FISA Timeline

The Fédération Internationale des Sociétés d’Aviron (FISA) is the governing body of world rowing. Since it was founded 125 years ago, it has made many changes in the rules and regulations that it sets for international events in order to adapt with the times. Several of the most significant of these – and particularly those which impacted women”s rowing – are listed below.



1892 FISA founded
1893 First European Championships (men only, 2,000m)
1900 First Olympic regatta (men only, 2,000m)
1954 First Women’s European Rowing Championships (1,000m)
1962 First World Rowing Championships (men only, 2,000m)
1967 First FISA Youth Regatta (men only, 1,500m)
1970 FISA Youth Regatta becomes FISA Youth Championships
1974 Coxless quads added to men’s programme for the first time
1974 Women’s events in the World Rowing Championships for first time (1,000m), including pair (not previously in Europeans)
1974 World Rowing Championships become annual
1974 Lightweight men first included in World Rowing Championships
1976 Women’s events in the Olympics for the first time (1,000m)
1976 Match des Seniors for Under 23s started, independent of FISA
1978 Women’s events in FISA Youth Championships for first time (1,000m)
1984 Test event for women’s lightweights (2,000m)
1985 Women’s events move to 2,000m from 1,000m (except juniors)
1985 Women’s quad becomes coxless (juniors and seniors)
1985 Lightweight women’s events first included in World Championships
1985 FISA Youth Championships becomes World Rowing Junior Championships
1985 Junior women’s events move to 1,500m from 1,000m
1989 Women’s four becomes coxless (juniors and seniors)
1989 All junior events move to 2,000m from 1,500m
1991 Start given in English not French
1992 Last year of men’s 2+ and 4+ at Olympics
1995 Women’s lightweight 2- introduced at World Rowing Championships
1996 Women’s lightweight 2x, men’s lightweight 2x and lightweight 4- introduced at Olympics
1997 Women’s lightweighht 4- replaced with women’s lightweight 4x at World Rowing Championships
2002 First official Under 23 Regatta
2002 Adaptive events added to World Rowing Championships
2003 Last year of lightweight women’s 2- at World Rowing Championships (reinstated 2018)
2005 U23 Regatta becomes World Rowing Under 23 Championships
2007 Last year of men’s 4+ at World Rowing Championships
2007 European Rowing Championships reintroduced, for European countries and Israel only)
2008 Adaptive events added to Paralympic Games
2012 Women’s 4- removed from World Rowing Championships (non-Olympic boat classes) for one year only
2015 Last year of men’s lightweight 8o at World Rowing Championships
2017 Sex of cox no longer has to be the same as crew
2017 Last year of men’s 2+ and lightweight men’s 4- at the World Rowing Championships
2018 Women’s lightweight 2- reintroduced at the World Rowing Championships