Race Entry & Competition Regs

Race Entry & Competition Regs

Race Entry & Competition Regulations

Race Entry & Competition Regulations

Race Entry Conditions and Race Classes for the BDA National Ranking Competition

In general, the BDA will apply the Racing and Competition Regulations of the IDBF. To allow for specific circumstances of the National Ranking Competition the following regulations take precedence over the IDBF Regulations and over all previous regulations.


We encourage all clubs to become BDA affiliated members. Crews not affiliated to the BDA will receive BDA Affiliated Membership, on payment of a Scratch Crew entry fee for the day of racing. Affiliated Membership includes Public Liability Insurance whilst racing. More information on Club affiliation is here.

All paddlers, helms and drummers must hold Adult, 18 and Under, Coach and Official, or Honorary membership of the BDA or take out a Day Event ticket to take part in a race event.


All entries for National and Regional events are to be made through the BDA Membership and Events platform. Entries for club events are to be defined by the organising club.

Fees for national and regional events will be accepted on a “first come, first served” basis. No refunds will be given once an entry has been accepted and the deadline for entries has passed. There are no reductions for crews of less than 20.

Fees for club run events are to be managed by the organising club. Clubs must take out a race license for each club event that they run. This ensures that insurance is provided for the event. Licenses are available on the BDA Membership and Events platform and instructions are set out in the Club Admin Manual.


Crew lists should be submitted in as set out in the club admin manual. Reminder: Crew lists should be submitted prior to the first race in any class in a competition.

The Chief Official has the discretion to allow paddlers to be added to the Crew List during an event providing the paddlers to be added have not already paddled in another crew (including a composite crew) in the same class.


Men and Women

The women’s class must be comprised solely of women, including the helm and drummer.

The men’s class must be composed solely of men including the helm and drummer.

Mixed Class

A mixed crew must comprise a maximum of 10 male paddlers. Note that this is a change to allow clubs with more than 10 women in the team to enter the mixed rather than the open class. If there are more than two clubs with a full women’s team in the event then those teams will qualify for points in the women’s ranking competition.

Open Class

A class that may have any mix of genders as paddlers, helms or drummers.

Any requests to deviate from the class rules, such as using a female drummer on a men’s boat must be requested to the Chief Official at the crew manager’s meeting to allow any change to be agreed with all crews. Any crews not complying with class rules will be placed last in the ranking competition.


The Competitions will be mixed, open, women and men’s leagues with each having equal status. Subject to a suitable number of crews taking place events will be split into Cup and Plate competitions with trophies awarded to crews in first, second and third place in both competitions. Clubs must take out an additional National Ranking Competition Add-on Membership for each crew they wish to be included within the Ranking Competition.

Overall Club Competition

To promote growth of the sport clubs are encouraged to enter as many classes and as many crews in each class as possible. All these results will contribute to an overall club competition by summing the ranking of each team in the competition.

Number of Paddlers

  • S20 racing – crews may paddle with a minimum of 16 and a maximum of 20 paddlers.
  • S14 racing – crews may paddle with a minimum of 10 and a maximum of 14 paddlers.

The BDA encourages all clubs to participate in racing as much as possible and recognises that crews are occasionally unable to comply with these numbers, sometimes due to last minute incidents. If a club is not able to fully comply with the rules on numbers, they should advise the National League organiser when entering the event or at the earliest possible opportunity. Unforeseen issues arising on race day should be raised at the Crew Manager’s meeting. The organiser (in advance) or the Chief Official (on the day) will have the discretion to allow entries with a reduced number of paddlers or to form composite crews where appropriate.

Crews racing without the correct number of paddlers who have not received permission to do so from either the National League organiser or the Chief Official will be allowed to race but will be ranked in last place in the competition.

Borrowing of Paddlers from Other Clubs

The introduction of the club events requires restrictions on paddlers joining multiple clubs to ensure clubs field teams comprised of their own members. We recognise that there are circumstances where paddlers are genuinely members of more than one club and that teams such as Purple Warriors have a different membership base. Paddlers may therefore race for two clubs at different events. They should register with both clubs on the Membership and Events platform. Paddlers may not race for more than one crew at the same event unless part of a composite crew in a Race entry and competition rules - June 2023 different class as outlined above. Paddlers may never race for more than one crew in the same class at the same event.

Where classes are run as a combined or partially combined competition, ie where the entry tickets allow you to enter EITHER Open OR Mixed, these rules will apply as if the separate classes are a single class, eg paddlers may not race with one crew in the Open and a composite crew in the Mixed event.

Clubs may “borrow” up to three paddlers from other clubs to allow them to make up numbers at any level of event. Those paddlers must be added (by hand) to the crew list with the BDA membership number (or day event ticket) and the club they permanently belong to. Helms and drummers may be borrowed without restriction, but must be added to the crew list. Note that this is three paddlers per club per event, not three for each event or crew.

The same restrictions on borrowing paddlers apply irrespective of the number of paddlers in the boat (including for example S12 or S14 classes).

Composite Crews

Clubs with who need to “borrow” more than three members are encouraged to race as a composite crew. Crews can be formed from any number of clubs, but paddlers shall not be split amongst multiple composite crews if there are enough paddlers to form a crew from a single club.

Composite crews will have ranking points split between the two clubs with the most members in the composite crew. Crew lists can be done using the platform for the club with the most paddlers with other paddlers added (by hand) to the crew list with the BDA membership number (or day event ticket) and the club they permanently belong to.

Multiple Crews

Where a club has sufficient paddlers they may enter multiple crews into the same class at an event. Paddlers must be clearly assigned to individual crews and separate crew lists submitted for each crew. If timings of the race programme permits helms and drummers may switch between crews, however, no allowance will be made within the programme to facilitate crews sharing drummers or helms and responsibility for adhering to the race programme remains with the club.

Two paddlers in lower crews may “race up” into higher crews (eg a second team paddler may race in the first team), but may not then return to the second crew for the rest of the race event.

Where classes are run as a combined or partially combined competition, ie where the entry tickets allow you to enter EITHER Open OR Mixed, these rules will apply as if the separate classes are a single class, eg paddlers entered into a mixed second crew must be separate to paddlers entered into an open first crew. Clubs must identify which is their first and second crew for the purposes of entry into the National Ranking Competition. Separate entry tickets are required for both crews.

Transfer of Members between Clubs

An application to transfer between clubs may be made on the Membership and Events platform when there is a genuine need to move between clubs, such as relocation or permanent change of club. This will require approval by the BDA.

Submission of Results for Club Events

Club event organisers should submit their results to chris.bailey@thebda.org.uk within two weeks of the event taking place. Results should be submitted in the format below shown below for each class.

Where races are held over more than one distance the results should be combined into a single result per class.

For example: Event held at Thames Dragons – 19 May 2023

Team 1 is for a single crew, team 2 may be used for a composite crew – points will be equally split between the two crews, only two crews may be submitted for ranking purposes. Please do not include any other information