Rules & regulations

as amended 2007


1) The Oak Ridge Rowing Association operates on the philosophy that all rowers and coxswains have the right to learn and participate in the sport of rowing. To do so, each athlete needs a climate that is satisfying and productive and is not filled with disruptive behavior by other athletes. This document presents guidelines for maintaining such an atmosphere during practices, regattas, and other club sponsored events.

2) Membership in the association consists of four categories:

  • Club Membership
  • College Membership
  • Non-rowing Membership
  • Honorary

3) Rowing members are expected to contribute to the operation and maintenance of the boathouse facilities.

4) All rowers intending to represent ORRA and use ORRA equipment in regattas must be paid members in one of the three rowing categories above, and in good-standing with the Association. All rowers intending to enter United States Rowing Association (USRA)sanctioned events must meet USRA standards of eligibility

5) Members will be required to pay fees before the use of any Association equipment The fee schedule will be established by the Board for the subsequent year and presented at the annual membership meeting and will be posted prominently at the boathouse.

6) Members failing to observe the rules and guidelines shall be subject to disciplinary action by the Board.

7) Use of ORRA equipment is limited to paid-up members in good standing who have completed and submitted to the Rowing Chair or Coach consent and release from liability form. This form will be kept on file with the Coach. Payment of fees is due January 1 of each year, with a grace period up to February 1.

8) A program description for a proposed group use of equipment for an extended time should be present to the Board for approval. Approval of the proposal will be required before starting the proposed program.

9) Junior program is sponsored and organized by the Oak Ridge Rowing Association limited to individuals who participate in an organized program for youth rowers 12-18 years of age, supervised and directed by association coaches. Participation in this category is limited to the duration of the program. Guidelines for the Junior/Scholastics program are under Oak Ridge Rowing Association Junior Program Rules and Standards.

10) All rowers (including coxswain) must sign in and out in the logbook provided.

11) All club equipment must be cleaned after use, and any equipment damage must be recorded in the logbook. It is the duty of the Rowing Chair and Coach to review die log book for damage reports and to schedule repairs. All rowers are responsible for having equipment in good rowing condition upon leaving the boathouse or dock. Equipment found not to be in good repair may not be used.

12) The Rowing Chair or Coach must approve use of Association equipment away from the Oak Ridge Marina in advance. Such use is bound by the guidelines described herein.Individuals or crews using equipment in this regard are responsible for the rigging and de-rigging, transportation, loading, unloading and re-rigging of the equipment they intend to use. Arrangements for insuring the secure transportation of equipment must be made with the Rowing Chair or Coach before departure.


1) Unsportsmanlike conduct, conduct detrimental to the reputation of the Association,abuse or irresponsible use of equipment, disrespect or disregard of other rowers, or obscene or belligerent language toward other rowers, rowing officials, or Association members will not be tolerated.

2) Rowers and coxswains will act in a mature and responsible manner and treat each other, coaches, parents, adults, and chaperons with respect. An athlete with a negative impact on the team will not be allowed to continue attending team functions. This includes but not limited to fighting/physical harassment, use of racial slurs, sexual harassment,promiscuous behavior, disobedience of authority, disruptive conduct, profanity and indecent gestures. While at the boathouse, on sponsored trips. This includes while on buses, in hotels, at restaurants and especially at the regatta site.

3) Junior Members under 18 are not allowed in the Boathouse without adult supervision.Juniors arriving early should wait outside or under breezeway until a designated coach or parent is on site.

4) Theft of private property reflects negatively on the Oak Ridge Rowing Association and will not be tolerated.

5) No controlled substances (drugs and weapons) will be allowed at rowing related functions additionally, juniors are not allowed to have tobacco or alcohol at rowing related functions. Food or drinks brought on trips can be confiscated or removed at the discretion of a coach or chaperon. All bags are subject to inspection

6) Destruction or vandalism of ORRA Boathouse property as well as unauthorized access in unauthorized areas will not be tolerated.

7) Riding bicycles, skateboards or skates and other horse playing is not permitted in the boathouse or around ORRA equipment at any time. Playing of games (i.e. four square,Frisbee, est.) at the boathouse is not permitted without the permission of the Coach.

8) The Coach's office is for conversations with the coach and not to be used as a lounge.

9) Loitering in the parking lot is not allowed.

10) Curfew will be set by the Coach and enforced by the chaperons. No one is allowed out after curfew.

11) Failure to wear official uniform to regattas will result in suspension from that event.

12) Juniors are required to wear shirt or a cover (no bare chest or sport bras) when on boathouse property or in the inlet returning from practice. Unless actively working out or given permission from Coaches. This is for the rower's safety.

13) Public Display of Affection must be keep to minimum and in good taste. While juniors are in a hotel room other than assigned or in room of a member of the opposite sex, doors are to be left open.

14) No rower is allowed to drive himself or herself to any away regatta. Rowers must have written permission from parent prior leaving regatta site.

15) Rowers and coxswains will arrive on time to practice, races, and any other scheduled ORRA Junior Crew event. Rowers and coxswains will not miss practice without notifying the Coach 24 hours in advance. Please write down and place in Coach's box, email or call boathouse. Rowers and coxswains will not miss a regatta without notifying the Coach 7days in advance. Parent/ guardian with written notification may excuse injury and illness 24hours of absence. These notices will be placed in athletes file. If athlete is being treated by or following direction from medical Personnel because the athlete has a long-term injury the Coach will address on a case-by-case basis. Written doctors release forms are required to return to practice after missing more than 5 days of practice due to illness.


1) The basic rules of rowing safety must be followed. Rowers and coaches will be attentive to, and obey the safety rules and guidelines provided by USRA and posted in the ORRA boathouse. Site and season specific rules may also be posted.

Open Row Policy for Junior Athletes  - If a Junior has less than 1 year of rowing experience, they must row in a boat with adults (Masters rowers) or Varsity athletes, and that boat must be either a 4+, 4x or 8+.  Varsity athletes may take out any boat during Open Row, but if a 1x is chosen they must have completed a flip test and have been cleared by the coaching staff.

2) Members (including coxswain) must sign in and out in the monitored logbook provided when using Association equipment.

3) Every rower has to pass a swim test or sign a waiver on swimming skill

4) Use buddy system at all times when not accompanied by launch (4 oar rule)

5) Absolutely no rowing of club equipment is allowed 15 minutes or more before sunrise or15 minutes or more after sunset without a coach present.

6) Know distress signals:

  • a) shirt or arms waved overhead,
  • b) repeated whistle or horn blowing,
  • c) raised oar vertical to boat

7) Never attempt to swim to shore,

  • a) stay with swamped or capsized boat and use boat flotation.
  • b) do not rely on oars as floatation

8) Know the venue and observe all traffic patterns

  • a) Be aware of current
  • b) Right hand rule applies while rowing on the Clinch River. Rowing on the race course is permitted in the downstream (restaurant to embayment) direction only.
  • c) Rowing on the racecourse (restaurant to embayment) is permitted in the downstream direction only.
  • d) Identify and remember location of submerged hazards

9) Know the weather before you row

  • a) Be aware of weather and lightning prior to launching
  • b) Watch for flood or high wind conditions
  • c) No rowing in club equipment if the far bank of the river is obscured by fog. NO rowing in heavy fog with or without horn or whistle
  • d) In cold weather if the air >40 degrees and water >50 degrees coaching launch should be within 100 yards(Hypothermia can set in quickly in these conditions)
  • e) In warm weather excessive fluid loss may lead to dehydration
    • i) Drink water before during and after practice
    • ii) Limit time in the sun, use sun block
    • iii) Never consume alcoholic beverages while rowing
    • iv) Plan activity level consistent with the degree of heat and your fitness level
    • v) Wear light color clothing


a) Guest use of equipment: Experienced rowers who are personal guests of ORRA members may use ORRA equipment or private equipment five times during a given year at no charge to the guest or members.

(1) If damage occurs to a person who is using equipment while the equipment or people not certified for this use, the member(s) involved will be financially responsible for the damage.

(2) The hosting member is responsible for any and all actions of the guest,including damage to any club equipment or property.

(3) A guest who wishes to row more than five times will be required to join ORRA in full. The hosting member must make arrangements with the coach or the rowing chair so that the guest can complete appropriate forms and an abbreviated certification test (for club equipment only). Once certified in this manner, a guest will be considered to have permanent certification on club equipment at the given level (only A or B is possible for guests).


1. Failure to abide by the rules expressly written here, or given verbally by a Coach or Chaperon, may result in removal from the line-up, immediate suspension from events or dismissal from the ORRA Junior Rowing Program. The Coach in consultation with all parties involved will determine all penalties for violations. Individuals will be held responsible for any damage to any equipment, rooms, buses, and etc. As well as parents being responsible for damages caused by actions. Parents may be required to retrieve a suspended or dismissed rower or coxswain from a trip at their own expense.

2. Adult offenders shall be warned and continued misbehavior shall be subject to action by the Board of Directors. Continued offenses may result in loss of all Association privileges,and forfeiture of all fees paid. Disciplinary action by the Board if the nature of the offense warrants - even if first offense.

3. Management and administrative activities, and disciplinary measures not specifically addressed in these guidelines are the full responsibility of the coaches.