Rules & Regulations

It is the responsibility of all competitors to be familiar with the rules listed below and the USRowing Rules of Rowing that may be applicable to the Head of the Ohio. The Head of the Ohio is a US Rowing Registered Regatta.


All competitors must be eligible for the event-division in which they are competing. Any crew containing an ineligible competitor will be violating the rules and will be disqualified from the Regatta.

In accordance with NCAA rules, no event within the Head of the Ohio regatta may have Collegiate competitors rowing against high school competitors (including high school coxswains). High School competitors must row in High School and Youth events only (i.e. not in Club or Open events). High School coxswains may not cox a boat in any event where Collegiate crews are competing. Collegiate competitors must row in Collegiate events only (i.e. College, Club; Collegiate Freshman and Novice; and Open). Failure to comply will cause the results of the competitor(s) to be excluded.

Classifications are as follows:
Masters – In accordance with USRowing Rules, a master is a competitor who has attained or will attain the age of 21 during the current calendar year. Age is determined by the competitor’s age as of December 31st, rounded down to the nearest whole number. Average age of a boat will be used for multiple-competitor boats. Masters events will be divided into as many separate USRowing Masters categories as possible. The Head of the Ohio retains the right to combine categories if less than three entries have been received in any one category. A Masters crew shall be comprised exclusively of Masters rowers, but the coxswain need not be a Master.

Masters crews shall be classified by age according to the following categories:

(AA) 21 to 26 years
(A) 27 to 35 years
(B) 36 to 42 years
(C) 43 to 49 years
(D) 50 to 54 years
(E) 55 to 59 years
(F) 60 to 64 years
(G) 65 to 69 years
(H) 70 to 74 years
(I) 75 to 79 years
(J) 80 and over

The age category of a Masters crew shall be determined by the average age of the rowers in the crew, rounded down to the nearest whole number. The age of a coxswain shall not be counted. The ages of individual rowers need not fall within the age category, so long as each rower is a Master and so long as the average age of the crew falls within the applicable category. Handicaps will be applied for all boats using the Standard USRowing handicaps for a 1,000 meter course and will be multiplied by 2.5 to factor for the length of the course.

Collegiate – must be currently enrolled full-time at a college, university, or community college.

High School/Youth/Junior – a rower, sculler or coxswain who in the current calendar year does not attain the age of 19, or who is and has been continuously enrolled in secondary school as a full-time student seeking a diploma. High School race categories require all members in the boat to attend the same high school.

The Head of the Ohio will award separate 1-3 Medals for the crews compiled from the same high school in the Junior 8+, 4+ and 2x (only open events). For those three events (in both men and women), the top three placing crews will receive medals, but the top three high schools will be awarded the medal that corresponds to their placement within the other high schools. For example, it is possible for a high school crew to finish fourth in the event, but still receive a gold medal if the top three crews were club boats.

Junior Varsity – The JV classification is not open to any rower competing in a Varsity or Youth 8+ event unless all members are from the same high school and are enrolled as juniors or below in that high school. If a JV/2nd boat is a club/youth boat or includes seniors, those teams must also be entering a Varsity or Youth 8+ boat. It is understood that the Varsity or Youth boat be entered as the faster of the two 8+’s.

Open – Any competitor that is not a junior or high school rower. High School rowers are not allowed to compete in these events.

Novice (scull) – Any oarsperson who has not competed in any sculling event prior to January 1st.

Novice (sweep) – Any oarsperson who is eligible to row as a freshman/novice at their own institution or has not rowed in a race prior to January 1st.

Lightweight – Men – The weight of each individual rower/sculler in a boat must not exceed 165 pounds. Women – The weight of each individual rower/sculler in a boat must not exceed 135 pounds.

Quadruple Sculls – With or without coxswain.

Composite Boats – Must be so registered.

Mixed Boats – Must contain at least equal numbers of women as it includes men (may contain more women than men). See rules applicable to corporate events.

Corporate – This is reserved for crews that participate in the Three Rivers Rowing Corporate Rowing League. Exceptions can be made by prior requests directed to TRRA. Boats are mixed sex and must have at least as many women as men. If a boat needs to have more men than women, a 90 second penalty will be added to their time for any more than four men. For example, if a boat has 5 men and 3 women, they would be assessed a 90 second penalty. Coxswain’s sex does not factor into this. We request that teams with more men than women inform the Race Director of their lineup prior to the race so that handicap can be factored into the results at the end of the race.

Novice Corporate – Any oarsperson who has had not more than three corporate rowing seasons or has not rowed prior to the previous year’s Head of the Ohio.

Experienced Corporate – Any oarsperson who has completed three or more rowing corporate rowing seasons and has participated in corporate rowing for at least one season this year.

Corporate Events May be Split into Flights. In the event that TRRA equipment shortages prevent Corporate (Novice or Experienced) crews rowing at the same time, crews within an event may be randomly divided and assigned to different times. These crews will row in flights. All flights will be eligible for medals and trophies based on HOTO awards criteria. The first flight of Corporate Novice 8+’s will be held in the morning. The second flight (if needed) will be held as the last race of the day. The race organizers will attempt to tell teams which race they will be in as soon as possible during the week before the race. The Corporate Experienced 8+’s will be held as the first event of the race. The second flight (if needed) will be announced the week before the race.

Men’s divisions are for male participants only. Women’s divisions are for female participants only. Coxswains may be of either sex. Masters’ coxswains may be any age.