USRowing Youth Lightweight Protocol  

for 2020

USRowing just announced its Youth Lightweight Rowing Protocol for 2020. It is very reasonable and a GREAT way to start. The protocol in its entire format is printed below, the following is a summary.

  • Athletes must register as a lightweight for the 2020 Spring Season between Jan 15 and March 15

  • In order to register, athletes must have the clearance form signed by their Doctor

  • Parents and athletes must sign the form

  • Coaches need to complete a Lightweight coaching education course by April 1, 2020

  • Any athlete who does not register before March 15th will not be eligible to row lightweight at Youth Nationals, YNC Qualifying Regattas, as well as any USRowing Sanctioned regatta.

  • There is a $10.00 per athlete lightweight certification fee

  • There will be a review of the policy following YNC, which will affect how the program is implemented in 2021

It is now up to us... athletes, coaches and parents to get on board and do it right. No excuses, no exceptions. We managed to get a lifeline, let's not mess it up now. If USRowing gets inundated with athletes asking for special considerations or trying to game the system, they will make things a lot tougher - or worse still go back to canceling lightweight rowing.

HERE IS THE FULL USROWING JUNIOR LIGHTWEIGHT COMPLIANCE PROGRAM PROTOCOL


This evidence-based protocol is designed to ensure that participating athletes are qualified "true" lightweights and do not lose weight in order to meet the weight standards of their respective gender. The maximum weights are as follows: Women: 130 lbs. or less; Men: 150 lbs. or less.

  1. Each organization is responsible for registering all eligible athletes with USRowing between January 15 and March 15, 2020. This includes:

    1. Register eligible athletes via each member organization's team roster in its membership profile in the USRowing membership portal.

    2. Submit the original versions of the USRowing Junior Lightweight Clearance Form to the USRowing main office postmarked no later than March 15, 2020.

    3. The form requires medical examination and signature by a physician validating that the athlete meets the criteria.  

    4. Individuals that cannot meet the criteria of providing CDC growth chart weight percentile for the past three years must submit a written request for medical waiver to USRowing by February 15, 2020. The athlete will be contacted and asked to provide supplementary data prior to the March 15 deadline. Written requests should be submitted via e-mail at lightweights@usrowing.org.

  2. The athlete and the legal guardian/parent are required to sign the form authorizing participation in lightweight events, which will include relevant information related to weight management in adolescents, and the release to allow for the information to be provided to USRowing and affiliated associations (e.g. relevant regattas). This will be available by January 15, 2020, and will need to be submitted with the USRowing Junior Lightweight Clearance Form to the USRowing main office postmarked no later than March 15, 2020.

  3. Coaches will be required to complete the Junior Lightweight Rowing Coaching Education Materials by April 1, 2020. Materials will be available by March 1, 2020.

  4. The cost to administer the program will be $10 per athlete. Organizations will be able to pay the fee for all of their lightweight athletes via the USRowing membership portal.

  5. Athletes participating in all USRowing Youth National Championships qualification regattas, the USRowing Youth National Championships and any USRowing registered regatta with junior lightweights held between March 15 and June 30 (during the time period of the pilot program) must comply with this process to meet the new liability insurance requirements. Registered regattas with junior lightweights that occur prior to March 15 are encouraged to adopt the protocol.

  6. Athletes not registered with USRowing as junior lightweights by March 15, 2020, are not eligible to participate in lightweight events at USRowing Youth National Championships qualification regattas, the USRowing Youth National Championships and any USRowing registered regatta with junior lightweights held between March 15 and June 30 (during the time period of the pilot program). No exceptions.

  7. Violations will be classified within USRowing's definition of a violation of SafeSport policies as follows:

    • In the event that a coach and/or administrator is reported to violate these policies, USRowing's Director of SafeSport will initiate an investigation. The consequences may include: suspension of membership/certification, completion of an education program and additional penalties subject to the outcome of the investigation.

    • USRowing also will introduce the following policy/rule to discourage unsafe behavior for all athletes (including adults).  

      • Rower health and safety remain paramount in USRowing's mission. Any observed incident of unsafe, abusive, or aggressive weight loss practices (including, but not limited to, "garbage bag runs," sweatsuit runs, aggressive erg workouts or verbal references to unhealthy practices such as purging, laxative use, or sweat runs), either directly by, or reported to, a USRowing or regatta official, will result in the immediate exclusion of the athlete and the crew from any lightweight event.

  8. USRowing will review the program immediately following the 2020 USRowing Youth National Championships and submit recommendations for 2021 to the Board of Directors during the September 2020 meeting.