Canoeing as raced in the Sprint Racing discipline of Canoe Kayak Canada (CKC) is an Olympic event and requires officials as well as athletes to conduct a competition (regatta). Volunteers are the core of the officiating team and give their time, energy, and expertise to ensure the fairest and safest racing conditions possible for all competitors. The Official plays an integral role in the running of the regatta and numerous volunteer Officials are required for the many officiating and/or support positions necessary.
The quality of competition in sprint racing has been developed and improved considerably in Canada over the past few years and this growth has been due to the dedication of many individuals across the country. The Official's Accreditation Program allows you to become involved and those of you who choose to enter the program will find officiating a challenging and rewarding experience.
When you decide to become a sprint racing Official, the initial step is to attend a one-day clinic held in your locale. These clinics are conducted by experienced people who are knowledgeable in officiating. The clinic will introduce you to the Competition Rules and to the specific responsibilities of the various officiating and/or support positions. As a novice Official, you will not be expected to learn or attain all abilities of an experienced Official immediately. Rather, you will begin by learning the basic essential material. The knowledge. experience and confidence that you will require to be an effective Official will be learned by gradually performing the various officiating positions.
The five-tier Official's Accreditation Program for sprint racing is as follows;
Officials in-training or a novice;
Officials Functioning within a single Club environment;
Officials who function at regattas involving two or more Clubs;
Officials who function at Provincial regattas and/or Divisional Championships;
Officials who function at National Championships regattas;
Officials who function at International regattas;
Accreditation Program has been designed to develop officiating in Canada and to provide levels within it, an integrated and progressive means of improving their knowledge and skill in the theoretical, technical, and practical aspects of sprint racing officiating. Within this process, each level of officiating experience is matched to appropriate competition demands so that Officials are qualified to officiate at regattas which are most suitable to their experience and ability.
Competition Rule Book
Check out Canoe Kayak Canada's coaching pages for some in depth information for Coaches
Check out Canoe Kayak Ontario Sprint's coaching page for some Ontario specific coaching information.
The Coaching Association of Canada is a not-for-profit organization with the mission to establish education, training and ethical standards for coaches in Canada.
The Need for Volunteers
One of the great and distinguishing features of our sport is that it an all-volunteer sport. Everyone who is working in a regatta is doing so on their own time. In order for the race organizers (club, division, province & nationally) to conduct a safe & fair competition – we are totally reliant on volunteers.
Your kids work & train hard for weeks & months to prepare for these competitions – and it is important for all parents to be prepared to support your kids by participating in the conduct of our regatta’s.
A qualifying regatta (ie WOD Trials) requires upwards of 40 volunteers (of which 8 are boat drivers), plus up to 12 officials.
This info sheet is designed to help parents understand the roles involved – so that you can feel comfortable about your ability to do the required duties. Finally – this is a great opportunity for high school students to obtain their volunteer hours required for graduation.
Volunteering for regattas is coordinated through your club, as each club has designated slots to be filled.
There are a number of specialized roles that require certification; We encourage all parents to achieve a basic certification – which will enable you to participate in key support roles in a competition (Starters assistant, Boat control assistants, timers, Announcer, Results management, finish line judges, video operator etc);
Interested persons can then seek additional certification in the following positions: Chief Official, Chief Finish Line Judge, Competition Secretary, Finish Line Judges, Timer, Boat Controller, Starter,
Please contact Joanne Bryant – Divisional Officials Coordinator at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Below is a brief summary & description of key volunteer positions required at a typical regatta:
Boat Drivers (Note: the Division will pay for Boat Operators Permit fees)
Safety Boats – Operate boats on the fringe of the course to pick up paddlers who have fallen out of their boats.
Referee Boats – Follow down the lanes behind the racers to allow the Referees to monitor each race.
Starter’s Boat – operate the boat so the Starter can get the racers lined up properly for the start of each race
NOTE: Boat Operators MUST have a Boat Operators permit
Spotters: 1 per safety boat
Keep an eye on the racers - and alert driver to paddlers who have fallen out of their boats.
Assist paddler to board safety boat.
Pick up paddles and blocks as necessary.
Secure race boat for return trip to shore.
Finish Line Judges
Responsible for writing down the finish order of the racers. The racers each have a lane number marker on their boats. As they cross the finish line, the judges simply write down the lane number in the order of the finish. The finish line judges must agree on the finish order. In the event of a disagreement, the judges refer to the video replay.
Time keepers operate the manual timing device. The timekeepers will get the start of the race from the Starter and then mark the race times as the racers come across the finish line. The timing device will print out a list of the race times which the timekeepers hand to the Chief Official.
Must be comfortable working with Microsoft Excel. The results officials get the race times from the Chief Official and enter the times into a spreadsheet provided.
Second person to calculate Burgee points
Responsible for using the PA system to inform spectators of the race on the course plus the names and lanes of the racers.
Will make general announcements such as calling coaches to the judges stand, lost & found, food services etc
Provide assistance to the Starter as requested
Identify the boats for upcoming races
Communicate any scratches etc. to tower
Hold 2-way radio for starter
Responsible for operating the video replay camera. This is a basic tripod video camera similar in operation to a home video camera.
This person(s) would be responsible for ensuring the awards are available for the presenters during the awards ceremony
The person would ensure the podium and flags are ready
Results Runners (Great job for young kids!)
Responsible to obtain results & advancements from the Results official – and post them on the designated results boards
Info tent host
Variety of duties including:
Checking in Volunteers
Selling of race cards
Provide Tower officials with beverages/snacks
Helping set up officials’ lunch
Helping out the results runner & awards coordinator
Note: As a volunteer in any capacity – you are expected to be neutral! You should not be cheering on any crews while in your station.