Did you know?

  • There are more that 35 sanctioned regattas in Ontario every year.
  • A minimum four (4) RCA licensed umpires MUST be on duty at all regattas for the duration of the regatta,
  • Umpires are not all old and crabby – they are dedicated to ensuring that regattas are safe and that athletes are treated fairly.
  • Umpires can be rowers, coaches, parents/relatives of rowers, anyone who wants to watch racing up close. I’ts a great job for Masters rowers.
  • Newly trained Umpires (known as Assistant or Associate Umpires) are assigned a Mentor Umpire who can help them learn the ropes and answer their questions.

Some knowledge and a love of rowing from your experience as a rower, coach, parent, or volunteer
A strong desire to ensure that regattas are safe and athletes are always treated fairly
Availability to attend and umpire at some regattas each season

If you want to broaden your knowledge of rowing, test your decision-making abilities, give back to the rowing community or simply wish to support an amateur sport, umpiring may be for you.

Contact the Umpires Committee for more information: umpires@rowontario.ca.

  1. Register for a Level 1 Clinic through our website.  Check our Events page to see upcoming Umpire Clinics and to register.  The Level 1 Clinic workshop fee is $25 plus the annual $5 Umpire Registration Fee.
  2. Once participants are registered they are encouraged to read the RCA Rules of Racing which can be obtained from Rowing Canada’s website.
  3. The clinic involves going over the Rules of Racing with practical situations.
  4. The clinic is a four-hour program, which introduces you to the process of becoming an umpire.
  5. On completion of Level 1, you will be an Assistant Umpire and will be qualified to work regattas, under the supervision of a licenced RCA Umpire, at the Start, the Finish and in the Control Commission, which may include weigh-ins. At each regatta, you will be assigned to a licensed umpire who will provide mentoring services for that regatta and who will provide you with feedback on your progress and can answer questions.
  6. All registrants who complete the Level 1 clinic are assigned a Mentor who will assist with any rowing umpiring questions or issues the Assistant Umpire may have. This Mentor follows the Assistant through their umpire pathway, until they complete the exam for Level 2.
  7. After completing the minimum regatta experiences as a Level 1 Assistant Umpire (one experience each at the Start, the Finish and in the Control Commission, including weigh-ins, and one observation as a race umpire), the Level 1 Assistant is eligible to take the Level 2 Clinic.
  8. The Level 2 clinic runs for a full day and covers, in detail, all aspects of Umpiring including on-water procedures. The fee for a Level 2 clinic is $50. On completion of the Level 2 clinic you will be an Associate Umpire qualified to work under the supervision of a licensed RCA Umpire at all regatta stations including on-water. The Mentor assigned to you following Level 1 will continue to work with you. If he or she becomes unavailable, another mentor will be assigned to work with you. Again, the licensed umpires with whom you work may vary at each regatta, but in this way, you will come to know our umpire cadre.
  9. The Associate Umpire is encouraged to participate in as many regattas as possible to gain practical experience. You must attend four or more regattas, and work for a minimum of 10 shifts of two hours each. These 10 shifts must cover the following stations (two shifts each): Control, Finish, Race Umpire (on water), Start, Judge at the Start. These four or more regattas must take place in more than one venue, and involve at least three sprint races and one head race. It may take the Associate Umpire between one and three years to gain the full experience, and depends on the individual as to how fast s/he progresses.
  10. When the Mentor feels the Associate Umpire has obtained sufficient experience, or when the Associate Umpire wants – the Mentor will recommend to the Associate Umpire to take the Umpire’s licence exam. The exam consists of two parts – the written exam and the practical exam. If the Associate Umpire passes the written exam s/he is allowed to proceed to the practical exam. When the Associate Umpire passes the practical exam then the Associate is awarded an RCA Umpire’s licence, and in Ontario, is provided with a Rule Book and an Umpire’s tie. Examination dates will be posted on our Events page as they become available.
  11. Should the Associate Umpire fail the practical exam, s/he is then encouraged to get more practical experience. But with a Mentor this should not occur. The steps to becoming an Associate Umpire and subsequently an Umpire in Ontario should be a relatively easy process as the tools are in place and all we require are the personnel—we need people to be Associates and that could be YOU!
  12. There are five umpiring levels in Canada:Level 1 – Assistant or Associate Umpire

    Level 2 – Umpire

    Level 3 – Chief Umpire

    Level 4 – Umpire Clinician (Instructor)

    Level 5 – FISA Umpire

    (International Licence)

Contact the Umpires Committee for more information: umpires@rowontario.ca.