The International Rafting Federation (IRF) as its slogan says is, 'about rafting around the world.'
Its Headquarters are run out of the United States with President Joe Willie-Jones (CHL/USA) at the helm.
Unifying commercial rafting operations for tourists (rivers, whitewater centres), recreational clubs, high-level elite competition and longer-length touring-expeditions, the IRF governs all global rafting activities showcasing the skills involved with the sport and its low environmental impact.
“The IRF aims to facilitate the growing demands of the rafting fraternity through a unified body that deals exclusively with rafting issues and factors which influence the development of rafting” (from the IRF mission statement).
Not only is it the leading authority in rafting sport, the IRF also ensures unanimous global safety and guiding education standards are met worldwide.
Yearly the IRF organises international events: World Cups, National Opens, continental championships (Pan American, European, Australasian) and the Euro Cup series for clubs. Youth, Senior and Masters World Championships also occur annually.
There are four events at World Championships: 'sprint' (2-3 minutes; short distance speed paddling), 'head to head' (2 teams descend a 2-3 minute whitewater course), 'slalom' (fourteen up and downstream gates, timing and penalties accumulated) and the blue-ribbon 'downriver' (1 hour of timed racing over powerful and continuous rapids). Total points across all four events count for overall glory.