WSL Championship Tour surfers who want to remain eligible for Paris 2024 will now have to make every effort to win, according to a rule update issued by the International Surfing Association (ISA).
The updated eligibility criteria for Paris 2024 will require athletes to “actually take part in good faith”.
The rule change is an attempt to address repeated past occurrences where CT surfers who already secured qualification showed up to the World Surfing Games only to meet Olympic eligibility requirements. Some appeared to show little interest in advancing in the event, while others blatantly didn’t show up for their heats after they had fulfilled their obligations.
Carissa Moore, Caroline Marks, Griffin Colapinto, Jordy Smith, Gabriel Medina, and Joao Chianca all utilized this loophole by surfing a few heats at the 2023 World Surfing Games in El Salvador and then withdrawing at some point during the event.
However, not all CT surfers showed indifference. For example, Tatiana Weston-Webb, Johanne Defay, and Kanoa Igarashi all made it to the final.
Regarding injury withdrawals, the criteria states that surfers must submit an ISA medical review before they can be dismissed. Failure to do so will result in ineligibility for Paris 2024.
This rule will come into play at the 2024 World Surfing Games February 22nd to March 2nd in Puerto Rico, the final qualifier for Paris 2024.
Each nation will be required to field their top two CT surfers of each gender as per the 2023 rankings.