Lightweight Weigh-in Procedures Redux

Lightweight Weigh-in Procedures Redux

Post by Ronald K. Ch » Fri, 01 Jul 1994 10:24:19


        As Jay Feenan and some others have hinted, the issue of
weigh-in procedures for lightweights continued to be a topic on
concern at this year's Nationals.  (Translation:  the referees
assigned to the Control Commission were under seige.)

        A bit of history.  Until a few years ago, both FISA and
USRowing in their written rules provided that a lightweight must
weigh in between one to two hours before **EACH RACE**.  What the
written rules provided and what was enforced in practice,
unfortunately, were not necessarily the same thing.  Indeed, the
practice of "one weigh-in per day" cropped up despite the rules.
(It is common in collegiate rowing to weigh-in the night before).

        Then FISA changed their rule to require a weigh-in only
before the "first heat" on each day of racing.  (The term "heat"
is generic and refers to repechages, semifinals, etc.)

        Of course, multiple races in the same event on the same
day do not occur (barring some unusual circumstance) at FISA
World Championships, although they could occur at other interna-
tional regattas conducted under FISA rules.  Doubling up on
events is rare at FISA events as well.  So last year USRowing had
to figure out what this change should mean to us domestically.

        What we came up with was the following.  If heats are
held in the morning and repechages occur in the afternoon, then
there is no unfairness in dispensing with the second weigh-in,
since all rowers are in the same boat (so to speak).  (The same
applies to morning semifinals and afternoon finals).  Therefore,
the rule was changed to require a weigh-in before the first race
in **each event**.

        However, it was thought to be unfair to allow a com-
petitor in an earlier event to use the prior weigh-in for a later
event (e.g. a single sculler who later rows in the double).  This
would give an unfair advantage to those who rowed in an early
event when compared with others who had to weigh-in 1 to 2 hours
before the later event and had less time to rehydrate, etc.

        This change (which was a RELAXATION of the previous
rule), was done after consultation with the appropriate
Lightweight Committees.

        So there's the current rule.  Strangely enough, at the
first LWT 1X national team trials this month, we received a
protest from a coach who wanted us to go back to the old rule of
weigh-ins before every race.  This past weekend in Indy, however,
there was considerable support for weighing in only once a day.
When faced with a no win situation, the Chief Referee did what I
think he had to do, which is go with the rule as written in the
book, of which everyone presumably has notice.

        It is possible that the FISA rule, even after it was
relaxed, is not practical for USRowing Nationals, given the
greater frequency of entries in multiple events.  IF the rule is
changed, however, it would have to take into account the fairness
issue.  I am therefore interested in reactions and opinions to
the following proposal:

     DRAFT ONLY

     Lightweights shall weigh-in once a day.  Any lightweight
     rower may weigh-in beginning two hours before the first race
     of any lightweight event held on that day, regardless of
     whether the competitor is entered in that event.  A
     lightweight must weigh-in no later than one hour before the
     first lightweight race in which he or she actually competes.

The purpose of this is to create a "one weigh-in per day rule,"
while at the same time preserving fairness.  Any rower entered in
an event in which heats begin in late morning could weigh-in at
the same time as a rower entered in an early moring event, and
everyone would have the same time to rehydrate.

        This rule has disadvantages, including practical con-
siderations of preventing a stampede at the scales at 5:30 AM.
Perhaps this rule also creates a slight disadvantage to those who
enter multiple events, but after all, it is their choice to do
so.  There is no rule that is perfect.  I am interested in what
lightweight competitors think is the best approximation to a fair
rule.

        So for now (including the American Rowing Championships
in Topeka next month) the rule stays.  At the Worlds in Septem-
ber, the one to two hour rule before the first race will also be
enforced.

        And for those who want to change the rule, you know my e-

                                Ron Chen
                                USRowing Judge-Referee Committee
                                Rules of Rowing Editor


Ass't Professor of Law                Rutgers Law School, 15 Washington St.
(201) 648-5160                                             Newark, NJ 07102

 
 
 

Lightweight Weigh-in Procedures Redux

Post by HCE » Fri, 01 Jul 1994 22:36:02



<< DRAFT ONLY

     Lightweights shall weigh-in once a day.  Any lightweight
     rower may weigh-in beginning two hours before the first race
     of any lightweight event held on that day, regardless of
     whether the competitor is entered in that event.  A
     lightweight must weigh-in no later than one hour before the
     first lightweight race in which he or she actually competes.

The purpose of this is to create a "one weigh-in per day rule,"
while at the same time preserving fairness. >>>

I agree with Ron here, with one caveat:  anyone racing in the first
events of the day (e.g. a 7:00 a.m. singles heat) should be permitted
to weigh-in first and prepare to race.  There may also be a need for
additional scales at the early hour, although many will sleep in and
weigh-in at a civil hour, perhaps after the sun has risen.
  The scales would also need to remain open throughout the day for
those who wish to weigh-in closer to race time.  If the scales are to
be closed at any time, itt should be a fairly liberl window so that
individuals who do not race until late afternoon don't have to stand
in line at the crack of dawn.
  There will also be a need for considerable organization at the
scales to record the weights of people rowing in multiple events
without slowing the process down to a standstill.  Those who have
been there know thatt containing a hungry hoard of athletes standing
in the dust in wet clothes can get ugly.

  These are logistical concerns, not for a discussion of the rules
but important to the practical application of the rules.

This is two years running that the same debate has raged during the
racing, and I appreciate your effort to put together a sensible and
final ruling, Ron.

--Ed Hewitt, veteran of countless Indy weigh-ins

 
 
 

Lightweight Weigh-in Procedures Redux

Post by r.. » Sat, 02 Jul 1994 09:29:23



Quote:
>        As Jay Feenan and some others have hinted, the issue of
>weigh-in procedures for lightweights continued to be a topic on
>concern at this year's Nationals.  (Translation:  the referees
>assigned to the Control Commission were under seige.)

>        It is possible that the FISA rule, even after it was
>relaxed, is not practical for USRowing Nationals, given the
>greater frequency of entries in multiple events.  IF the rule is
>changed, however, it would have to take into account the fairness
>issue.  I am therefore interested in reactions and opinions to
>the following proposal:

>     DRAFT ONLY

>     Lightweights shall weigh-in once a day.  Any lightweight
>     rower may weigh-in beginning two hours before the first race
>     of any lightweight event held on that day, regardless of
>     whether the competitor is entered in that event.  A
>     lightweight must weigh-in no later than one hour before the
>     first lightweight race in which he or she actually competes.

>The purpose of this is to create a "one weigh-in per day rule,"
>while at the same time preserving fairness.  Any rower entered in
>an event in which heats begin in late morning could weigh-in at
>the same time as a rower entered in an early moring event, and
>everyone would have the same time to rehydrate.

>        This rule has disadvantages, including practical con-
>siderations of preventing a stampede at the scales at 5:30 AM.
>Perhaps this rule also creates a slight disadvantage to those who
>enter multiple events, but after all, it is their choice to do
>so.  There is no rule that is perfect.  I am interested in what
>lightweight competitors think is the best approximation to a fair
>rule.

>        So for now (including the American Rowing Championships
>in Topeka next month) the rule stays.  At the Worlds in Septem-
>ber, the one to two hour rule before the first race will also be
>enforced.

>        And for those who want to change the rule, you know my e-

>                                Ron Chen
>                                USRowing Judge-Referee Committee
>                                Rules of Rowing Editor


>Ass't Professor of Law                Rutgers Law School, 15 Washington St.
>(201) 648-5160                                             Newark, NJ 07102

        It seems that you poor Americans have had your knickers in a knot for a long
time over nothing. Here in Australia we have used a very simple rule that has
never caused any complaints regarding unfairness or equity. Put simply you
weigh in between 1 and 2 hours before your first race each day of a regatta. If
you race multiple events, which is very common at our National and State
regatta, you still only weigh in once. The case where a person only has one
race late in the day we see as being their bad luck that they have to starve
and stay dehydrated until their later weigh in. In a way it evens out for them
not having raced earlier and being fresh for the later race.

        Allowing people racing late in the day to weigh in first thing in the morning
is crazy. It is an open invitation to large people to do stupid things to make
weight and gives them a great advantage in terms of recovery before racing many
hours after weigh in. The proposed rule takes no account of the effects of
earlier races on peoples exhaustion. In my experience the exhaustion of races
has a lot more to do with subsequent race performances than the need to make
weight.

        In fact this proposed rule positively discourages participation in races by
making racing multiple events more of a handicap than it allready is. Shouldn't
more rather than less participation be encouraged. It is hard enough as it is
to get lightweights to row because of the extra burdens of making weight.

Richard Wraith
Mercantile Rowing Club
Melbourne Australia


 
 
 

Lightweight Weigh-in Procedures Redux

Post by HCE » Sat, 02 Jul 1994 22:54:02


writes:

<<The case where a person only has one
race late in the day we see as being their bad luck >>>

Here's the crux of the issue.  Who gets nailed, the people who are
racing multiple events or the people who have to starve all day.
It's a judgement call in my opinion.  As for large people doing
stupid things, here in the states I believe this issue is confined at
present to our Elite National championship  (please correct me if
this goes on at American Nationals, and I pity all if it does).  At
that regatta, there is less likelihood of last minute weight loss, as
events run for several days with heas, reps and finals, and three
days of sucking weight is too much misery for ethe experienced
athletes who attend the Indy races.

There are two options here:  1. everybody weigh in at more or less
the same time, and 2. weigh in two hours before your first race.
I would argue that the brouhaha at last year's Nationals started with
a simple request for a simple clarification of how the rule (which
has changed several times since my first nationals in '87) would be
applied.  

Issues of heat (do you want to have people hungry and dried out
standing around sun-drenched scales in 95 degree heat at 2 p.m.) have
driven rule changes.  We need simply to weigh the relative merits of
the two methods and STICK WITH ONE.

--Hewitt, aware that REDUX may mean SNOOZE for many, and boring?!?!
to one.

 
 
 

Lightweight Weigh-in Procedures Redux

Post by Mr D Hensh » Fri, 08 Jul 1994 10:54:44

Hey Richard.....

        Nice to see another Aussie, lightweight (ex - still - going) from Merc's
        What are the plans for this season ?
        Coming for a row tonight (8/7 today!)

        Regarding all this weigh-in hype....
        You should have been following it about a month ago!
        It got pretty *** btween the heavies and lighties....
        So pretty funny stuff too!

        Anyway, keep on with it!

                David Henshaw
                (Chook)
                Mercantile Vic. Aust.

        P.S. your email address don't work!!!!!!