Youth Lightweight Task Force Update

In December, the USRowing board passed a motion to establish a task force to study men’s and women’s junior lightweight rowing. The 20-plus-person task force is up-and-running and recently established two sub-committees to focus on specific objectives.

The first sub-committee will focus on developing and communicating best practices that protect the health and safety of junior lightweight rowers. They will spend the next two to three months looking at protocols that are currently in place at the junior level and will make recommendations for any rules changes moving forward. Best practices will be communicated to the membership during the spring, and any potential changes would formally apply to USRowing regional and national events in 2019.

The second sub-committee will focus on evaluating a long-term strategy around junior lightweight rowing. This process will be ongoing during 2018 and will take a look at performance studies, long-term health studies, and body size and weight distribution in non-weight monitored sports, among others.

Once the sub-committees have completed their reviews, the full task force will review the current rules and propose recommendations for any changes including weight classification to be presented to the Board of Directors.

Members of the task force include:

  • Medical Representative: Dr. Kris Karlson – USRowing Medical Commission
  • Bruce Beall: Bainbridge Island Rowing
  • Mark Bellinger: Fox Chapel Crew
  • Kit Bennett: Skyline Crew and University of Michigan
  • Pam Besteman: Norcal Crew
  • Alex Canale: St. Peter’s Preparatory School
  • Brian Colgan: Treasure Coast Rowing Club
  • Will Congram: Men’s Competitive Youth Programs
  • Paul Coomes: Penn AC Rowing Association
  • Kathleen Crowe: USRowing and FISA Official
  • Eric Chiang: USRowing Referee
  • John Fife: St Joseph’s Prep
  • Joe Flynn: USRowing Board of Directors/Rowing Club of Woodlands
  • Rich Griffith: Ann Arbor Pioneer High School
  • Dorothy Lazor: Virginia Scholastic Rowing Association
  • Bob Madden: Undine Barge Club
  • Bill Manning: Princeton University
  • Christopher McElroy: Springside Chestnut Hill
  • Hunter Mnich: Pioneer Valley Riverfront Club
  • Leslie Pfeil: Philadelphia Scholastic Rowing Association
  • Charley Sullivan: Temple University
  • Alex Twist: Lightweight National Team Athlete and High School Coach
  • Rob Welsh: Mountain Lakes Rowing Club
  • Mackenzie Whiteside: Institute for Rowing Leadership

Both committees are next scheduled to meet during the week of February 26.

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