
    2. Indemnifies and will keep indemnified SLSA to the extent permitted by law in respect of any Claim by any person including but not only another member arising as a result of or in connection with participation in any SLSA.

“Claim” means and includes any action, suit, proceeding, claim, demand, damage, penalty, cost or expense however arising including but not limited to negligence but does not include a claim against SLSA under any right expressly conferred by the SLSA constitution.

  1. Only members of SLSA as defined under the SLSA constitution or other persons duly recognised by SLSA may compete or participate (including officiating) in an SLSA Activity.
  2. No member of SLSA as defined under the SLSA constitution shall take part or be involved in any way, in a lifesaving competition and/or related activity unless that competition or activity is authorised, licensed or otherwise sanctioned by SLSA and written permission to take part has been obtained from SLSA.

Words in this manual importing any gender include the other genders. Further, the word “their” in this Manual may be either plural or singular and where singular replaces the terms “his” or “her”.

It is imperative this Manual is read and fully understood by competition organisers, officials, team managers, coaches and competitors.

Andrew Buhk
SLSA Chair of Sport
Surf Life Saving Australia