Club Rules

All club rules have been written with first consideration having for personal safety, followed by equipment care concerns. These rules are based on years of rowing experience from many rowing clubs. All rowers must read this document within 3 months of joining BCR and must review this document at least once every two years. All rowers must sign the safety form that indicates they understand these safety requirements.

1. General

1-1 Club equipment and facilities shall only be used by those who are currently paid members of BCR and their guests (see guest rule). Juniors (anyone under 18) must row under the supervision of a BCR Contracted Coach or an adult member approved by a coach.

1-2 Every adult member shall complete a minimum of 16 hours of volunteer work for the club annually. If a member is unable to fulfill this requirement it may be paid off at a rate of $10/hr.

1-3 Members shall behave appropriately at all times when on club premises, when using club equipment, or when involved in club activities.

1-4 Every member shall be responsible for knowing club rules.

1-5 Members shall take all reasonable care with club equipment and make use of it in as safe a manner as possible at all times.

1-6 Annually and prior to any equipment use, members must sign a BCR swimming waiver, USRowing liability waiver, and City of Boulder Waiver.

1-7 BCR members should be considerate of other boats, sailboards or swimmers on the reservoir. Keep the noise level down near the north end of the lake. BCR members are responsible for knowing and following boat traffic patterns at Boulder Reservoir.

2. Equipment access

2-1 All club boats must be signed out from the online reservation system with rower’s or coach’s name and telephone number prior to going on the water. Sign out can be no more than 6 days before use. Coached programs have priority access to equipment; however, a coached program may not use all the equipment. Sculling programs have priority over sculling equipment and sweep programs have priority over sweep equipment. In cases where there is limited equipment and different crews want to use the same boats, the Equipment Manager will arbitrate equipment access. Club ergometers may also be signed out using the same online reservation system. Club ergs cannot be removed from their club approved use location without written request and approval from the Equipment Manager.

2-2 Member access to the online reservation system of a boat is granted by a BCR Coach or Board member. Some boats require different levels of coach approval for checkout; certification prior to access are to ensure that rowers have the boat-handling skills needed for their own safety, and have demonstrated care of equipment. Use of a particular boat rather than another is to establish a graduated “aging” of the fleet so that all boats do not wear out together. Criteria established for each level of certification is published on the club’s website.

2-3 Coached programs are established by the Program Committee and approved by the Board. Members do not need to be in a coached program to row. Members not in a coached program may be coached, and they have access to boats and other equipment as per club equipment rules.

2-4 Boats that are not in the online reservation system must not be used without prior permission from the Equipment Manager.

2-5 Boats with coxswain seating must have a coxswain. (Exception M2 when rowed as a quad)

2-6 Privately owned boats must not be used without permission from the owner.

2-7 Privately owned boats must be privately insured.

2-8 Privately owned boats must be registered with the BCR Equipment Manager and stored only in the location approved by the manager.

2-9 Lists of certified rowers are displayed on the bulletin board and/or the club website. A member wishing to have his/her name added to a particular list should apply to an BCR sweep or sculling coach, as appropriate, for a check out.

2-10 Any member or members wishing to use club equipment for racing must apply to the Equipment Manager and Programs Committee at least three weeks prior to the race date. In coached programs, the coach will be responsible for this. Coached programs will have priority access to equipment for the race

2-11 Club boats and oars must not be (re)rigged, nor shoes removed, without permission from the Equipment Manager.

2-12 Boats without a majority of experienced rowers may not use the following boats: Angel, M2, Bowloader and any 2- unless with an experienced coxswain or supervision of a BCR coach.

2-13 Doubles or pairs may only be used by those who have been certified by a BCR coach.

2-14 Sculling equipment may be checked out online by a member once the member has been certified for sculling by a coach on the BCR sculling coaches list. Different boats require different levels of certification.

2-15 Coached programs are established by the Program Committee and approved by the Board. Members do not need to be in a coached program to row. Members not in a coached program may be coached and they have access to boats and other equipment. Coached programs will have priority access to equipment; however, a coached program may not use all the equipment. The Equipment Manager and/or the Board can resolve disputes. Sculling programs have priority over sculling equipment and sweep programs have priority over sweep equipment.

2-16 As per City of Boulder requirements, no boat is allowed on the water before published Boulder Reservoir park hours without a BCR contracted coach on the water in a launch.

2-17 Sweep boats (8+ and 4+s) going out without an accompanying launch must have an advanced coxswain. See below for the definition of an advanced coxswain.

2-18 Sweep boats (8+ and 4+s) going out without an accompanying launch must have a crew which have all, at a minimum, graduated into the experienced program and be able to lift 50 pounds.

2-19 Sweep boats (8+ and 4+s) going out without an accompanying launch must have an advanced rower in the stroke seat. An advanced rower is one that has at least one year of rowing experience.

2-20 Sweep boats (8+ and 4+s) going out without an accompanying launch must have appropriate equipment for safety. See below for a list of required equipment.

2-21 Sculling/small boats (1X, 2X, 2+, and 4Xs) are not required to meet requirements 2-15, 2-16, 2-17, 2-18; but they are encouraged to use any/all of the safety equipment as appropriate. All current bylaws still apply regarding who is allowed to row in these sculling/small boats.

Advanced coxswains are those who have met ALL of the below requirements:

2-21 Coxed a minimum of 10 times on the Boulder Reservoir during coached practices.

2-21a Passed a coxswain’s skills test. This test will be developed by the Coxswain Committee but must include at least knowledge of: docking, basic commands, emergency stops, turning, Boulder Reservoir safety issues, right-of-way laws, and emergency procedures (at a minimum to include what to do if hit by another boat, a rower is ejected, or the boat swamps).

2-22 Is willing to assume leadership of the boat, the crew, and their safety. Has approval from the current coaches or coaches in residence. It is possible for any member to be declined approval or be removed from the list of advanced coxswains at the discretion of the coach(s) on the basis of safety.

2-23 Required Equipment which must be carried with the coxswain:

  • A working coxbox.
  • A working/charged cell phone with emergency numbers programmed into it. A drybag will be provided.
  • A signaling device, such as a whistle or a horn.
  • A coxswain tool for minor adjustments/repairs.
  • A US Coast Guard approved personal floatation device for the coxswain. It does not have to be worn at all times and it may be inflatable.
  • Knowledge of where the first aid kit is located in the shed (this does not need to be taken in the boat).


Approved launch drivers will be required to meet ALL of the below requirements:

2-24 Is a contracted BCR coach.
2-25 The BCR coach demonstrates knowledge of: boat safety, rules of the Boulder Reservoir, boat handling, engine operation, approaching stationary objects on the
water, beaching/landing, securing the launch, and emergency procedures.
2-26 Launch drivers must carry with them: enough PFDs for all crew members (including self and coxswains), a working/charged cell phone with emergency numbers programmed into it, a signaling device, and some basic tools. They must also know the location of the first aid kit in the shed.
2-27 Is willing to assume leadership of the boat(s), the crew(s), and their safety.

Launches

2-28 Members should not fill launch fuel tanks. If tanks are empty or nearing empty, notify a BCR coach or the Equipment Manager.

2-29 Coaches are responsible for keeping launches clean.

3. Equipment use

3-1 When lifting a boat always make sure there are enough people and that they are properly distributed.

3-2 Always lift a boat off the racks. Don’t slide it on the gunwales.

3-3 Watch riggers carefully to make sure they don’t hit anything.

3-4 When putting a boat on the rack or in slings, make sure it isn’t resting on a rigger or the skeg.

3-5 Always have a coxswain or coach direct the moving of a boat. If a coxswain is not available one experienced person can direct the boat movement.

3-6 Never step on the hull (bottom) of a boat or put or drop anything heavy in it.

3-7 Before pushing off the dock inspect your seat, rigger, stretchers, oar, etc. to make sure no parts are missing, loose or broken. Replace missing or broken parts immediately. If it can’t be fixed, don’t row it – notify a BCR coach and notify the Equipment Manager immediately by telephone or email. Place “caution” tape on a visible location(s) on the boat so other members know that the boat is not rowable.

3-8 If anything breaks on the water, stop rowing immediately and return to the dock. Only use the affected position to set up the boat while returning to the dock.

3-9 Be careful when landing at the dock. GO SLOW. The coxswain is in charge. If the landing doesn’t look good, back off and try again.

3-10 Do not put a boat on the ground. Always put it on slings or a rack.

3-11 When rolling a boat down from overhead, always roll it away from the slings so as to not hit the slings.

3-12 Walk around a boat. NEVER step over a boat.

4. Damage reporting

4-1 Crews are responsible for the safe use of all equipment. Any damage that occurs must be reported immediately (within 24 hours) to the Equipment Manager and BCR program coach. All crew members of the damaged boat are financially responsible for fixing any damage that occurs through negligence, for example, hitting the dock, breaking a skeg off at the dock, or damage resulting from the boat not being properly tied down. Acceptable damage includes hitting an underwater log, or oar, rigger, or rib damage due to structural defects or weakness.

4-2 “Caution” tape must be placed in a visible location on any boat or equipment that is unsafe or unrowable, or when there is any doubt about seaworthiness.

4-3 A description of any damage and how the damage occurred must be sent via email to the Equipment Manager and BCR coach or verbally communicated if notified via phone.

4-4 As a courtesy, please call or email anyone who has reserved a boat and inform him or her of the out-of-service status.

4-5 Do not assume someone else has reported the problem.

5. Equipment care

5-1 Boats should be wiped down both inside and out, and tracks cleaned, after each use. All active rowers should rotate towel washing duty.

5-2 Sweep oars should be carried no more than one in each hand, with blades forward.

5-3 Oars should be placed on the ground carefully with the tips down.

5-4 When landing, the oars should be rotated so that the tips are down over the dock.

5-5 Oarlocks should be closed and locked unless an oar is being inserted or removed.

5-6 Boats must be tightly tied down on the boat racks to prevent wind damage.

6. Coxswains and coxing equipment

6-1 In common with all rowers/members, the primary responsibility of coxswains is the safety of rowers, and care of equipment.

6-2 All boats that have a coxswain seat must have a coxswain with the exception of a boat rowed as a quad. All coxswains must be from the approved list unless (a) a coach is in a launch nearby, or (b) there is an experienced stern pair and bow seat (experienced means has at least permission to row in fours).

6-3 All boats that compete must have a coxswain from the approved racing coxswains list.

6-4 Cox boxes should be carried by their handles, not by the headset cord. Never put a coxbox down on the dock.

6-5 The cox box case should be stored in the boat house and after every use, the cox box should be connected to the recharging system.

6-6 The coxswain is responsible for closing and opening the deck vents (someone else may do it) and for turning on and off the bow and stern lights when used.

6-7 Coxswains are encouraged to have their own tool set (7/16″ wrench, duct tape, crescent wrench, small pliers, multi-tip screwdriver).

6-8 Anyone wishing to be checked out as an approved or racing coxswain should contact the Coxswain Committee.

6-9 Coxswains must cox 16 BCR Program sessions per year or pay $100 towards the purchase of their Reservoir Pass. They are exempt from completing volunteer hours.

7. Guests

7-1 An adult member may invite an adult guest (non-member) to row. The same guest may not row more than three times in any one calendar year. The guest must have at least one year of experience rowing in whichever type of boat he/she rows as a guest. The member must accompany the guest, either by rowing in the same boat, or rowing close by in the case of singles. The guest must fill out waiver forms (liability and swimming) before going on the water. The member is responsible for any damage caused by the guest. A $10 fee must be paid each time a guest rows. Waiver forms and fees will go into a lock-box at the reservoir.

7-2 A guest wishing to row more than three times per year must apply to the Membership Director for guest membership.

7-3 A guest is not allowed on Boulder Reservoir Park property before published park hours unless they are accompanied by a BCR contracted coach for the purpose of participating in a supervised BCR Program or private lesson with that coach. Under those circumstances, the guest is required to sign the City of Boulder Waiver prior to rowing that day, as well as the USRowing and BCR Swimming waiver.

8. Conditions needed before rowing takes place

8-1 Members shall row only when conditions are safe with respect to light, fog, wind, temperature, presence of debris, and any other relevant factors.

8-2 All boats shall be back at the dock no later than 1/2 hour BEFORE sunset. Sunrise and sunset times are posted in the Boulder Daily Camera or on the internet. Bow lights or strobes that are visible over a 180-degree cone must be used before sunrise.

9. Water Safety

9-0 Safety of members and others is our highest priority and should never be compromised.

9-1 Wind at Boulder Reservoir is unpredictable and often produces unsafe conditions. Rowing must cease and all boats must return directly to the dock in the safest manner possible if the wind speed is in excess of 10 knots. Keep an eye on the windsock at the beach house. The windsock will be straight out at 15 knots and approximately 45 degrees at 10 knots. The wind in the center of the reservoir is significantly stronger than the wind near the docking and mooring area.

9-2 Rowing must cease if there are any sign of whitecaps and all boats must return to the dock in the safest manner possible. The part of the reservoir that is least effected by wind is the upwind side. Row as close as possible to the upwind side when returning to the dock in high wind conditions. Keep well away from the dam at all times.

9-3 There will be no rowing if the air temperature is below 25 degrees F. If the air temperature is between 25 degrees F and 32 degrees F rowing is allowed only if there is a launch on the water in direct supervision of the shell.

9-4 There will be no rowing if the water temperature is below 40 degrees F. If the water temperature is between 40 degrees F and 50 degrees F rowing is allowed only if there is a launch on the water within easy access of the boat.

9-5 In the event of any lightning within 10 miles of the reservoir all boats must return to the dock immediately.

9-6 If ANY rower believes the conditions are unsafe, the boat must return to the dock. Do not attempt to persuade someone it is safe to row. When in doubt, don’t launch.

9-7 All rowers must be safe swimmers. All rowers must sign a swimming certificate stating their ability to swim safely.

9-8 All rowers must view the USRowing safety video and read this Rule Document within 3 months of joining BCR. The safety video should also be reviewed at least once every two years.

9-9 All rowers are encouraged to be CPR trained as well as First Aid trained.

9-10 All Program and independent boats are required to have one safety whistle on board at all times.

9-11 At least one BCR contracted coach is required to be on the water in a launch before published park hours before any scull or sweep rowing can occur. This is not required during published park hours. All BCR safety and liability rules as outlined herein apply at all times.

10. Lake and Dock Use

10-1 The docks are often heavily used by rowers and other boaters. If it’s busy, quickly get the oars and push off from the dock as soon as you’re in the boat. Tie in after you’re clear of the dock.

10-2 The red-orange buoys on the Reservoir indicate extremely shallow areas and these are to be avoided. White buoys guide the traffic pattern, which is clockwise. All rowers are requested to stay between the buoy line and shore in the event of a boat flipping, or just outside the buoy line where there is minimal room. A map of this pattern is located in the BCR shed. Leave the center of the lake open for water skiers.

10-3 Always be courteous and friendly to water skiers and other boaters. We all have to share the reservoir.

10-4 After docking, land in such a way as to allow two boats to dock at once. Quickly leave the dock area with the boat if it is busy.

11. Parking

11-1 Members must park clear of the paths from the boat storage areas to the water.

12. Security/liability

12-1 BCR is not responsible for members’ property, nor is the club liable for any damage or loss of members’ property.

12-2 The last person to leave the area must check that all equipment is secured and safe. Verify that no oars have been left on the dock, that the launches are securely tied, and that every boat and oar is properly secured to prevent wind damage.

13. Regattas

13-1 Neither coxswains or coaches are to be paid for their services. Coxswains and coaches are part of the crew. However, coached programs may hire a coach or program director if it is acceptable to the Board of Directors.

13-2 All BCR members are welcome to attend races throughout the year. Members rowing in Experienced or Novice programs who wish to race may arrange and pay for separate racing coaching outside of the scope of their programs. Any member can pull together a team to participate in any race with club equipment in accordance with club rules. However, Race members receive first priority of equipment for target races.

13-3 The cost of regattas is to be paid by all participants of the regatta. This includes entry fees, trailering costs, boat rental, travel, food and lodging. Trailering costs are divided equally among participants. The participating crews pay entry fees and boat rentals. Coxswains are exempt from entry fees, trailering costs and boat rental.

14. Boulder Reservoir Early Access

14-1 BCR Membership and signature of the City of Boulder Waiver is mandatory for access to the Boulder Reservoir prior to published park hours. Per BCR Rules, that year’s USRowing and BCR Swimming waiver must also be signed.

14-2 Non-members and/or Guests are not permitted to enter the park outside of published park hours except when accompanied by a BCR contracted coach for the purpose of participating in a supervised BCR Program or private lesson with that coach.

14-3 At least one BCR contracted coach is required to be on the water in a launch prior to any scull or sweep rowing prior to published park hours. This is not required during published park hours; however, all BCR safety and liability rules as outlined herein apply at all times.

14-4 Boats are not allowed to be brought in before Park Hours due to Aquatic Nuisance Species Reservoir inspection rules. Contact the Reservoir for more information.

14-5 Only authorized contracted BCR coaches or authorized individuals may check out a Boulder Reservoir Gate key from the City. Coaches will open the park gate prior to park hours for members or qualified guests (as per guest rules above).

14-6 Coaches will all have cell phones and be ready to be in contact with all other coaches on the water in case of emergency.

14-7 All boats will carry a whistle.

14-8 All boats must be illuminated properly.

14-9 All boaters not in a program must sign in and out of the log book and verbally notify the coach designated as the point of contact (coach name and phone number will be listed in logbook). Rowers who arrive after the coach is in the water must sign in and text message the coach to notify them.

14-10 All rowers must wait for a coach to be on the water before getting on the water.

14-11 Boats with less than 4 oars (singles and pairs) must row with another boat. (“4 Oars on the Water Rule”).

[Version 03-26-2012]

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