ARTICLE I - GENERAL

Part A - Introductory Provisions

1-101 Title

These Rules are established by The United States Rowing Association (USRowing), and shall be known and may be cited as the USRowing Rules of Rowing.

1-102 Purposes (*)

The purposes of these Rules are to:

1-103 Interpretation (*)

These Rules shall be interpreted to effect the purposes described in Rule 1-102 ("Purposes"). Wherever possible, provisions of these Rules shall be interpreted consistent with each other, but if such interpretation is not possible, the more specific language shall control the general, and provisions regarding safety shall control any other provision. Captions, titles and headings are part of these Rules. In cases of ambiguity, these Rules shall be interpreted consistent with the rules of the International Rowing Federation (FISA).

1-104 Scope and Exceptions (*)

(a) These Rules shall apply to all rowing races and regattas that take place in the United States, and that are registered by USRowing. These Rules shall not apply to any races or regattas that are within the exclusive jurisdiction and control of the International Rowing Federation (FISA).

(b) These Rules shall apply without exception or amendment to all National Championship Regattas, Regional Championship Regattas, and all trials races and regattas to select the National Team. Subject to subsection (c) below, the local organizing committee of any other registered regatta may make exceptions or amendments to these Rules if such exceptions are described in detail in the application to USRowing for registration, and are publicized in writing and distributed to every competing team. USRowing may take the extent and nature of variation from these Rules into account in determining whether to register a regatta.

(c) Subsection (b) above notwithstanding, there shall be no exceptions or amendments to any provision designated as absolutely binding. (In these Rules, such provisions are noted by an asterisk (*) in the appropriate caption or subsection heading.)

(d) Head races (Article VIII) and races for Open Water Events (Part A of Article IX) shall be held under the specific rules designated for them.

1-105 Situations Not Covered (*)

In situations not covered under these Rules, race officials are empowered to make such decisions and give such instructions as are necessary to carry out their responsibilities, and to effect the purposes described in Rule 1-102 ("Purposes").

Part B - Definitions

1-201 Rowing Defined (*)

"Rowing" is the propulsion of a displacement boat through water by the muscular force of one or more rowers, with or without a coxswain, in which oars are levers of the second order, and in which the rowers are sitting with their backs to the direction of forward movement of the boat.

1-202 Other Definitions (*)

Unless the context clearly indicates otherwise, the following definitions shall apply when the terms below, or grammatical variations thereof, are used in these Rules:

ARTICLE II - CONDUCT OF THE RACE

Part A - Officials

2-101 Primary Duties of Officials (*)

(a) It is the primary duty of every race official to provide for the safety of competitors and officials.

(b) Subject to subsection (a) above, it is the duty of all race officials to ensure that all crews have a fair and equal opportunity of winning or placing. Where a crew has been affected by unfair advantage or disadvantage, whether due to another crew or outside circumstances, it is the responsibility of race officials to restore fair racing conditions.

(c) These primary duties shall control the operation of all other provisions of these Rules.

2-102 Appointment of the Chief Referee (*)

(a) Before the regatta, there shall be appointed a Chief Referee.

(b) Appointment of the Chief Referee for all USRowing National Championship Regattas, and all trials races and regattas to select the National Team, shall be made directly by the USRowing Judge-Referee Committee. Appointment of the Chief Referee for all other registered regattas shall be according to procedures established or approved by the USRowing Judge-Referee Committee.

(c) All persons acting as Chief Referee at a registered regatta shall hold a full Judge-Referee's license.

2-103 Duties of the Chief Referee (*)

(a) The Chief Referee:

(b) If these Rules call for a decision by the Chief Referee, the Chief Referee may instead refer such matter to the Jury for resolution.

(c) Assignment or appointment of race officials made by the Chief Referee, including members of the Jury, shall be subject to review and revision by the USRowing Judge-Referee Committee, but shall not otherwise be subject to challenge, review or protest before the Jury or another race official.

2-104 Officials (*)

(a) For each race at a regatta, the Chief Referee shall cause to be assigned officials to perform the following functions:

(b) All persons acting as Referee (primary or secondary), Starter, Judge at Start, or Chief Judge at any registered regatta shall have a full, emeritus, or associate Judge-Referee's license.

2-105 The Jury (*)

(a) Before the regatta, the Chief Referee shall appoint a Jury.

(b) The Jury shall normally be comprised of five members, including the Chief Referee as President. A different number may be designated by the Chief Referee, provided that there is an odd number of members, and that there are no less than three members. Jury members shall have a valid full, emeritus, or associate Judge-Referee's license.

(c) The Jury shall:

(d) The decision of the Jury made within its jurisdiction shall supersede any decision of an individual race official.

(e) When the Jury is hearing and deciding a protest as authorized under subsection (c)(1) above, no official shall serve as a member if the issue to be decided involves a decision made by that official, or if that official must give testimony as a witness. The Chief Referee shall designate an alternate member to serve instead.

Part B - Safety and Fair Conditions

2-201 Suspending Racing (*)

If the Chief Referee finds that either of the requirements of safety or fairness described in Rule 2-101 ("Primary Duties of Officials") cannot be met under then existing conditions, he or she shall stop or suspend all racing until such time as safe and fair conditions are restored. The Chief Referee, if possible, shall consult with the local organizing committee either before suspending racing, or as soon as practical thereafter. If the Referee or Starter for a particular race finds that the requirements of Rule 2-101 ("Primary Duties of Officials") cannot be met under then existing conditions, he or she shall stop or suspend that race and shall inform the Chief Referee.

2-202 Pre-Regatta Meeting

No later than one hour before the first race in a regatta, a meeting for all competitors and coaches shall be held, which shall be conducted by the Chief Referee or his or her delegate. All crews and teams shall be responsible for any information disseminated at this meeting.

2-203 Traffic Patterns; Safety Information (*)

(a) The local organizing committee shall devise and post in a conspicuous place at the regatta site a diagram showing all traffic patterns and regulations on the water. This diagram shall show the race course itself, the route to be taken by crews from the launching area to the start, any "warmup" area, any "cool-down" area, and the route to be taken by crews returning from the finish line. To the extent possible, it shall also show all known obstacles that may interfere with a crew's progress on or near the course. If conditions call for a different traffic pattern during practice hours than during racing, such practice traffic pattern shall also be posted.

(b) The local organizing committee shall also post, at the same place as the diagram showing traffic patterns, the location of the first aid station (Rule 7-202(q)), the location of a telephone, and the method to summon medical assistance in case of emergency.

2-204 Rowing Near the Course while Race in Progress (*)

Whenever a race is approaching, a non-competing crew rowing at or near the perimeter of the course shall stop rowing, come to a complete rest, and make sure that it does not interfere with the race, either by obstructing the path of the competing crews or accompanying launches, or by causing a wash.

2-205 Approaching the Start; Warmup on the Course

(a) No crew shall enter the starting area until the previous race has cleared, and unless explicitly permitted to do so by the Starter. Except where required by the posted traffic pattern (Rule 2-203), a crew shall not practice on the course itself during the time when racing is taking place without permission of the Starter.

(b) After a crew has been given permission to practice on the course, it shall do so only in its assigned lane. If it is necessary to cross other lanes to reach its assigned lane, a crew shall yield to any other crew practicing in its own lane.

2-206 Violation of Safety Rules

A crew that violates a posted traffic pattern described in Rule 2-203, or that violates the provisions of Rule 2-204 ("Rowing Near the Course While Race in Progress") or Rule 2-205 ("Approaching the Start; Warmup on the Course"), may be assessed a warning as described in Rule 2-602(b) ("Types of Penalties") by any race official. Such warnings shall be applicable to the next race in which the crew competes.

2-207 Number of Referees; Safety Launches (*)

(a) The local organizing committee shall provide motor launches for use by Referees and by safety personnel. Each launch shall be capable, when occupied, of maintaining a speed necessary to follow a race, but without unnecessary wake. Each launch shall carry personal flotation devices for each occupant of the launch plus at least two extra. The local organizing committee shall use its best efforts to procure launches whose hull design minimizes wake, such as flat bottomed or catamaran launches.

(b) Each race shall be followed by at least one Referee. In a race without coxswains where there are more than four crews competing, a secondary Referee shall follow the race initially, who may subsequently withdraw if he or she judges that the race is proceeding satisfactorily.

(c) In addition to one Referee's launch, for each race there shall be another launch immediately accessible to the crews for use in case of emergency. This launch may be the secondary Referee's launch, a safety launch following the race, or one of a series of safety launches stationed at the perimeter of the course that is within 500 meters of the crews at all times throughout the race.

Part C - The Start

2-301 Reporting to the Start

(a) Each crew is responsible for being attached to its starting station and ready to race two minutes before the scheduled time of the race, whether or not announcements have been made by the Starter. If racing is delayed, crews shall be responsible for being within voice range of the Starter and in a position to respond to instructions.

(b) A crew that is not attached to its starting station at least two minutes before the scheduled time of the race may be assessed a warning (Rule 2-602(b), "Types of Penalties") by the Starter. A crew that is not attached to its starting station by the scheduled time of the race may be excluded by the Starter. If racing is delayed, the Starter may announce a new racing time, which shall have the same effect as the original scheduled time for purposes of this Rule.

2-302 Appearance of Crews

If a crew does not comply with Part B (Insignia and Advertising) of Article III (Equipment) of these Rules, the Referee, Starter, or other race official may reprimand the crew as described in Rule 2-602(a) ("Types of Penalties"), and shall then report the incident to the Chief Referee. If, in any subsequent race at the regatta, the crew persists in the violation, the Chief Referee may impose one of the penalties described in Rule 2-602 ("Types of Penalties").

2-303 Changing Racing Times and Lane Assignments

The Starter may change the schedule of racing or any lane assignments previously made.

2-304 Alignment

(a) Before the start, the Judge at Start shall cause the bows of all boats to be aligned with the plane of the starting line.

(b) When the Judge at Start is satisfied with the alignment, he or she shall so indicate by raising and keeping aloft a white flag. If proper alignment is lost thereafter, the Judge at Start shall lower the white flag and, if necessary to gain the Starter's attention, shall raise a red flag.

2-305 Polling

(a) After the Judge at Start signals that alignment has been achieved, the Starter shall poll each crew to see if it is ready to race. Polling shall consist of calling out the name of the crew. If a crew is not ready, either during polling or thereafter, the bowperson shall signal by raising his or her hand conspicuously in the air.

(b) If alignment is lost during the polling of the crews, or if a crew previously polled signals that it is not ready, the Starter may suspend the polling process and resume when the previous condition is restored. If there is a significant delay, the Starter may repeat the entire polling procedure.

2-306 Starting Commands

(a) After the crews have been polled, the Starter shall start the race by: (1) calling out "Attention!", (2) raising a red flag overhead, preferably using two hands, and (3) after a distinct pause, calling out "Go!". The command "Go!" shall be accompanied simultaneously by a quick downward motion of the red flag to one side.

(b) If, after the red flag has been raised, the Starter believes for any reason that the start should not occur, he or she shall call out "As You Were!", and gently lower the red flag directly in front of him or her. The Starter shall then repeat the starting commands in their entirety, but may dispense with repolling the crews.

(c) Crews may leave the starting line when the Starter's red flag begins to move.

(d) Unless the Starter believes that a crew is engaging in intentional delaying tactics or other unsportsmanlike conduct, he or she shall recognize a crew signalling that it is not ready, except where the "countdown start" (Rule 2-308) is used. If the race is started while a crew is validly signalling before the start that it is not ready, that crew shall remain at the start (Rule 2-310). A crew that rows out of the starting area (100 meters) waives any right to protest on the grounds that the start was not fair. Any official in the starting area may stop the race if he or she observes a crew signalling that it is not ready.

2-307 "Quick Start"

If weather or other conditions prevent use of the normal starting procedure without inordinate delay, the Starter may dispense with the polling procedure described in Rule 2-305 ("Polling"). The Starter shall first announce to the crews that a "quick start" will be used. When all crews appear to be properly pointed and ready to race, and if no crew signals that it is not ready, the Starter shall then immediately give the starting commands (Rule 2-306). The Starter shall nevertheless recognize a crew that signals before the start that it is not ready when required under Rule 2-306(d), regardless of when such signal occurs.

2-308 "Countdown Start"

(a) If it appears to the Starter that conditions prevent use of either the normal starting procedures or a "quick start" without inordinate delay, he or she may resort to a "countdown start." The Starter shall first announce to the crews that a "countdown start" will be used. At an appropriate juncture, and without further polling the crews, the Starter shall count down in regular cadence: "five-four-three-two-one," and then give the starting commands in normal cadence. It is the sole responsibility of the crews to point their boats while the countdown is in progress.

(b) The Starter may disregard any crew signalling that it is not ready under this procedure, regardless of when such signal is given.

2-309 False Start

(a) A crew commits a false start when its bow crosses the plane of the starting line before the Starter's red flag begins to move. More than one crew may be assessed a false start at the same time.

(b) The Judge at Start shall be the sole judge of whether a crew has left the starting line early.

(c) In the event of a false start, the Judge at Start shall raise a red flag. The Starter shall then stop the race by sounding a bell or sound device, waving a red flag, and calling "Stop!". The Referee and the Judge at Start may also use a red flag or sound device to assist the Starter in gaining the attention of the crews.

(d) After a race has been stopped due to a false start, the Starter shall instruct the crews to return to the starting line. Once the crews have returned, the Starter shall announce clearly the identity of the crew or crews that committed the false start, and assess a warning as described in Rule 2-602(b) ("Types of Penalties") upon the offending crew or crews.

(e) A crew that receives two warnings, including false starts, applicable to the same race shall be excluded under Rule 2-602(c) ("Types of Penalties").

2-310 Failure to Start

If a crew fails to leave the starting line after the starting commands have been given, the Starter shall stop the race. If the crew's failure to start is not justified, the Starter may impose one of the penalties described in Rule 2-602 ("Types of Penalties").

2-311 Broken Equipment

(a) If a crew suffers broken equipment before it has left the starting area, it may stop rowing and signal to the Referee. The Referee shall thereupon stop the race as described in Rule 2-407(d) ("Referee's Instructions to Crews") and inspect the damage. If there is in fact broken equipment, the race shall be restarted after the crew has had sufficient time to make repairs. If there is no broken equipment, the race shall be restarted immediately, and the Referee may impose upon the offending crew one of the penalties described in Rule 2-602 ("Types of Penalties").

(b) A crew is deemed to have left the starting area once its bow crosses the 100 meter mark. If a crew attempts to claim broken equipment after it has left the starting area, and if the boat can still be operated safely, the Referee shall instruct it to continue rowing as described in Rule 2-407(c) ("Referee's Instructions to Crews")

(c) "Broken equipment" shall mean a condition in which any equipment, as defined in Rule 1-202(f), is not in a normal operable state. The following shall not count as broken equipment:

(1) A condition that is the obvious result of carelessness or neglect;

(2) Crabs and jumped slides (in which a rower's seat comes off its track), unless accompanied by a condition that would independently constitute broken equipment;

(3) The condition of a coxswain's sound amplification system (including a COX-BOXTM), a stopwatch, strokewatch, or similar device.


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