The purpose of the American Canoe Association (ACA) is to unite all persons interested in canoeing, kayaking, and rafting and thereby through our organization provide educational, informational and training services to increase safety, enjoyment and skills of those paddling on rivers, lakes, estuaries and other bodies of water. In order to maintain consistent rules and safety standards for paddling events throughout the United States, the ACA as the National Governing Body (NGB) in the United States oversees paddlesport disciplines through National Activity Committees and the National Competition Council. The ACA uses the term “discipline” to refer to the type of paddling activity, which is determined by the type of paddle craft and the waterway on which it is used. Altogether, the ACA sanctions and produces events that represent more than 15 paddlesport disciplines and WWOCD is one of those disciplines. The National Competition Council oversees the development of all program plans and other reports generated by a National Activity Committee such as the WWOCD and develops the general procedures and protocols as it deems necessary and appropriate. The purpose of the WWOCD is, to encourage, sanction and sponsor competition in “whitewater open canoe” at local, regional, national, and international levels. The WWOCD is governed by the Operating Procedures set forth by the National Competition Council. See the ACA By-Laws (effective OCT 22, 2017) Article IX: National Activity Councils and Committees.
A whitewater open canoe is a traditional open Canadian or Native American canoe, which is a boat with ends pointed and higher than the middle, symmetrical side-to-side, and propelled with single bladed paddles. There are two categories of canoes used in WWOCD competitions. They are defined as Stock and Unlimited. The Stock classes are intended to include canoes sold for general recreational use. In general, ABS, polyethylene, aluminum and wood/canvas canoes will qualify for inclusion (assuming they meet the dimension requirements) while fiberglass/kevlar/composite and woodstrip canoes will generally be included in the Unlimited classes. A canoe MUST be or have been a commercially available, general production model to qualify for the Stock classes. See the WWOCD competition rules for complete details and canoe specifications.