Team Policies

Practice Policies

Practice Attendance

Attendance is considered to be of the utmost importance.  If one member of a boat is not at practice, the lineup is unable to practice.  Depending on the numbers, if one person misses a practice, it can result in an entire boat of eight other people not being able to practice.  We cannot row partially filled boats.  Unlike many sports where the team can still practice without someone present, in rowing, your teammates suffer from your absences.

Try to schedule appointments, meetings, and meals outside of practice time.  It may not seem like a big deal to miss one practice, but it will have a negative impact on your teammates and your performance.

Missing Practice

Please communicate with the coaches in regards to practices that you will not be able to attend. A lot of planning goes into each practice and the more notice we can have about absences the better.  Each coach prefers a different method of communication.  Ask your coach which way is best.

Excused Absences

An excused absence is accepted only when adequate notice is provided before practice. However excessive excused absences can result in:

  1. Removal from current boat/seat.
  2. Not allowed to row at practices.
  3. Not allowed to row at regattas.

Unexcused absences

Unexcused absences will be defined as not providing adequate notice of absence.  Adequate notice will be considered more than 24 hours before the missed practice.

If you miss more than three (3) practices in a season without an excuse, you forfeit your racing privileges for the season. 

If you miss five consecutive days without notifying a coach or administrator, The Milwaukee Rowing Club will assume you have quit the team.


Rowing continues through most “normal” school vacations with coaches scheduling practices during these times. Please keep this in mind as you plan your vacations. Remember that the success of your rowers in crew depends greatly on attendance.

Inclement Weather

Because rowing is an outdoor sport, inclement weather (lightning, snow, wind, etc.) can affect our practices.  In the case of wind, lightning, or rain, we will find alternative workouts and practices other than going on the water.  Always plan on arriving at the boathouse for further instruction on how practice will proceed unless notified otherwise.  The coaches will do their best to hold practice regardless of the weather.

When it comes to snowy weather, practice may be canceled on short notice.  Be sure to check the team’s Facebook group or your email for these notices.  Additionally, there are occasional storms (especially in the winter) where parents and athletes must use their discretion on whether it is safe to attend practices or not.  Coaches will be flexible to these absences.

Proper Clothing

  • Practicing in spandex or “trou” is strongly encouraged.  Baggy gym shorts can become stuck in the seat tracks.
  • Good running shoes are an important investment for healthy athletes and should be brought to practice each day.
  • It is important to make sure that proper clothing is always available as conditions vary. Appropriate clothing each day should include:
    • Wicking, close fitting athletic gear.
    • Hat, sun block, sunglasses.
    • Rain gear.
    • Warm/dry clothes to change into after practice.
    • Varsity athletes may consider getting a heart rate monitor to monitor their training.

High Visibility Clothing

“Hi-vis” clothing must be worn on the upper body whenever a rower is on the water.  An athlete may wear clothing that is not “hi-vis” when engaging in activities off the water.  Hi-vis can be purchased from the Milwaukee Rowing Club apparel website.  If you would like to purchase Hi-vis clothing on your own, the preferred color is “Safety Green”.


Communication is between the coach and the rower.  Rowers need to contact their coach regarding their schedule.  Parents should contact their coach for training specific questions.

Athletes are responsible for all information given at practice, even if late or absent.  All athletes are responsible for information sent via email (read your emails and save the important ones).

Sickness and Injuries

  • Athletes are expected to be able to differentiate between soreness and injury. Consult with your coach if you need clarification.
  • In case of suspected sickness or injury, an athlete should contact their coach and consult a physician or an appropriate doctor IMMEDIATELY.
  • Upon taking a sick day(s), an athlete may be required to provide a doctor’s note, clearing him or her to continue with high (or else recommended) intensity practices.
  • Absence of such a note may prevent an athlete from participation in practice until cleared.

Regattas Policies

Regatta Travel

No athlete shall drive him or herself to an away regatta or home from an away regatta. In addition, no athlete will drive with another athlete to or from an away regatta.

While attending an away regatta with your team, remember that you are representing The Milwaukee Rowing Club, your Teammates and Coaches. Please behave accordingly.

Regatta Attendance

Athletes are expected to attend all of the regattas as a member of the Junior Team.  Failure to attend a regatta can result in others not being able to race.  Additionally, participation at past regattas is noted while making future lineups.

You are expected to help load and unload the trailer as well as the essential derigging and rigging of boats as necessary.  Loading the trailer usually occurs the day before a trip.

If you cannot attend any of the scheduled regattas, you must let your coach know, IN WRITING no later than one week after of the start of the season.

It is imperative that rowers who commit to rowing in a regatta, race in that regatta. Once the commitment has been made, the team is dependent on the athlete to be there; cancellations are not acceptable. In addition, registration fees, hotel and transportation costs are paid in advance and as such if a rower has committed to the race, the payment (in full) for the regatta and costs of the travel will be required regardless of attendance.  Exceptions may be made for sickness or injury.

Regatta Behavior

While at a regatta, or on a regatta trip, athletes are representatives of the Milwaukee Rowing Club.  Athletes are expected to act in a respectable and mature manner.   Conduct at races will reflect sportsmanship in any and all forms; this means that all athletes, coaches, and officials from competing teams as well as our own will be treated with complete respect. This also includes bus drivers, plane attendants, hotel and restaurant staff as well as any persons connected with travel and competition. UNSPORTSMANLIKE CONDUCT WILL NOT BE TOLERATED. Disciplinary measures will be taken against such behavior.

At Race Site

Be where you are asked to be, when you are asked to be there.  Ensure boats are quickly rigged and derigged.  Stay in an area where the coach can easily find you and let others know when you are going somewhere (i.e. bathroom).  If you have an upcoming race, stay out of the sun and drink plenty of fluids.  Keep noise levels down and stay off your feet.

Parents should stay away from athletes within two hours of a race.  As a good rule of thumb, parents should avoid the trailer.  Parents would not be allowed in the locker room before a game or on the field during the game, so please keep your distance while at a race.  Athletes can talk to parents briefly after a race, but then should return to the team tents to prepare for their next race.

At Hotels

  • Keep rooms clean during your stay.  This means hanging wet items up to dry, disposing of trash, and generally keeping rooms tidy.  When you leave, make sure all of the trash is in the bins and the towels are in the bathroom.  Hotels at popular races blacklist teams who are messy.  We want to avoid getting on those lists.
  • Be quiet in the hallways and common areas.  Feel free to visit other rooms before the curfew time, but at curfew, make sure you are in your room in bed.
  • Be on time to morning meetings.

Boathouse Policies


Theft of property at the boathouse or at Milwaukee Rowing Club events will not be tolerated.

Parking/Pickup/Drop off

  • Parking is available in any legally designated parking spots.
  • Take note of time restrictions on parking spots.  Follow these or risk getting a parking ticket.
  • Do not use the driveways of the nearby condos to turn around.  The driveways are private property and we want to respect our neighbors.  Utilize the small streets off of Commerce Street to turn around.
  • When dropping off/picking up, cars must sit in a legal parking spot.  Idling in a “No Parking” zone is prohibited.
  • Be careful when crossing the street, parking your vehicle, or pulling into traffic.  People drive very fast on Commerce Street, especially before and after work.  Additionally, the road is very narrow when cars are parked on both sides of the street, which is usually the case during practice times. Exercise extreme caution.

Personal Gear

  • Store all personal gear in the cubbies near the entrance of the boathouse. Do not leave money or valuables in the boathouse. Keys can be stored in the small cubbies above the sign-out book.
  • No changing of clothing at the boathouse.
  • Items left behind are put in the Lost and Found.  The Lost and Found is emptied sporadically through the year.

Coaches Room

  • The Coaches Room is for Milwaukee Rowing Club coaches and approved individuals only.


  • Wipe down sink area after use
  • Pick up garbage on the floor
  • Inform a coach if the trash is full


  • Clean up water bottles off dock and on the plaza in front of the boathouse after each practice.

Use of Club Equipment

  • All equipment belongs to the club and is scheduled for use by the Director for the scheduled programs. A restricted boat policy controls the use of certain boats by club members.
  • On land and water the conduct of the crew and the handling of equipment will be under the control of an approved coxswain and the coach at all times. No eight or four shall be rowed without a coach-approved coxswain. The coxswain has command authority at all times. Crew members shall refrain from idle discussion when boats are being handled both on and off the water to ensure that all crew members can hear the coxswain commands and respond to them at the appropriate time.
  • Please use the ergometers and weights with care and use each piece with safety in mind.
  • Oars and boats are to be carried with care.  They cannot touch or hit anything. No talking when carrying the equipment.

Equipment Handling

  • Each rower is fully accountable for his own oar, rigger, footstretcher, seat and slide. Check to make sure that all equipment is functioning properly before launching. Spare parts are very expensive and breakage can be avoided by taking responsibility for your own seat. Get help to ensure proper handling of the equipment.
  • All boats must be washed before being placed back on the rack. The inside of the boat should be rinsed daily as well as the riggers, pins and bolts. Take the time to clean a boat inside and out with soapy water every time.
  • Coxswains are responsible for the proper handling of the cox box and will be held responsible for damage.

Equipment Damage and Repair

  • Report any damage/maintenance to your coach. Do not row damaged equipment.
  • Avoidable Damage to Club Equipment, described below, will be paid by the offending member of the team.  The offending member will pay for parts, supplies and outside labor needed to repair damage to club equipment resulting from:
    • Improper boat handling around slings and boathouse racks.
    • Breaking or bending rudders and fins on the dock during launching

 Launching and Landing

  • All eights and fours should launch from the Milwaukee Rowing Club dock as quickly as possible. Footstretchers and riggers should be adjusted either before the boat is brought to the dock, or after launching. Boats should be brought down bow first facing towards Holton Street.  Beware of other boats launching and landing.
  • While landing, boats will row upriver (towards Humboldt) past the boathouse, staying to the right-hand side of the river.  Once upstream of the boathouse and dock, the crew will turn 90 degrees to the left, proceed across the river, and turn 90 degrees to the let again until they are parallel with the docks, facing towards Humboldt Street.  Proceed towards the ramp of the dock by 4's and then by pairs.  Be ready to check it down on port when you get close to the dock.
  • Be sure to be far enough upstream so the current does not take you past the dock.
  • In times of heavy congestion, boats should alternate launching the landing.
  • Do not yell at another crew on the dock. Ever.

Code of Conduct

All policies outlined on the Code of Conduct must be followed by parents and athletes.

Drugs and Alcohol

The use of alcohol and illegal and performance enhancing drugs is strictly prohibited. This includes use:

  • At the boathouse
  • While rowing out of the boathouse
  • At any event under the name of MRC or associated with the name of MRC
  • At regattas when representing MRC

Penalties for Violation of Policies

The penalty for a violation of any of the above policies by a junior member will be determined by the Director of Junior Rowing in communication with the Coach of the program, the Parent Steering Committee, and the Board of Directors of the Milwaukee Rowing Club in its sole discretion, and may include suspension and/or permanent expulsion from the Milwaukee Rowing Club, without reimbursement of any portion of membership dues or program fees paid or due.