May 14, 2018

2019 Rules

1                   Rules

  • These rules are designed to keep everyone safe and keep the event fair.
  • If you can’t operate within the rules, please consider a different event.
  • Nothing takes the fun out of diving, even in competitions, faster than those who choose to break the rules. These events are designed to build our sport, so if you’re the competitive type that feels the need to push and test every rule, this is not the event for you.
  • Any of these infractions may be grounds for disqualification, of an individual, a team, or the complete country.
  • No poor sportsmanship will be tolerated.
  • Entree fees are due in 30 days before the event and must include signed waivers, personal biography, and great individual digital picture.
  • The event is controlled by the Competition Director (CD).


2                   Competition Timing

  • The event briefing is mandatory and there will be a roll call and introduction for each competitor. The briefing will be held on Friday 8th March 2019.
  • The main competition will be 2 days long. It will be held on Saturday 9th and Sunday 10th of March 2019.
  • Diving in Lake Taupo is possible in all weather conditions. Each day will have an official start time of 9 am and finish time of 3 pm, unless modified by the CD.
  • Fish must be shot the day of the event during the hours of the event only.
  • All competitors shall answer to a roll call before the start of the meet, and check in at the end of the meets to confirm their safe return.
  • All events will start and end with the use of a horn or signal device.
  • Time shall be kept by the CD.


3                   The Competition Area

  • This event is a shore diving event. Competitors may use cars to get to and from shore entry locations. Competitors may not use any boats, kayaks or other craft.
  • The competition area will be a specific area within Lake Taupo.
  • Links to charts of the area:

  • Competitors must keep at least 100 metres away from any line fishermen who may be fishing around the river mouths.
  • Any competitor may enter a patrol boat on the grounds of safety. A competitor so doing must re-enter the water at the same position. A competitor may enter a patrol boat at any time to withdraw from the competition.
  • Scouting shall be limited to no more than 10 daysduring a period of 4 months before the event.
  • There is no spearfishing allowed 30 days before the event in the event area, except when competing in any other organised spearfishing events.
  • A safety boat and first aid station will be available throughout the event.


4                   Eligible Species

  • Catfish are the only eligible species. Lake Taupo has a large population of Brown Bullhead Catfish.
  • These fish are classified as a noxious pest so there is no limit on how many can be taken. After the event, the fish will be used as fertilizer. It is illegal to take live catfish away from the competition area.
  • Catfish have toxins in their sharp pectoral and dorsal spines, which can cause substantial pain. Use gloves and handle speared fish carefully to avoid injuries.  Seek medical attention if injured.
  • Competitors must respect the fact that Lake Taupo is a world-renowned trout fishery. It is illegal for competitors to shoot any trout in the lake for two reasons: because spears are illegal equipment for trout fishing, and competitors will not have a trout fishing licence.  If any injured trout are found by fishermen this could be the last time we are allowed to any events in the lake.
  • The freshwater crayfish (Koura) in lake Taupo belong to the local Maori people Ngati Tuwharetoa. These crayfish may not be taken by competitors without consent of Ngati Tuwharetoa.


5                   Rules for Competing as Pairs

  • New Zealand changed to a strict competition pairs system in the early 1990’s, and there have been no deaths in any organised spearfishing competitions in this country since that time. International visitors unfamiliar with this system will need to follow the rules or face disqualification.
  • At any time during the competition at least one member of the pair will remain on the surface.
  • At all times during the competition, one member of the team will hold the long float line, the other member will hold the short line.
  • While both competitors are on the surface, the maximum distance between them both shall be 40 metres.
  • A competitor in a pair may assist the other competitor in the pair to land a fish. However, one competitor must remain on the surface.
  • Competitors shall use their own system to keep any particularly large fish separate for the purposes of the largest fish awards which will be weighed on an individual basis.


6                   Rules for Junior Pairs

  • All Junior pairs will be accompanied by a competent adult (over 18 years of age) who shall act as a safety Observe The Observer shall monitor the safety of the competitors.
  • The Observer may provide assistance in the event of a medical event, but otherwise cannot assist the competitors in any wa Exclusions of assistance include, but are not limited to, towing the competitor, finding fish, spearing or helping to land fish.
  • The event organisers shall arrange sufficient Observers to match the number of junior pairs.


7                   Scoring

  • The scoring system will be:
    1. 100 points per eligible fish
    2. 10 points per kilogram of total catch weight
  • Competitors must nominate at the weigh-in any fish they wish to have considered for other trophie
  • The scale weight is to be read to the nearest 100 grams below for bulk weigh
  • Each pair will be awarded a percentage of the top score each day. Pair placings will be determined by adding the two day’s percentage scores.
  • In the event of a tie in any competition, the placing will be shared.




8                   Equipment

  • Each competitor may carry a speargun. ‘Spearguns’ may include either a speargun, pole spear, or Hawaiian sling. They must be loaded by muscular force. Cartridge type, compressed gas guns and power heads are not permitted.
  • There are no required licences for spearfishing or possessing spearguns in New Zealand.
  • Mask, Snorkel, Fins, Knife, Weight belt, Torch, and protective clothing may be used.
  • Flashers, Flasher rigs, Fish attraction devices may not be used.
  • Each pair must tow a Compliant Float. A Compliant Float must be:
    1. either a float or a plat (float boat)
    2. coloured either Red, Yellow or Orange
    3. a minimum size of 10 litres
    4. fitted with a diver’s flag of at least 15 x 20c In New Zealand, a legal dive flag is the blue and white Alpha flag . The red and white international diver’s flag is not a legal flag.
    5. self-righting.
    6. attached to two float lines, one being no more than 4 metres, and the other being a minimum of 6 and a maximum of 40 metres. Either line may be bungee or part bungee.
  • Buoyancy compensators may be worn but must not aid in landing a fish.
  • Spare gear may be carried.
  • Every pair must carry an ‘Orange Safety Sausage’ or ‘Smoke Flare’
  • Each pair must carry a knife.
  • No underwater propulsion devices are allowed at any time.
  • It is recommended that competitors carry sufficient water, food, and any necessary medications with them throughout the day.

9                   Competitor Behaviour

  • Competitors may not assist or interfere with other teams, nor may assistance be received from persons not competing in the competition.
  • Assisted ascents and descents are not permitted.
  • Any competitor not enlisted in the competition may not dive in the competition area during the competition.
  • Competitors are solely responsible for landing, bagging and labelling their own pair’s catch.
  • Competitors may not enter any fish which:
    1. were already dead at time of capture
    2. have already been trapped or caught by any method other than spearfishing
    3. have been interfered with in a manner that is not permitted as a spearfishing technique.
  • Speargun safety:
    1. No spare spearguns or shafts may be carried hanging vertically in the water from floats
    2. Spare spearguns must not be carried loaded on floats
    3. No loaded spearguns are permitted on the safety boat
    4. Competitors must not point a loaded speargun towards another competitor
    5. Competitors must handle spearguns with extreme care on boats to avoid injury or damage from speartips. Tip protectors are recommended when spearguns are not in use.
  • Government, Department of Conservation, Maritime Safety Authority rules and regulations must be observed at all time




10                Protocol for freediving-related medical events

  • Any competitor who suffers a freediving-related medical event such as ‘Shallow Water Blackout’ or ‘Lung Squeeze’ during a competition must satisfy the following requirements before returning to competitions.
    1. Immediately leave the water and commence a stand down period out of the water of a minimum of 24 hours.
    2. Seek and obtain professional medical attention and obtain a signed statement from a physician confirming it is safe for the competitor to compete.
    3. Satisfy the CD that the above requirements have been met.
    4. In all cases, the approval of the CD must be obtained prior to that person resuming competition.


11                Penalties

  • The CD may penalise or disqualify any individual or team who breaks either a safety or competition rule. However immediate disqualification will occur for any team including any competitor who:
    1. Moves outside the competition area except when moving enroute to another entry point to dive.
    2. Does not follow the Protocol for freediving-related medical events
    3. Does not obey the start and finish timing and instructions
    4. Spears any trout


Event Divisions

  • There are 5 event divisions:
    1. Masters: both competitors aged 50 yrs+
    2. Mens: a pair of male competitors
    3. Womens: a pair of female competitors
    4. Juniors: a pair of competitors, both of whom are less than 18 years old at the date of the event.
    5. Mixed doubles (can be a man and woman, or a man and a Junior (<18 yrs) or a woman and a Junior).
  • NZ (as host Nation) shall be allowed 4 teams per division, the next year’s hosting Nation shall be allowed 3 and all other Nations are allowed 2 teams per division.
  • Alternates may be designated for each team or country. No alternate will be allowed to replace a team member after the start of the competition, for any one day.
  • Competition pairs may be altered at any time prior to the start of the event briefing.
  • Awards will be presented for the:
    1. Top 3 pairs in each division
    2. Largest fish in each division
    3. Smallest catfish




12                Competitors Meeting

  • A mandatory meeting shall be held at least 2 days before the event.
  • No major rules should be changed at this time, just reviewed or clarified
  • All rules and fish should be reviewed at this meeting.
  • Waiver’s, citizenship / residency, and fishing license will be checked at this meeting. Each team will have an appointed captain responsible for their team and their paper work. Captain needs to be able to translate all meeting materials to their team. Captain is also responsible to make sure that all members of their team are at all meetings and understand all rules.
  • Each Captain will introduce each of their divers.
  • There will be a first aid station or safety boat and program in place and it will be reviewed at this meeting.
  • The Captain of each country may be called upon to vote at protests.


13                Protests

  • All protests need to be turned in to the head weigh master with in 1 hour of the last fish being weighed or sooner. Protest needs to be in writing and include a $100 deposit, refundable only if protest is won.
  • Protest committee shall be drawn from 5 different countries, that are not involved in the protest. The Captains for each of these countries shall vote. They shall hear both sides of the protest and cast 1 vote each to disqualify the individual or team or not. It will take 4 out of 5 votes to enact a disqualification. All decisions are final. The CD shall mediate over this process asap.
  • Teams that continue to show poor sportsmen conduct may, by the same voting system be refused the diving opportunity for the next event.

This is not limited to just a single diver or team, but may apply to all the teams in their country.