As you may have heard, we are making some changes to the way rowers compete in British Rowing events.
What are we doing?
The current points system will be replaced with a more contemporary ranking index (RI) system which will provide a better reflection of a rower’s ability and expertise, and create a fairer level of competition in races. The ranking system will also take into account performances in both head races and regattas.
Why are we doing it?
In 2014, over 26,000 rowers competed in more than 200 races across the country. Of these rowers, 85% of women and 71% of men had just two or fewer sweep points, while 90% of both men and women had two or fewer sculling points.
This means the overwhelming majority of British Rowing members fit into just two categories – Novice and IM3.
Quite simply, the rowing community has told us they want fair, close and exciting racing for all levels of ability and expertise and that the current competition structure doesn’t provide them with that.
“It’s taken two boat races, a WeHoRR win, a BUCS gold, silver and two bronzes but finally got my first rowing point today at @Britchamps”
How are things changing?
The vast majority of our membership have two or fewer points because the current system only awards points for winning events.
Under the new ranking index (RI) system you will earn ranking points (RP) based on your performance in an event, even if you don’t win. The better you perform, the more RI points you will get.
Who came up with the new system?
The National Competition Committee (NCC) led the consultation process which included rowers, coxes, event organisers, entries secretary, coaches and umpires.
During 2014, the NCC also held workshops and listened to clubs, large and small, from across the country. Competition structures in other leading rowing nations, such as Rowing Ireland, Rowing Australia, Rowing NZ, German Rowing and US Rowing reviewed and benchmarked, as well as other sports from around the globe.
From these consultation sessions, three key messages were clear:
- Rowers want to compete at an appropriate level, against rowers of similar ability and expertise
- We need a competition system that discourages the practice of crews and individuals actively trying to avoid gaining points (and by extension, avoiding racing) so they could compete at a low level
- The current system, which awards points solely to the winners of events at regattas and nothing for everyone else, as well as no points being awarded at head races then it doesn’t create an accurate profile of a rower’s abilities
When’s it changing?
We’re already trialling events under the new structure (known as “Pathfinder” events.) More events are being piloted with the system this racing year. During 2017 event organisers will be able to volunteer to use the new system.
The racing calendar runs from September to August, with the head season typically running from September to March and the regatta season from April to August.
Starting in September 2017 we expect the majority of events to be run on the new system with all events being run on this system by April 2018.
When will I hear more?
Find out more on the FAQ pages. We will be building on these FAQs as we are aware that these are very big changes at a very high level. We’re working on a full communications plan so that everyone at every level of the sport feels that they know what’s going on.
Comments and Questions
If you have any comments or questions please send them to firstname.lastname@example.org.