Umpire recruitment for 2024

Umpires are essential in order to run all of the competitions in the racing calendar and we are very grateful to the umpires who give so much of their time voluntarily to allow members to compete.

Here at Durham we run some of the largest competitions in the Northern region and Durham ARC has always provided a number of umpires. However, numbers are falling slightly and the Regional Umpiring Committee intends to run an umpire training course in the New Year, based in Durham.

Umpires need to renew their licence each year. Three new umpires qualified this year. Congratulations to Izzy Friedlander (Tyne ARC/Durham Regatta), Chloe Kelly (Durham ARC) and Harry Longbottom (Butler College) who are newly qualified. However, members retire or leave for other reasons so numbers are still low and it is often a struggle to staff regional competitions.

The focus is now on training new umpires, which involves theory and practical training with the aim of completing within a single season, but the shortness of the regatta season limits opportunities for training under supervision. Some competitions rely on umpires visiting from other regions to ensure sufficient numbers.

Umpires do not need to be active rowers, in fact many umpires are people who have stepped back from competitive rowing or who have never rowed. A number of parents of rowers have become active umpires in the region.

It’s a good feeling to know you have done your part in helping other rowers have their chance at a race and hopefully leave the venue happy with their performance.

Information about umpiring in the Northern Region can be found at

If you are interested in becoming an umpire have a word with one of the umpires at the club and contact Mark at to find out more.