Over the three days 73 Member Federations connected to attend the virtual congresses. The meetings were staged from the World Rowing headquarters in Lausanne, Switzerland using the “Zoom” video conferencing platform. Voting was also virtual using the Lumi Global electronic voting platform and all was live streamed on World Rowing’s YouTube channel.

Extraordinary Congress major changes:

• After 25 years of use, “World Rowing” will now replace “FISA” as the unique name of the rowing federation. The objective is for all operations, communications, management and governance to be brought under one strong brand name: World Rowing.
• There will be gender-based eligibility criteria for Member Federations’ delegates to participate at congresses.
• There will be further emphasis on promoting diversity and gender equality with their alignment to the Core Values and Guiding Principles of Rowing.
• The Safeguarding procedures will now include a ‘mutual recognition of sanctions’ clause and safety regulations have been reinforced to better protect our athletes and all participants in rowing.
• Half of the Athletes Commission’s members will be elected by the athletes at World Championships. The Athletes Commission Chair will now be elected to automatically sit on the World Rowing Council and Executive Committee.
• The Rowing for All Commission will be replaced by
- Coastal Rowing Commission
- Indoor Rowing Commission
• From 2022 the Women’s Cross Commission will transition to become the Gender Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Cross Commission. Leading up to this, in 2021, a Gender Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Working Group will be established for one year to develop the mission, goals and duties of this new Commission. This working group will present a report and proposal to the 2021 Congress.
• There will be a change from using the term ”junior” to using “under 19” from 2022 and thus the World Rowing Junior Championships will become the World Rowing Under 19 Championships.

In addition, the Congress voted to approve the Council’s proposal for the Paris 2024 Olympic Games rowing programme which will be presented to the International Olympic Committee’s Executive Board for its decision in December. The new programme proposes to include three coastal rowing events – mixed double sculls, men’s and women’s single (solo) – to replace the two lightweight double sculls events currently on the rowing programme.

The 2020 World Rowing Ordinary Congress on 16 October 2020 resulted in the following decisions:

• Paola Grizzetti (Italy) was elected by the Congress to the position of Chair of the Para Rowing Commission and a seat on the World Rowing Council.
• The African Rowing Federation (FASA) is now the recognised continental rowing body for Africa.
• The Arab Rowing Federation and the Balkan Rowing Association have been recognised as official Groupings of Member Federations.
• The 2020 World Rowing Coaches Conference will be staged virtually from 27 November – 6 December 2020.