There are more than 30 official regattas and heads held in Ireland annually.
These events, including the popular Commercial Regatta, could not be run without umpires. Umpiring can help broaden your knowledge of rowing and test your decision-making abilities. Most umpires are former rowers themselves who enjoy contributing to their sport. Others become involved in umpiring because their daughter or son are rowing.
At Commercial, umpires have a strong desire to ensure that regattas are safe and athletes are always treated fairly.
‘Things’ can happen during a race that can create an unsafe situation or make racing conditions unfair or unequal for the competitors. The umpire uses his or her judgement, in accordance with the rules (pdf), to restore fair and equal chance to the competitors in each race.
Umpiring at Commercial is Rewarding
There is a bonus to umpiring: it’s the best seat in the house to watch a race.
Additionally, from time to time, on a good year, the Commercial Regatta Organising Committee has been known to award a limited number of free soggy sandwiches at the end of the Umpire’s shift (subject to treasurer’s discretion)!
Becoming a Commercial Umpire
Now that we’ve sold you, here is how you can become an umpire. The Umpire Exam is open to any member of Commercial Rowing Club who is 18 years or older. All that is needed is some knowledge and a love of rowing from your experience as a rower, coach, parent, or volunteer.
An umpires’ training session, aka seminar, is held prior to the exam (for first-timers).
The scheduling of training, exams and all licensing issues is overseen by our colleagues in Rowing Ireland. Please monitor their website for all schedule changes / cancellations, etc.
Anyone who thinks they might be interested in training to become an umpire should register direct with Rowing Ireland or contact any Commercial Registered Umpire.