New rules adopted in rowing

International-Rowing-FederatioCopenhagen, Feb 19 : Several new rules for rowing were adopted at the Extraordinary Congress of the International Rowing Federation (FISA) here.

At this year's Congress, 87 delegates from 51 member federations discussed and debated over Feb 15-17 the proposed changes to the statutes and rules that can better reflect the core values of the sport, reports Xinhua.

According to FISA's official statement released Monday, 49 changes to the statutes and 89 changes to the rules were discussed, among which seven changes to the statutes and 12 changes to the rules were adopted after the delegates voted for each of the proposals.

One of the changes that will have a direct effect was a proposal from France and Germany to eliminate the 100 metre breakage rule. This proposal arose following a controversial stoppage in the lightweight men's double sculls in the London Games, when a crew stopped rowing claiming damage according to this rule.

The race was stopped and all crews had to return to the start for a new start. Many delegates expressed the view that the equipment now is of a high standards compared to the past when boats were made of wood and the outriggers were welded metal.

Another important change will come into effect if the difference between two crews at the finish is not able to be determined. Before the new rules were adopted there had to be a re-row. But now the jury will look at previous rounds in the regatta and advance the crew with better prior results, similar to a "count back" used in other sports.

Having to re-row a race adds additional fatigue to the rowers and puts them at a disadvantage when facing other crews in the next round -- a handicap that now is eliminated.

Another change from the rules will mean that the Women's Four will be added to the World Championship programme since they were removed in 2011. A Canadian proposal for adding a lightweight women's single to the Olympic programme was withdrawn.

Finally, the Extraordinary Congress also attributed the 2014 World Rowing Coastal Championships to Thessaloniki, Greece for October 2014.(IANS)