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Rules Changes for 2007 -- A Summary

by Joe Carlson | Oct 01, 2007
The beginning of each year is always an opportunity to change and improve our lives.

The beginning of each year is always an opportunity to change and improve our lives. This is no different in the sport of rowing as we have several changes to the Rules of Rowing this year. As the season begins and the 2007 Rules of Rowing are being mailed out to all of us, this would be a good time to review this year’s changes.

The table below summarizes the applicable rule that was changed and a brief summary of the reason for the change.

Rule -- Summary
2-304: Alignment-- Add use of lighting systems when applicable
2-306: Starting Commands-- Add use of lighting systems when applicable
2-307: “Quick Start”-- Add use of lighting systems when applicable
2-309: False Start -- Add use of lighting systems when applicable
4-104 (b)(2): Classification by Age -- Allows AA to compete in all categories
7-202: Class “A” Courses -- Add use of lighting systems when applicable
8-105: (re Head Races) -- Clarify intent of rule
Article V Part C -- Add Club National Championship

Five of the rules changes changed the wording of the applicable rules to allow the use of lighting systems. The intent of the rule did not change at all; it just added some new language. Currently, only the course at Mercer Lake in New Jersey has the capability to use lighting systems. The addition of this rule allows the use of lights at other locations should the LOC choose that option. The use of the lights mimics how FISA currently operates. In general, the aligner uses a white light to indicate when alignment is achieved and a red light is used to indicate a false start or gain the starters attention. The starter’s light will begin as neutral or black while alignment is being achieved; the light will be turned to red after the announcement of “Attention” and then to green at “Go,” along with the use of an audible signal.

Rule 4-104 (b) (2), Classification by Age, was originally written to restrict AA category masters to row only in AA or A categories. This rule was changed for 2007 to remove the restriction and allow the AA to row in all age categories as long as the appropriate age average is maintained.

Rule 8-105, Qualification of Officials, was modified to clean up the language of the rule. As originally written, the rule offered the interpretation that only fully licensed referees could officiate at head races. The rule was changed to match that of sprint races where the chief referee must be fully licensed and the starter, marshal, member of the jury and the chief judge shall possess a referee or assistant referee license.

For 2007, the re-introduction of the Club National Championships has now added a fourth national championship. To accommodate this additional regatta, changes were made to several paragraphs of Article V Part C – National Championship Regattas. Changes were made to Rule 5-302 to identify the events for the Club National Championships and to Rule 5-303 to specify the progression systems for all national championships. Rule 5-306 was modified to drop the 500-meter sprints but add the men’s and women’s pair with coxswain as an event. Rule 5-313 added lightweight men’s and women’s double sculls events and finally, Rule 5-314 was added to identify all of the events for the Club Nationals. Other minor editorial changes were made throughout this section.

The 2007 rule book will include a summary of these rules inside the front cover. Also included are the steps you can follow to propose changes to any of the rules. Follow this process and submit your proposals to Allison Frederick atallison@usrowing.org.

I strongly suggest that we all read the 2007 Rules of Rowing before the season begins. The rules are already posted on the USRowing Web site, so there is no excuse to not be ready for the upcoming regattas. Good luck this season.

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