Rowing is the sport of racing boats using oars. It differs from paddling sports because the oars are attached to the boat using oarlocks. Paddles are not connected to the boat. Rowing is divided into sculling and sweep rowing. In sculling, each rower has two oars—one in each hand. In sweep rowing each rower holds one oar with both hands. There are several boat classes for competitions. Single sculls are just one person in a small boat. Shells with eight rowers and a coxswain are called eights. There are many types of racing, but most high level racing is on calm water courses 2 kilometres (1.2 mi) long with several lanes marked using buoys.
The first rowing races were on the River Thames in London, in the early 17th century. In the 18th century British public schools set up boat clubs. Later clubs were started at universities in England and America and public rowing clubs started.
Rowing is one of the oldest Olympic sports. It was on the programme for the 1896 games but the race did not happen because of bad weather. Since then Male rowers have competed in all the Olympics. Women's rowing was added to the Olympic programme in 1976. Today, there are fourteen boat classes which race at the Olympics. 150 countries now have rowing federations. The World Rowing Federation, holds annual World Rowing Championships with twenty-two boat classes.
- "World Rowing - About World Rowing". World Rowing. Retrieved 2023-04-25.