Barefoot Championship Rules

Tournament Structure

Barefooters compete head to head on opposite sides of the wake over a figure eight course.
The competition is double elimination. When a competitor has two losses, he or she is eliminated.

There is no distinction between professional and amateur skiers.

There are five divisions of skiers.

Skiers can decide on a mutually agreed upon higher speed in Junior and Women’s Divisions up to 42 mph.

Skiers may compete in as many divisions as they qualify for. Separate entry fees are required.
Location of tournament is subject to change.

The tournament is a 2 day event and there is no make-up date for bad weather.

Should the tournament be delayed long enough that the Tournament Director and Chief Judge determine there is not enough time to complete a double elimination tournament before dark on Sunday, the format will be changed to single elimination.

There is no refund for weather cancellation



Three tow boats will be used to pull the tournament.

Boat speeds will be calibrated between the boats and tested Friday before competition.

The course is a mile and a half figure eight.

Only tournament sponsored ropes are allowed.

The step-off area will be marked by 2 sets of buoys. The first are warning buoys.

The second set of buoys are step off buoys and are approximately 75 yards past the warning buoys.

While pulling skiers, boats won’t deviate from course to avoid rough water.

Tow boats will pick up their own skiers.

No skier is allowed to sit on the sides of the boat or stand while the boat is in motion. Upon being picked up immediately sit down on the floor or seat at the rear of the boat. Anyone caught violating this rule is subject to disqualification.

A jet ski will be supplied for ski pick up.

After one pair falls, next pair of skiers should immediately enter the water and the next docked tow boat will leave the dock.

Should a run stop because of a boat malfunction, or because a driver stops or turns to avoid an obstacle/downed skier, an automatic re-run will be granted.


Competition Rules

Once seeded skiers are placed on the board, the remaining skiers will be paired by “draw of the hat.”

Choice of sides will be determined by “flip of the coin” prior to going on to the dock. The higher bracketed skier calls the toss.

All skiers must be on deck and ready to go when called. Typically ten minutes before their respective run.

Starting area is the dock.

Each skier must use either the single or two ski step-off method.

No backward barefooting or tumbleturns will be allowed under any circumstances.

Each skier must be on their respective side of the wake and out of their ski or skis before the designated step-off buoys for their to be a legal run started.

The official step-off area is located between the yellow warning buoys and the red-step-off buoys.

A legal step-off can be made without having both feet on the water, as long as both feet are out of their skis before the step-off marker.

A skier may ride their butt after a step-off, as long as they are up and riding on their feet through the final red step-off buoy. Butt riding through and past the red set-off buoy is considered a fall.

Once either skier falls past the step-off buoy the run is stopped. The skier who falls first gets the loss.

If one skier falls in the step-off area, and the second barefoots legally past the red step-off buoy, the second skier advances.

A step-off can be made before the warning buoys as long as the skier legally barefoots past the red step-off.

A skier gets three chances to get up on their skis. After that they are given a loss. Two skis are recommended for anyone who has trouble skiing on one (the Chuck Gleason Rule)

While barefoot, the skiers may not cross the center of the wake (bubbles) with either foot. On turns, one foot may enter the bubbles, but not cross the center. Once the boat is straight, both skiers must immediately return to their respective sides of the wake and outside the curl. It is illegal to have a foot up on the table in the straightaways.

If a skiers foot crosses the center of the bubbles the boat will be stopped and it is considered a fall for the skier.

While barefooting after the step-off area, butt-riding is illegal. Butt-riding is defined as more than one incidental butt contact with the water per figure eight.

Should it become obvious that a skier is butt riding or using a three-point stance to gain an advantage through boat waves over his competitor, the run shall be stopped and that competitor given a loss.

(It should be noted that butt-riding, although fairly obvious to see is highly subjective. To avoid the chance of being given a loss, it is recommended that skiers avoid any butt contact with the water at all costs. Because of the amount of prize money at stake, many quarterfinal and semi-final skiers in the past have resorted to butt-riding and have been given losses.)

Skiers must hold on to the handle with one or both hands at all times.

Fallen skiers must raise their hands if they are okay after they fall.

Replays will not be accepted to overturn a ruling.



If both skiers fall at exactly the same time, they will be granted a re-run.

If both skiers fall attempting step-offs in step-off area, they’ll be granted re-run. (If neither skier can make a step-off in three chances, a coin-flip will be determined to see who receives a win and who receives a loss.)

If a skier falls upon take-off or any time before the official step-off area, a re-run will be granted. (After three consecutive falls, a skier will be given a loss)

If there is a tournament sponsored equipment failure (i..e.: rope breaks or boat malfunction) both skiers will be granted a re-run.

When re-run is granted, skiers must remain on their original sides for the re-run.

Only the Chief Judge can approve a re-run.



There are two boat judges per tow boat. One for each skier.

There is a dock manager who confirms the skier pairings and sides on the dock. That person is also the step-off judge.

There is a Chief Judge. The Chief Judge oversees all the judges, their rotating schedules and makes all final decisions on appeals and disputes.


Disqualification/Appeals/Special Rules

Gloves that utilize palm straps, dowels or any additional device or material that transfers pull to the wrist from the hands or that affixes to the handle, are not allowed. Anyone caught violating this rule is subject to a loss and even disqualification. Any question about acceptability of gloves should be checked before competing with the chief judge.

Skiers must wear approved flotation wetsuits or vests at all times. Anyone caught violating this rule is subject to disqualification.

Under no circumstance may a competitor wrap his or her arm through the handle either before or during the run. This may result in disqualification.

Skiers are allowed to use standard width Duct tape or Gorilla Tape to protect their feet. Not to exceed 4 strips on each foot and not to go over the toes. Tape can run through the toes or to the base of the toes.

Anyone verbally or physically abusing a referee or tournament official will be subject to immediate disqualification.

Anyone competing intoxicated/under the influence of drugs will be disqualified.

Any complaints or appeals must be taken up with the chief judge immediately following the run in question.

The chief judge’s decision in all matters is FINAL.

All contestants must have valid insurance and must accurately and truthfully fill out an entry form for each division they compete in as well as sign a waiver before competing.

Verbal abuse of Dave Mueller is allowed and encouraged.