Age divisions for World Rafting Champs 2021 confirmed

Make sure you know which age category you can race in

As announced earlier, the IRF has completed the renegotiation of contract dates for the World Rafting Championships (WRC) 2021 and 2022, that resulted in our rescheduling the 2020 China and 2021 Bosnia World Rafting Championship events.  These events were pushed back one year because of the uncertainties caused by the COVID-19 pandemic – as many other sports have done with their events of similar size and importance.

This change has impacted quite a few of our member nations who ran their R4 WRC selections in 2019 or early 2020, and many other member nations who have so far been unable to run their selections because of pandemic restrictions.  The rescheduling of the WRC’s meant that many athletes who were eligible under the IRF Race Rules to compete in the U19 and U23 age divisions in 2020, would not be eligible to race in the same age divisions in 2021.

To address this issue, the IRF Executive Committee asked the Sport & Competition Committee (S&C Com) to consider implementing a rule exception.  Following a unanimous vote from the S&C Com, an age exception to the IRF Race Rules will exist for the 2021 calendar year.  This exception allows  an athlete who was eligible for an age division in 2020 to be eligible for the same age division in 2021. This effectively means for the WRC 2021 race calendar, the U19 age group will become U20, and the U23 age group will become U24. This race rule exception will remain in effect only for the 2021 race calendar year.  It does not affect age divisions for 2022 or subsequent years.

In this decision, the IRF is following International Olympic Committee (IOC) recommendations for international federations to not let pandemic-related changes in schedules penalise athletes due to an age change. Similarly, many other international federations are extending their age limits by one year to account for rescheduling.

Race age divisions – WRC 2021 (China):

  • Youth (U19): born in 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005 or 2006 (so you were under 19 years old on the first of January 2020. Therefore you will be under 20 years old on the first of January 2021.)
  • Junior (U23): born in 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005 or 2006 (so you were under 23 years old on the 1st of January 2020. Therefore you will be under 24 years old on the 1st January 2021.)
  • Open: born in 2006 or earlier (so you will be 14 years or older on the 1st of January 2021)
  • Masters (40+): born in 1981 or earlier (so you will be 39 years or older on the 1st of January 2021)

Race age divisions – WRC 2022 (Bosnia & Herzegovina):

  • Youth (U19): born in 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006 or 2007 (so you will be under 19 years old on the first of January 2022.)
  • Junior (U23): born in 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006 or 2007 (so you will be under 23 years old on the 1st of January 2022.)
  • Open: born in 2007 or earlier (so you will be 14 years or older on the 1st of January 2022)
  • Masters (40+): born in 1982 or earlier (so you will be 39 years or older on the 1st of January 2022)

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