Women's Rowing Group Sets Parameters for First Division I Event

Aug. 13, 2001

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. - The Division I Women's Rowing Committee agreed to a slight increase in the 2002 team championship field and kept total competitors the same heading into its first year as a single-division sport.

Those items highlighted the committee's annual meeting July 15-18 in Indianapolis, which also is the site for next year's championship on Eagle Creek Reservoir. But instead of a national collegiate event, Divisions I and III will hold their own competitions at the Indiana location.

"This remains an exciting time for women's rowing, with our rapid growth having a Division I championship possible," said Jody Mooradian, senior associate director of athletics at Northeastern University and chair of the committee. "In 1982, there were fewer than 1,000 participants. Now there are more than 4,000 Division I rowing student-athletes."

Twelve Division I teams will enter boats into all three events -- I Eights, II Eights and Fours -- up from the 10 bids that have been awarded during the championship's five-year NCAA history. Four eight-woman boats also will be invited at large, leaving participation numbers at the same level of 311 (344 including spares) from previous years.

The committee is recommending to the Division I Championships/Competition Cabinet that one additional at-large boat be added for the 2003 and 2004 championships. This would increase the number of competitors to 321 (355 with spares).

Regarding those upcoming events, the committee currently is gathering information on bids by prospective host sites. One idea being floated would grant an at-large boat bid to the school serving as host.

"Unlike most other sports, the rowing championship can only be held at a limited number of sites," Mooradian said. "The committee is actively soliciting bids from the available sites. An incentive that was discussed was an automatic bid to the host institution."

In addition, the committee is recommending the rule allowing substitutions after lineups have been declared be changed from 25 percent to 50 percent for each eight-woman boat.

Current rules allow changes up to 25 percent in eight boats and 50 percent in fours up to the time for submission of final lineups at the championship site.

"The rowing coaches had indicated their preference for more flexibility in substitutions, which we addressed by adjusting the 25 percent to 50 percent," Mooradian said.

Finally, the committee will look into the size of manufacturers' logos on all boats -- noting that U.S. Rowing has a size limit. The committee also requested that all 2001-02 results be forwarded to the Row2K.com Web site (www.row2k. com) for consistency of information.

"We tried to address the difficulty coaches had in faxing in results with the ease of using the Row2K Web site to submit results," Mooradian said. "This will streamline the process for both results and rankings."

The 2002 championships take place May 31-June 2.