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Umpire Education

Upcoming Umpire Clinics

Level 1 Umpire ClinicSport Nova ScotiaFebruary 25, 2017email
*If you would like to request an umpire clinic please contact

Become an Umpire

  1. Attend an upcoming Umpire clinic (upcoming clinics are listed above). If no clinics are scheduled please contact Row Nova Scotia and the Umpire Trainer for the Atlantic Region, Linda Lee to request training.
  2. After attending the Umpire clinic, you are accredited as an Associate Umpire.
  3. Associate Umpires must attend six (6) sanctioned regattas over a two year span as an Associate Umpire to be eligible to become licensed. Note – If you pass the two year mark without attending six (6) regattas you lose your Associate Umpire accreditation and must re-take the Umpire clinic. In Nova Scotia we host five sanctioned regattas and New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island each host one.
  4. After the Associate Umpire has attended the required six (6) sanctioned regattas, they are eligible to take the written and practical tests to become a licensed Umpire.
  5. Licensed Umpires must attend an Umpire seminar one year after they are licensed and subsequently every 3 years in order to maintain licensing. Note – Row Nova Scotia submits documentation to RCA upon completion of clinics, tests and seminars. It is the joint responsibility of Row Nova Scotia and the umpire to take the seminar.

Umpire Development

Umpires can progress through five levels as follows:

  1. Associate Umpire: An individual who has participated in an umpire training clinic hosted by Row Nova Scotia or another sanctioned rowing organizaiton.  The clinic content and teaching methodology is set by the RCA Umpires Committee and the clinics are delivered by the provincial rowing associations (PRA’s).  As noted above, an individual is not required to have a rowing background to become an umpire.  A person is referred to as an Associate Umpire after attending a clinic, and can immediately start his or her apprenticeship at RCA sanctioned regattas under the tutelage of Licensed Umpires.  The primary education tool for associate umpires is the RCA Rules of Racing that can be downloaded from the RCA Website.
  2. Umpire (Licensed): An Associate Umpire who has passed a written and practical exam after a set period of training.  Candidates who pass the exam are issued an RCA Umpire’s Licence.  An Umpire will fill many roles at a regatta, including starter, on-water umpire, control commission umpire and finish judge.
  3. Chief Umpire: After three years of serving as an Umpire, a person can take a Chief Umpire course and then be eligible to fill the role of Chief Umpire at sanctioned regattas.
  4. Clinician: A Clinician conducts Umpire clinics, Chief Umpire clinics and Umpire exams as well as Umpire seminars and evaluations.  Chief Umpires nominated by their PRA can be eligible to become clinicians.
  5. International Umpire: An International Umpire is an umpire who has passed the FISA Umpire written and practical examinations.  FISA Umpires are eligible to be appointed to the juries of World Cup, World Championship, Olympic and Paralympic regattas.
  6. Details on the five levels of umpiring noted above are available from Row Nova Scotia and Rowing Canada Aviron.

    RCA Rules of Racing

    Regattas sanctioned by Rowing Canada Aviron must follow the Canadian Rules of Racing. Any member association, club or individual who participates in any capacity in a rowing competition governed by these rules is deemed to accept, without exception or reservation, the application of these rules, which can be downloaded below.

    Download the Rules of Racing (PDF) (8.5″ x 11″)

    Download the Rules of Racing (PDF) (5″ x 3″ booklet size)

    Summarized Rowing in Regattas 101

    Umpire Registration and Insurance

    All Associate and Licensed Umpires are required to be registered and in good standing with Row Nova Scotia (or their respective PRA) and RCA. Umpires create an account in the RCA Web Registration System(WRS) and are registered as an Umpire in the WRS. Associate and Licensed Umpires are covered by RCA’s comprehensive liability insurance program. Please go to this webpage for further information regarding RCA Insurance.

    The training, development and licensing of umpires is overseen by the RCA Umpires Committee.  The Committee’s mandate is to promote umpiring, standardize and improve the quality of umpiring, co-ordinate the selection of juries for Canadian National regattas and to train and nominate Canadian umpires to FISA’s International juries. For more information on umpiring policies and programs, please contact Rowing Canada Aviron.