STAGING Rules of Racing 2011 - British Rowing

Rules of Racing 2011

In the latest edition of British Rowing’s membership magazine, Rowing & Regatta, Paddy Ibbotson, Chairman of the National Competition Committee talks about this year’s changes to the points system. 

Paddy explains that when the status scheme was changed in 2009 the aim was to correct the imbalance in competition levels.  He reports a slow move in the right direction but the Committee is introducing a further adjustment to speed the process and provide better racing for beginners through all levels to elite rowers.


With that in mind from April a win in an event where nine or more crews start will be rewarded with two status points in the relevant discipline, rowing or sculling.  At a multi-lane regatta this means crews will have raced at least twice, and three or more times in side-by-side racing.  Over time better crews are expected to move up the table so that we can see good racing at senior and elite levels. 

The ‘top-up’ rules are also being extended.  These recognise the achievements of athletes at national and international levels.  Boat Race crews will now be topped up to 12 rowing points, and members of the Isis and Goldie crews to six points.  Because the 2011 Boat Race is in March this will not affect anyone until 2012. 

Other rules changes that have been made to tidy up ambiguities or anomalies include;

  • the requirement for every racing boat to carry a six-digit ID number has been included – Rule 2-3-8
  • the definitions of ‘outside assistance’ and of the junior age bands have been clarified – Rule 2-5-9 and 3-3-2
  • coaches are now specifically covered and this mainly affects the rules on unsportsmanlike behaviour – Rule 2-7-4
  • cooling down has been added to the rules about navigation at events – Rul 2-2-4

The definition of primary events has also been revised and added to the Rules of Racing so that they are more readily available.  These are events aimed at people of any age who are new to the sport, typically in their first year of rowing.  Primary events are raced over a short course, offer competitors more than on race, and are limited to novices of any age who are not entered for regular events at the same regatta.  An important change from the present arrangments is that a regatta can offer a mix of primary and regular events on the same programme.  Organisers who have offered primary events in the past will need to review their arrangements for 2011 in the light of the new rules. 

Extract from Rowing & Regatta
January/February 2011