CRRC Safety and Culture

CRRC Handbook

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Participants and their parents/guardians are expected to read this Handbook AND to sign and submit annually the required forms contained in Appendix A.

Download the Complete Handbook


Camp Randall Rowing Club strives to create a healthy, supportive environment for all participants. We recognize athletes can only reach their fullest potential when they feel safe. This safety extends to all aspects of the sport of rowing, both on and off the water. In addition to the policies and procedures outlines in our handbook, CRRC is a member of US Rowing and has adopted SafeSport policies.

Please refer to the CRRC Participant SafeSport Manual for addtional information.

Screening of Staff & Volunteers

All potential employees and chaperones must complete the following:

1. CRRC Employment Application or Chaperone Application

2. Background Check (through NCSI)

3. SafeSport Online Training & Certification

4. Coach or Chaperone Code of Conduct form

Contact CRRC SafeSport

Contact CRRC SafeSport

To reach CRRC’s Safe Sport Committee please use the above email or fill out our Anonymous Reporting Form.

SafeSport Online Training

Educating our coaches, parents, volunteers and leadership is a critical component to a successful plan. CRRC requires that all members of Board of Directors, coaches, staff members and chaperones complete SafeSport online training. This training program teaches the nature of misconduct in sport: how to recognize it, prevent it and how to take action. Training can be done in segments, returning to training at your convenience. Once certification is complete, down load certificate and send a copy to CRRC Administrator.

Steps to Complete

SafeSport Training must be completed annually.   


The basic course and refresher courses are offered free to all active USRowing members. To access the U.S. Center for SafeSport training, please start by clicking HERE. If you do not have an account on, select Enrollment Key on the landing page and enter the following key: NGBUSR-RFKt8f. Fill out the form with all the required information and your new account will be set up.

Brittingham Boathouse Rules

The following rules and regulations apply to all members of the CAMP RANDALL ROWING CLUB, INC., (CRRC) and all CRRC guests and program participants.

A. General Rules

1.    Safety comes first.  All CRRC members shall examine and inspect each rowing activity in which he/she takes part of as a member of CRRC or USRowing and, if he/she observes any condition that he/she considers unacceptably dangerous or hazardous, he/she shall immediately notify the proper authority in charge of the rowing activity and shall refuse to take part in the rowing activity until the condition is satisfactorily corrected.

2.    Only CRRC members, or those persons attending organized CRRC programs and who have paid all CRRC dues and program fees or met CRRC requirements, will be allowed to row or cox in CRRC boats. Persons who are potential new members of CRRC may row with the CRRC for a two-week trial period before paying dues or program fees if they have signed a CRRC waiver form. However, these individuals may not represent CRRC in any regattas until they have paid their dues and program fees. Paid members of other rowing clubs may row or cox as guest members on a limited basis, as permitted by the coaches.

3.    Each member or guest member must sign a Release of Liability form. It is the responsibility of the CRRC coaches for each program (Program Coach) to ensure that an up-to-date record of signed release forms is maintained for each CRRC member. Each Program Coach shall maintain a complete set of signed release forms and shall also provide the CRRC President with a complete set of signed release forms.

4.    Every practice (whether regularly scheduled or other) must have, at minimum, one person in direct supervision throughout the practice. If the Program Coach is not present, the individual supervising the practice session must be an individual approved by the Head Coach and shall be directly responsible to the Head Coach.  Approved individuals must be at least 18 years old and qualified in rowing by training or experience, knowledgeable about basic sports safety principles and basic rowing safety and specifically authorized by the Head Coach.

5.    The appropriate Program Coach must approve the use of any CRRC boat by any member. During practices, the Program Coaches will approve the use of specific boats by the program participants.

6.    The Program Coach or supervising individual has the absolute authority to cancel practices for safety reasons, or any other appropriate reasons.  As part of determining whether a practice should be canceled, the Program Coach or supervising individual shall obtain a current weather forecast to determine whether severe weather is predicted.

8.    The coxswain commands the shell and should be the only person giving commands and instructions when the shell is moving. Rowers can assist new coxswains in improving their skills, but only when the shell is not moving. If a coxswain’s command will place either the crew or equipment in danger, the rowers shall stop the shell.  A rower should only stop the boat and NOT attempt to issue correcting instructions or commands. A request by a member of a crew to terminate a practice because of dangerous weather conditions shall be granted.

9.    No sweep boats shall go out on the water without a coxswain  unless the shell is accompanied by the coach’s launch and prior approval is given by the Program Coach.

10.    All shells and launches taken out of the boathouse during non practice hours are to be communicated with the Head Coach.  The Program Coach shall place an “Out of Service” marker on a damaged or unusable boat.  Unless otherwise arranged, all Camp Randall owned boats must be returned to the boathouse in rowable condition after a trip or regatta and prior to the next scheduled practice for any program.

11.    Coast Guard-approved personal flotation devices (PFDs) must be carried in all water craft. At the minimum all CRRC crews must carry the following PFDs: (a) 1 PFD per person in each 4 or 8; (b) 1 PFD per person in all training boats; (c) As many PFDs as reasonable in each launch but not less than of 9 PDFs, plus 1 PDF per person in the launch plus one throwable rope and a rescue pole and 9 space blankets, along with 2 type 4 PFD [seat cushions]).

12.    No CRRC boats are to be rowed after dark (½ hour before sunrise and ½ hour after sunset) unless ALL of the following conditions are met:

a.     Practice is supervised by a Program Coach

b.     Shells and launches are properly lighted

13.    An extra safety launch must be prepped before the start of practice.

B. Weather Guidelines

1.    Practices MUST be canceled if lightning is observed by anyone and all CRRC boats shall remain off the water until 30 minutes pass without another observed lightning flash.  Boats already on the water shall immediately move to a safe location and wait until the storm passes.  Alternatively, boats should return to the boathouse if safely possible. A lightning detector is available in the boathouse to assist the Program Coach or supervising individual to determine the appropriate measures needed to assure the safety of all crews.

2.     All CRRC boats are to be accompanied by a launch when water temperature is below 50 degrees Fahrenheit.  The water temperature shall be determined by the UW-Madison Lifesaving Station for Lake Mendota and by the appropriate organization for Lake Monona. When a launch accompanies the shell, singles and doubles are to remain within 100 yards of the launch; other boats are to remain within 500 yards of the launch.

3.     No boats will be allowed on the water until the combined air and water temperature is 70 degrees or higher. Between 70 and 90 degrees, a “four oar rule” will be enforced. Meaning all boats on the water must have a total of four oars (two port and two starboard) or more: pontoons also count as oars due to the added stabalization they add. Novices must have pontoons on any 1 or 2 person boat when under 90 degrees combined.

C. Miscellaneous Rules

1 .    All boat house doors are to be shut, locked, or fully secured, and all equipment properly secured in the boat house when crews are on the water and when the last person leaves the boat house.

2.    The boat house is to be used for CRRC activities only. Any other use of the boat house by members must be previously approved by the Board.

3.    All gasoline containers shall be kept in the fuel storage cabinet, along with all other flammable materials.

4.    Smoking is not permitted in or around the boathouse or storage area.

5.    Alcohol consumption is not permitted in or around the boathouse.

7.    CRRC members must obtain permission from their Program Coach and the CRRC President to use any CRRC non-boating equipment outside of normal practice times. This includes use of CRRC exercise equipment, tools, or office facilities.

8.    The boathouse is officially closed for use by CRRC members when the on-the-water season ends (i.e. when the dock is removed).

9.    Junior members of the CRRC may not be in the boathouse unsupervised.  Supervision for any non-water rowing activity occurring during practice times must be provided by a Program Coach or a supervising individual.

10.    The boat house door lock combinations/keys should not to be shared with any non-CRRC members.


D. Equipment handling guidelines

1.     Boats

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

b.     Always lift boats off the racks, don’t slide them off on the gunwales.

c.     Watch riggers carefully to make sure they won’t hit or scrape anything.

d.     When putting a shell on the racks or on stretchers, make sure it isn’t resting on any part of the rigger.

e.     Lift the boat evenly.

f.     Always use a coxswain to move a boat. Listen for the coxswain’s commands and refrain from unnecessary talking.

g.     Never step in the bottom of the shell or drop anything heavy into the bottom of the shell.

h.     Before leaving the dock at the beginning of practice, do a quick inspection of seat, rigger, stretchers, etc. to make sure no parts are missing, loose, or broken. Notify coach or supervisory person immediately if there is a problem. Replace missing or broken parts immediately. If something can’t be fixed, use a different shell. Never row a damaged shell. Any problems found before and/or after practice should be entered in the log and written on the white board in the boathouse.

i.     Be careful when landing at the dock. Remember that the coxswain is in charge. Take the best approach to landing and proceed slowly in order to prevent boat damage. If the first attempt at landing does not go well, weigh enough, back off and try again. Always try to have someone catch you at the dock.

j.     Shells are to be given routine preventive maintenance as scheduled by the Head Coach.

k.     Remove or bungee all seats and rigging when transporting shells to regatta. Gunwales should be on foam protectors, never on plain metal. Make sure all shells are secure – boats should not be able to move in any direction during transport.

l.     Drivers transporting boats to regattas are responsible for compliance with all applicable laws and regulations for boat transportation.

m.    Do not place shells on the ground. Shells should be placed on stretchers or horses so they are properly supported. Always walk around a supported shell, never step over a shell.

n.     RIGGING IS NOT TO BE CHANGED WITHOUT THE PROGRAM COACH’S APPROVAL. Please contact the coach directly if you need information about the rigging process or to discuss specific boats.

2.    Oars

a.     Use matched sets of oars for the same shell.

b.     Do not change oar markings or settings without the Program Coach’s approval.

c.     Carry oars with blades forward and only carry one or two oars at a time.

d.     Never lean oars against the side of a building.

e.     If an oar is damaged, place it on the work bench and make a note of it and on the white board in the boathouse and on your log entry.

3.    Launches

a.     Launch drivers need to be approved by the Head Coach and are responsible for compliance with all boating regulations while operating CRRC equipment. Use of the launches is to be entered on the log sheets by the launch driver, just as is done with shells. ANY CRRC PROPERTY IS TO BE USED FOR ROWING-RELATED PURPOSES ONLY. Launches are to be used only for rowing related purposes unless otherwise approved in advance by the Board.

b.     Launches stored on the trailer inside the boat house are to have all gasoline tanks removed. The gasoline is to be stored in the designated spot for flammable material.

c.     The launch is to be considered a safety vehicle at all times. Launch drivers should make sure all the proper safety equipment is in the launch before leaving the dock. Launch drivers should be familiar with rescue guidelines. The number of persons in the launch should be limited to ensure room is available to the crew, if required.

4. Miscellaneous

a.    Make sure any equipment problems are reported to the Head Coach – DO NOT ASSUME THAT SOMEONE ELSE HAS REPORTED THE PROBLEM.

b.    If the problem is severe, make sure that the equipment will not be used by anyone else – such use has the potential to cause additional damage or to cause injury to a rower.

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