Junior Activities

On this page:

  • Junior evaluations
  • Junior Competition Evaluation
  • Junior Age Groups
  • Junior Activities Accreditation Officer (JAAO)
  • Junior Activities Gap Calculator

Junior Evaluations

Junior Competition Evaluation

From the age of 7 (U8) juniors may begin to compete in inter‐club competition. To ensure all junior members who wish to compete have the ability, strength, and fitness standard to complete the course, they must be able to complete the junior competition evaluation for their age group.

The junior competition evaluation is based on the swim competition distances as set out in the current SLSA Australian Surf Sports Manual for that age group and is a standard in the form of an open water swim. Individual branches may have a higher standard for their competition evaluation. Contact the relevant branch office for confirmation.

Before Junior Activities Members can complete the Junior Competition Evaluation they must complete the Junior Preliminary Skills Evaluation (Pool Swim and Run-Swim-Run).

Junior Age groups

The absolute minimum age for a child to join the organisation and participate in Junior Activities is 5 years old (U6), up to a maximum of 13 years (U14) on a seasonal basis.

The 30th September date will verify which age group you will be registered in for each season. There is no allowance for children to register in any age group they are not eligible for (based on the rule above). The Age Group Quick Reference Guide shall be the sole determination for registration of Junior Activity members.

A child may join as soon as they turn 5 years of age. No club is to accept membership of a child until they have reached the age of 5 years to comply with insurance requirements. A child who reaches 5 years after the 30th of September may join nippers at that time for the remainder of the season; however, this child will be required to stay in the U6 nippers age group again the following season. It is the club's responsibility to explain this to the parents of the child. Note: proof of age must be sighted for all new children joining a club.

Age Group Participation
There are various reasons nippers may move down an age group, i.e., competency, ability, and social situations; the same year in school, however, in different age groups due to birthdate. ​

Moving Age Groups
It is currently approved that nippers may move down one age group. I.e., an u9 child may participate in u8’s should they complete the u8 preliminary evaluations. They will only receive the age award for the lower age group & will be unable to compete.
Moving up is currently unapproved by SLSQ.

Please note that moving age groups is not supported in the SLSA Nipper App as it is built in to Surfguard.

Junior Activities Accreditation Officer (JAAO)

The role of Junior Activities Accreditation Officer has been introduced to allow another level of volunteers who can sign off on the Junior Proficiencies and Age Awards, in order to assist in easing the load on existing Assessors, as well as providing a pathway to the role of Assessor. Please note that clubs can still utilise Bronze/SRC Assessors to assess junior preliminary skills evaluations and awards if there are enough within the club to do so.

The JAAO will be able to sign off on the following junior proficiencies and awards:

  • Age level pool evaluation (Pool or Beach Swims)
  • Competition evaluation
  • Age award as per the SLSA Junior Development Age Guides (only up to U13)

For members interested in obtaining this award and assisting with Junior Activities, the following pre-requisites must be in place:

  • Be a minimum of 18 years of age
  • Hold valid Working with Children Blue Card
  • Be proposed by the club JAC and Chief Training Officer (CTO) for endorsement & recorded at the Club Management Committee (or equivalent) each year
  • Be entered onto Surfguard and a proficiency raised each season
  • Sign and Submit the JAAO Code of Conduct
  • A recommendation to hold the Proficient Bronze Medallion award AND Certificate II in Public Safety (Aquatic Rescue) or Surf Rescue Certificate (CPR Endorsed)

All JAAOs are now recommended to hold a minimum proficient Surf Rescue Certificate (SRC) Qualification to continue to assess Junior Activities. Effective as of February 2023.

We would like to take this opportunity to remind you of the importance of the JAAO role relating in particular to the assessing of awards and/or skills and the “signing-off” of juniors. Whether you are assessing a pool swim for a member to participate in nippers or a junior competency evaluation on the beach, it is important that all forms of assessment are conducted in the same way across the entire state.

In keeping with this, below are some of the responsibilities associated with the assessment of our members in any form:

  • Any personal or interpersonal factors that are irrelevant to the assessment of competence must not influence the assessment outcomes
  • Any assessment decisions made are based on available evidence that can be produced and verified by another JAAO
  • Assessments are conducted within the boundaries of the assessment system policies and procedures
  • Any activity which is not in conformance with procedures, work instructions and/or specifications or which may result in the health and safety of any person at the workplace being at risk are ceased immediately
  • In the instance a JAAO member is required to be familiar with reasonable adjustment, thus member should communicate with a qualified Assessor within their club.
  • For the safety and protection of all members, including yourself in the position that you hold, it is important that a high standard of assessments is retained and members, are not merely just “signed-off” because they were a member last season/you know they can swim/you don’t want to raise extra paperwork just for them.

For further information on becoming a Junior Activities Accreditation Officer, please contact your club’s Junior Activities Chairperson or Administrator.

Junior Activities Gap Calculator