Should the rowing community be looking to alternatives to weight limited classes for racing rowing? Thanks to Georgia who wrote this comment on our article Why Lightweight Rowing can be Dangerous.
In a sport where height and lever length is everything, the focus is on weight!
Take the focus away from weight and put it on a factor that is not a variable and cannot be influenced by training. Let the tall people be as light or heavy as they need to be to be a fully fit and healthy athlete. Then create a height-limited category – e.g. under 175cm for the rest of the general population.
Easy to implement? Incredibly.
Will make for fairer racing for all? Definitely.
Will make for a sport that is perceived as more accessibly to all? Hell yeah.
Will mean that crews are not watching every calorie or taking extreme measures to make a weight limit? Absolutely.
Interesting ideas. What do you think? Should we be considering alternatives e.g. for juniors. I know in Australia and New Zealand they allow lightweight categories for schools regattas – nowhere else in the world, I believe. Would a height limit be more appropriate, especially for growing youth athletes?