USFA Pairs




The MD shall be the person responsible for the day to day running of the Competition.

The MD will use all means at his/her disposal to ensure safe and successful competitions.

The MD will make every endeavour to follow the Pairs Events Rules where necessary the USFA competition rules and procedures and Minimum Standards for running a NSW USFA Spearfishing event may be referenced if there is an issue that is not covered by the Pairs Events Rules. 

The MD may penalise or disqualify any individual or team who breaks a safety or Meet rule for which there is no provision already listed under these rules.

Any disputes arising under these rules may be referred to the MD.

Where an individual of a team is penalised or disqualified, that penalty shall apply to the team.

In all cases the individual or team may have their results recorded.

The MD may compete in these events.


Any protests or appeals by participants shall be made in writing to the MD.

Any protest must be made within one hour after the completion of the event on that day. Any appeals must be made no later than one hour

after the results of the event have been announced.


No associated boats other than safety boats may manoeuvre in the event area during the event. All boats shall operate at safe speeds and in a safe manner that is in accordance with NSW Roads and Maritime.


Fisheries and Maritime Safety rules and regulations must be observed at all times.


All perpetual trophies, where they may be issued, are to be retained by the MD.

All additional engravings on medallions and/or purchase of miniatures, if any are awarded, will be the responsibility of the recipient. Any trophy which is damaged or lost must be immediately reported to the MD.


Ongoing tournaments of this sort will see adjustments made as seen fit by MD.


Behaviour of members which in any way brings USFA into disrepute will be first reviewed by the MD. The MD will then refer all matters arising to USFA committee for their consideration.





It is accepted that the sport of recreational spearfishing has its inherent risks and dangers. Divers compete at their own risk. It is a purpose of the Rules to minimise the inherent risks in recreational spearfishing meets.

The Rules have been developed so as to establish for all participants an attitude of awareness and responsibility within the whole sphere of recreational spearfishing activities, related boat operations, and safety procedures.

These Rules address issues relating to the running of Pairs events, individual divers, boats, boat operators and equipment. It is stressed that all matters cannot be covered in this document, but at all times common sense and

safety are paramount.


Spearfishing competitors shall compete as pairs. No diver shall be allowed to compete as an individual.

All scoring, placing and fish prizes shall be on a two person team basis.

Participants shall compete for the following: 

  • Top Teams 1st 2nd 3rd
  • Family
  • Silver Oldie
  • Golden Oldie
  • Junior
  • Women
  • Grommet
  • Top Club

Top Teams: Participants competing for the Top Teams may be from different clubs and age groups.

Teams challenging for the Top Club event will comprise the top performing three teams (six divers) from the same club.

Nominations for: Club Team, Silver Oldie, Golden Oldie, Junior, Grommet and Family must be made prior to the Meet at registration and may not be changed after the start of the competition.

In the event of one member of a team withdrawing through illness or otherwise after the start of the competition, then the remaining diver must withdraw or, with the approval of the MD may participate with an observer.

Teams may not change partners or combinations after the start of the competition.


The same conditions apply as for Silver Oldie, except the age shall be 55 years.

Participants cannot compete in both the Silver and Golden Oldies.


Points shall be taken from the Spearfishing meet

If a team member is 45 years of age or over at the time of the meet, he or she is eligible to enter.

That individual’s team score shall be used as the basis for this meet.

In the event that both members of a team are over 45, the award shall go to both members.


Rules will be the same as for the Silver Oldies event   


– Juniors are aged from 16 –17 years (16 years of age at start of meet)

– Juniors may fish together in pairs, or, a junior may choose to have an adult (over 18) for the duration of the meet; both divers may spear fish.


Rules will be the same as for the open event, with the following exceptions:

-Grommet must be under the age of 16 at the time of the meet. 

-The Grommet must be accompanied by an adult (over 18) for the duration of the meet; both divers may spear fish


Any pair of related family may compete as a Pair for the trophy or prize for this Category.. Rules see Silver Oldies.  One member must be an adult (18 years of age).


1.1. This meet will be a one day event.

1.2. Meet duration will be a minimum of 5 hours.

1.3. The MD will decide any reduction in the meet duration, or interruption, or cancellation.

1.4. For the event to be valid, a minimum of three hours diving must be held on at least one day.

1.5. The competition will be a ‘Rock Hop’ i.e. all participants will assemble in the ‘Start/Finish Ring’ prior to the commencement of the event.

1.6. The ‘Start/Finish Ring’ will be an area designated by the MD.

1.7. The MD will signal the start and finish of the event.

1.8. Participants must start and finish inside the ‘ring’. Any participant who begins before the start, or has not returned to the ring prior to the end of the event, will cause that team to be penalised (See Penalties)

1.9. Participants once signed off will transport their own fish to designated weigh in area.

1.10. It is the participants responsibility to familiarise themselves with the area of the competition. Any participant outside the event area will cause that team to be penalised. (See penalties)

1.11. Any participant may enter a patrol boat on the grounds of safety. A participant so doing must re-enter the water at the same position. A participant may enter a patrol boat at any time to withdraw from the event.


The MD may penalise or disqualify any individual or team who breaks either a safety or meet rule.

rule. However:

2.1 Any participant or team outside the event area will be disqualified for that day.

2.2 Any participant or team who starts before the start signal will be disqualified for that day.

2.3 Any participant or team who returns to the designated “ring” or “triangle”  after the finish signal will be disqualified for that day.

2.4  Any participant or team where a protest is upheld against them regarding Rules either or both 3.4 and 3.6 will be disqualified for that day.


3.1 Teams may not assist or interfere with other teams, nor may assistance be received from persons not competing in the meet.

3.2. Teams are solely responsible for landing, bagging and labelling their own catch.

3.3. Teams may not enter any fish which:

• were already dead at time of capture

• have already been trapped or caught by any method other than spear fishing

• have been interfered with in a manner that is not permitted as a spear fishing


3.4. At any time during the meet at least one member of the team will remain on the surface.

3.5. Assisted ascents and descents are not permitted.

3.6. At all times during the meet, one member of the team will be connected to the long float line, the other member will be connected to the short (4m)  line.

3.7. Any diver not enlisted in the meet may not dive in the competition area during the meet.

3.8. While both divers are on the surface, the maximum distance between them both shall be 40 metres (that is if their float line is this maximum length – both divers must be connected to a float line).

3.9. A team member may assist their team mate to land a fish. However, one diver must remain on the surface. 

3.10. Every participant must attend the meet briefings.


4.1. Each member of a team may carry one spear gun.

4.2. Guns must be loaded by muscular force. Cartridge type, compressed gas guns and power heads are not permitted.

4.3. Mask, Snorkel, Fins, Knife, Weight belt and protective clothing may be used.

4.4. Each team must tow one Red, Yellow or Orange coloured float or Plat. This Float or Plat must be a minimum size of 6 litres. This equipment must be fitted with a divers flag of at least 30cm x 25cm, to be at least 20cm above the waterline and be self-righting. The float is not to be used for propulsion through water.

4.5. Attached to the Float or Plat will be two lines. One line being no more than 4 metres. The other line being a minimum of 6 metres and a maximum of 40 metres. Either line may be bungee or part bungee.

4.6. Buoyancy compensators may be worn but must not aid in landing a fish.

4.7. Spare gear may be carried. (Caution: No guns or shafts may be carried hanging vertically in the water, the spears must be covered)


Scoring: 100 points per eligible fish then 10 points per kilogram

Maximum weight to be scored for each fish will be 10 kilograms. 

Fish to be presented gutted and gilled.

Largest fish prizes: Participants are to nominate any fish they wish to have considered for other trophies/prizes at the designated set of scales at the weigh-in, if eligible the fish are then recorded on the Fish Board by the designated Event Assistant

5.1. The minimum weight for all eligible fish as per Eligible Species List below.

5.2. Team members may check the weight of their fish prior to presenting their bag to the weigh master on a set of Test Scales which will be attended by an Event Assistant who will assist any team member with minimum weight requirements and queries to sufficient gutting and gilling of their catch.

5.3. There will be one Weigh Master, one screening table and all fish checked for the minimum weight on electronic digital scales.

5.4. The screening table will be mesh type, (self-draining) for the presenting of fish to the Weigh Master.

5.5. Each team will be responsible for sorting their catch prior to presenting it to the Weigh Master.

  • Fish must be gutted and gilled prior to entering the weigh in ring. This may be done in the water, or at a designated cleaning station, or, as per regulations in the area regarding the beach or rock areas.
  • Fish to be contained in either esky or enclosed container/tub
  • Fish will be placed on the screening table, checked and sorted, then ‘Presented’ to the Weigh Master.
  • Once ‘Presented’ the fish may not be interfered with again by the participants.

5.6. Each team shall ‘Present’ only eligible fish in size, weight, species and number as specified for the meet. Otherwise they will be liable for 100 penalty points for any of the following breaches:

  • an ineligible specie
  • fish that do not meet the Fisheries regulations, or more than the allowable number of any species is presented.

Any fish to receive a penalty will incur the loss of a maximum of 100 points.

5.7. The scale weight is to be read to the nearest 100 grams below for bulk weights

5.8. Club team placing’s will be determined by adding the total team points score.

5.9. In the event of a tie in any meet, the placing will be shared.

5.10. Largest Fish: Participants are to nominate any fish they wish to have considered for other trophies/prizes at the designated set of scales at the weigh-in, if eligible the fish are then recorded on the Fish Board by the designated Event Assistant


You are able to weigh in – one (1) of each specie per Pair as per Sydney Metropolitan Scoresheet. Minimum weights as per Sydney Metro Zone standards.

Weights:  As per Sydney Metropolitan Scoresheet.

450gm:   Most species as listed

675gm:   Red/Banded Morwong; Dusky Flathead; Snapper

1000gm: Rock Blackfish

3000gm: Kingfish and Mulloway

Species ineligible:

Cale Rock; Cale Herring; Catfish; Cod Wirrah; Drummer Silver; Flutemouth; Kelpfish; Leatherjacket’s Fan Belly, Reef, Rough, Yellowfin; Ling; Parrotfish Crimson Banded; Pike; Red Mullet; Sergeant Baker; Spinefoot; Sweep; as well as the other ineligible species as per Sydney Metro Score Sheet, such as all sharks and ray species.

*Eligible Species List is variable to season and location


Weigh in procedure

  • Set up self- draining table, bulk weighing scales and electronic scales (out of the wind.)
  • Check that the recorder has the appropriate score sheet for the participant.
  • Have participants place catch on draining table.
  • Participants check, sort, then present their catch.
  • Once presented the team may not touch their catch.
  • Once presented, weighing can proceed.
  • Check there are no ineligible species.
  • Check allowable number of each species.
  • Group the species.
  • Fish over 10kg, weigh first and separately. If over 10kg, remove the fish from the scales and place beneath.
  • Have recorder note the specie.
  • Check marginal fish for length. Measure them.
  • Check marginal fish for weight using electronic scales.
  • Discard undersized, underweight fish.
  • Place eligible fish in bulk weigh bin, naming the specie as it goes in the bin.
  • Recorder to record each fish on score sheet.
  • Read out total weight of fish in bin.
  • Recorder to add 10kg for each fish under the scales and not already in weigh bin.
  • Recorder check with team the number of species ticked before fish disposed of.
  • Recorder and weigh master to apply any penalties incurred (See. ‘Weigh in and scoring’)
  • Where computer scoring is not used, hand duplicate copy of score sheet to team.
  • Re-calibrate scales between participants.
  • Do not allow participants to use the official scales.


Notify Local Authorities:

  • Police
  • Boating/fishing Clubs.
  • Marine Radio stations.
  • Maritime

Ascertain nearest Emergency medical centre and methods of getting there.

Obtain latest weather report and consider suitability of Meet areas.

All areas of the event zones must be accessible to the patrol boat/s.

Advisable to have two safety patrol boats if a land mass will stop one boat seeing the whole of the competition area at any one time; a boat must be visible to participants at all times.

One for safety patrol

One for MD

Both equipped with VHF

Establish communication frequency

Equipped with Mobile Phone

Equipped with RMS approved “Alpha” dive flags

Have available at the dive location, and too preferably on a safety boat:

First aid Kit

Give full pre-competition briefing.

Ensure boat operators account for all persons in their boats at the end of competition (where event is boat based).

Nominate last boat to return (tail end Charlie).