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New Classification According to Ability

  • 07 Aug 17

The new classifications according to ability have been sent to clubs, so check with your club for your new grade for the 2017/18 season.

As a consequence of a number of years of dissatisfaction with the direction of domestic rowing at the 2017 AGM the rowing Associations discussed and then adopted a new Classification According to Ability rule.

The Old Senior and Old Club class have now been divided into 3 new grades – Intermediate, Club and Senior. These classifications along with the other new rules of racing which were voted on by your associations at the AGM and can be found here: Rules of Racing 2017 The changes in the Rules of Racing were the culmination of a 9 month consultation process with Clubs and Associations, and every Association had the opportunity to put forward proposals.

The proposal that was voted in at the AGM assessed the Old Club class as a class that had a far wider range of ability than it should have (the winners were A LOT better than the rowers at the back of the field). It was also apparent that many of those in the Old Club class were also competitive in Old Senior. Therefore the Associations voted to change the way rowers were classified.

The Old Senior class didn’t really function as it should have - there were only 30 Old Senior rowers who raced at Nationals this year. That’s not even enough to fill the 42 seats of Old Senior winners. Therefore most of the New Senior grade (who came up from the Old Club class) were already racing against one another anyway.

The new classification system that was voted in took two grades and made three grades out of the same number of rowers.

With the adoption of the new rule and as no rower has raced under these new rules, and we can’t apply the rules retrospectively, Rowing NZ was tasked (under rule 13.6) with having to assign rowers into the grades established under these new rules for the 2017/18 season.

The rule change agreed to by Associations meant that the two old classes (Old Club and Old Senior) became three new grades (Intermediate, Club, Senior). No rower has raced in the new grades and the old classes now cease to exist, so we had to work out where a rower’s ability would best put them.

To assess a rower’s ability for 2017/18 we reviewed the results from Nationals 2017 (because that was the Championship regatta) and tried to establish a standing for each individual. National Champs however only had 720 athletes compete at it last year, but there were about 5000 licensed rowers who raced last year. To find out where the remaining 4280 athletes would be placed we also had to cross reference with Maadi cup results to assess which of the new grades those rowers belonged to. We found good correlation and were able to determine their new grade.

  • The bottom end of the group (those who are no longer Novice and aren’t quite achieving finals) were placed into Intermediate grade.
  • The top end (those who are of a standard such as Old Senior, Old Club and U18 finalists, or U17 and U19 medalists) were placed in the New Senior Grade.
  • The remaining middle group of athletes were put into the New Club grade.

With no-one ever having raced in the new grades, the level of ability of each rower had to be assessed and we incrementally went through each scenario and conducted a number of checks in order to ensure adjustments were made for any extreme outliers. We then had to ensure we had classified all the other rowers who had raced in other seasons, this amounted to the 30,000+ athletes we have records on. So everyone now should have a classification.

The final grade assignments were done to align with the proposal which was agreed to unanimously by your delegates from your Associations. If you would like further information about the proposal of rule change that was agreed to it can be found here.

If you would like further detail or would like to discuss a specific case please feel free to get in touch.

Clubs have all been advised of their rower’s new grades. If a rower believes they should not be within their assigned grade they can apply for re-classification to Rowing NZ using the form below.