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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.

The Canadian rules do apply to any regattas that are within the exclusive jurisdiction and control of the Fédération Internationale des Sociétiés d’Aviron (FISA).

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

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

For more information, please contact rca@rowingcanada.org.


To: RCA Board of Directors, RCA Safety & Events and Umpires Committees, Provincial Rowing Associations, RCA Member Clubs and Associations (the “stakeholders”) 

Under the direction of the RCA Board of Directors, a Rules of Racing Working Group has been formed to review the current RCA Rules of Racing (the “Rules”), gather submissions and proposals from all stakeholders and propose to the Members, amendments to the Rules.  

The Mandate of the Working Group is as follows:

“The Working Group is assembled every four years in the year following the Summer Olympic Games. It is responsible for assisting the Board in fulfilling its responsibilities to RCA Members to conduct a review and recommend for member approval any changes proposed to the RCA Rules of Racing. Its recommendations will be presented to the Membership for approval at the Semi-Annual Meeting the year after the FISA Extraordinary Congress where changes to the International Rules of Racing are adopted.”

The amendment process is done in step with the FISA Rules of Racing amendment process.  FISA is currently updating its rules following their review and voting of the rule changes at the February 2017 FISA Extraordinary Congress held in Tokyo, Japan.  Any proposed rule changes to the RCA Rules of Racing, will be voted on at the January 2018 RCA semi-annual meeting. 

Timelines for the Review Process

Date Action
February 2017 Rules of Racing Group reviews FISA rule changes and prepares consultation paper to solicit input from all stakeholders
March 2017 Consultation starts.  Written comments requested; Working Group initiates consultative process with various stakeholders.
May 5, 2017 Deadline for Stakeholder submissions
May, 2017 Committee reviews consultation submissions
July,  2017 Draft proposals released for comment from stakeholders.
September 2017 Comments on draft proposals received and the Working Group reviews the comments, and, develops recommendations.
October/November 2017 Recommendations released to stakeholders
January 2018 Recommendations put to Membership vote at RCA semi-annual meeting

Review Process

Proposals to the Working Group to amend the Rules are to be submitted in the following format:

1.    Any proposal is to be made under the signature of the member rowing club / member rowing organization president, or in the case of an RCA committee, the chair of that committee. Umpires and other members of the rowing community, who wish to make comments or proposals, may do so through any one of the stakeholders. 

2.    The submission is to include the following:

  • provide the current rule title (if any) and rule number
  • provide the current rule
  • provide the Proposed Change and state how your proposed rule change would read in a revised rule of racing.  Italicize and bold your proposed changes within any proposal you are making to facilitate the Working Group to identify specifically what you are proposing. 
  • provide a rationale for the proposal including examples and explanations of how the proposed change will improve safety and /or fairness to provide more equitable rowing conditions.
  • provide contact information in case the Working Group needs to get any clarification from the club/organization/committee making the proposal.

Proposals are to be submitted in word format to the Working Group at:   rules@rowingcanada.org 

Submissions of proposed amendments to the RCA Rules of Racing should be made no later than Friday, May 5, 2017.

Based on the submissions, the Working Group will draft proposed amendments and circulate same to the Members in July 2017 for review and comment.

Following the comment period, the Working Group will circulate final recommendations to the Members in late October/early November 2017. The final recommendations will be voted on in January 2018 at the RCA Semi-Annual Meeting.

Schedule “A” Issues for Comment

The Working Group has identified some questions for consideration and comment by the stakeholders.  The Working Group takes no position, at present, on any of these issues and wants the input of the stakeholders. Many of the issues are issues arising from recent rules changes debated by FISA.  Please download and return the Schedule A Form (Word format) to provide your feedback.

Contact Us

If you have any questions about the above process, please contact us at: rules@rowingcanada.org  

Thank you in advance for taking the time to provide feedback on the RCA Rules of Racing.

Yours truly,

RCA Rules of Racing Working Group
March 2017

William Donegan - Chair
Sam Fisher – RCA Safety and Events Committee 
Al Morrow – RCA Coach Mentor and Coach Education and Development Committee
Judy Sutcliffe - RCA Umpires Committee
Peter Cookson -   Volunteer and FISA Competitive Commission