National Capital Area Scholastic Rowing Association

Regatta Volunteers

CREW NEEDS YOU! Unlike most high schools sporting events, regattas simply could not happen without the active participation of hundreds of parent volunteers.   Crew parents are not just spectators…we participate.   Your son could not row without you.   Regattas are huge regional events, hosting up to 1800 athletes from NCASRA member schools plus many visiting crews.   A staff of approximately 150 parent volunteers is required to make each regatta safe and fair.

At the start of each crew season, NCASRA allocates volunteer positions to each school based on the number of rowers entered in each regatta.   Gonzaga Crew must provide volunteers for four regattas held on the Anacostia and the Potomac Rivers and the National Capital Area Championship held at the Occoquan.   The total number of volunteers required for these regattas is approximately 550.   Gonzaga Crew parents must fill 35 of those volunteer positions.   Because volunteers are so essential to the operation of each regatta, schools are fined $50.00 for each volunteer that fails to report to his/her assignment.


The specific volunteer positions assigned to Gonzaga Crew parents are described below.   Please familiarize yourself with the responsibilities of each position to ensure you are comfortable with the tasks required.   Sign up sheets for each volunteer position will be available at the Crew Dinner.

If you have any questions, please feel free to call or email Becky Killion, Gonzaga Crew Volunteer Coordinator, at 301.249.2151.


  1. If an emergency arises and you cannot fulfill your commitment, please call the Volunteer Coordinator as soon as possible so that a replacement can be found.   Remember, Gonzaga Crew will be fined if any of our volunteers fail to report for duty.

  2. Report to the Regatta sign-in location before reporting to your position.   Make sure you sign the
    • Volunteer Attendance Sheet
    • Insurance Waiver

Remember, failing to sign-in is the same as a “no-show.”   Make sure you get credit for your work.

  • Announcer - Finish
    Works at the finish line.   Announces the official results of each event, together with any other required announcements.  NO RED CLOTHING ALLOWED !

  • Announcer - HQ
    Announces over the loudspeaker system the first, second and last call for the launching of shells in each event, and the event number and name of the participating crew, together with any other required announcements.

  • Awards Assistant
    Works with the HQ Coordinator.   Organizes labeled award ribbons by 1st, 2nd and 3rd place for presentation and records the distribution of awards.   Passes results to Results Poster and prepares for awards pickup by Coaches only.   If there is a formal awards ceremony, works with Regatta Director to present medals and ribbons.

  • Concession (Finish Line and Boathouse)
    Assists with the sale of food, beverages, regatta t-shirts, programs, etc.   First shift is responsible for set-up.   Afternoon shift is responsible for clean up.

  • Dockmaster Assistant
    Assists the Dock Master in controlling traffic arriving and departing at the launching dock, ensuring the timely departure of all competitors.   Responsibilities include, among other things, ensuring that crews are checked in, launched and landed safely, and on schedule.

    (See Launch Driver Training attachment for details)

    Drives the launch of one of the Regatta Judge/Referees.   Drivers follow the races, enabling the Judge/Referee to monitor the safety of the rowers, assess fouls, etc.   Ensures that launch has a full complement of Life preservers, an oar and sufficient fuel.   Please bring a stopwatch if you have one, as it may be useful.   Experience in operating a motorboat is helpful, but not required.   The Judge/Referee directs the Driver to position the launch properly through the use of hand signals.   Drivers must have attended a Launch Driver Training Session.

    (See Launch Driver Training attachment for details)

    Drives the launch to patrol the race course .  Attempts to keep powerboats, sailboats, kayaks, canoes, etc. from entering the race course.   Sometimes requires the driver to remove logs and other large pieces of flotsam and jetsam that may interfere with the shells.   Driver responsible for monitoring rowers warming up upstream and to watch for any shells that may have capsized.   Ensures that launch has a full complement of Life preservers, an oar and sufficient fuel.   Experience in operating a motorboat is helpful, but not required.   Drivers must have attended a Launch Driver Training Session.

  • Finish Line Assistant
    Assists the Finish line Judge with the operations of the finish line.  Responsibilities may include, among other duties, finish line set up or takedown, video recording of race results, collection of race results, reporting official results to HQ, etc.

  • Finish Line Timer
    Assists Finish Line Judge determine the timing and placement of shells for the official results.   Lane assignments are made by the Finish Line Judge.   You must be able to effectively operate a stopwatch in order to time the split for the shell in your assigned lane.   The trickiest part of this responsibility is adding increments of 60 seconds resulting in the correct time for each event.   This position requires complete attention to the finish of each race and complete impartiality in the recording of results.

  • Helper - Takedown
    At conclusion of regatta, assists with removal and storage of tents, trash bins, parking barricades, etc. and other items in order to restore the regatta site to its original order.   This position often requires heavy lifting.

  • Helper - Takedown on Water
    Assists with removal and storage of regatta equipment, launches, and other items in order to restore the regatta site to its original order.   Spends some time working in a launch.   This position often requires heavy lifting.

  • Launch Master
    Works with NCASRA Launch Master, responsible for all supporting motor craft and equipment.   Coordinates with schools tasked to provide launches.   Assists with monitoring and controlling shuttlecraft on the water.

  • Money Collector at Park Entrance (Occoquan)
    Self-explanatory.   Also monitors vehicular speed.

  • Parking Lot Assistant - Anacostia
    Assists trailers, buses, spectators, etc. to park in Navy Yard parking lot.

  • Parking Lot Assistant - Georgetown
    Parking is a perpetual problem at all regattas.   Directs traffic to “permitted” half of Thompson’s Boat Center parking lot.   Assists car/trailer traffic to move safely in lot.   Coordinates with parkers at entrance to lot (near crosswalk). Be prepared to give alternate parking suggestions. Requires a firm but pleasant approach in dealing with parents who are “only dropping off a rower.”

  • Radio Relay Assistant
    Monitors and records messages from radios and cell phones.   Records and relays results delivered from finish line.

  • Results Poster
    Posts race results at HQ .

  • Sign-In Coordinator
    Responsible for sign-in attendance sheets and insurance waiver forms.   Usually situated at or near HQ.

  • Stakeboat Holder
    Assists with the proper positioning of shells at the starting platform.   You must grab the stern of the shell to prevent damage as it backs up to the platform.   Do NOT try to prevent the stern of the boat from hitting the platform by placing your hand between the shell and the platform – the momentum of the shell may result in injury.   Stakeboat holders lie on the board extending out from the platform and into the center of the lane, holding the stern of the shell and respond to the instructions of the Alignor while the shells undergo alignment.   Starting commands are “ARE YOU READY… GO.” RELEASE THE SHELL IMMEDIATELY UPON THE START.   When the starter says “GO!” the boat will explode out of your hands. &nbso; You are NOT expected to hold onto the boat to prevent a false start.   If you do not immediately let go of the shell when starter calls “GO” or if a crew starts to row before the call, you will follow the boat into the water.

    Of course, expressions of support for any competitors are strictly prohibited.   Do not engage the crews in conversation – they are concentrating on the race and may be distracted by unnecessary communications.  NO RED CLOTHING ALLOWED !

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