Become a Boat Race Official

Interested in learning more about becoming a Boat Race Official (BRO)? We welcome all to look into becoming a Boat Race Official, regardless of your experience with sport. There are a variety of responsibilities required during a regatta, including:

  • Umpires: BRO's follow each race up the course ensuring that the boats stay in their respective lanes and are abiding by race rules. 
  • Starters: Liaises with the aligner and getting each race underway to a fair and safe start.
  • Aligners: Liaises with the starter and aligns boats evenly for a fair start.
  • Judges: Ensures that the correct finishing order is recorded from the finish line. A fantastic role where you get to witness all the results first hand!
  • Marshals: Identifies and marshals boats into the race and monitors safely.
  • Referee: Single BRO nominated by the Officials Jury who oversees all the official regatta operations.

Below is relevant information to get you started in becoming a Boat Race Official. 

National Rowing Officials Accreditation Scheme (NROAS)

The National Rowing Officials Accredititation Scheme (NROAS) consists of five progressional stages of the official pathway. Each stage requires a certain amount of training and experience in order to progress. Please see the below diagram which describes the required training for progression. 

More information and document downloads will be available soon.

FAQ's about becoming a Boat Race Official

Do I have to have been/be a rower or part of a club or school to become an official?

No, you do not have to have an affiliation with a club or school rowing program nor any experience in the sport of Rowing. It is, however, helpful and advantageous to know the basics of the sport as this will assist in your general knowledge in progression through course material. 

Is the theory test hard and does it require a lot of time?

No, the theory test examines basic judging, marshalling, umpiring and control commission components. The test should not take long as it is multiple choice and can be completed in your own time. 

How often do you officiate?

Officiating occurs within the regatta season. You can choose which regattas you can officiate at and therefore can be a flexible volunteer role. 

Do you get to choose which regattas you can officiate at?

Yes, all BRO's are able to nominate themselves to any regatta on the Rowing NSW Regatta Calendar. This can be done through your personal Rowing Manager profile. 

What do I need to bring?

You don't need much but it is best to bring a bag with appropriate weather gear dependent on the day! Rowing NSW provides all volunteers with snacks, lunch and plenty of water along with all the relevant regatta draws and regatta equipment you need throughout the day!

Where do I start?

If becoming a BRO is of interest to you, get in touch with us at