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New Racing Grades

  • 31 Oct 17

New grades start now!

Do you know what it means for you?

A new Classification According to Ability has been established by associations at the last AGM, and this season you will be racing in them! We have been getting some questions about how it all works and there are some misconceptions out there, so here are the answers to the most frequently asked questions, we hope these will help clear it up for your season ahead!

As part of this process applications for reclassificaiton were received and considered. The required reclassification report can be viewed below.

What is a classification regatta?

Classification regattas are the specified regattas used to assess a rower’s ability and include regattas that are Championships and Major regattas as specified. Each year the list of classification regattas is released by Rowing NZ at the start of the season. The list of the 2017/2018 season classification regattas can be found here.

Why are the school regattas included in the list of classification regattas?

The school regattas are included as Classification Regattas because of intermediate grade rules. Those going into the Intermediate grade are those rowers that have not made a final at classification regattas. We need to include several school regattas so that we don’t have rowers above the ability level of intermediate in that grade.

The school regattas are classification regattas but don’t have classification races at them (so they don’t affect progression into senior grade). Another point is no-one can go from Intermediate to Senior, they must go through club.

Why do the classification regattas include the early season regattas – this might make it hard to change crews in the early part of the season?

The early season regattas are included because there needs to be several opportunities for people to be classified correctly, particularly because they are likely to be the same people anyway. If you have made crew changes early in the season and those early results have affected a rower’s classification at the end of the season then they can apply for reclassification. E.g. a rower was in the final seat of an eight that placed at Otago Champs but then that rower was swapped out of that boat and didn’t achieve in any races after that, then this would be a good case for reclassification because the early season result has taken them into a higher grade.

My Maadi results in 2017 have taken me from club into senior grade, why is that? I thought U17 and U18 results didn’t count towards senior in the new rules?

For the 2017/18 season no one had any classification according to ability assigned because no one had raced in the new grades therefore under Rule 13.6 Rowing NZ had to classify all rowers.

We were not able to use the new rules to classify people because that would be applying the rules retrospectively. No one has raced under the new grades and the old classes cease to exist, they also don’t equate to the new grades (we had 4 classes now we have 5 grades). What we had to do was sort a standing for each rower. To get that standing we looked at National Champs results and had to cross reference them with Maadi (because not everyone attended Nationals). We found good correlation and were able to establish the standings. The grades were determined from what the proposal outlined for each grade.

Under the new rules which are being raced under this season U18 and below races do not affect a grading except for Intermediate and Novice grades.

What happens if I didn’t need to beat anybody to make a final? (there are less crews than lanes – e.g. only 6 crews in the race)

If you are a club rower and you race in an event that doesn’t have an elimination round (i.e. a heat that progresses only some of you to the final) then that race won’t change your ability grade. This is because it is not considered a classification race. A classification race is used to assess the ability of club rowers. A classification race is for club, senior, premier, U19 or older events (excluding masters). A classification race is all A Finals at Nationals or Maadi. Then at other classification regattas it is A finals where an elimination preliminary round of racing is held.

What happens if there are 10 lanes in the South Island and only 8 in the North Island?

The rules only refer to the word ‘final’ so if you are competing in a 10 lane final at a classification regatta then it will be the 10 lanes that are considered. However if you have only been taken up a grade because you were in a 10 lane event and you were placed 9 th or 10 th – then this is a good case for reclassification by application.

Does U15, U16, U17 and U18 racing count towards my classification?

Age grade racing is only included in the assessment of the ability of Novice and Intermediate rowers but only at classification regattas; this is because Intermediate grade is determined by competing in finals at classification regattas. So if you compete in an U15 quad at a classification regatta and then race in the final - that will count towards your classification.

I have rowed the odd Masters event, does this count towards my classification?

Masters events is only included in the assessment of the ability of Novice and Intermediate rowers but only at classification regattas; this is because Intermediate grade is determined by competing in finals at classification regattas. If you were only rowing the odd masters event and that has changed your status then this could be grounds for a reclassification application (rule 13.5). Please note that the NZ Masters Championships is not listed as a 2017/18 classification regatta.

Why have I gone from Novice to Club grade and not to intermediate grade?

The confusion begins because people have not understood the references to season. A Novice rower goes from Novice to Intermediate at the end of their first season (which is the end of Maadi). They are then in an off season period and classified as Intermediate. At the start of the next season (1 st Sept) an Intermediate rower moves up to Club if they competed in finals during the previous season. They have gone from Novice to Club because they were successful Novices. If a novice didn’t compete in finals then they remain in intermediate.

Will the size of the boat have any effect on whether I change grades or not?

The size of the boat is not stipulated within the rules so if the result/s that moves you up from one grade to another is in an eight or in a double it will not make a difference.

However athletes can apply for re-classification by application, part of this process does take into consideration what size of boat the result took place in. For example if you were applying for reclassification because you had one result in an eight that moved you up then this is more likely to be approved than if it were in a double. This is outlined in the guidelines for reclassification by application which can be found here .

What happens if I row an Open event at a classification regatta?

If you are a club rower and you row in an open event, this will not affect your classification so that open race won’t move you up to senior grade.

If you are an intermediate rower and you row in an open event and you compete in the final, it will affect your classification – because competing in finals at classification regattas is used to assess intermediate. But it will not take you into senior grade - you will go into club grade.

An Intermediate rower cannot go straight to senior grade, they have to go through club grade.

Can I be regraded to a novice rower?

No, no rower can become novice again. Applications to reclassify are also only open for Intermediate, Club or Senior grades.

If I am not doing very well in my grade when will I move down a grade?

Rowers only move a grade at the end or start of the season. No-one changes mid-way through even if they are winning.

No rower can become novice again, so you cannot move down from intermediate grade.

For those in club or senior grades you can move down a grade if you don’t meet the requirements after two seasons. The requirements for each grade are highlighted in Rule 13.4.

A premier rower immediately becomes a senior grade rower when they are no longer within a RPC.

Will the Nationals Programme feature the new Intermediate grade?

At this stage, no the new Intermediate grade is not included in the National Championships programme. The Nationals events are set at the AGM in a rule change year and the new grades weren't in force when the programme was submitted. Many of the local or major regattas may include some intermediate racing and should this grade grow in popularity it may be included in the Nationals Programme as exhibition events. Once the grade has established itself fully it will likely be included under the next programme review.

I haven’t rowed for a while and am starting back this season, I don’t seem to have a classification – what should I do?

You should contact Rowing NZ who holds your classification on file or will be able to assess your rowing CV and give you a grade for the season.

If after racing in the new grades and being classified for the next season I don’t agree with my classification, what can I do?

Under Rule 13.5 a rower may apply for re-classification to intermediate or club or senior. Applications will only be considered if they have the support of the rowers club and local association, if it sets out a case explaining why and are received at least one month before the start of the new season.