Competition Review – The Proposals

Since completing a series of Regional Workshops, the National Competition Committee has considered the information gathered from the research and consultation over the past eighteen months.

A number of key points arose, including:

  • The majority of members want to compete at an appropriate level and have an enjoyable, good quality competitive experience.
  • A consensus that the current points system is restrictive and there is no incentive to compete at a higher level. Crews (and individuals) try to avoid gaining points to enable them to compete at a lower level. This stifles competition. 
  • Members wanted to explore the concept of a competence based approach to competition. There was a consensus that judging performance should go beyond purely winning and that Head Races should contribute to an individual’s performance profile. 

Having evaluated the outcomes of the workshops, the National Competition Committee has continued to develop a number of proposals for the review of the competition structure. The Working Group presented the outcome of its work to the Sport Committee on 12th April 2014, and the Sport Committee approved the proposal for recommendation to Council. The Board has subsequently supported the proposals.

Outlined below is a summary of the proposals, a more detailed document has been sent to Regional Chairman for them to disseminate and discuss with the members of their region.  

The structure proposes: 

1. Simplified categories

  • Novice category – split into Novice Beginners (limited to two years) and Novices, rowers who have not won a race in either sculling or rowing. 
  • Intermediate – rowers who have not raced in Championship status and that have not done so in last 2-3 years. A transition zone for those moving up or down through competition levels.
  • Championship – rowers who are regularly racing at the traditional heads and regattas. Heads and Regattas will be able to define their own events using “BROE parameters”. Events will range from the small regional events to major multi-lane events.  

2. Introduce a ranking index

  • Each individual would have a “Rower Passport” which would be maintained within BROE.  This will be a record of their performance at all events, not just ‘wins’.
  • Competition at all British Rowing events (Regattas, Heads, Juniors, Masters etc.) would be recorded and recognised in the ranking index. 
  • The ranking index would allow progression and regression much more readily 

The proposed structure will take time to develop therefore transitional arrangements have been considered to enable the new system to be introduced over a period of time.  

At this stage we are seeking approval to develop the proposed structure so there will remain additional scope for further discussion and refinement. 

It is our intention to have the full and further detailed proposals for presentation and approval at the British Rowing Council meeting in September.

Your views are important – if you haven’t seen the full proposals yet, please ask your Regional Chairman or your club officers for a copy and attend your Regional meeting, where the proposals will be discussed in more detail.