Do you love watching racing? Have you ever thought of doing it from the best seat in the house??

It’s time to get in on the excitement!!!

Umpires are all sorts of people from diverse backgrounds who want to support rowing, racing and its racers. They can be current or former competitive rowers who have chosen to give back to their sport, parents who became interested on behalf of their children, or recreational rowers who choose not to race themselves, but still want to be involved in the exhilaration of race day.

The goal of all umpires is to ensure that racing is safe and fair for all competitors. All RCA licensed umpires undertake training, which includes mentoring and hands-on experience.

Umpires can progress through 5 levels:

Associate Umpire: is an individual who has participated in an umpire “clinic”. The clinic content and teaching methodology is set by the RCA Umpires Committee and the clinics are organized and delivered by the provincial rowing associations. An associate umpire can then immediately start his or her apprenticeship at RCA sanctioned regattas under the tutelage of Licensed Umpires.

Umpire (Licensed): an umpire becomes licensed after having passed a written and practical exam after a set period of training. An Umpire will fill many roles at a regatta, including starter, on-water umpire, control commission umpire and finish judge.

Chief Umpire: after three years of serving as an Umpire, a person can take a Chief Umpire (CU) course and then be eligible to fill the role of Chief Umpire at a regatta.

Clinician: a Clinician conducts Umpire “Clinics”, Chief Umpire Clinics and Umpire Exams as well as Umpire “Seminars” and Evaluations. Chief Umpires nominated by their provincial rowing associations can be eligible to become clinicians.

International Umpire: an International Umpire is an umpire who has passed the FISA Umpire written and practical examinations. FISA Umpires are eligible to be appointed the juries of world cup, world championship Olympic and Paralympic regattas.


Alberta is currently home to a team of almost 20 umpires and growing. We are constantly striving to increase our membership and improve our mentorship, so if you’ve moved here from away, or are just visiting and interested- contact us to learn more!