Rowing relies on our umpires to ensure that our regattas are safe and fair for everyone involved. You do not need to be a rower or a former rower to become an umpire. The role of Umpire is ideal for someone who enjoys volunteering their time and who wants to be in a role that is essential to the sustainability of rowing in Manitoba and Canada. Our Umpires have many opportunities to develop their skills and acquire advanced certificates so they can help deliver local, regional, provincial, national and international regattas.


Assistant Umpires (Level 1):

  • An individual who has participated in a Level 1 Umpire Clinic. This clinic is FREE of charge and is only a one-hour online course, which can be accessed through The Locker. (on the Coaching Association of Canada website), which you can obtain here. Within The Locker, click on the “E-Learning” tab at the top of the page. Click on “Multi-Sport” and change it to “Rowing”. The Assistant Umpire Clinic will then show under the heading “Available”. You can pause and resume the course at any time. If you are a coach, you will obtain one Professional Development point for taking the course. individual is not required to have a rowing background to become an Assistant Umpire.
  • Assistant Umpire can immediately start their practical training at RCA sanctioned regattas under the guidance of Licensed Umpires.
  • The primary education tool for Assistant Umpires is the RCA Rules of Racing that can be downloaded here.
  • After taking the clinic (either online or in person), the Assistant Umpire gains practical experience as follows: a minimum of one shift (min. two hours each) at each of the following stations: Control – dock, Control – weigh in, Finish, Start and an observation with a Race Umpire on the water.
  • Assistant Umpires may remain as Assistant Umpires from this time forward, supporting Licensed Umpires in the various roles in which they have obtained practical training.
  • Or, they can pursue Umpire licensing and follow the Rowing Canada Umpire Pathway.

Associate Umpire (Level 2):

  • An individual who has obtained basic experience with regattas, with observations of umpires at work, as an Assistant Umpire, and has participated in an eight-hour Level 2 Umpire Clinic.
  • After the L2 Clinic, which will broaden and deepen their understanding of the Rules of Racing, and application to the delivery of regattas, the Associate Umpire begins a period of supervised practical training, that can last from one to three years.
  • During this time the Associate Umpire should attend as many regattas as possible and get as much experience in all positions as possible.
  • At a minimum, the Associate Umpire must have completed 10 shifts (two hours each), with two shifts at each of the following stations: Control, Start, Finish, Race Umpire and Judge at the Start.
  • As RCA encourages Umpires to gain experience at a broad range of regatta venues, these practical experiences should be obtained at four or more regattas, at more than one venue and should consist of at least three sprint and one head race(s).

Umpires Level 2 – Licensed and Higher

See Rowing Canada’s Umpire “Training and Education” page for details on Umpire Level 2 – Licensed, Chief Umpire – Level 3, Clinician – Level 4 and International Umpire – Level 5.

Officials perform a variety of tasks such as Chief Referee, Referee, Starter, Aligner, Finish Judges, Dock Marshall, Clerk of Course, Control Commission, Weigh-in Official.

All of these terms are explained in detail in RCA Rules of Racing.

For more Resources, please visit Rowing Canada’s Umpire page.