Lightweight Weigh-Ins

Lightweight Weigh-Ins

Post by Ronald K. Ch » Sun, 13 Jun 1993 00:48:45


In order to avoid the somewhat humorous but nevertheless
distracting incident at national team trials this past
weekend, elite lightweight competitors are
reminded that in January, FISA changed its rules regarding
weigh-ins such that you must weigh in in your racing uniform.
the "bathing suit" exception has been eliminated.

Officials are allowed to make a judgment as to what is considered
a bona fide racing uniform.  Wearing one's underwear will not
be accepted, either at the scales or at the starting line.

Ronald K. Chen
USRowing Judge-Referee Committee

 
 
 

Lightweight Weigh-Ins

Post by David Sim » Sun, 13 Jun 1993 04:26:24


Quote:
>In order to avoid the somewhat humorous but nevertheless
>distracting incident at national team trials this past
>weekend,

Please elaborate.

 
 
 

Lightweight Weigh-Ins

Post by Ronald K. Ch » Sun, 13 Jun 1993 08:04:04


Subject: Re: Lightweight Weigh-Ins
Newsgroups: rec.sport.rowing

1.  Competitor tried to weigh in clad only in undergarments.

2.  Selector said competitor must weigh in in racing uniform

3.  Competitor said (tongue perhaps in cheek) that this was
    her racing uniform.

4.  Selector says "if you weigh in in it, then you row in it."

5.  Competitor rows race in underwear.

 
 
 

Lightweight Weigh-Ins

Post by News Manager Accou » Wed, 16 Jun 1993 02:22:08

I raced at the French International Championships, Paris in LM2x at the weekend and
had to deal with this new rule for the first time.  IMHO, the sooner FISA reverse
this the better.  All that it acomplishes is

a) The average is effectively reduced by the extra amount that the racing kit
   weighs compared with swimming costume/underpants.

b) It increases the cost of lightweight rowing as people will have to buy special
   weighing-in suits - some athletes in Paris had 100g silk suits made specially!
   (And how many lightweight programs are funded well enough to cover this?)

c) It is unenforceable anyway - How is an umpire supposed to check that the kit that
   someone races in is the same as the kit worn at the weigh-in?

The officials in Paris were not that strict - some people wore team kit, others a
mixture - but I imagine things will be tougher at Lucerne.

--  Tim Lees

 
 
 

Lightweight Weigh-Ins

Post by Aime » Wed, 16 Jun 1993 01:51:23


Quote:
> ... FISA changed its rules regarding
>weigh-ins such that you must weigh in in your racing uniform.
>the "bathing suit" exception has been eliminated.

I think this is a very sensible policy change.  I've seen some crazy
outfits at weigh-ins ... including the string bikini number.

Never having rowed as a lightweight in college, I was very ignorant to
the activities surrounding lightweight events (not just in rowing).  I
must admit that I was more than amused the first time I went for weigh-in.
People seem to take drastic measures when the scales aren't in their
favor ... I witnessed a woman sacrificing her waist-length hair merely to
get rid of a few extra ounces!   Although this is mild compared to some
of the other things I've seen, I was wondering if there has been any
discussion regarding the blatant "mis-uses" of the lightweight class.  At
the HOT Charles last year, a crew from a local school was asked by their
coach to drop 20 pounds (each) in the 2 1/2 weeks prior to the race.  I think
this is unforgivable.  In some countries, the oarspeople are not only weighed
prior to an event but afterwards as well (I think they are given a 2 lb.
allowance for fluid consumption during the event).  Has such an option ever
been entertained in the U.S. ??  I think the lightweight class provides a
"service" for people who are not as large as some of the competitors and that
its existence is certainly justified.  I'm concerned by the unhealthy lengths
people who are not true lightweights go to just to make weight (whether it is
self-inflicted or "suggested" by a coach).  I've always felt that people who roware intellegent and well-educated ... I would think that they would
realize that such actions are not only detrimental to their performance, in the
short run, but their health in the long run.

Opinions?

Aimee

 
 
 

Lightweight Weigh-Ins

Post by fee.. » Wed, 16 Jun 1993 04:29:40

|>

|>
|> > ... FISA changed its rules regarding
|> >weigh-ins such that you must weigh in in your racing uniform.
|> >the "bathing suit" exception has been eliminated.
|>
|>
|> I think this is a very sensible policy change.  I've seen some crazy
|> outfits at weigh-ins ... including the string bikini number.

I disagree, this change will increase the importance of the article of clothing
worn by the competitor...more than it does now.

|>
|> Never having rowed as a lightweight in college, I was very ignorant to
|> the activities surrounding lightweight events (not just in rowing).  I
|> must admit that I was more than amused the first time I went for weigh-in.
|> People seem to take drastic measures when the scales aren't in their
|> favor ... I witnessed a woman sacrificing her waist-length hair merely to
|> get rid of a few extra ounces!

This actually happened at the US lightweight womans singles trial this year.

|>   Although this is mild compared to some
|> of the other things I've seen, I was wondering if there has been any
|> discussion regarding the blatant "mis-uses" of the lightweight class.  At
|> the HOT Charles last year, a crew from a local school was asked by their
|> coach to drop 20 pounds (each) in the 2 1/2 weeks prior to the race.  I think
|> this is unforgivable.  In some countries, the oarspeople are not only weighed
|> prior to an event but afterwards as well (I think they are given a 2 lb.
|> allowance for fluid consumption during the event).  Has such an option ever
|> been entertained in the U.S. ??  I think the lightweight class provides a
|> "service" for people who are not as large as some of the competitors and that
|> its existence is certainly justified.  I'm concerned by the unhealthy lengths
|> people who are not true lightweights go to just to make weight (whether it is
|> self-inflicted or "suggested" by a coach).  I've always felt that people who roware intellegent and well-educated ... I would think that they would
|> realize that such actions are not only detrimental to their performance, in the
|> short run, but their health in the long run.
|>
|> Opinions?
|>

In the US this rule will only affect elite rowing events.  So the 'class' of
people that you are talking about...the dehydrated non-experience lightweight
really is not the person that will come under this ruling.  At the World
Championships the rules have been, bathing suits or underwear...some crews
show up *** and pass one pair of underwear down the line among them.  I
believe (someone correct me if I'm wrong) this ruling was to eliminate this
practice and ensure that competitors are weighed in with some clothing.

If other regattas take on the ruling fine...

I agree with the previous entry that the racing uniform is now very important
I know that in the current order of uniforms for (at least the lightweight)
team will most likely have to be canceled or changed.  The 'good quality'
unit or shorts/shirt combination will mean that the same person will add
additional weight that will be have to be lost.  I don't believe that this
will change line ups...but will require people to 'suck down' and additional
pound each.  Instead of doing that I'd rather a crew pay the extra $$ and
be able to row at their current weight.  Humm, silk sounds good.

The bottom line is that I agree an athlete should not dehydrate to extremes to
make weight and put their health at risk.  This ruling in my opinion only
increases the likelyhood of this happening.  In addition the ruling
deemphasizes the athlete and emphasizes the uniform as the important factors
in lightweight rowing....maybe people WILL be rowing in string bikinis.

-Jay Feenan

 
 
 

Lightweight Weigh-Ins

Post by Ronald K. Ch » Wed, 16 Jun 1993 06:36:39

USRowing has formed a study committee to see if additional regulations
are needed.  (This was prompted by an incident in Cincinnati last year,
in which a female rower had to be given an intravenous saline solution
directly after weigh-in because she had dehydrated herself so much.)  I don't
know what this committee is up to, but it has representatives from the two
lightweight rowing committees, the Sports Medicine Committee, and the
Judge-Referee Committee.  (also the Collegiate Committee, now that I think
about it.)

My own perception is that abuses take place more in the college lightweight
ranks rather than the elite level (where those who are not natural
lightweights don't row as such).  There are times in which less than
prudent college coaches have encouraged practices that are not healthy.

FISA rejected a proposal this year to go to maximum only (no average).  This
proposal, I believe, was intended to make one responsible for one's own
weight, and not encourage X to lose weight because Y was overweight.  This
proposal may reappear.

All of this is only tangentially relevant to the "racing uniform" issue,
which would only be germane to a rower who was right at the brink
of despair.  

 
 
 

Lightweight Weigh-Ins

Post by Nuna » Wed, 16 Jun 1993 08:36:09


Quote:
>At the HOT Charles last year, a crew from a local school was asked by their
>coach to drop 20 pounds (each) in the 2 1/2 weeks prior to the race.  I think
>this is unforgivable.

It certainly is!

Quote:
>I think the lightweight class provides a
>"service" for people who are not as large as some of the competitors and that
>its existence is certainly justified.  I'm concerned by the unhealthy lengths
>people who are not true lightweights go to just to make weight (whether it is
>self-inflicted or "suggested" by a coach).  I've always felt that people who
>row are intellegent and well-educated ... I would think that they would
>realize that such actions are not only detrimental to their performance, in the
>short run, but their health in the long run.

Unfortunately, there is probably no way around this problem.  I weighed about
180-185 pounds when I was in college.  This made me 20 pounds too heavy to
make lightweight, but a lot lighter than the "real" heavyweights.  Anyone a
little lighter than me (and even some people my size!) might wish to get into
competitions in which they are the biggest rather than the smallest.  As
the use of various performance-enhancing *** demonstrates, athletes often
will trade long-term health for short-term success.

This is probably less visible in rowing than in weight-lifting or wrestling,
where almost all of the competitors (except for the top weight class) have
to make weight, but if an event has weight classes, it is because size helps,
and therefore, an advantage always falls to the people who can just barely
get down to the weight limit.

I cannot think of any systematic way of preventing the body abuse which
goes with making weight, in lightweight rowing or any other sport.  Does
anyone have any ideas?

Bill Nunan

 
 
 

Lightweight Weigh-Ins

Post by fee.. » Thu, 17 Jun 1993 00:39:12

Quote:
>All of this is only tangentially relevant to the "racing uniform" issue,
>which would only be germane to a rower who was right at the brink
>of despair.  

This is where I disagree.  Take a strong boat today.  The goal at the
Worlds is to weigh in as close to the max/average as possible.  Today
they weight in .05-.3 kg. under weight.  Now say the US team bought
very good quality uni-suits or short/shirt combinations.  This adds
enough weight to be a factor for most elite boats.

The lightweight study done by US Rowing did indeed look at weigh-in
procedures, educational approaches, different timeframes for
weigh-ins, additional rules to deny competitors to compete, etc.  The
main factor that everyone agreed upon, that causes problems, was the lack of
general knowledge about lightweights making weight safely.  A report
with proposed guidelines was created and distributed to (I believe)
all US Rowing member organizations.  I'm leaning to questioning the
FISA ruling on the same premise.

What bothers me about the FISA ruling is: What was the motivation for
the ruling?

1. Was it health reasons?  - If so why didn't they just say every one
has to carry a 3/4 # weight.  The decision (In my opinion) goes
against this because they inherently have added weight to each
individual.  Since I don't believe the competitors will change, they
most likely will not drink about 14 oz of fluids that they normally
would sometime during the 8 hours before weigh in to make weight.

2. Was it to prevent 'indecent exposure' at weigh in? - If so, why
haven't recent worlds been regulated in such a way to prevent this
from happening.  The ruling does help in this area.

3. Was it for fairness? - I'd say that the ruling will only elevate
the value of a 'skimpy racing uniform' (either in the amount of
material or in the type of material used).  Thus there will be those
that can pay more and have the advantage of being a bit more
hydrated 2 hours before an event. If fairness was the issue than it
would seem to me *** would be the way to go...people are less likely
to cut off body parts to make weight :-).

4. There had to be another motive...but I haven't thought or heard of
one yet.  Please tell me.

Just my humble opinion...

-Jay Feenan

BTW: I am not a 'heavy' lightweight.  Just a lightweight that has
lived among a few that know how to take off the weight properly
without affecting their health.  That 14 oz of fluid that I was taking
about is important to these people.

 
 
 

Lightweight Weigh-Ins

Post by fee.. » Thu, 17 Jun 1993 00:43:45

Quote:
>I cannot think of any systematic way of preventing the body abuse which
>goes with making weight, in lightweight rowing or any other sport.  Does
>anyone have any ideas?

Sure the key word here is systematic.  Start months prior to the event
and work the weight off slowly!  The problems that I have seen in the
sport are from the people that suck off the 15-20 # in say 2 weeks jump
on the scale and make it.  That WAS the race for most of these people!

-Jay Feenan

 
 
 

Lightweight Weigh-Ins

Post by Marc P. Du » Thu, 17 Jun 1993 01:49:59

Quote:
> >I cannot think of any systematic way of preventing the body abuse which
> >goes with making weight, in lightweight rowing or any other sport.  
Does
> >anyone have any ideas?

        As far as elite rowers, I agree that if they are of that caliber,  
they obviously know how to cut weight so as to stay healthy and in good  
'condition' for the race, so this ruling is unecessary for these rowers.

        For the more inexperienced rowers, the best way to monitor that  
they do not hurt themselves trying to make weight to rapidly, the best way  
would be to monitor their weight over the weeks or months before racing  
season. Although this will be difficult to police by the EARC for example,  
I see it as the only way to do it. Any comments are welcome.

Marc Duby

 
 
 

Lightweight Weigh-Ins

Post by Ronald K. Ch » Thu, 17 Jun 1993 09:19:42

I don't really know what FISA's motivation was in changing this rule.
(I forget which federation proposed the change).  I doubt it could
have been for safety reasons, for the reasons you outline.  Possibly it
was purely an asthetic consideration (so that that the weigh-in room could be
staffed by members of either gender).

I hate to tell you all this, but I think that FISA's STatutes provide
that a racing rule such as this can only be changed once every four years
(in the year after the Olympics).  Therefore, the earliest this could
be changed would be the Extraordinary Congress of 1997.

 
 
 

Lightweight Weigh-Ins

Post by Larry Mey » Sat, 19 Jun 1993 11:29:58

Quote:

>I cannot think of any systematic way of preventing the body abuse which
>goes with making weight, in lightweight rowing or any other sport.  Does
>anyone have any ideas?

How about making people weigh in the day of a race rather than
the day before (like most collegiates do).

Once you've tried stupid dehydrating tricks and then have to race a few
hours after weigh-in, you're unlikely to try them again (that is, if
you survive the first time ;-)

In fact, I can't think of any rationale for weighing in the
day before. No, I take that back, maybe it's to protect the
idiots who would "suck down" even if they had to weigh-in
the day of.

-larry meyer
(Happy to be 15lbs heavier than when I rowed).
--
/---------------------------------------------------/


"No oil has less calories" (seen on an olive oil bottle).