Umpires

RCA Umpire Education in Ontario


The training, development and licensing of umpires in Ontario is overseen by the RCA Umpires Committee and supported by Row Ontario and the Row Ontario Umpires Committee. The RCA Umpire Education Program is a five-tiered structure. Row Ontario is responsible for organizing and delivering the first three tiers – Level 1, Level 2 and Level 3 – including clinics, training, evaluation and mentoring.


Level 1 – Assistant Umpire

The Level 1 Assistant Umpire Clinic is a four-hour clinic delivered by a trained RCA Clinician, in coordination with the Row Ontario Umpires Committee. The Level 1 clinic involves reviewing the RCA Rules of Racing with practical situations you may face as an Umpire.

Visit our Events page to register for a Level 1 Clinic.

Your clinic registration fee includes the annual umpire registration fee, meaning upon completion of the clinic you will be qualified to umpire at regattas under the supervision of a licensed RCA Umpire at the Start, Finish and Control Commission, including weigh-ins. At each regatta, you will be assigned to a licensed umpire who will mentor you in that role, provide feedback, and be available to answer questions.

As a Level 1 Assistant Umpire in Ontario, you will be assigned a mentor who will be paired with you until you complete your Level 2 licensing exam. Your mentor is available to help you navigate the entire process and is a valuable resource. All our mentors are seasoned Ontario-based RCA-licensed umpires with a wide variety of knowledge and experience to share as you begin your umpire journey!

For more information please visit Row Ontario Umpire Mentor Program.

Level 2 – Associate Umpire

The Level 2 Associate Umpire Clinic is an eight-hour clinic delivered by a trained RCA Clinician, in coordination with the Row Ontario Umpires Committee. The Level 2 Clinic will broaden and deepen your understanding of the Rules of Racing and their application to the delivery of regattas. Your minimum ten-hours of experience in five positions as an Assistant Umpire will contribute significantly to the Clinic, as it is a much more practical and in-depth Clinic than Level 1. This will prepare you to begin working as an Associate Umpire at regattas, as well as further experience at the Start, Finish and Control Commission. You will now be eligible to work as a Race Umpire on the water and Judge at the Start, under the guidance and mentorship of a licensed umpire.

Visit our Events page to register for a Level 2 Clinic.

As a Level 2 Associate Umpire working toward the Licensing Exam, RCA encourages you to gain experience at a broad range of regattas and regatta venues. Before requesting an exam, you should umpire at four or more regattas, at more than one venue, and at a minimum of three sprint races and one head race. Your Row Ontario mentor can help you connect with appropriate development opportunities across the province!

Level 2 Licensed Umpire

If you are at least 21 years of age and have completed the minimum 20 hours of practical experience required as a Level 2 Associate Umpire, you are eligible for the licensing exam, which includes both a written and practical component. The Level 2 exam is administered by a trained RCA Clinician and is usually held during the Royal Canadian Henley Regatta in St. Catharines each year. Upon successfully completing the Level 2 Licensing Exam, you will be provided a Rule Book and an official RCA Umpire tie and will be eligible to umpire in any position at any regatta in Canada.

For more information about how to maintain your RCA Umpire License, please visit License Maintenance.

Level 3 Chief Umpire

After three years serving as a Level 2 Licensed Umpire, you may take a Level 3 Chief Umpire (CU) clinic to become an Associate Chief Umpire (ACU). As an ACU, you will participate in practical training alongside an experienced Chief Umpire at a minimum of five regattas, including a minimum of one local, regional and provincial/interprovincial level regatta at three regatta venues. ACUs are also expected to get experience at sprint races, head races, indoor competitions and coastal regattas. Practice training as an ACU must be completed within a three-year period, at which point the ACU may take the written and practical Level 3 exams. Upon successful completion of the Level 3 exams, you will be awarded an RCA Level 3 Chief Umpire certificate and be eligible to serve as a Chief Umpire at any regatta across Canada.

Level 3 Chief Umpire clinics are organized on an as-needed basis. If you meet the requirements and are interested and available to commit to the required three year practical training period, please contact the Row Ontario office (umpires@rowontario.ca) to discuss your next steps!

Level 4 Clinician and Level 5 International Umpire

The remaining two tiers of the RCA Umpire Education Program – Level 4 Clinician and Level 5 International Umpire – are organized and delivered by RCA. Umpires are nominated for these levels by the Row Ontario Umpires Committee when requested by the RCA Umpire Committee.