Letter from DI Rowing Committee
Hi everyone –
We hope all of you are well. With the unique year we are having, the Division I Committee wanted to reach out to the coaching community and update you on what we know (as of now), and what we are beginning to work on as we embark on this spring season. We hope that a bit more transparency will be helpful in your planning and training for the year. Please note we are sending this to each region separately.
First off, we thought it was important to mention what the women’s rowing committee has jurisdiction over. Our responsibility is to run the NCAA Rowing Championship – this includes the selection of the teams, as well as conducting the championships regatta. We do not have purview over the regular season, other than to share what the committee has used as selection criteria in the past. As you can imagine, we expect this year to have local and national rules/regulations which will likely overlay any decisions that either the NCAA or the Committee may have purview over.
Here is what we do know as of now (please note that anything can change, but this is the best information we currently have):
- Our primary focus will be the safety and fairness of the championship
- There has been no change (at this point) to the field size for Division I (22 teams)
- The Division I Championship Oversight Committee has approved a reduction in the minimum number of contests by 50% (which means three spring contests for Rowing). We would recommend schools schedule more than that number, if at all possible, to prepare for contingencies based on how the spring plays out.
- The minimum number of participants to count as a contest remains at 23 (NCAA events)
- We expect the Championships to be much more regimented than it has ever been with regards to timing/space for safety reasons; e.g., assigned practice times, launch times/docks.
- We are planning a webinar to introduce the new results reporting system around mid-March – while we know this process is different than in the past, and likely more work on the front end, we believe the process should allow for more consistency in reporting.
- The championships monthly newsletter that you typically receive during the season will begin to be sent as a weekly newsletter. Be sure to look for it each week and review the general section as well as the women’s rowing section for timely updates/information, if available that week.
We are aware that there are/will be a number of questions about the selection process, and the likely challenges we anticipate this year. We acknowledge there are no perfect solutions (and many opinions!) to the challenges of what we expect to be a reduction in the number of competitions across teams. We are aware of topics such as the reduction in cross-regional racing, as well as the risk of the league championships being canceled or run in a different format than in the past. We will discuss how best to work through the ranking and selection process as racing begins, but we are charged to use the current selection criteria as best as possible, knowing that reasonable people may interpret those criteria differently.
What we can promise is that we will be as thoughtful and deliberate in our discussions as each of your teams deserve. We have already had robust conversations on these topics, and expect this to continue to be extremely thorough. In addition, it is worth noting that these issues are not specific just to rowing, as each sport with a championship will face similar issues in evaluating teams.
Please let us know if you have any questions. Thank you for your work in helping to keep your student-athletes safe.
- Division 1 Women’s Committee
Enclosed is relevant information from the NCAA. The NCAA updates their Covid page regularly with helpful information – here is a link to their page:
Additionally, memorandums were sent to all schools February 3 (initial) and February 11 (update) regarding testing and protocols. For your convenience, links to those memos can be found below (bullet Nos. 1 and 4, respectively). A webinar was conducted February 5, and a link to that recording can be found in the memo in bullet No. 4. All of these bullet points can be found under the “Division I Championships Resources” section of the Division I Championships landing page on www.NCAA.org(https://www.ncaa.org/championships?division=d1)