Rules and Regulations

The International Canoe Federation (ICF) is the world governing body for paddlesports. The ICF is responsible for ensuring that international competitions are governed by Competition Rules adapted to the development of the sport. The British Canoeing Union (BCU) is the National Federation for Britain, overseeing regulation of the sport in the home nations.

With the great diversity of paddlesports, rules are very much specific to the particular canoeing discipline. Rules govern the size and shape of the craft that may be used, the format and duration of the course and/or competition, the number of competitors, penalties, rights of way, dangerous play/positioning and many other areas. Comprehensive rules for each of the disciplines are available to download as .pdf files from the “About ICF” section of the ICF website. Rules for the disciplines of Freestyle and Ocean Racing are still provisional. Details of the rules governing Kayak Surfing can be found on the BCU Surf Kayaking site.