Competition Framework

The Competition Framework is designed to deliver close, fair, exciting racing


Crews racing at the 2016 British Rowing Senior Championships (c) Naomi Baker

All affiliated British Rowing competitions run under the Competition Framework, and all British Rowing Members who race in affiliated competitions have a Personal Ranking Index, made up of Ranking Points.

Here, you can find out about:

  • Key Terms and Definitions
  • Handy Resources
  • FAQs for rowers, competition secretaries and competition organisers.

Three key elements of the Competition Framework you need to know about are:

  • You get points for racing and beating crews.
    The higher up you finish in an event, and the more crews you beat, the more Ranking Points you’ll get. The more Ranking Points you have, the better you are at beating crews in your event. The maximum number of points you can get in an event is 145. Ranking Points are given for head races and regattas in both sweep and sculling events. Coxes also receive Ranking Points based on their crew’s performance, resulting in a Personal Ranking Index that encompasses rowing, sculling, and coxing.
  • The Personal Ranking Index (PRI) is the sum of Ranking Points from your eight highest-scoring events.
    Up to five years’ worth of results are used, with Ranking Points reducing over time.
  • The Competition Framework is flexible, and competitions can use Ranking Points and the Personal Ranking Index to decide how they want to band crews for racing.
    At the request of competition organisers, the Framework was designed to give them as much flexibility as possible in how they group competitors together, to help create closer, fairer and more exciting racing for the majority of rowers, and to increase the likelihood of crews getting a race. If you want to race in a higher band to push yourself, you can do so at the discretion of the competition organisers.

Key Terms and Definitions


A group of one or more events managed by one Organising Committee. This includes, but is not limited to, regattas, head races, bumping races, etc.

Competition Framework

The national structure that supports the way competitions operate and are run. The current Competition Framework uses a Personal Ranking Index to better measure and match rowers and crews of similar ability, therefore creating closer, fairer, more exciting races.


A race or series of races, including all heats, repêchages, finals etc., that together determine the winner and, if appropriate, the order of placement in a particular class of competition.

Event Band

A term used to define categories at competitions which rowers compete in. It’s up to competition organisers to decide what they want to call their categories, but you might expect to see them called Championship, Intermediate, Beginner etc. The Event Bands are set by each competition at the close of entries to reflect the standard of crew entries, and therefore the CRI for each band varies from competition to competition.


A race is when crews compete against each other and the results are determined either by the order the crews cross the finish line, or on the basis of the time it takes to complete a course.

Ranking Points (RPs)

Ranking Points are awarded when a competitor beats a crew in a race – either a head or regatta. The higher up you finish in an event, and the more crews you beat, the more Ranking Points you get. The maximum number of Ranking Points you can get in an event is 145. Ranking points are awarded for sweep, sculling and coxing.

Personal Ranking Index (PRI)

The Personal Ranking Index (PRI) is the number of Ranking Points a competitor currently has. It is made up of the eight highest Ranking Point allocations gained in competition over the past five years. Your PRI reflects your ability and expertise as a rower, and allows competitions to better match competitors and crews of similar ability. Everyone has a separate PRI for sweep, sculling and coxing.


An entity comprising one or more competitors who, with or without a cox, group together for the purpose of competing in an event.

Crew Ranking Index (CRI)

The sum of the Personal Ranking Index (PRI) of the individual rowers within the crew, excluding the cox. The CRI reflects the ability and expertise of a crew as a whole.

British Rowing Online Entry (BROE2)

The online system for making entries to British Rowing affiliated competitions. The ‘2’ suffix comes from it being version 2. Only clubs that are affiliated to British Rowing have access to BROE2. Check out our online tutorial that provides step-by-step instructions on how to enter a crew using BROE2.

Handy resources to help you understand the Competition Framework

Personal Ranking Reference Book

A guide to the ranking points system for the Competition Framework.

Download the Reference Book

Competition Organisers’ Manual

A comprehensive guide for organising a regatta, including information on necessary notifications to authorities, promoting the event, and essential steps for planning and documenting it properly.

Download the Manual

BROE2 – instructional videos

Step-by-step instructions on how to enter a crew on the British Rowing Online Entry System, BROE 2.

Check them out here.

British Rowing Competition Framework FAQs

General FAQs

Are sweep and sculling points assessed separately for ranking points?
Yes, the Ranking Index for sweep and sculling are separate. If you compete in both disciplines you have two separate PRIs.

Are ranking points allocated for both head races and regattas?
Yes, points are allocated for all regattas and head races throughout the year. The Competitor Profile shows which events are currently being used to calculate the Personal Ranking Index.

How so head races and regattas points compare?
The number of ranking points awarded to the winning crews at large national heads and regattas are similar. Likewise the number of ranking points at smaller more locally focused heads and regattas are also similar.

How is my Personal Ranking Index calculated?
You are allocated ranking points for every competition you race in. This includes Junior and Masters events. From this, your Personal Ranking Index (PRI) is calculated.

Your PRI is the sum of your eight highest points allocations (after depreciation with age has been taken into account), with up to five years’ worth of results being used (if you have been competing that long). If less than eight competitions have been entered, then your PRI is the sum of the competitions that you have raced in.

My PRI shows 100 Ranking Points. Is that a lot?
PRI’s range from 0 to 1,160 so 100 points is relatively modest.

How does impact competitors who are not in top form?
Regardless of personal form, the competition framework reflects performance level compared to the competitive field. If you perform well across competitions you get more points.

Why do juniors and masters have their own categories?
Typically, juniors increase in speed between the ages of 11 and 18 and the masters age groups from (27+) tend to do the reverse. The current junior and masters age classifications cater for this.

However, as has been the case for many years masters and older juniors can, if they prefer to, enter races at senior events determined by ability rather than age, with the ranking points system enabling rowers to be placed in events at an appropriate level. Likewise, competitions may wish to use the ranking index system in conjunction with masters and junior events.

Masters and Junior events can also be subdivided by ranking index

How do competitions work with adaptive rowing?
Adaptive rowing has the same Personal Ranking Index system as all rowers, within their individual classifications.

How do competition organisers know if a competitor is a beginner?
There is no fixed definition of ‘beginner’ or ‘new to sport’, other than not carrying many ranking points. If competitions wish to offer events using their own criteria they also need to decide how they are going to monitor and police those criteria.

How do ranking points from previous years impact your Personal Ranking Index?
Ranking Points automatically reduce in value with age, i.e. those won from the last 12 months are worth 100% of their value, between 12-24 months they are worth 66% of their value. Between 24-36 months they are worth 33%, then between 36-48 months they are worth 15%. Between 48-60 months they are worth 5% and 60 months plus are worth 1 ranking point. Points never revert to zero, even if you have not been in the sport for many years.

How does Henley Royal Regatta fit in?
Henley Royal Regatta is not an affiliated British Rowing competition. Results achieved there do not impact your PRI.

For Rowers

How can I check my Personal Ranking Index?
You can access your PRI by logging into British Rowing Membership portal. From here, you’ll be able to view your race history, current PRI is and how it is calculated.

How often are ranking points updated?
Competitions have five days to upload results after competition day and your points are updated automatically from the uploaded results.

Your PRI that a competition uses is “fixed” as of eight days before the entries for that competition close.

Do I get more ranking points if I win in a higher banded event at a Regatta?
Yes, the higher the band you race in the more ranking points you gain, as there are more people competing in the bands below you. The number of points allocated to the winner of a band depends on the number of crews in that band and all lower bands. It also matches the points awarded for beating the same number of crews in a head race.

What determines the number of points I win in a head race?
In a head race it’s the number of crews of the same gender in the same boat type and division that you are faster than in real time that determines how many points you get. The scale is not linear so it’s not a straight 1 point per crew beaten.

What is the maximum number of Personal Ranking Points I can get?
The maximum number of Personal Ranking Points that can be gained at one event is 145.

At a head race, this requires you to beat 49 or more crews in your division of the same boat type and gender. If there are less than 50 crews in an event, then the maximum points available is lower, down to 1 point if only 2 crews enter. If there are more than 50 crews the points are awarded pro-rata.

At a regatta, the points awarded depends on how many rounds you get through and how many crews you beat with different bands being linked. For example, the points awarded in a championship band would be determined by the number of crews in lower bands. If the size of the entry would lead to the “top” crews attracting more than 145 points the points are adjusted down pro-rata.

With up to eight competitions included in the calculation of your Personal Ranking Index, it has a theoretical maximum of 1160.

Do I get ranking points if I lose in the first round?
No, you don’t get any ranking points if you lose in the first round – unless it’s a straight final at a multi-lane regatta in which case all crews except the one placed last get points.

How do ranking points work with time trials?
If a time trial is used to seed crews for a side-by-side race, then no Ranking Points are gained as the time trial is being used as a sorting method.

If a time trial is used to eliminate crews, then this is deemed to be the first round of the regatta and all successful competitors gain 1 ranking point. The crews that have not progressed through to compete in the event receive 0 ranking points. If at the end of this time trial, all crews go through due to crews not competing, then this is not deemed to be the first round.

Can I enter a higher event band to challenge myself?
Yes, if you advise the competition organisers that you would like to enter a higher event band. This is at the discretion of the competition and it does not need to comply with your request.

What if I don’t have a British Rowing login?
As part of joining British Rowing you will have been sent a login for your membership account. If for any reason you have misplaced this then please check your emails first, and if you still can’t find it, please email [email protected] providing them with your full name, date of birth and primary club.

Do coxes get a Personal Ranking Index (PRI)?
Yes, coxes will gain Ranking Points, depending on how well their crew does. This is to recognise the contribution of a cox to a crew. However, these points will not contribute to a crews ranking total for entry purposes nor do they count towards a rower’s PRI when entering a race as a rower.

How do mixed events work?
Ranking points are allocated in mixed events in the same way as for open events and then added to the rowing or sculling points history as with non-mixed points allocations.

How do crew substitutions work?
You have to make sure any substitutions don’t increase your Crew Ranking Index by more than 25% of the highest ranked crew in the band e.g. if the highest ranked crew Ranking Index is 100 points, then the maximum a crew can have after all of the substitutions have been completed is 125.

If an event is not banded there are no limits on the Ranking Index of the substitutes.

How are international competitors classified if they want to race in British competitions?
Competitions are able to place overseas crews in the relevant events or event bands as they feel is correct. The majority of the large competitions have rules to manage this.

How do league events work?
Each round of a league would be counted separately in line with standard competitions.

For Competition Secretaries

How often do the points update?
The points update after each competition as results are submitted by regatta and head race administrators/competition organisers and count towards the competitor’s next race if they are more than eight days apart. Competitions are required to upload their results to the online entry system within five days of race day.

Is there support for competition administrators and organisers?
Absolutely, there is a dedicated email address for BROE2 help.

Can I submit paper entries on the competitor’s behalf?
No. All entries have to be submitted online via BROE2.

How do you keep track of substitutions at head races, especially when there are several launching points?
It is the responsibility of the crew to inform the organisers of any crew changes. Substitutions can be entered by a competition administration after the head race.

When do placeholder positions need to be confirmed?
Placeholders need to be confirmed before the official close of entries. If entries are not completed before the official close, the entry cannot be accepted. Placeholder positions can be confirmed after entries are suspended. A competition can request placeholder positions to be confirmed earlier.

What is the process be for making event result returns to BROE2?
Competitions need to upload an excel CSV file with specific fields. An example is available on the system.

For Competition Organisers

How are competitions organised?
Competition have the flexibility to categorise the events to suit the competitor demands. Events could be set up by Ranking Index bands, which could be formed once entries are in to allow for close and exciting racing by racing crews of similar abilities.

Why do I need to submit all of my event results?
A crucial factor contributing to the success of the competition framework is that our competition organisers fulfil the requirement to enter the result of all regatta races and times from all competing crews in head races into BROE2. This includes all substitutions within crews to be accurately updated and recorded before results are finalised. This is so we can create the Ranking Index, formed from individual athlete profiles taken from the results of all competitions.

How are the Event Bands in split events set?
Event Bands are decided once the entries are in and the organisers can view the CRI of all of the crews to then decide how to band the events.

The number of crews in each band is determined by the number of rounds event organisers wish crews to race i.e. two crews = one round, one race; eight crews = three rounds, seven races.

What is ‘splitting into groups’?
If you have a large number of crews of similar ability that really need to be in one band but this would require more rounds to be raced than is practical you can split them into “groups”. This is in effect parallel bands of equal ability.

You should not put crews with more points in one group and less points in another group, that’s what bands are for (groups should have similar points).

How can we manage competitors for both morning and afternoon divisions in terms of doubling up?
Events can offer the same boat types for both morning and afternoon divisions if they wish with different banding for the divisions. E.g. a competition could offer new to sport or junior crews in the morning and all other crews’ events in the afternoon. There is nothing stopping a competition having the same events offered in the morning and afternoon and let crews enter as they wish.

How does closing entries early effect race banding?
If an event stops taking entries before the advertised close of entries this is called “Suspending Entries”.

The ranking points can change up to the official close of entries as on the competition poster, but the Personal Ranking Index of each competitor for the purposes of the competition is as at eight days before the advertised close of entries.

Do competitions need to advertise how they will split crews between ranking points?
We do recommend that competitions clearly publicise the approach they intend to take on banding crews in light of the potential different levels of entries but this is not a mandatory requirement. Event banding is only needed if there are too many crews to get through all of the rounds or there is a wide variation in Ranking Points.

Do competitions need to include crew’s points when they publish the draw?
The rules don’t require competition to include the points of crews on the draw but we do advocate transparency. Rule 5-5-3-h does mean this information is already available for inspection as it is on the entry forms.

BROE2 no longer seems to show me the date of birth of competitors. How do I know what age classification they are?
In order to comply with the new GDPR regulations we had to stop displaying the date of birth. Instead, we show the age of the competitor so they can be placed in the correct age band according to the rules of racing:

Juniors – The age listed is based on the individual’s age as of August 31st of the previous year. To compete in J14 events, the rower must have turned 13 on or before August 31st. The age range for these events goes up to 18, covering School/Junior categories, as stated in rules 2-3-b & 4-6-c.

For everyone else it’s the age attained during the calendar year of the competition.

So for Under 19 the maximum age shown would be 18 and for Under 23 it would be 22. See rules 2-2-2 and 2-2-3.

For a masters C single scull event the minimum age shown would be 43, although masters can be older and for crews it’s the average of the ages – see rule 4-7-a.

BROE2 automatically polices the age rules so if the system accepts the crew member then they fulfil the age criteria in the rules of racing.

Do all regattas have championship events?
“Championship Event” is a term used by some competitions to define the crews with the highest Ranking Index. There is no need for an event to be called “Championship” to be the band for crews of the highest level.

Are regattas ranked?
Not, although the system has been designed so we can, at a later date, apply a multiplier to competitions if the evidence shows this would improve the system. The number of crews entered influences the number of ranking points accrued by competitors. The more competitors there are, the more points are on offer.

Further information

You can view your Personal Ranking Index by logging into your account in the British Rowing Membership portal.

If you have any questions about the Competition Framework, please email [email protected].

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