Rules for Spring Season

Spring is our most important season.  Thus, it is our most serious season.  We have rules that only apply during the spring.  These rules are fairly strict.  There are few exceptions.  However, the coaches recognize that crew must not top any student’s priority list.  We are reasonable people.  If you’ve got something going on that might cause you hardship regarding team rules, please talk to us about it.  Here are the official spring standards:

1. Full year rules governing arrival at practice and the run from school to the boathouse remain in effect.

2.  Eligibility to Race based on Attendance:  Attendance is tracked during spring.  You are allowed a maximum number of absence points leading up to a regatta.  Miss more practice, and you will not race.

–  In the week preceding a race (Mon-Fri) you can only accumulate two absence points.

–  In the two weeks preceding a race (including the previous Saturday regatta) you are only allowed a total of three points.

–  Three weeks and four weeks prior, four is the limit on cumulative absence points.

–  Beyond 4 weeks, the absence counter resets.  Missed practices far in the past no longer affect eligibility.

–  Excused absences count as one point.  Absences are only “excused” if there is a valid reason for missing that practice, and the coaches are aware of the absence in advance.  Reasons for absences must be emailed (or personally communicated) to coach Torsten ( 1-2 days before the absence (no later than 10 PM the day before practice).  Doing this makes the absence excused.

–  Unexcused absences count as two points.  Failure to tell the coaches of an absence makes it “unexcused”.  Lacking a good reason to miss practice makes that absence unexcused.

–  Only truly unforeseen circumstances causing a student to miss practice will fall outside this rule.  Severe illness and injury are good examples.  In such cases, the absence does not count against you.  School stuff, doctor appointments, family trips, etc… all count as absences and hurt your chances of racing.

–  We practice on early release days and when school is closed. Missing these practices counts against attendance (1 or 2 points).

–  We practice 1530-1800 weekdays. Missing a significant portion of that time (more than 1hr) could count as an absence from practice (1 or 2 points).  However, students needing to arrive late or depart very early can avoid any attendance points by arranging to complete the day’s rowing workout on land.  Partial workout completion (skipping stretching, etc.) does not count, nor does less than 1hr at the boathouse.  A coach will stay on land to facilitate.  If needing to depart before normal practice end time, notify the land coach in the same way you would on a water day.  This land training must be reserved two days ahead-of time, or through a set schedule of weekly land days.

–  Missing a significant portion of any regatta day (more than 3hr) or missing important work during multiple regatta days (unloading the trailer) could count against attendance (1 or 2 points).  Races where you will not compete are still required attendance.  But attending a race without competing counts in your favor, erasing the most recent 2 points negatively impacting your attendance numbers.

2.  Study hall is mandatory (sort-of):  Anyone going to practice must also go to study hall (with appropriate exceptions).  Sometimes you may have a valid excuse for not attending (like you have an extra-curricular activity, or you don’t have a last block and go home early).  That excuse must be officially communicated to the study hall coach.  Standing excuses for routine absences (like early release cards) are allowed, and must be on file with the study hall coach.  When everyone arrives at practice the coaches will confirm that they have all been at study hall.  Anyone skipping (or missing without a valid note explaining their absence) will practice on land.  Our official rules on study hall are posted on this website.

3.  Going on the Water:  If you miss practice today, you’re not going on the water tomorrow.  Miss several days in a row (even with valid excuses), that’s how many days you will be on land before going back out in a shell.  The coaches may adjust this rule as needed to get crews on the water.

4.  Practice Hard:  If you tell us you’re hurt, we’ll believe you.  But do not use our trust as an excuse to slack off.  Injuries that prevent you from practicing also prevent you from racing.  Do not expect to compete if you are suddenly healthy on race day.  Fail to work hard for the team… and we will let you fail.  Work hard, and the team/coaches will work hard for you.  Arrive on time, with the right clothes, and physically prepared.  Keep early departures to a minimum.  Practice is 1530-1800.  Plan accordingly.  If you are sick, stay home and don’t infect the crew.  Otherwise, come to work hard.


Rationale:  Because the coaches enforce our rules, we must also explain our rules.  We want our students to abide by the rules because they understand them.  We hope the following rationale serves that purpose.  The rules have worked well for us over many years, and we really believe they are correct.

During spring, we have around 6 local races, and try to reach peak speed for Regional and State Championships.  We want all our students to race…and win.  Boat speed depends on every person in that boat.  It is unfair for some to work hard and be held back by others in their boat who have not done the work.  It is equally unfair for people who have not invested enough time/effort in maximizing boat speed to share in racing success that they did not truly contribute to or sacrifice for.  Thus, only members of the team who have worked hard enough and earned the chance to race will be given that privilege.  Racing is not a right.

Students should attend every practice and every race, just like they should attend every class at school.  We recognize that life makes this impossible.  The attendance rules account for the other priorities students and families must have.  Planning ahead and keeping up with school work are necessary skills students can learn based on these rules.  The number of absence points should be more than enough for serious athletes.  We are serious coaches on a serious team.  We allow racing for deserving members.

Notification of absences allows the coaches to plan.  We must set lineups every day (or the night before) based on who we expect to attend.  Prior knowledge of students missing practice lets us adapt early.  Otherwise, boats miss water time and the entire team is impacted.  We must also set lineups for race days, make entries mid-week, and get racing lineups and schedules sent out to the team.  Absences impact this and must be planned for.

Late arrivals to and early departures from practice create a hardship for the entire team.  The coaches and the team must depart from and return to land.  Anyone arriving late delays the launching of several boats, reducing water time for many athletes.  Anyone departing early causes several boats and many athletes to return sooner, also reducing water time.  Spread this affect through many different students and almost every day of practice could be impacted.

Regattas take lots of work, especially at the beginning and the end.  We have to de-rig boats and load the trailer on Friday.  We unload and rig in the morning.  We de-rig, load, unload, re-rig, and store boats at the end of every race.  Missing a big chunk of the day or even small periods when lots of work gets done means a student is not doing their fair share.  If you want to race, you must do the work.

Missing practice hurts your speed, even if there is a very good reason for you to miss.  If you are part of a set racing lineup, your boat’s speed is hurt too.  These negative impacts should be felt by the student before they go slower at a race.  By leaving the student on land the day after they miss practice, they are immediately aware that it would have been preferable (from the team’s perspective) that they had not missed practice.  Of course with few coaches, and the inability to leave students on land alone, enforcement of this rule will flex as needed.

Final Note:  The coaches recognize that missing a race is not fun.  We also know that many sports force athletes to sit on the bench, never getting to complete.  And many crew athletes (including the coaches) have been left at home while their teams have gone off to race.  Every deserving person at Granby will race.  Even if you miss a regatta, you are still a part of this team.  You will still be allowed to practice.  You will still be allowed to do future races.  Preparation is more important to racing success than the actual race, just as studying and preparing for academic tests is more important than the act of testing.  We are teacher-coaches.  The expectation is that we teach first, and coach second.  These rules teach responsibility.  They teach fairness.  They teach that there is no such thing as a free lunch.  And hopefully, they will show that hard work is always worth doing, and leads to greatness.