Team Rules and Guidelines

(These rules and guidelines are a living document, and each athlete and family is expected to acknowledge them each spring as part of the team registration process.)

Washington-Lee HS Crew Team Rules and Guidelines

“If you think you can or can’t, you have already decided.”

The following are guidelines for Parents and Students to follow. These guidelines are specific to the W-L Crew Team, in addition to those rules contained in the school’s student handbook. The guidelines are not meant to discourage, but rather to ensure that there are no misunderstandings.

Since its founding in 1949 W-L Crew Team has had a rich history of excellence, both on and off the water.  In keeping with this tradition, W-L rowers are held to a higher standard.  These Rules and Guidelines reflect the expectations of the team, captains, coaching staff, school, and alumni.

Mission Statement

The Washington-Lee High School Women’s Crew Team is dedicated to fostering a love for the sport of rowing through an inclusive, supportive environment grounded in hard work, positive and open communication, transparency, honesty, and active engagement by all involved.  Athletes and Staff will exhibit good sportsmanship both on and off the water, while having the utmost respect for peers, coaches, and officials involved in scholastic rowing.  All members will uphold the values of W-L Women’s Crew to the team, school, and communities around them.

Commitment to Safety in Sport

Washington-Lee High School Crew is fully committed to the safety of all athletes, and participants, by complying with the USRowing and USOC SafeSport policies below. Specifically, the following misconduct will not be tolerated:

  1. Bullying
  2. Hazing
  3. Harassment (including sexual harassment)
  4. Emotional Misconduct
  5. Physical Misconduct
  6. Sexual Misconduct (including child sexual abuse)

On these six points, we have a zero tolerance policy for the coaches, athletes, crew booster officers, parent boosters, and alumni of our team. We expect everyone to conduct themselves in the highest of standards, being supportive, positive, and inclusive towards all those involved within, and outside of Washington-Lee High School Crew.

We promote this supportive and positive environment through example and education as appropriate. Discrimination based on race, sex, religious affiliation, sexual preference, federally protected class, or disability is not tolerated. All members of our program will be treated with equal respect, free from harassment or pressure, either intended or implied. Washington-Lee High School Crew offers a safe environment for all.


  • During the spring season keep things in their proper priority.
  • Learn to balance your time. Do not make excuses for not getting your school work done outside of practice and then miss practice to make things up. This will not be tolerated.
  • Crew is a sport that requires a substantial commitment of time and energy. It is imperative that all rowers and parents take this commitment seriously.



  • Disrespect, physical or verbal abuse, or improper behavior will not be tolerated and are grounds for removal from the team. Your behavior effects and reflects upon us all. We adhere to all Safe Sport guidelines.
  • Criminal Behavior: Criminal Behavior will not be tolerated.  Engaging in certain activities will result in an athlete’s removal from the team.
  • Specific Criminal Offenses: Criminal behavior includes, but is not limited to, the following: drug use, drug possession, alcohol use, alcohol possession, tobacco use, tobacco possession, theft, vandalism, assault, battery.
  • Drugs, Alcohol, and Tobacco: The coaching staff stresses that the use or possession of drugs, alcohol or tobacco is strictly prohibited.  The team maintains a zero tolerance policy.  Any use of banned or illegal substances will result in an athlete’s removal from the team.
  • Improper Behavior: Improper Behavior, short of Criminal Behavior, includes, but is not limited to, the following: cheating, plagiarism, fighting, verbal abuse, physical abuse.  Improper Behavior may result in removal from the team or other, less severe, discipline.
  • Improper Behavior also includes acting dangerously, recklessly, or carelessly while at the boathouse, around any equipment, or while attending any regatta.


    • Any of these violations can result in disciplinary action by the team coach and/or athletic department administrator. Actions include exclusion from practice or regattas, suspension from the team, or exclusion from the current team or all future athletic teams.


  • Decisions as to what constitutes Criminal Behavior or Improper Behavior fall within the discretion of the coaching staff and athletic department.  A criminal conviction or charge is not necessary for the coaching staff to make a finding of Criminal Behavior.  Improper Behavior may include any behavior that reflects negatively on the athlete, the team, or the school.


Attendance & Scheduling

  • Practices are Monday – Saturday.
    • Monday – Friday practices are 3:15-6:30pm
    • Saturday practices times are announced by each coach but are usually fall between 8am-noon
  • Practice is NOT OPTIONAL. Missing practice can impact your seat in a boat, and impacts the entire team!
    • Weather Conditions:  We practice rain or shine, at PBC. Practice is almost never canceled. We may be kept off the water due to lightning, high winds or extreme cold. Listen for announcements at school, talk to a captain, or ask in the Athletic Directors office.
    • Understand that when an athlete/you misses a practice it effects 8 other people on their/your boat, as well as the 9 people in the next boat, and on through the rest of the squad (be it experienced or novice).
    • Spring Break:  Practices during Spring Break are mandatory. Due consideration will be given to Freshman or Novice rowers who are new to the team’s practice schedule.
    • Service Hours, SAT’s, college visits, outside school appointments, etc: Please consider the impact to the team when scheduling things that would affect the practice schedule of your boat.
    • Trips: Parents, when considering whether to take your child on a trip, be aware that taking a trip during the season will affect athletes other than your child. Your child’s boat will have to have adjust to another athlete in the line up, disrupting the team’s training regimen and jeopardizing the team’s success.
    • Homework: Homework is not an acceptable excuse to miss practice.  While studies come first, W-L rowers should properly prioritize their schedules to avoid conflicts.
    • IB & AP Exams: Plan ahead for advanced course examinations. Do not wait until the last minute to notify your coach that it may affect the practice schedule.
    • Detention: Don’t get it!  Detention is not an excuse to miss or disrupt practice. W-L rowers represent the team, both within and without the school.  W-L rowers have an obligation to make sure they do well in school and attend practice. Detention reflects poorly on the individual athlete and the team.
    • Notice: If you cannot attend a practice or will be late for any reason, it is your responsibility to inform the coaches well in advance.
      • Proper notice: rowers or their parents should inform the athlete’s specific coach at least one day in advance by leaving a message via phone or email. Their phone numbers and emails are listed on the crew website.
      • In the event of illness the athlete or athlete’s parents should notify they athlete’s coach per the methods above.
    • 4-Day Rule: If you practice less than four days in a given week, you may not race. The final decision falls within the discretion of the coaching staff.
  • Regatta Scheduling: Regattas are over when they are over. You are expected to attend the entire regatta, to cheer on your teammates, and to put away equipment at the end of the day.  Regattas often run behind schedule, so both parents and athletes should expect to spend more than the allotted time at the racecourse.


  • All rowers are to meet immediately after school to run down to the boathouse.
  • Rowers must run in groups of 3 or more athletes at all times. Athletes should carry a phone with them in case of emergency and have the number of at least one coach.
  • Athletes may leave their bags (only stuff needed for practice!) with the designated “bag car” parent and/or coach.
  • Injured athletes or athletes who have made special arrangement with their coach may catch a bus immediate after school to the boathouse.
  • All athletes are transported from PBC to W-L at the conclusion of practice during the regular weekday. Transportation to PBC for Saturday practices is up to the athlete and their family to arrange.
  • Parking is limited around PBC. No one is to park directly in front of PBC- it is reserved for Senior Members of the club.
  • Rowers are NOT allowed to drive their own cars to weekday practice without previous approval from their coach. Approval is only granted with a signed, written note by a parent. Under no circumstances may a rower granted permission to drive transport other W-L athletes with them unless they are a sibling. Likewise, unless a specific written request is made by a parent, no athlete may be transported from practice in any manner outside of the APS provided school bus.

Discipline and Penalties

Penalties for absences: Absence without warning will result in the athlete not rowing on the water the next day, and effect an athlete’s status within his or her boat, and, possibly, on the team. Missing a Friday practice may result in the athlete not racing on the following Saturday.

  • Rowers that are absent from practice without proper notification to the coaches on 3 different occasions in a season may be removed from the team at the discretion of the coaching staff, after giving a verbal warning to the athlete and alerting the parents to the situation. Prior to this, the coaches reserve the right to penalize the rower.  Possible disciplinary action includes, but is not limited to, the following:
    • Removal from current boat/seat
    • Prohibiting the offending rower from racing in the next regatta or regattas.
  • Penalties for Criminal Behavior: Engaging in Criminal Behavior will result in an athlete’s automatic removal from the team for the rest of the season.
  • Penalties for Improper Behavior: Engaging in Improper Behavior may result in removal from the team.  Engaging in Improper Behavior may also result in discipline short of removal, fashioned in proportion to the offense according to the judgment of the coaching staff.
  • Coaches’ Disciplinary Decision-Making: After any incident, the coaches will make a decision on disciplinary action after consultation with the athlete, his or her parents, and any other parties whose opinions or accounts of the incident the coaching staff deems relevant.
  • The team is a self-policed group. Each rower has a responsibility to him or herself and his or her teammates to refrain from putting themselves in a position where one could be removed from the team or subject to other discipline.
  • Affirmative Reporting Duty: Rowers bear the responsibility to inform the coaches or captains if they know that a teammate is breaking any team rules or guidelines.

Workout & Land Training guidelines

  • Workouts: Do the workout assigned to you by the coaches. Do not change it, add to it, or skip it.
  • Sleep & Nutrition: It is critical that you get adequate sleep, and eat properly so you can train hard. This is especially true the days before a race.
  • Injury: If injury prevents you from doing the land training it is the coaches’ decision as to whether you will practice on the water or not. This includes erg tests.
  • Proper Attire: Come prepared (running shoes, spandex shorts/tights, extra clothes, rain gear) and ready to workout. If you don’t have workout clothes, you will not practice.
    • Always bring extra dry, warm clothes.
    • You should be dressed, and have your water bottle filled by the start of practice.
  • Always train in groups.
  • Always be in the area designated by the coach.
  • Be aware of what is going on around you. If someone bothers or confronts you, turn and walk away. Return to the boathouse immediately and tell a coach!

Boathouse Rules

We are guests of PBC, and our long standing relationship relies on our continued positive impact on the club.

  • Athletes are restricted to the first boat bays with the following exceptions:
    • Personal bags can be stored on the third floor balcony.
    • Rowers may, at the direction of the coaches, train on the ergometers.
    • Use of the restrooms.
    • At the direction of a coach.
  • Do not use or move things that do not belong to you.
  • Bring nothing valuable to the boathouse.
  • Everybody must help in getting the boats on and off the water, and setting up/taking down the motor launches each day.
  • There is no running or horseplay in the boathouse or on the docks and ramps.
  • Do not interfere with another squad’s practice (e.g. men, women, experienced, novice, club members).
  • Remain in areas designated by the coaching staff at all times! Don’t wander off.

Safety Rules


  • Athletes should always workout in areas and with equipment designated by the coach
  • Always remain with your group, or other team members. Never run, workout, or otherwise be by yourself!
  • If you are outside the boathouse and are confronted or harassed by an individual return immediate to the boathouse and report to a coach. If this not possible, leave the area with your group, and seek assistance from an adult, preferably law enforcement.
  • Never, under any circumstances engage in verbal or physical sparring!



  • Swim Test: Everybody must take a swim test before going on the water for the first time each year. You are excused if you can provide valid certification as a lifeguard.
  • NEVER LEAVE THE BOAT!!!  Even if it capsizes (“swamps”).  The boat will serve as a flotation device.
  • If you get separated from the boat, remain with an oar.  It will help with staying afloat.
  • Dangerous Behavior of any kind while on or off the water is immediate grounds for dismissal.
  • Equipment: Each rower is responsible for the equipment: boat, oars, and uniforms. It is the student’s responsibility to set up/break down the coaches’ launches with safety equipment, put out/away oars, and checks the shell for loose or damaged parts on a daily basis.
  • Damage: Rowers are liable for all intentional or irresponsible damage to equipment belonging to W-L or any other group.
  • This liability may include helping with repair or paying for damaged items, as necessary.


End of the Season Travel

Competing at the highest level possible at our championship events (Ted Phoenix Regatta, VASRA Championships, Stotesbury Cup Regatta, and SRAA Scholastic Nationals) held in May is the top athletic goal of the team. Athletes are selected for boats based on their efforts, skills, and attitude throughout the year, among many other factors. Final boat selections are at the sole discretion of the coaches. For the Stotesbury Cup Regatta, only the two boats considered to be the fastest boats on each squad (men/women) by the coaching squad go. Any other boats above and beyond this number is at the discretion of the coaches. Boats must qualify at our area championship events to race at the SRAA Scholastic National Regatta. There are no novice entries, outside of the Freshmen 8, at either Stotesbury or SRAA’s. Any event beyond those listed above are of a special nature to be determined and discussed on a yearly basis.

Guidelines for Receiving a Varsity Letter

  • To receive a varsity letter, you must row on a varsity level boat for at least ½ of the season and/or compete in a varsity event at the local championship regatta.
  • It is the coaches’ privilege to give varsity letters to other boats or individuals based on outstanding effort or accomplishments during the season.
  • Anyone who does not receive a varsity letter, but completes the entire season, will be awarded a junior varsity or freshman certificate, as appropriate.


If each rower works to the best of their abilities, keeps a positive attitude, and supports each other, then we will have a winning crew team. You represent W-L Crew. You get what you put into it. Good luck.


Acknowledgement of Team Rules and Guidelines


By signing this form, I acknowledge that I have read, understand, and agree to abide by the Washington-Lee High School Crew Team Rules & Guidelines.  I acknowledge the expectations that the coaching staff and school have for all athletes in the W-L HS Crew program.


Student’s Printed Name________________________


Student’s Signature____________________________


Parent’s Signature____________________________

Please return this form, signed, to your coach. Please retain the entire set of guidelines for your records and referral.