Become a British Rowing Umpire!

More umpires are needed to help run the growing number of the regattas and head races in the racing calendar


Photo: Christopher Anton

Anyone who’s raced at a regatta or head race will have benefited from the work done by the team of volunteer Umpires to ensure fair, safe racing for all.

Who ARE these men and women, though? And how did they become Umpires?

The answer is ‘people like you’ who have decided to give back to the sport by qualifying as a British Rowing Umpire. This sounds very altruistic but umpires everywhere actually really enjoy what they do. Jo Cotgrove, the recently appointed Chair of the National Umpiring Committee explains, “Above all, spending a day with my friends helping to put on a rowing event is a lot of fun. You’re out in the fresh air by some lovely water, you get to see some great racing, and there’s usually tea and cake too!”

Many umpires have chosen Umpiring as a way of staying involved with rowing once they stopped competing, at least at senior events. But it’s definitely possible to be an Umpire and a competitor too – either on different days, or in different divisions. Umpiring is also very compatible with family life as most competitions divide the day up into separate shifts so you can choose how many you volunteer for.

Umpire numbers need a boost – can you help?

At the moment there are only around 300 British Rowing Umpires – down from 400 or so before the Covid-19 pandemic. This means that the average number of competitions that each Umpire attends each year is quite high. In addition, clubs and race organisers who want to add new racing opportunities to the calendar are often limited in their ability to do so by the availability of Umpires.

“If your club runs a regatta or head, then do consider supporting it by training to be an Umpire.” – Gregg Davies, Secretary, National Umpiring Committee

Interested? All you need to do is:

  1. Head over to our Umpiring page to find out more about what Umpires do and what the training involves.
  2. Fill in the form there to let us know you’re interested

The Umpiring Representative in your region will then get in touch with you and take it from there!

Find out more about umpiring

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