Season Guidelines – 2020

2020 South Bend Community Rowing Season Guidelines

To participate in the South Bend Community Rowing (SBCR) Masters Program, you must have prior rowing experience and be deemed by the coaches as ready for the Masters rowing activities. The Novice Program that feeds into the Masters Program is described later in the document.

2020 Membership Requirements

  1. Basic Membership in US Rowing ($9.75/year). Join at U.S. Rowing and select South Bend Community Rowing as your club.
  2. Membership in SBCR. Visit Programs and Membership to learn about and register for our programs and make payment.
  3. Provide an e-mail address and cell phone number for club communications. 
  4. Attend Coxswain School or equivalent training (April – date to be announced).
  5. Volunteer for a minimum of 10 hours over the season. Example volunteer opportunities include: maintaining boat/boathouse, coxing, volunteering at community outreach event, and serving on a committee.
  6. Composite crews and guest rowers must be USRowing members and establish a temporary affiliation.

Rowing Schedule

Spring Tune Up period
April 18 – May 20 6:30 PM
M M  M 
Split Comp and Rec/Tech
May 21 – July 1 6:30 PM
Learn to Row
June 9 – June 25 6:30 PM
Move Comp to AM
July 2 – Sept 1 6:15 AM
C C C* C
July 2 – Sept 1 6:30 PMRTNovRTNov RT then Nov 
Merge Nov and Rec/Tech
Sept 2 – Oct 1 6:15 PM
End of Season
Oct 1 – EOY 6:15 PM
Intrasquad Finale       
  • M – Masters (mixed by skill and gender) (coached)
  • C – Competitive (coached, as available)
  • RT – Recreational/Technical Rowing (coached, as available)
  • LTR – Learn-to-Row at Notre Dame (no launch needed)
  • Nov – Novice (coached)
  • * – Time to be determined

SBCR will commit April 18 – May 25 to Spring Tune-up. All rowers should attend rowing sessions and will be in mixed boats by skill level. These will be coached sessions and the emphasis is on technique and steady-state training. Whether you plan to race or not, you should attend these sessions to ensure that you are ready for the summer rowing activities.

In late May, the emphasis for rowing sessions will shift toward more challenging work and will split into Competitive (C) and Recreational/Technical (RT) practice sessions. Anyone wanting to race in a sweep race must attend Competitive sessions in order to be properly evaluated and seated accordingly (more below).

In early July, once Learn-to-Row (LTR) is completed, the Competitive sessions will move to the morning until early September to accommodate the Learn-to-Row members as our new Novice group. In early September, morning rows will end.

Weekly Requirements

  1. On the SBCR Masters spreadsheet (a shared document on google docs), enter an “X” on those dates that you expect to row.
  2. Add a recurring reminder to your calendar to update the spreadsheet weekly.

Day-Of Session Requirements

  1. If we have more than eight plus a coxswain on the schedule: Attend anyway. We have two 8’s and two 4+’s now. We will do our best to get everyone a quality row and we have the equipment to do so in most cases.
  2. If you have to cancel last minute: Update the spreadsheet so the counts are accurate. Send a GroupMe text stating that you cannot attend. We ask that you send it as soon as possible. If a person who had not signed up is actually available to row, they should a) update the spreadsheet immediately with an “X” and b) reply to the GroupMe text.
  3. If weather is threatening, the coach assigned to the session, or Dan, Jill, or their proxy, will send a GroupMe text at least 45 minutes before the scheduled time to boat out.


We will have a pool of coxswains that we develop internally through our Coxswain School. You must attend the Coxswain school or receive comparable training from our coaches. This will include rowers who are willing to cox, as well as those who only want to cox. We will establish a firm set of people who have the skill set required – know the commands, know safety protocols, have experienced steering a shell, understand the drills and other exercises that Crews typically perform.

  1. If you just want to cox, you sign up for the sessions you want as “Cox.”
  2. If you really wanted to row, but end up as cox, update the spreadsheet to show that you actually coxed.
  3. If you wanted to row but you coxed the prior session, someone else from the Coxswain pool must cox. We will do our best to ensure that if you coxed the prior session, you will row this session.
  4. Dedicated coxswains are excused from club membership dues but must be members of US Rowing.


A competition committee (CompCom) will be established, comprised of two coaches, and at least one Executive Committee (ExCom) member. The CompCom will evaluate possible regattas based on experience or knowledge, travel distance, equipment availability and team interest. The CompCom also will consider other SBCR goals and scheduled programs, and will recommend a slate of racing events for the upcoming year to the ExCom for final approval. These will include at least three regattas for the Summer Sprint Season and two regattas for the Fall Head Season. If an individual wants to race a small boat in some other regatta, they may use their affiliation with SBCR to do so, but no SBCR assets will be used to support this activity. Possible regattas for 2020 are:

  • June 20th – Indy Sprints
  • July 12th – Chicago Sprints
  • August 1st – Midwest Summer Sprints, Columbus, OH
  • September 19th – Head of the Cuyahoga
  • October 24th – Head of the Schuylkill

If you want to race, we will make every effort to ensure participation in at least one event at the scheduled regattas. This may mean that rowers race multiple events at each regatta, and it may mean that some only get one event. The CompCom will review the event roster and make proper race entries based upon availability, race experience, etc. Coaches will set the boats at least three weeks prior to the event. They have spent considerable time evaluating each rower, and are in the best position to make these decisions.

Each regatta selected will have its own tab on the 2020 schedule spreadsheet. Please note that most regattas have a cut off after which late entries are not allowed, and withdrawals are not refunded. To participate in a regatta you must:

  1. Prepare for racing. This means that you should have completed a reasonable training plan, and attended enough Competitive sessions to have been evaluated by the coaches.
  2. Indicate that you wish to race (on the spreadsheet) at least four weeks prior to the regatta event, in order to ensure that entries can be made in time to qualify for that event.
  3. Pay for your entry and equipment fee, travel and hotel, as appropriate.
  4. Notify coaches right away if you must miss a Competitive session. Missing too many of the Competitive sessions may disqualify you from the event, or the regatta itself.
  5. If a line-up for a race is available on a regularly scheduled RT row, the RT row takes priority but the line-up may do race prep at the coach’s discretion.
  6. If a SBCR specific line up would like to schedule additional Race Prep outside of club-designated times, a coach must approach the ExCom to request training session. ExCom will respond within 48 hours.

If members want to add race events outside of the club’s chosen events at a regatta, it must be approved by the coaches based on the race schedule. This will reduce the likelihood that overall Club performance at the event is impacted. Coaches have experience dealing with heats, and repechages and are able to better estimate impacts of multiple rows, hot-seating, as well as the quality of equipment available.

New Members

SBCR has benefited from Notre Dame in terms of the Learn-To-Row program that they host each year for the Community Rowing program. The timing of this event is driven by Notre Dame’s rowing and recruiting seasons. The general schedule for New Members is:

  1. Row 101 – SBCR-hosted 2-hour intro sessions, Saturdays in May (optional for new members)
  2. Learn-to-Row – ND-hosted sessions, June 5 – 28 on Tuesday and Thursday evenings.
  3. Novice – Have completed ND-hosted Learn-to-Row and will be eligible for SBCR-hosted coached sessions to continue to improve their rowing skills and fitness. They will have an opportunity to race in the intrasquad meet at the end of the season.
  4. Novices will be considered Masters after their first full season of rowing. They will be eligible for Masters’ sessions and events in the spring following their Novice (first) season.


Scullers must arrange berth rental with the South Bend Scullers & Paddlers. The rental agreement with the City is between those two parties, and therefore berth rentals are managed by that organization.

If a sculler, or any other party, wishes to race in a US Rowing sanctioned regatta, they must have an affiliation with a member organization of US Rowing. SBCR maintains a yearly paid membership in US Rowing. The racer may affiliate with SBCR but must pay an “affiliation fee” in order to help SBCR offset the expense of maintaining its organizational membership. Scullers or others who wish to race outside of the scheduled regattas, and to affiliate with SBCR must handle all of their own entry fees, and all other details.

A sculler must:

  1. Coordinate with Scullers & Paddlers organization to house their shell in the SB Boathouse (Berth rental is $135/year).
  2. If they want to race and need an affiliation, become an associate member of SBCR by paying an “affiliation fee” of $50/year.
  3. Become a member of US Rowing (at a minimum a basic membership for $9.75/year).