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ACA, NGB Status, & USACK
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Since February of 2015, the ACA has partnered with USA Canoe/Kayak(USACK), the current National Governing Body(NGB) for Olympic and Paralympic paddlesports in the United States.  As the NGB transition continues, the ACA would like to acknowledge the significant dedication of USACK volunteers and coaches throughout this process.


*If you have questions about USACK's Insurance program, please click here.


June 26, 2017

ACA seeks Athlete input for Olympic High Performance Plan.


As part of the ACA’s efforts to develop a comprehensive High Performance Plan for the Olympic Sports of Sprint and Slalom, we are seeking input and advice from current and former athletes. Join us on Monday, June 26th for a conference call and Go-To-Meeting:

  • Slalom Athlete input (Go-to-Meeting / conference call #2)
  • Sprint Athlete input (Go-to-Meeting / conference call #1)


June 12, 2017


Friday, June 30, 2017 will be the last day for USACK members to join or renew online at the USACK website.


After June 30th USACK members will need to conduct all join and renewal services via the following email:




June 7, 2017


The ACA is in the process of updating the 2018 High Performance Plan (HPP) for the Olympic sports of Slalom and Sprint.


As per the U.S. Olympic Committee (USOC), this plan is designed specifically for the elite athletes currently competing at an international level in slalom and sprint.  In addition, the HPP also outlines the athlete development program leading up to the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo.


The ACA encourages paddlesport coaches, athletes, officials and volunteers to contribute to and provide guidance and feedback on the HPP.


Be a part of the discussion:




June 1, 2017


The USOC sets the first of two Hearing Sessions as per the Ted Stevens Act for Thursday, June 29th at the USOC Office from 2:00 - 3:30 pm (MT) in Colorado Springs, CO. Interested individuals in the ACA's NGB Application may participate in person or by conference call.

  • Public Hearing Notice (PDF)





May 31, 2017


ACA's Chief Operating Officer met with the USOC High Performance Team to discuss the ACA's 2018 High Performance Plan (HPP) for the Olympic disciplines of Slalom and Sprint.  The ACA will be announcing a timeline, including an open comment period, for developing the 2018-2020 HPP in mid June.



May 25, 2017


The ACA met with senior USOC leadership in Washington DC to continue to refine the draft ACA bylaws prior to presenting them to the USOC Board of Directors and ACA membership for discussion and input.






May 12, 2017

In response to recent membership based questions:


If you are competing in a sanctioned Team Trials, Nationals, or international race, you must be a current member of USACK. If the Team Trials or Nationals is using ACA insurance, a competitor must also be a member of the ACA.


Once the ACA is recognized by the USOC as either the temporary or official NGB, then a competitor must be a member of ACA in order to compete in a sanctioned Team Trails or Nationals.


Hopefully we will be able to post an update on the processing of the ACA's NGB application by the middle of June.






May 3, 2017

ACA Board President Peter Sloan, former Board President Kirk Havens, along with senior ACA staff, and Olympian Casey Eichfeld met with eight representatives from the USOC in Denver, Colorado to discuss ACA's NGB application. Additional information will be available in late June as the application process continues to move forward.



April 11, 2017

USACK Board Chair, Adam Van Grack provides an update to USACK members


March 9, 2017

The ACA submitted a 359 page NGB application to the USOC to become the new NGB for paddlesports in the United States.






March 6, 2017

The USACK Board of Directors wrote a letter to the USOC supporting the ACA's bid to become the new NGB. (PDF)




March 5, 2017

The ACA Board of Director's passed a motion at the winter Board meeting in Fredericksburg, VA to submit the ACA's application to the USOC to apply for NGB status for paddlesports.



February 13, 2017

Due to feedback from the U.S. Olympic Committee (USOC) staff late last week, the process and timeline has been changed.

  • February 17
    • ACA will submit it's application to become the National Governing Body(NGB) for paddlesports
    • USOC senior staff will review
  • March 9
    • USOC Board of Directors will review NGB application

Potential next steps moving forward:

  • If the USOC provides initial approval of the NGB application:
    • There will be a formal Comment Period on the application and revisions to the ACA Bylaws
    • There will be an ACA Membership Vote (online &/or mailed ballot)
  • If the USOC does not initially approve the NGB application:
    •  ACA and USACK will remain separate entities and the ACA will reevaluate our current management agreement with USACK

We will keep the ACA membership updated via this webpage as additional information becomes available. 



January 31, 2017

Timeline for next steps in the NGB process announced.  Please visit: (no longer the current process - see post from February 13 above)



January 25, 2017

A timeline for comments on revisions to the ACA Bylaws to become the National Governing Body (NGB) for paddlesports will be posted on January 31.(no longer the current process - see post from February 13 above)   



October 25, 2016

If you have questions about ACA / USACK membership or insurance coverages for 2016 and 2017, please click here.



September 7, 2016

There will be two USACK open membership & Board of Director Meetings this fall:


September 2, 2016

The ACA Board of Directors, membership and staff wish our Paralympic athletes fast lines in Rio!


  • Kelly Allen
  • Alana Nichols
  • Ann Yoshida 


  • Debby Page - Team Leader
  • Shaun Caven - Coach

Learn more about these amazing athletes in an exclusive ACA interview.

Rio Paralympics:

  • Rio Overview
  • Paracanoe
  • Team USA 
  • TV Schedule
  • Paracanoe events:
  • September 14th

    • 8:00 AM EST - Women's KL1 Heats (Kelly Allen)
    • 8:20 AM EST - Women's KL2 Heats (Alana Nichols)
    • 8:40 AM EST - Women's KL3 Heats (Ann Yoshida)
    • 9:15 AM EST - Women's KL1 Semifinal
    • 9:29 AM EST - Women's KL2 Semifinal
    • 9:43 AM EST - Women's KL3 Semifinal

    September 15th

    • 8:00 AM EST - Women's KL1 Final
    • 8:16 AM EST - Women's KL2 Final
    • 8:52 AM EST - Women's KL3 Final


 August 1, 2016

  • USACK Newsletter (PDF)


July 26, 2016

The ACA Board of Directors, membership and staff wish our Olympic athletes fast lines in Rio!



Rio Olympics


April 14, 2016


Wade Blackwood remains the CEO for USACK and the ACA staff will continue to provide administrative services to USACK as the two organizations focus on the Olympic and Paralympic Games in Brazil.



April 7, 2016

The ACA will issue a reply shortly.



March 31, 2016

Letter from USACK Board President Bob Lally, ending the merger (PDF)



February 1, 2016

The board of directors of USA Canoe/Kayak and the ACA are pleased to announce that they have agreed to restart their partnership and to move forward with plans for a merger of their organizations.  Communication updates will be provided as they become available.

In the meantime, the ACA has reaffirmed its commitment to provide the following services to USACK: membership, database, insurance, website, financial services, competition planning and support, and all matters related to USOC compliance.



January 29, 2016

An open letter from Bill Endicott (online / word)








January 28, 2016

The USACK Board of Directors has decided to end the partnership with the ACA and no longer utilize the administrative services offered to it by the ACA. Consequently, the ACA staff will no longer be providing Membership, Database, Insurance, Website or Financial services to USACK.  Although the ACA is saddened by this decision by the USACK Board, we wish the organization well. On behalf of the ACA membership, Board of Directors, and staff, we wish all of the coaches, volunteers and athletes training and competing for spots in the upcoming Rio Olympics and Paralympics all the best and fast lines!  


Please direct all future USACK related inquiries and correspondence to USACK Board President Bob Lally at 


December 2, 2015

Steps for current USACK members on how to transition to the ACA Insurance program for clubs, affiliates, and members. 


November 30, 2015

(Fredericksburg, VA) - Insurance for USACK Clubs & Events

As part of the combination process, USA Canoe/Kayak will offer a variety of insurance programs for athletes, clubs, coaches and officials through the ACA. The ACA will be a provider of insurance services for clubs, events and hulls.  As of December 1st, USACK will no longer have an insurance program for clubs and events. In order to apply for ACA Insurance, clubs must be an ACA Paddle America Club (PAC) and club members must also be a member of the ACA.  This is the same system / process that was utilized by USACK.  The ACA Insurance Program has not changed. On December 1, 2015, all current USACK members, clubs and affiliates will be given a complementary 1-year membership to the ACA in order to ensure a continuation of insurance coverage.  An email will be sent from USACK describing this process.

We realize there might be some transitional challenges associated with this insurance process. Please contact us if a club or an individual member needs assistance.

For additional information, please contact the USACK Insurance Coordinator based out of the ACA National Office.


November 2015

(Fredericksburg, VA)Next steps in the combination process of the ACA and USACK

Once both Board of Directors agree on the revised bylaws of the combined organization, information will be provided to both memberships for review and comment prior to any official voting.


A timeline for next steps in this process will be published in the near future.

We will keep the ACA membership up to date on this process via this webpage:


Please direct all questions about the ACA / USACK process to: Wade Blackwood







October 23-25, 2015

(Charleston, SC) - Board of Director Motions

In conjunction with the ACA Instructor Trainer Conference, USACK held it's annual Coaching & Leadership Assembly at the same facility.  In addition, the USACK and ACA Board of Directors held a joint meeting in which the combination of the two organizations was discussed. The USACK Board passed the following motion on October 24, 2015: Be it resolved that the USACK board approves ACA applying for NGB status for sprint, slalom and Paracanoe to the United States Olympic Committee's Board of Directors, which shall be subject to USACK approval of the draft amended and restated bylaws of ACA and also subject to USACK member approval. (6-0 vote) The ACA Board passed the following motion on October 25, 2015:

Motion 102515.03 – ACA will apply to become the National Governing Body for Olympic Paddlesport in the United States.   



February 7, 2015

(Oklahoma City, OK) - Partnership Announced

The ACA and USACK Board of Directors have just announced a joint partnership. ACA Executive Director Wade Blackwood has been named Chief Executive Officer of USACK and will lead both organizations.

  • News Release (PDF)



ACA Mission

Founded in 1880, The American Canoe Association (ACA) is a national nonprofit organization serving the broader paddling public by providing education related to all aspects of paddling; stewardship support to help protect paddling environments; and sanctioning of programs and events to promote paddlesport competition, exploration and recreation.

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Phone: 540-907-4460
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