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Rules of Racing

The Rules of Racing apply to all rowing and sculling races, events and regattas that are registered by British Rowing.


The purposes of the Rules of Racing are to:

  • Provide a basis for safe, fair, and equal racing.
  • Ensure that due notice is taken of the RowSafe Guidance, the provisions of which shall take precedence at all times.
  • Provide a consistent framework for the regulation and organisation of rowing competitions.

The Rules of Racing specifically cover:

  • Classification of Competitors
  • The Personal Ranking System
  • Classification of Events
  • Competition Organisation
  • Conduct of the Race
  • Racing
  • Disputes and Disciplinary Procedures

With appendices covering:

  • A Glossary of Terms
  • Essential Equipment for Officials
  • Primary Events
  • Additional Para-Rowing and Adaptive Requirements
  • Stable Boat Competitions
  • Offshore Rowing Competition Rules
  • Masters Handicap System

Download the Rules of Racing 2018. Aligned to the Rules of Racing, please read our guidance on sponsorship and partnership marketing for events and clubs.

Rules of Racing and Changes for 2018

(With effect from 1 April, 2018)

Under the direction of the National Competition Committee the Rules of Racing Panel is still working on a major overhaul of the Rules of Racing with the intention of producing a simpler set of rules that also covers other types of competition (indoor, off-shore, stable boat, etc.)

For 2018 however, the changes focussed mainly on removing references to the old points-based system and replacing them with references to the new Personal Ranking Index system.

Two new appendices have also been added to cover Offshore Competition and to formally incorporate the Masters Handicap Operating Notes and handicap table into the Rules of Racing.

Section 8 (Disputes and Disciplinary Procedures) is also currently being overhauled as part of a separate process to reflect changes to the Disciplinary and Grievance procedures adopted by British Rowing.  Details will be circulated once this is complete.

You can download a summary of all of the rule changes for 2018 here.

The tracked changes from the 2017 Rules to the 2018 Rules are shown here.

A spreadsheet showing the 2017 rule numbers and the corresponding 2018 rule numbers can be found here.

The Rules of Racing Panel have already started work on the 2019 Rules of Racing and would welcome any feedback on the 2018 Rules of Racing or suggestions for future consideration.


2017 Rules of Racing

2016 Rules of Racing

2015 Rules of Racing

2014 Rules of Racing

2013 Rules of Racing

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