ASP Changes Rating and Qualifying Standards

The ASP announced drastic changes reintroducing its old format. The world’s Top 16 surfers will automatically receive second round seeds in the main event, giving them an advantage over the surfers in the rest of the 48 man field, who will start in Round One. Both Round One and Round Two will be comprised of 32 surfers, made up of 16 man-on-man heats. Round One at each event will include the surfers rated 17-27 on the world tour, the Top 15 from the WQS, plus three injury wildcards and three event wildcards. The 16 advancing surfers will be then reseeded as they head into Round Two, where each will be paired up with a member of the Top 16. The new format will shorten the running time of events from 4 days to 3. Because the average length of a swell window is three days, the change will improve the chances events will be able to run in high quality surf. Most surfers at the top see this as a very positive step. The reformatting plan is optional for event sponsors in 2009, but already Billabong has agreed to utilize it in all four of their events: Teahupoo, J-Bay, Mundaka and the Pipe Masters. Longer term this new format, which could be mandatory in 2010, will be a central part of the return to a one-world ranking system, which the ASP hopes to re-implement. It would mean all surfers competing in ASP rated events at any level will be given a ranking next to even the best surfers on the world tour. FULL ASP PRESS RELEASE BELOW COOLANGATTA, Australia...