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Kayaking and Canoeing: Official Game Rules Briefly

Kayaking and canoeing is one of the most popular types of rowing and is included in the main program of the Olympic Games. The largest competitions in this sport are held under the auspices of the ICF. The International Canoe Federation is the leading organization in the development of kayaking and canoeing. She is responsible for all official international competitions, including the World Cup, European and World Championships.

IKF headquarters is located in Lausanne. The canoe competition center is based there, which all national federations are subordinate to. For example, in Russia, the All-Russian Canoe and Kayak Federation is considered the representative of ICF.

Today, both men and women of different ages can professionally engage in this sport. In addition, recently in official international competitions mixed compositions (mixes) are allowed. As for the ranks, there are tournaments for singles, twos and fours – respectively 1, 2 and 4 rowers in a kayak (canoe).

The judiciary includes 22 representatives. These are the main judges, and their assistants, and special observers, and seconds, and photographers, and technical experts. Their task is to monitor compliance with the rules of the competition and to accurately record the result.

Such an impressive composition of the panel of judges is due to the complexity of parallel observation of the tournament participants. For example, the judges must respond in time to the breakdown of the oars, even if the rower quickly changed it to a spare. This violation is punishable by returning to the start, in extreme cases – by disqualification of the entire team.

Kayak – requirements and rules

A kayak is a boat in which a rower sits facing the direction of travel and rowes with special two-bladed oars located on both sides of the court. The athlete’s seat is called slayda. It is located on a special mount that allows the rower to emphasize with his feet on the footboard. Each kayak is equipped with a steering wheel, which is mounted under the stern of the boat. One of the rowers controls the wheel by moving a special bar in the slots of the footboard. Often the steering wheel is located in front of the seated rower. This rule is mandatory for fours.

The discipline of kayaking in the program of official rowing competitions is indicated by the letter “K”. For example, single kayaks are classified as K1, deuces – K2, fours – K4.

International and All-Russian tournaments are allowed boats that meet the following requirements:

  • single (length – 2.5 m, weight – 12 kg);
  • deuces (length – 6.5 m, weight – 18 kg);
  • fours (length – 11 m, weight – 30 kg).

The Olympic program includes competitions at a distance of 200, 500 and 1000 meters (men and women).

Canoeing – requirements and rules

A canoe is a boat where the athlete is on one knee with his face turned forward and rowing with one single-blade oar. In this case, the knee of the supporting leg should be located on a special pillow. The presence of a rudder does not provide for the design of this boat. The rowers change the direction of movement of the canoe using the steering process (tilting the hull to the side and maneuvering oars).

In the program of official competitions, this sport is indicated by the letter “C”. Canoe requirements are as follows:

  • single (length – 5.2 m, weight – 14 kg);
  • deuces (length – 6.5 m, weight – 20 kg);
  • fours (length – 9 m, weight – 30 kg).

These are common standards for All-Russian and international canoeing tournaments. The Olympic Games are held at distances of 200 and 500 meters for women and 1 km for men. In other tournaments, including commercial ones, the distance to the finish line may vary.

World Cup format

Every professional rower wants to take part in the world championship in kayaking and canoeing. The prize in this tournament is honorable for any category of rowers. The first rowing World Cup was held in Swedish Vaxholm in 1938. He gathered the best European canoeists and kayakers, but there were representatives from other continents. There was not much excitement around the first world championship, but everything changed in the post-war period.

The 1948 London World Cup was a truly massive event in world sports. As for the Soviet rowers, that they first took part in such a major tournament only in 1958. That Czech championship brought the USSR gold medals in the team event. Soviet rowers won 5 sets of gold medals, 3 silver and 4 bronze.

In parallel with the medal at the world championships in kayaking and canoeing, a special team cup is being played. Participants in the final races receive points for the place taken: the winner – 10 points, the second – 9, the third – 8, etc. As a result, the judges summarize the points earned and make up the rating of the national teams of each participating country. Most often, the Hungarian rowers won the World Cup, which are always ranked among the favorites of any major tournament.

Program of the olympic games

Despite the serious popularity of the World Championships, which are held annually under the auspices of the ICF, the victory at the Olympic Games is considered the most honorable and prestigious award for every kayaker and canoeist. The first Olympic kayaking and canoeing tournament, which was held in 1936 in Berlin, was attended mainly by European athletes. The exception was the teams of Canada and the United States. As a result, the Austrian rowers won in the overall standings. They turned out to be one gold medal more than the Germans.

The Berlin championship was purely male. Women were allowed to participate in the Olympic program only at the London Olympics in 1948. Then 10 teams took part in the OI program, and the Swedes became the winners in the overall classification. At the same time, the Danish woman Karen Hoff, who went down in history as the first winner of the Olympic kayaking and canoeing Olympic Games, received a gold medal in the only women’s category (500 meters).

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