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Weight Control Program


Goals and Adjectives

  • Improve the safety of rowing by attempting to control the amount of weight loss over time, to limit weight cycling, and eliminate potentially dangerous methods of weight loss.
  • Improve the enjoyment of lightweight rowing by minimizing the time, effort, and discomfort associated with making weight, including excessive weight loss. 
  • Educate coaches, rowers, and parents on healthier methods of weight loss and the potential for enhanced performance, endurance, and strength if the athlete rows at a more “ideal body weight”. 
  • Educate coaches, rowers, and parents on basics of good nutrition for active sports participation in growing youngsters.
  • Maximize the chance for fair and equal participation of all rowers by standardizing methods for weight determination and by minimizing the health risks among rowers. 
  • Create a more positive public image for the sport of rowing by attempting to eliminate one of the major criticisms leveled against the sport, (i. e. unhealthy weight loss).
  • Accomplish these goals without detracting from the discipline, mental and physical toughness, and conditioning that are very positive aspects of the sport.


  • The Crew Council Weight Control Program involves the determination of the MINIMUM weight (MW) at 7% body fat for males and 12% body fat for females. 
  • It is ill advised and frequently harmful for high school rowers to reduce body fat content below that level.
  • Measurement of skin folds, baseline weight, and assessment of hydration are the ingredients utilized to determining the MW. 
  • The program emphasizes that the MW and the resultant Minimum Weight are not necessarily the optimal or most desirable target. However, the athlete will not be permitted to row at a weight below that MINIMUM weight identified by this program. 
  • The program also calculates a schedule for safe weight loss to allow a rower to gradually reach his desired and allowable weight while rowing down through lightweight guidelines during the season. 


Lightweight declaration window - February 11, 2019 - March 11, 2019  (See Key Dates)


Crew Weight Control Program Manual


2019 Crew WCP Spreadsheet (Certified Measurer Use Only) 

VHSL Certified Measurer's should download the Excel file and save the file to their computer. Email for the password to unlock the male and female skinfold worksheets for data entry- PLEASE INCLUDE YOUR VHSL CERTIFIED MEASURER NUMBER IN YOUR EMAIL. The password will be provided to VHSL Certified Measurers only!